3 Jayhawks that Kansas basketball needs to bring back for the 2024-25 season

Bill Self and Kansas must make sure these three Jayhawks return to Lawrence for another season.

Samford v Kansas
Samford v Kansas / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Elmarko Jackson
Gonzaga v Kansas / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

3. Elmarko Jackson

If you watched Elmarko and his shaky play this season, you're probably wondering why Kansas "needs" to bring him back. I'll justify it with one very simple reason.

Kansas cannot continue to lose high school All-Americans after one season every single year. It lost Gradey Dick to the NBA and MJ Rice/Ernest Udeh Jr. to the transfer portal last offseason, and now there's a chance Elmarko transfers out after this year.

Putting aside how frustrating it could be to watch this year, Elmarko has the potential to be a very good college basketball player. He is a tremendous athlete and showed many positive flashes with his mid-range game and as a playmaker. You don't receive 5-star rankings by having little to no talent.

The attitude of "he had a bad year so he has to leave" is nonsense. Some players take longer than others to become acclimated to college ball. Look at Frank Mason III — Jayhawk fans at the time might have thought waiting around for him to become something special was a waste of time. Imagine what a grave mistake it would have been if Kansas moved on from him after his freshman year.

I'm not saying he will ever be as great of a player as Frank, nor am I guaranteeing he will amount to much at KU. But assuming Jackson is 100% bought into the program and is willing to learn from his mistakes, Coach Self should do anything possible to bring him back. Give him another year and if he does not take that step forward, then you can consider replacing him with a transfer or a new recruit.

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