It’s about time… let’s dive into another edition of the Kansas Jayhawks Q&A Mailbag.
The Kansas men’s basketball team is in the midst of a three-game hitting streak and finished first in the conference with Baylor and Texas. Each team has five games left and will play one more time.
KU will host Baylor at 3pm Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. ESPN will broadcast College GameDay in Lawrence before the game.
On the football front, it’s relatively quiet. Spring soccer training officially begins on February 28.
Anyway, let’s get into these questions. Some of the questions come from KU Sports Twitter spaces, which I host every Wednesday at 7pm As always, thanks for all the questions!
Some of the questions have been edited for clarity
What is the state of injury for KU striker Zach Clemence? Is it going to be available again if needed? —Brad H
KU head coach Bill Self said Thursday that Clemence was available against Oklahoma State but isn’t 100% yet. The knee issue is still bothering Clemence, so it will be something to monitor as KU wraps up the season.
It seems like some of the guys have been a lot more aggressive as of late, especially Dajuan Harris and Kevin McCullar. Obviously, he takes the lead away from Jalen Wilson. Was there a concentrated effort from Self to make those guys more aggressive up front? —Joe Lachky
I think a lot of the aggression in KU’s Harris and McCullar really goes back to something Self has been saying all year: Kansas needs both of them to be aggressive at shooting the ball.
For KU, even if Harris and McCullar don’t shoot the ball well, it’s important that they both drive the ball early, try to put big opponents on edge, and hit their open threes. He breaks ground for Kansas stars Jalen Wilson and Gradey Dick, plus he helps preserve their energy for the endgame.
KU is at its best when it has more double-digit scorers. In fact, the Jayhawks are 20-0 on Harris’ career when he’s scoring in double digits.
Another plus: If you’re a fan of KU, you must be happy with how aggressively the players are playing because it has resulted in fewer slow starts.
What’s your take on the KU basketball rotation going forward? —Brad H
Clearly, the top five has solidified. So, I think Pettiford (when he’s healthy) is the first player off the bench.
Ernest Udeh earned the backup role for KJ Adams. The only time Udeh should get fewer minutes is because of foul issues or a specific matchup.
So, I think Joseph Yesufu fills the last spot in Self’s rotation. Kansas needs him to attack offensively—after all, scoring him is the main reason he sees minutes.
Guys like MJ Rice, Zuby Ejiofor and Clemence can play spot minutes depending on the situation, but none of the trio should be providing consistent minutes unless something changes.
Hmm, that’s a great question. The logical answer would probably be one of the players on the offensive or defensive lines precisely because of the sheer number of players in the trenches.
So, I’ll go with likely future NFL Draft pick and former Kansas left tackle Earl Bostick Jr. Many times, teams need a piece to protect their franchise cornerstone to make a deep run and Bostick fits to the account.
Jayhawks past appearances in a Super Bowl include Kyron Johnson (Eagles, though he was inactive for Sunday’s game) and, of course, Hakeem Adeniji, who played left field at KU before Bostick and landed with the Bengals.
After KU’s self-imposed sanctions in November, the program is in wait-and-see mode. Timeline-wise, the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) ruling will likely come after the season.
After the ruling, the IARP will dissolve. In early September, the IARP ruled in the Memphis case; the school will pay a fine, go on probation, and void wins when James Wiseman played for the program. However, the outcome could have been much worse, so that could be a good sign for the Jayhawks.
Kansas’s case has been ongoing since the athletic department received its first notice of indictments from the NCAA on Sept. 23, 2019.