© Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Slow Your Roll

Memphis Duo Not Game Changers For KU

Henry Lake
April 12, 2017 - 9:30 am

I get it.  When you see the news that 2 coveted members of a basketball program are transferring to your institution that you attend or are an alum of, you get excited.  And I don't ever want to criticize any fanbase for that.  You want to see the school you support, get the type of players that can make a positive impact on your program.  And with college athletics in general, where young kids get disgruntled, coaches bolt for other jobs, there is a lot of moving that takes place.  Fresh faces end up on different campuses every year.

There has been so much talk about Michael Porter Jr. making his way back home to Columbia and getting ready to attend The University of Missouri.  With that info, the fact that they have a new caoch in Cuonzo Martin, and the possibilities of other top tier players on the way, things are looking up for the Tigers.  And their fans have taken notice.  There is a new energy that those fans feel.  The spotlight, in a positive way is back for fans of the program.  There aren't any guarantees as to how things will play out for the Tigers next season, but to say that the 2017-18 Season for Missouri is much anticipated is an understatement.

Wichita State looks like they will be solid with many of their players returning from a team that won a first round game in the NCAA tournament before losing to Kentucky in the 2nd round.  Kansas State will look to move their momentum forward as they won an NCAA tournament game as well, but have some pieces to replace next season with Wesley Iwundu and DJ Johnson's time in Manhattan being over.  

So where does that leave the faithful Kansas Jayhawk fans?  So close to getting to another Final Four, the Jayhawks got great news in that Devonte Graham announced that he would return for his senior season.  Awesome news actually, when you factor in that you lose the Wooden Award, Naismith award, and every other college basketball award for the best player in the country winner in Frank Mason graduating.  Josh Jackson is certain to bounce to the NBA and be a lottery pick this year.

But when it comes to Kansas Jayhawk basketball, they don't rebuild, they reload.  There aren't down seasons for this program.  A basketball program led by Hall of Fame coach Bill Self has won 13 consecutive conference titles and counting.  He knows what he's doing and has the recipe for success.  But with that the expectations aren't going away.  They will and have to continue to get big time players in to the program to continue the success.

But Kansas fans need to calm down just a bit about the latest tranfers that have committed to the program yesterday.  Dedric and KJ Lawson are nice players coming over from the University of Memphis.  Nice players with a ton of potential.  I will not dispute that at all.  But the initial responses that I was seeing, it was as though the 2nd coming of the Morris Twins were arriving to campus. I don't believe that is the case.

They definitely are players with some game, but a TON of holes in their games.  KJ is younger and showed flashes of making some plays.  But Dedric, who everybody is freaking out about, got a bunch of flaws.  He's a post player with an inconsistent jump shot, doesn't necessarily like to mix it up in the post all the time, not a good ball handler, and most importantly doesn't defend well.  At times, he took shots and didn't play a lick of defense to be honest.  I watched a bunch of Memphis games this year and just didn't see the hustle required to be a major impact in the way that fans are getting excited.

Do I think that their commitments are bad? No. I like them actually because they have talent and will make the Jayhawks deeper when they become eligible.  Do I think that they will be better players with Bill Self pushing them? Absolutely.  The biggest asset for Bill Self is that these guys can come into the program, sit for a year and learn a lot.  But when it comes to whispers of NBA potential and lottery dreams, calm down.  There's work on their games that need to take place first.



Comments ()