Kansas basketball mid-season player grades: Which Jayhawks have performed the best?

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Jamari McDowell
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Needs Improvement

Jamari McDowell: C+

Jamari came into the season with very little fanfare compared to some of our other recruits. There was talk of him redshirting before the season began. Jamari has only averaged 6.9 minutes per game. While he has not played a substantial role this season, he has shown he is capable and when gets minutes can produce, evidenced by his being on the floor and helping close out Kentucky earlier in the year. His defense has been solid in large part and shows he is capable of making an outside shot. Jamari's grade is largely tied to expectations and the minutes he has had. He is capable of moving up the list, but at this point in the season, it doesn’t look likely that he will carve out much of a larger role going forward. I like his game and think he can help impact several games this year and will be a larger piece of the puzzle next year if he sticks around.

Elmarko Jackson: C

Elmarko came into the season as a McDonald's All-American, and several early NBA Draft boards had him projected as a lottery pick in this year’s upcoming draft. Those expectations seemed to be a bit high. Jackson has started until these last two games, where he was replaced by the Jayhawks looking for a spark and more consistency. Elmarko’s game is still very raw, but the athleticism and potential are still very much there. Jackson is a true point guard and would thrive more with the ball in his hands running the point and not playing off the ball with Dajuan. Hoping he gets more opportunities to run the point going forward. Elmarko still can impact games going forward and hoping he finds his groove coming off the bench and being a major contributor. Elmarko has season averages of 5 points, 1.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 1.6 turnovers per game. Elmarko has shot the ball great from the free throw line at 85.2%, leading the team. Unfortunately, Elmarko has struggled shooting the ball everywhere else, averaging 36% from the field and 27.6% from three.

Dajuan Harris: C

We all know the stat by now — if Dajuan scores 10+ points, KU is 30-1. For a guy who averages 36 minutes per game and is largely unguarded by opposing teams, this shouldn’t be difficult to reach. Dajuan has struggled this season to produce, just as how he has the past two seasons. Dajuan is still a very solid on-ball defender and can be a pest on defense as well as a facilitator that gets others involved. The biggest step back has been his turnovers and careless passes. His offensive game has not taken a step forward but rather a step back, consistently missing floaters and layups. I think Johnny being inserted into the starting lineup could help space the floor more and give Juan the opportunity to bounce back and play like he has in previous seasons. If he can take care of the ball, finish at the rim, and make wide-open threes, it will force the defense to respect him and not crash down on Hunter and create more space. Juan has averaged 7.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 2.5 turnovers per game. Juan is having his worst statistical season, yielding more giveaways than ever and shooting a career-low 41.1% from the field.

Nicolas Timberlake: C–

Nicolas averaged 17.7 points per game on 41.6% shooting from three last season at Towson. Coming into the season, he was viewed as a possible starter and, at minimum, a knockdown 3-point shooter and floor spacer. The transition has not been too easy. Timberlake has struggled on the defensive side of the ball, keeping players in front of him and not shooting the ball like he has previously. Nicolas is averaging 11 minutes per game. He has the ability to get hot and has shown he has some athleticism, highlighted by his poster dunk on Bryce Thompson on Tuesday. He very easily could get hot in the tournament, and we can forget all about his early season struggles. The ability to raise his grade over the rest of the season is high, but he just needs to knock down open looks when he has them. Nicolas has season averages of 3.5 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks and 0.5 turnovers per game. For the season, he is shooting 36.1% from the field and 27.5% from 3-point range.

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