Despite Kansas Jayhawks portal prowess, Bill Self must hit on 2024 freshman recruits

The three incoming KU freshman recruits of Flory Bidunga, Labaron Philon, and Rakease Passmore all bring a diverse set of skills that could translate extremely well to this Kansas roster... However, top freshman recruits have been very hit-or-miss for Bill Self over the last half-decade or so. How will this 2024 recruiting class impact this upcoming season as Kansas looks for another National Championship?
2024 McDonald's All American Game
2024 McDonald's All American Game / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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After a disappointing 2023-2024 season, plagued with injuries, ineffectiveness, and lack of depth, Kansas Jayhawks Basketball has bounced back in a huge way so far this offseason. Coach Bill Self has replenished the talent-pool in Lawrence through the transfer portal with additions of Riley Kugel, Zeke Mayo, and AJ Storr. Additionally, Kansas has what appears to be a strong freshman recruiting class on paper. Unfortunately, the “on paper” aspect hasn’t always translated for Bill Self for much of the last four years when it comes to top freshman recruits.

Last 5 University of Kansas Basketball Recruiting Classes:

Including only prospects ranked top 40 in their class according to the ESPN 100 Recruiting Database


No top 40 recruit


Bryce Thompson (29th) - 90 rating


Zach Clemence (36th) - 87 rating


Gradey Dick (14th) - 92 rating
Ernest Udeh (24th) -  90 rating
M.J. Rice (33rd) - 89 rating


Elmarko Jackson (26th) - 88 rating


Flory Bidunga (9th) - 92 rating
Labaron Philon (30th) - 89 rating
Rakease Passmore (36th) - 88 rating

Bryce Thompson, Zach Clemence, M.J. Rice, and Elmarko Jackson all underperformed their freshman years and either transferred out or are still trying to find their footing with the Jayhawks. Meanwhile, Gradey Dick and Ernest Udeh were both reliable rotation players for Kansas but spent just one season playing in Lawrence, with Dick leaving for the NBA draft and Udeh transferring to TCU.

What does the 2024 freshman recruiting class bring to the table for what appears to be an absolutely stacked college basketball roster? Additionally, will any of the three players be a mainstay in Lawrence who develop into a multi-year starter for the Jayhawks?