Kansas basketball: Bench remains biggest question mark heading into 2023-24 season

Kansas men's basketball team pose for a group photo inside Allen Fieldhouse during media day Wednesday.
Kansas men's basketball team pose for a group photo inside Allen Fieldhouse during media day Wednesday. /
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Kansas freshman guard Elmarko Jackson (13) is interviewed during media day inside Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday.
Kansas freshman guard Elmarko Jackson (13) is interviewed during media day inside Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday. /

Elmarko Jackson

Backing up Harris at point guard is freshman guard Elmarko Jackson. (We’re assuming Jackson will come off the bench given Timberlake’s years of experience and outside scoring potential, but it’s very possible Jackson could earn a starting spot as the season goes on.)

Despite the fact that Jackson was a McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, he’s still never played a true minute of college basketball. And because of the tenacity Harris often shows on defense, there’s a good chance that Jackson will be called upon often throughout the season to fill his spot.

Can the freshman run the show? Can he feed the ball to his teammates and create his own shot when needed? Those are questions we don’t know the answer to yet.

Harris averaged more than 34 minutes per game a season ago. If Jackson can spell him to keep him fresh throughout the course of a game, that will be a welcomed boost to KU’s chances.

On a positive note, head coach Bill Self has raved about Jackson’s potential, calling him perhaps the team’s best athlete and appears optimistic about what he can bring to the team.

“If you’re going to have a crystal ball and say, ‘Who needs to play well to give us the best chance to max out?’, I’d say Elmarko would be at the top of that list,” Self said. “Just because I think he can add an element that this team will desperately need moving forward.”

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