Kansas basketball: Kevin McCullar snubbed from another NCAA preseason list

LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 06: Kevin McCullar Jr. #15 of the Kansas Jayhawks during the second half against the Texas Longhorns at Allen Fieldhouse on February 6, 2023 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)
LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 06: Kevin McCullar Jr. #15 of the Kansas Jayhawks during the second half against the Texas Longhorns at Allen Fieldhouse on February 6, 2023 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images) /
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Despite arguably being the best on-ball defender in the Big 12, Kansas basketball wing Kevin McCullar was not named as one of the ten best defenders in college basketball.

Kevin McCullar is once again receiving no love from Andy Katz. The former Texas Tech Red Raider forward was not listed on his rankings of the ten best defenders in college basketball. While Kansas Jayhawks point guard Dajuan Harris received recognition at No. 8, it is yet another blunder by the college basketball analyst.

Here are his rankings:

  1. Zach Edey (Purdue)
  2. Jamal Shead (Houston)
  3. Ryan Kalkbrenner (Creighton)
  4. Lamont Butler (San Diego State)
  5. Adem Bona (UCLA)
  6. Ace Baldwin (Penn State)
  7. Jesse Edwards (West Virginia)
  8. Dajuan Harris (Kansas)
  9. Zakai Zeigler (Tennessee)
  10. Jaelen House (New Mexico)

A few days ago, Katz also released a list of his ten best small forwards in the NCAA. Johnny Furphy, the Australian phenom who reclassified from 2024 to 2023 this offseason, was No. 10 — but last year’s All-Big 12 Third Team selection was absent.

Does he not know who McCullar is, or is he deliberately leaving him off?

Yes, Dajuan Harris is a fantastic defender. He won Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year after the 2022-23 season and can pickpocket any ball handler. However, if you watched any Kansas basketball games last season, it is evident that McCullar is the leader of the defensive unit. He guards the opposing team’s best player and makes the winning plays that have made head coach Bill Self fall in love with his game.

Additionally, Furphy only burst onto the recruiting scene three months ago. I doubt many non-experts knew of him until right before he committed to Kansas. He might have been an impact player as a freshman, but the odds of him developing into a player that Coach Self himself called “the best player on the team” seem highly unlikely.

I get that we shouldn’t be prioritizing preseason rankings like this because they don’t mean anything. That doesn’t make up for the fact that Andy Katz is completely overlooking someone who could be regarded as a top-three defender in the nation. I’m sure Kevin McCullar will prove him wrong come November, but this is just lousy work by Andy Katz.

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