Kansas Basketball had very few weaknesses already heading into 2019-20. With the late pickup of Dajuan Harris, their backcourt is basically set.
Just a couple of months ago, Dajuan Harris was a four-star point guard commit for the Missouri State Bears in the Missouri Valley Conference. He was slated to be a future mid-major star but recently decommitted in an effort to join a top-tier NCAA Basketball program. In the middle of July, Harris picked Kansas Basketball for the upcoming season.
Harris had other options for next season, including playing another year of high school basketball to raise his status even more. However, several schools including Kansas, Nebraska, Tulsa and Missouri were making a real push to get him immediately. They all needed another point guard to provide depth but in the end, the Big 12 juggernaut had too much to offer. That includes already having another 2019 commit in Christian Braun, a very close friend of Harris.
The Jayhawks have had their fair share of ups and downs with perimeter players linked with the program this offseason. Devon Dotson elected to return for his sophomore season instead of the NBA Draft. Quentin Grimes did the same thing but transferred to Houston. The weeks of indecision with these two prevented Kansas from adding another ball handler, either via the 2019 recruiting class or a grad transfer.
The one exception was five-star combo guard RJ Hampton, considered to be one of the best overall players in the overall recruiting class. However, despite reportedly leaning towards Kansas over Texas Tech and Memphis, he made to move to play overseas instead of NCAA Basketball. That left just Dotson and three-star commit combo guard Issac McBride as capable ball handlers. It wouldn’t have been the first time head coach Bill Self would potentially play a point guard nearly 40 mpg, as both Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham played over 36 mpg in their respective senior campaigns.
While he’s likely to play a primary backup role next season, it’s a tremendous opportunity for Harris. He’ll become the secondary ball handler when Dotson needs a breather, or Dotson himself could play off the ball if Kansas needs help spreading the floor. That’s still a concern for the Jayhawks next season, so if Harris can in fact shoot the ball well, he could become an important rotation piece as a freshman. And if he really plays well, the coaching staff won’t have to look for another five-star point guard from the 2020 class.
Next to Memphis, no program has gone through more amount of offseason news than Kansas Basketball. And there have been both good and bad storylines that Jayhawk fans have endured. But with Harris filling the last scholarship, it’s time to officially look ahead to the 2019-20 season. And considering that they’re a consensus preseason top-5 team, there is plenty of positives to look towards.