What he brings: In a 2016 class considered among the best in years, Jackson brings a level of competitiveness, defense and inside scoring to the court. A multi-dimensional forward who impacts the games by scoring the ball in the halfcourt with a straight line, heavy right-handed drive game, along with a pull-up jumper and the tenacity to get on the glass for second-chance points. Because he is an elite athlete, Jackson sprints the floor with speed and finalizes plays with explosiveness and sure hands. What most don’t realize is that Jackson is a terrific and unselfish passer, another reason he possesses so much versatility. What also makes him special is that he is a committed defender both on and off the ball with a 6-foot-9 wingspan and huge heart. Overall, Jackson is the best two way prospect in the class.
How he fits: There is plenty of space and need for Jackson in the Kansas line up next year with the departures of Wayne Selden (14.0 PPG) and Brannen Greene (5.4 PPG). The starting perimeter for Kansas will be Frank Mason and Devonte' Graham in the backcourt with Jackson at the small forward spot. When you look at the Jayhawks' system it's always about man-to-man defense first, and fast break offense -ext. Jackson thrives in the transition game and can excel on the defensive end. He will be happy to guard the opposing team's best offensive perimeter threat with length, bounce and lateral quickness at 6-7.
Who he reminds us of: On the defensive end, Jackson plays like a bigger version of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, all out and imposing his will to stop his man and to give help to his teammates. When you look at his athletic ability he resembles former Jayhawk and No. 1 NBA pick Andrew Wiggins with his explosiveness and quick second jump, along with his ability to finish better than most at the rim. Overall he could turn out to be a Jimmy Butler type once his jump shot makes progress. He already owns a pull up game inside the free throw line but has no consistent range and accuracy at this point in his career. The bottom line when comparing Butler and Jackson is they are everyday players and it’s that work ethic that makes them stand out.
Q: You say he’s the best in transition that you’ve scouted. What makes him so good in that aspect?
A: Just his ability to make decisions at full speed and find the weak points in a defense to attack while moving the ball up the floor. He’s not one of those guys that’s got his head down and is just trying to barrel his way to the rim. If the smart play is to move it up the floor 40 feet with a pass, he’ll do that. If he needs to pull up at the free-throw line and find a cutter, he’ll do that. He’s just got a great feel for open-court basketball.
Q: I’ve heard a lot of the Andrew Wiggins comparisons. What do you think of that comp?
A: I think he’s a pretty different player. He’s not quite as athletic as Wiggins was, and I don’t think he’s going to be quite the above-the-rim finisher that Wiggins was, but he’s definitely a better ball-handler, and I think he’s got a little more competitive juice than Wiggins did in college. I think that was one of the frustrations with some people is that you didn’t know how competitive he was sometimes. A lot of that had to do with he just made everything look so easy, but similar size, not quite as athletic, better ball-handler, and I think a lot more of an Alpha-type mentality.
KC Star Q&A with Eric Bossi of Rivals
Josh Jackson: The last to arrive this week, Jackson walked into the gym filled with NBA GMs and scouts in khakis holding his bag and a box of Nikes minutes before the USA was set to scrimmage local players. Jackson has a confidence and charisma similar to Chris Webber at Michigan; he walks like a ballplayer. But he’s able to balance it without any arrogance.
Jackson is an energetic player and is unselfish and creative as a passer. Beyond the elite athleticism, even when compared to all of these other elite athletes, Jackson’s game comes most alive as a passer. I asked Jackson if he would be interested in becoming a point guard full time.
“I like to play team basketball,” said Jackson. “All three schools that recruited me said they'd like me to play some point guard at some point. But long-term, I see myself as a wing.”
Jackson has an awkward jumper at this point, bringing the ball up too far away from his body and with a hitch. Jackson’s shot is inconsistent, evidenced by an errant three-point attempt off the glass but he can also hit it if he’s open and in rhythm.
I asked Jackson if the way he brings the ball up is replicating the motion of shooting off the dribble and if he’s less comfortable in catch-and-shoot situations.
“I'm more comfortable shooting off the dribble,” Jackson told me. “It's kind of backwards.”
Jackson has a great understanding of space and how to fill lanes in transition. In Friday’s scrimmage, Jackson filled the lane on a fastbreak from the left sideline into the middle as he could see how the dribbler and the lone defender were drifting and he was able to set himself up to receive a drop off for the dunk of the week.
Jackson is a year older than the rest of the class and that clearly has a meaningful influence on his prognosis. Jackson is the most competitive player on the USA, possibly for better, possible for worse. Jackson nearly received a technical in a low-key scrimmage on Friday arguing a non-foul call.
Jackson also was tangled up with DeAndre Ayton fighting for a rebound that led to a stoppage of play though it was relatively innocuous.
Jackson has the highest potential to become a franchise player out of everyone here, but he’ll need to fix his perimeter shot to get there and I would still like to see him as a full time point guard where he can have the ball in his hands as a playmaker for the team and not for himself as the first option.
NBA scouts are very, very excited about the incoming class of college freshmen.
Our ESPN Recruiting gurus have ranked 22 players as five-star prospects. Team USA was one of the deepest and most talented squads in years.
"This year is loaded with some crazy talent," one NBA GM said. "This is the deepest class I can remember in some time. There isn't necessarily a lot of superstar power in the class, but it's very, very deep. I think 20 to 25 of these guys will play in the NBA in some capacity."
1. Josh Jackson
There's no real consensus among NBA scouts about who should be the 2017 No. 1 pick, but Jackson was the player mentioned most often among the scouts with whom I spoke.
It doesn't take long to see why. He's a long, explosive wing who plays with an elite motor and competitiveness on both ends of the floor. He's aggressive without ever being selfish. He can be a relentless driver to the basket, excellent passer (he might even be able to play a little point guard) and defender of at least three positions on the floor.
His jump shot is his biggest weakness right now. If it isn't broken, it needs a lot of work.
He can also be overly competitive at times (think Marcus Smart), which can get him and his team into trouble. But no one wants to win more than him. He's like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with a more refined offensive game.
He has narrowed down his school choices to Kansas, Arizona and Michigan State, with most folks here thinking he'll likely pick Kansas.
If he does, he should be a perfect fit in Lawrence, and I think he'll have the best chance of hearing his name called first in June 2017. I don't think there's a player in this class with more upside.
McDonald's: 19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 9-for-11 shooting in 17 minutes
Hoop Summit: 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal in 13 minutes
Jackson, who led all scorers with 19 points, was quick to deflect the attention off himself.
“I think I played pretty well,” he said after the game. “It was mostly because of my teammates finding me in the open court.”
Jackson was being modest. He was the most impressive player in a game featuring the best high school players in the country. He looked like a man among boys at times, shooting an easy 9-for-11 from the field with four rebounds, three assists and a block (on Tatum no less) in just 17 minutes of court time. He was all over the place — running the floor on both ends, hitting jumpers, slashing in the paint, dropping dimes and defending on the perimeter with intensity. He looked and played like the best player on the floor:
Jackson utilizes his 6-foot-7 frame to his advantage. He’s a constant threat to score the ball, even if his jumper is still coming along. His athleticism and feel on the floor were apparent from the onset of the game. He shined whenever he was matched up individually with the more highly-touted Tatum, something he won’t let him soon forget.
“(I had) just a lot of fun out there,” Jackson said with Tatum sitting to his right. “Main thing was to have fun and also to win the game because I know I could talk some trash about it later to the guys on the East team…Oh yeah, (Jayson) knows.”
…“Being the No. 1 player in the country doesn’t really mean too much to me,” he said to a group of reporters packed into a tight United Center hallway. “There have been plenty of guys who have been No. 1 in the country at some point in time, and then time goes on and you never hear about them again. So being No. 1 in the country is not my main focus right now.”
…Jackson has a man’s game in a rail-thin, high-school aged body. His skill level is off the charts for a 19-year-old without collegiate or professional experience. Part of the maturation in his game can be attributed to the NBA idols he looks up to. He listed LeBron, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Russell Westbrook and even Jamal Crawford and Dirk Nowitzki as NBA players he likes to watch and learn from.
“I can’t say that I model my game after any one player, but I do watch a lot of NBA basketball,” Jackson told Today’s Fastbreak after the game. “I try to pick up little things along the way from each and every player and add them in to my game as well.”
Jackson wasn’t shy about listing some of the areas he excels at, but he was also honest about where he needs to improve before next season.
“My strengths I’d say are my athleticism, my vision in the open court, probably my ability to attack the basket,” Jackson said. “I think the two things that I need to work on are my consistent stroke and my ball handling.”
NBADraft.net: Many consider you the top player in the nation, what do you think it is that separates you from every other player?
Josh Jackson: I think what separates me from everybody is how hard I compete and my will to win. I think that’s the biggest thing that separates me from everyone.
NBADraft.net: If you could go back and give advice to a ninth grade Josh Jackson, what would you say?
Josh Jackson: Do some pushups and eat right.
NBADraft.net: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Josh Jackson: Hopefully in the NBA, playing on a good team.
There's a certain "circle-of-life" vibe happening at USA Basketball junior minicamp on Sunday morning in Colorado Springs. It's the rare setting where 18-year-olds are considered wise and every rim-rattling dunk humbles a younger five-star recruit. The way Josh Jackson sees it, dominating the sophomores and juniors in practice simply amounts to teaching life lessons.
The camp brings the best 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders together at the U.S. Olympic Training Center every fall with the goal of keeping the country's top players invested in the program through competition. This makes Jackson, a senior at California's Prolific Prep, an elder statesman among the group. The 18-year-old has already captured three gold medals, including one this summer playing in a U-19 tournament against competition that was primarily a year older.
Jackson isn't taking any mercy against the younger campers on Sunday. He played up to the competition at U-19s and he's not playing down to the younger kids now. On one possession, he effortlessly rips through the defense off a screen for a one-handed dunk. On another, he's draining a three from the left wing and celebrates by stabbing the side of his head with three fingers. When he whips up the court again with the ball in transition, all sophomore Javonte Smart can do is wrap him up.
Jackson doesn't appreciate the gesture, and he makes sure the 16-year-old knows it. Jackson takes a step toward him, stares him down and whispers something in his ear. When it's over, Jackson continues to wreck every facet of the day's practice.
The seniors are supposed to be the leaders at an event like this, and Jackson is figuring out his own way to do it after watching players like Stanley Johnson, Kelly Oubre and Jaylen Brown take control before him. For Jackson, leadership starts with intensity. He hasn't lost a game in three years with USA Basketball, and he's showing everyone else that only happens by never taking a possession off.
The camp is loaded is with future NBA talent, but it's immediately evident no one plays harder on both ends of the floor than Jackson. He has nothing to prove here as a consensus top-three recruit in the loaded class of 2016, but he's still aggressive and unrelenting on every possession. His inability to turn off that passion is what makes him special.
"I think it's something that's in you," said Miles Simon, a former national champion during his playing days at Arizona and now assistant coach at the camp. "That's something that was in him probably at 10 years old and will be in him when he's 35. He's just a high-level competitor that likes to win, that likes to prove himself and try to be the best player every time he's on the floor. That's a tremendous asset to have that can take you a long way."
…"I'm really high on him," said Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, who was in Colorado watching the camp. "He's got great size, he's a freak athlete, he's a tremendous defender. He's still got some work to do in terms of rounding out his game, his ball handling and his shooting. But he shows a lot of flashes in a lot of different areas and he's a really competitive guy, so I think he's a really good prospect."
sbnation.com October 2015
-Has great size for the wing at 6-7 without shoes, with a 6-10 wingspan
-Added 10 pounds to frame in last year. Now up to 203 pounds. Looks like he should be able to continue to fill out more in time
-Tremendous athlete. Quick twitch. Fast. Explosive. Flies all over the court
-Amazing potential defensively. Can guard up to four positions. Great lateral quickness. Plays with a very high motor.
-Great instincts and anticipation skills in passing lanes. 3.3 steals per -40. Also blocks shots regularly, 1.4 per-40.
-Tracks down loose balls regularly on the glass. Excellent rebounder for a wing. 11.4 rebounds per-40 at U19s. 14.6 last summer at U17s. Especially impressive on offensive glass with quick second bounce and high motor
-Finds ways to score without plays being called for him. Got almost all his offense playing off the ball. Crashing offensive glass, running floor in transition, cutting off the ball
-Extremely effective in transition with combination of ball-handling, athleticism, length and motor
-Perimeter shooting stroke is showing serious progress. Didn't make a single 3-pointer in nearly 140 minutes of action at the U17s, but made 50% of his 3s at the U19s on a decent volume. Better shooting off the dribble at the moment than with feet set. But did a little bit of both in Crete
-Unselfish player. Makes extra pass. Shows some nice creativity with the ball, especially on the move
-Grabs rebounds and goes coast to coast
-Frame has a ways to go. Lower body in particularly is very skinny
-Perimeter stroke still has room to improve. 61% from free throw line at U19s. Career 57%. Not always on balance
-Reluctant shooter at times
-Needs to improve his advanced ball-handling skills. Dribble is a bit high. Fairly turnover prone trying to create own shot in the half-court.
-Struggles to get all the way to the basket. Can't always finish everything he creates due to lack of strength and polish
-Plays off his talent, not always off fundamentals. Can get a bit wild and out of control on both ends of the floor. Lives off his instincts. Somewhat tense and unpredictable. Shot-selection isn't always great
-Bites on pump-fakes. Gambles in passing lanes
-Body language isn't always great. Constantly talking to referees. Very emotional and reactive on the court
-At least a year old for his high school class. Will turn 20 during his freshman season in college.
Outlook: Super versatile wing player. Plays every position on the floor depending on which level he's operating at. Does a little bit of everything. Still raw and unpolished, but shows great flashes of talent in many different areas. Unselfish player who is extremely competitive defensively. Still remains to be seen just how high his ceiling is offensively, but at the very least will be a super versatile all-around player.
What makes Jackson one of the elite wing prospects to enter college basketball in recent years is his ability to impact a game at both ends of the floor. The tough, ultra-competitive Jackson has a nonstop motor, an explosive first step to the basket, a knack for making plays in transition and the ability to lock down an opposing team's best perimeter player.
Yahoo Sports Eisenberg
Jackson is the best two-way player entering the college game. He was one of the best defensive players in the country the past couple of seasons, showing an ability to guard multiple positions on the ball and play passing lanes and help defense off the ball. His length and awareness are on another level -- which will help him adapt immediately to the college game. At last month's McDonald's All American game, Jackson played lockdown defense on Jayson Tatum, who might have the best offensive skill set of anyone in the high school game. Moreover, Jackson has a winner's mindset, more than anyone else in the 2016 class. Jackson will get on his teammates and should bring leadership right off the bat.
ESPN Borzello ($) Top 25 Freshman for 2016-17
Jackson's mother Apples Jones spoke exclusively with Rivals.com and broke down her role in helping her son find a school and why she felt Kansas won out.
"For myself my goal was to find out which schools had his best interest and all I wanted to do was report back to Josh on what I found," said Jones. "When I say best interest I'm talking for the long haul and as a person and not just a basketball player. He's invested a lot in his future success and I've invested a lot in his future and we wanted him to go somewhere that he felt he could continue on that road."
"(Kansas) had the plan and roadmap and they laid it out for me," said Jones. "I could see the future they had planned for Josh from his freshman year to his senior year. I could also see that they cared about him more as a person than as a basketball player.
…An elite athlete, Jackson is as good an open court player as Rivals.com has ever scouted. He handles the ball at full speed and always seems to find a way to get to the rim or to make a play for a teammate to get an easy bucket.
He defends exceptionally well, he is a big-time competitor and he is relentless in attacking the basket. Jackson's jump shot does need to get more consistent but he is a confident shooter who at least makes defenders respect that he will launch from the outside.
Beating out Arizona and Michigan State was a huge recruiting victory for Kansas given that both schools had a head start.
Jackson played for Arizona’s Sean Miller on U19 Team USA. He grew up a fan of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and had developed a relationship with Magic Johnson.
Kudos to Bill Self’s longest-tenured assistant coach, Kurtis Townsend, lead recruiter on Wiggins and two years later on Jackson.
When asked which of the three coaches in his final list would have the best chance at winning the Presidency, Jackson said, “Bill Self. He’s a winner; he’s won 12-straight Big 12 titles and we’ve got the best country in the world, so we’d need a winner.”
The American Family Insurance ALL-USA first teamer, who is ranked No. 3 overall in the ESPN 100, averaged 26.9 points, 13.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game this season. He’s also won three gold medals with USA Basketball (16U, 17U and 19U), where he’s compiled a record of 20-0.
Still, Jackson said one of the accolades he was most excited of was being named Biggest Trash-Talker in the 2015 USA Today HSS Summer Ball Player’s Choice Awards.
“I was very proud of that one,” Jackson told USA TODAY HSS at the McDonald’s All American Game.
“Josh is an absolute once-in-a-generation beast,” Prolific Prep founder Jeremy Russotti told the Journal-World on Monday in a phone interview. He was head coach during Jackson’s junior year and also worked with Jackson the summer prior to arriving in California. “Very few are cut from the same cloth as that kid. He’s such a strong competitor, teammate. He just cares about winning and competing every possession. Off the court, he’s the sweetest, most polite, caring person around kids, adults.
“On the court, it doesn’t matter if we’re playing pool or pingpong or basketball. He’s just a competitive freak,” Russotti added. “That’s what separates him from most kids. That’s what will drive him to be an NBA all star and above.”
His head coach his senior season was Billy McKnight, who also raves about the athletic wing.
“Josh contributes in every facet of the game,” McKnight told the J-W. “Offensively, he’s got great feel, is a fantastic passer, a freak in transition, and will make the SportsCenter Top-10 several times this year.”
Those will assuredly come via plays on the offensive end.
He’s known for good defense as well.
“I played him at the 1-4 positions this year. Defensively, I adjusted our scheme this year because of Josh. We literally didn’t help off other players when Josh was guarding 1-on-1. He guarded 1-5 for us,” McKnight said. “He’s so quick off the ground. His ability to block shots and rebound will make a huge impact.
“All that said, his greatest attribute is how competitive he is. He plays to win, and that’s all there is to it. He holds his teammates to an extremely high standard. Look no further than the McDonald’s game this year. It’s no coincidence that his team was competing to win that game (Jackson’s West team won, 114-107). That wasn’t a typical exhibition game. In the two practices leading up to that game, he made it clear he wouldn’t tolerate guys not defending. He literally changed that game. He’s one of the most competitive kids I’ve ever seen,” McKnight added.
Jackson will be set up to succeed better at Kansas than any wing player since Ben McLemore because of the supporting cast around him.
And, with all due respect to how great McLemore was as a red-shirt freshman during the 2012-13 season, the hype attached to him was not anything close to what we saw with Wiggins, Selden, Kelly Oubre and, of course, now Jackson.
Like McLemore, though, Jackson will be surrounded by a veteran group of quality players who not only know how to play for KU coach Bill Self but also how to navigate the wild world of college basketball.
That can only help — be it in terms of taking the target off of Jackson’s back or in the mentor-student capacity — as Jackson brings his insane athleticism, killer outside shot and all-around impressive game to Lawrence for what figures to be his only season of college basketball.
Josh Jackson knew he wanted to play in the McCracken County Mustang Madness with his Prolific Prep (Calif.) teammates. However, he also knew it would not be easy.
His game Friday against Prime Prep (Texas) was his first back on the court since his father died of a heart attack Dec. 20 in Las Vegas.
“Playing was pretty hard on me but I know Dad is proud of me and what I do. I am going to continue what I do for him. He had a huge influence on my career,” said Jackson, one of the top players in the 2016 recruiting class. “His passing was unexpected. I didn’t see it coming.I feel like I have a chip on my shoulder now. I am definitely going to try even harder.”
…“With everything to consider, I think he handled it pretty well. But me as parent, I could see he was not all the way there,” Jones, who came from Michigan to support her son, said. “Emotionally he was not able to play the game the way he normally does prior to his dad passing and physically I thought that he probably could have played harder. But considering all he has going on, I just wanted to be here to support him and be here. I just needed to be here.
“His dad trained with Josh from a young age. Josh been with him since he was 5 or 6 years old. He took it tough because my son normally don’t cry. To see him cry, I knew it affected him. Hopefully the support will be there and help him get through it when I am not.”
“My mom is a strong woman. She is helping me out a lot just from whenever I think about passing of my dad, she helps me out,” Jackson said.
…Jackson, who turns 18 in February, is a National Honor Society member and one of his hobbies is playing chess based on information from USA Basketball. However, he’s also had to cope with the death of his high school coach, Al Anderson, in 2013 and now the death of his father.
“His freshman year his coach passed. That was first time somebody really close to him passed. Now two years later his dad passes. I don’t know. Just here to support my son and what don’t break us will make us stronger,” Jones said. “He took it really bad when his coach passed. But he has a big enough support system to get through this.”
That includes continued long distance support from her.
“I live in Michigan and have no intentions to move to California like some have said. I didn’t help start that school. I don’t know why people write some things they do about us. I open the paper and go, ‘Wow. Really.’ We are just a normal family and like our privacy and my son playing and doing what he loves. We are not in it for the fame,” she said. “I have been through some of this myself. Not at the caliber he is, but I know what to look for. I know what I have learned. I am going to make sure he don’t have some experiences I had. I just want to make it easier for him.”
January 11, 2015
From Kobe Bryant to Tracy McGrady, down to Paul George and Andrew Wiggins, Jackson is the next wing in line for greatness.
Like some of the names listed above he is one of the most confident players you’ll come across, especially on the high school basketball level. Trash talk? It’s nothing for him. Recently at a basketball tournament in New York City, Jackson told a cameraman he was going to score 50. At the end of the game, there was a big 5-0 by his name.
“Man, I don’t know when I said I was going to score 50 before the game. I was just joking around,” he says. “I had no idea it was actually going to go happen.”
Then during this weekend’s Under Armour Elite 24 All-Star Game, one of the nation’s most unique summertime amateur showcases, Jackson got into a duel with five-star prospect Rawle Alkins. Alkins had the homecourt advantage but both players were jawing most of the match and Jackson was up for the challenge, eventually winning an MVP award. He has a lot of characteristics that scouts love and brings a toughness that every team needs. Director of Basketball Scouting for 247Sports Jerry Meyer has even compared Jackson to Kobe Bryant.
“Obviously you hate to throw out names like that for a high school player,” Meyer wrote. “But he has Kobe’s size, electric scoring and athleticism. Now, we’ll see if he even comes close to doing what Kobe did.”
August 26, 2015
Michigan media = salty!
Stay classy Lansing State Journal
“Next year I will be attending Kansas University,” the 6-foot-7 wing from Detroit tweeted at 8:32 p.m, above a Photoshopped picture of him in a Kansas jersey. He’ll soon learn he’s actually attending the University of Kansas.
No national broadcast, no picking up one of three hats sitting in front of him, no dramatic pause, no more fans drowning in their own failed attempts at patience.
It was over in an instant and in less than 140 characters. There’s irony in that.
Jackson said a couple weeks ago that he had made up his mind but wanted to wait to be in front of family and friends back home in Detroit to share it. If that’s the case, it was inconsiderate to the coaches at MSU, Kansas and Arizona — the three finalists — and a tad bizarre, considering he eventually conveyed his decision in a tweet, though I don’t think that was his original plan.
Lansing State Journal Graham Couch
Jackson, or his mother — Apples Jones — had another agenda, which is their prerogative.
It isn’t unusual for tennis protégés to leave home and attend high school at tennis academies across the country. Some hockey players also do something similar.
They do that to find better competition, but I’m not sure Jackson needed to leave Michigan to develop into the No. 1 player in the country.
Jackson did what he — and/or his mother — thought was best for him, so God bless him.
It’s just too bad we never really got to know him is a high school player. And now we won’t get to know him as a college player.
Detroit Free Press
Self’s job each season entails putting together a roster capable of competing for a national championship. If he and his assistants think a lottery pick in waiting like Jackson — a 6-foot-7 shooting guard ranked as the nation’s top recruit by Rivals.com — will increase KU’s chances of cutting down as many nets as possible the following season, you better believe they’re going to do all they can to get that young star in a Kansas uniform.
Jackson, who committed to KU Monday night, didn’t just do so to showcase his talent for NBA scouts and general managers. Jackson is coming to Kansas because Self thinks the Jayhawks will be better with him on the floor.
…If KU had Wiggins and Embiid playing in the NCAAs two seasons ago, this idea that Kansas can’t survive and advance with such talents almost certainly wouldn’t exist. It’s hard to envision Kansas losing to an underwhelming Stanford team with two of the top three picks in the draft on the floor. From there, could the Wiggins/Embiid-led Jayhawks have handled Dayton in the Sweet 16? Seems pretty likely. And how would that young Kansas team have done in an Elite Eight matchup with Florida? We’ll never know for sure, but simply reaching that regional final would have drastically changed the narrative surrounding Self and his postseason success with one-year wonders.
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!”
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