Kansas basketball’s experienced roster makes them a national title favorite

It was quite the day for Kansas basketball fans on Tuesday, as the news became official that Ochai Agbaji, Jalen Wilson, and Remy Martin would all be suiting up as Jayhawks next season.

Naturally, the news has KU fans excited. This team has the star power, the depth, and the serious potential to make a championship run in the NCAA Tournament.

Martin brings an alpha dog, get-a-final-bucket mentality that this team so desperately needed. He’ll surely be playing with a chip on his shoulder after not showing up on NBA mock drafts and not receiving an invite to the NBA Draft Combine.

Agbaji and Wilson provide freakish athleticism and outside scoring threats this team needs if they want to score with the best teams in the country. They’re both likely to be drafted in next year’s NBA Draft.

But the biggest advantage KU has heading into next season after this recent news is experience.

With Agbaji and Wilson returning, that means four of five starters from last year’s team will be back for Bill Self (Marcus Garrett being the lone departure).

These players have chemistry, they understand the system, they understand what Self wants out of them – and that’s a huge advantage compared to other teams who may be starting over with transfers and freshmen.

The new one-time transfer rule and the COVID-transfer exception have allowed for teams to completely rebuild their rosters. Those teams will take time to gel, whereas KU will have a core group of starters who have played together for three to four years now.

Agbaji is a senior who averaged 33.7 minutes per game last season. Christian Braun is a junior who averaged 31.1 minutes. Wilson is a redshirt sophomore and has averaged 28.3 minutes a season ago. And senior David McCormack averaged 23.1 minutes.

Transfer Remy Martin – a super-senior who is a lock as this team’s starting point guard – averaged 33.5 minutes per game last season at Arizona State.

Presuming those five players make up the starting five to begin the season, that’s an average of approximately 30 minutes per game and 3.8 years of experience per player on the starting roster.

Yes, it will take some time for Martin to get acclimated, but he’s a fifth-year senior who was a back-to-back First Team All-Pac 12 point guard. He’s had a lot of success at the Power 5 level, and he has well-documented leadership skills that make him the perfect fit to run this team.

Veteran guard play is critical to winning in March, and Kansas has that in Martin and Agbaji.

Two of the other three transfers that KU added this offseason are super-seniors as well.

Big man Cam Martin will likely need time to adjust to the Division I level after transferring from Missouri Southern, but he’s experienced big moments that led him to be a two-time Division II All-American and appears to have a calm demeanor that should bode well for him on the big stage.

Meanwhile, shooting guard Jalen Coleman-Lands is 24 years old. He started playing college basketball back in 2015 for Illinois. Due to injuries, redshirting, and the COVID-transfer rule, he’s now at KU with six years of Division I experience and 133 games under his belt (102 of those he started).

There will be times when KU needs a big three late in the game and having a 2021 Big 12 Honorable Mention candidate with more experience than anyone on the floor (most likely) will be a luxury few teams can match.

Between old faces and new faces, the starting five and players coming off the bench, Kansas has experience across the board that makes them one of the most dangerous teams in college basketball.