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 assistant coach Danny Manning (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) /

No.1: Danny Manning (1984-1988)

Kansas basketball career stats: 147 games, 20.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 59.3% FG

Manning is both the greatest big man and the greatest player to ever play for KU. He led the “Danny and the Miracles” Jayhawks, coached by the legendary Larry Brown, en route to the school’s first NCAA Championship in 36 years vs. Oklahoma — all as a No. 6 seed in March Madness. In the contest, he scored 31 points and grabbed 18 boards.

You can’t talk about the history of Kansas basketball without mentioning Danny Manning. His 2,951 total points are a school record that will never be broken, and it’s likely that his 942 points in a single season record won’t be touched either. Additionally, Manning leads KU’s all-time rebounding list with 1,187, as well as being No. 4 in steals and No. 7 in blocks.

The hometown hero had one of the most impressive stretches in college basketball history, winning three consecutive Big 8 Player of the Year awards and a Wooden Award the same season he won a title. In 1987-88, Manning averaged 24.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.8 steals. He posted similar statistics the prior year, garnering First Team Consensus All-American honors.

It is hard to envision a scenario where Manning does not come in at No. 1 on this list. His run in the mid-to-late 80s cemented him as one of the sport’s best players ever.

Next. Ranking the 25 best Kansas basketball NBA careers. dark