Kansas basketball: Ranking the 10 greatest big men in Jayhawks history

NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain (Photo by Matt Campbell/Getty Images)
NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain (Photo by Matt Campbell/Getty Images) /
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Kansas basketball has produced some of the best big men in NCAA history, and these are the 10 greatest ever to put on a Jayhawk uniform.

The Kansas Jayhawks are one of the most renowned college basketball schools ever. They boast six national championships, 64 regular season conference titles and have made the NCAA Tournament each year since 1990.

Although several great guards have set foot in Lawrence in the past, KU is known for producing big men. Utilizing big guys is what Bill Self, Roy Williams, Phog Allen, and other Jayhawks coaches have made a living off of — so much so that the university’s top four leading scorers all-time are non-guards.

Paul Pierce, Sherron Collins, Frank Mason III, and other greats won’t be included here. Not because they aren’t among the best players in Kansas basketball history, but because their position does not qualify on this list. That leads us to a puzzling question: What is a true “big man”?

A big man can be defined as many things, but for the sake of this list, we will classify it as someone listed as a center or a power forward 6-foot-9 or taller. KU’s top 10 all-time leaders in rebounds and blocks — statistics that premier big men typically excel in — are centers or power forwards. Therefore, should be no issue with how we categorize the term for our list.

Considering Kansas has one of the most storied backgrounds of any college basketball program, some great players will be left off this list. Our honorable mentions include Jeff Withey, Udoka Azubuike, and Bill Bridges. Additionally, Jalen Wilson and Perry Ellis just missed the height requirement, with both standing at 6-foot-8.

With that being said, here are the 10 greatest big men in the history of Kansas basketball.