Jalen Wilson the key piece to leading Jayhawks to National Championship

Kansas basketball Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kansas basketball Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Jalen Wilson, a top-50 ranked recruit from Guyer, Texas, has committed to play for the Kansas Jayhawks next season.

Death, Taxes, Big 12 championships and Bill Self dominating late spring recruiting: Those four things have become a certainty for the majority of Self’s tenure in Lawrence, Kansas.

Self didn’t disappoint this off-season as the highest rated uncommitted player remaining chose the Jayhawks over the likes of North Carolina and Michigan on Wednesday.

The addition of Jalen Wilson places Kansas at No. 15 in the 247Sports team recruiting rankings.

That No. 15 ranking is obviously not an impressive feat for a blue blood school such as Kansas. But Self’s team didn’t need to load up on the heralded freshmen superstars that teams such as Duke, Kentucky and Memphis did.

Why? Because Kansas’ most important pieces are all returning to Lawrence for another season.

Udoka Azubuike, Devon Dotson, Silvio De Sousa, Marcus Garrett, Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack and Mitch Lightfoot are all coming back to Kansas this upcoming season.

That list of players alone could easily contend for a conference title. However, that’s not why players come to Kansas. They come to compete for a national championship.

To accomplish that goal, the roster needed complimentary pieces. To be exact, those complimentary pieces need to be consistent shooters.

And again, Bill Self delivered about as well as he possibly could.

With the high possibility of key players returning for another season — which clearly turned out to be true — it’s not a shock that the country’s top recruits signed at schools where they would have a larger role.

But even with a modest team recruiting ranking in 2019, Kansas found the players that perfectly fit their needs.

  • Incoming Recruits: Christian Braun, Isaac McBride, Tristan Enaruna, Jalen Wilson, and Isaiah Moss (Graduate Transfer)

Braun, McBride and Enaruna are all extremely talented players who can each play at least three different positions on the floor.

Not only will each provide quality depth at the guard position this season, but they are the type of players that will likely play for the Jayhawks until they’re upperclassmen.

And as we saw with players such as Sherron Collins, Frank Mason, Devonte Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk, guards who spend multiple seasons under Self’s tutelage can progress into stars.

But for next season specifically, the most important additions are Isaiah Moss and Jalen Wilson.

Moss and Wilson will help the Jayhawks significantly from beyond the arc.

Moss, a graduate transfer from Iowa, shot 42% from the 3-point-line for the Hawkeyes last season and 9.2 points-per-game overall.

Moss’ role on the team will be pretty clear: hit three’s and play defense.

Wilson, a six-foot-eight small forward, is more than just a shooter, though. With his height, he has the ability to score and create shots for himself on all areas of the court. He could very well end up being one of the team’s best pro prospects by the end of next season.

In summary, the addition of Jalen Wilson means Self and the Kansas Jayhawks are going to be a very very good basketball team next season.

On the court, the Jayhawks will have all the pieces necessary to win their first national championship since 2008. Barring injury, there is a high possibility that they will be ranked No. 1 coming into the season.

All Kansas Basketball fans can do now is entrust this coaching staff to find the rotations that allow this team to reach their ceiling.

And with a Hall-of-Fame coach such as Bill Self at the helm, those fans should feel great about their team moving forward.