Kansas Jayhawks Q&A: Bill Self on the portal, Marcus Adams as a breakout candidate
Despite bringing in the No. 1-ranked transfer class in the country, Kansas coach Bill Self isn’t the biggest fan of the transfer portal.
“The portal is not good,” Self said on the Field of 68 podcast, hosted by college basketball analysts Jeff Goodman and Rob Dauster. “I will be the first to say this: In a way that’s good for our sport over time — over time — the portal is not good, where kids can just leave all the time.
“People say, well, ‘They should be able to.’ Well, that’s fine and dandy, but also, the first time you hit a road bump, you should actually go over it sometimes as opposed to around it.”
Still, Self acknowledged how pivotal the portal has been for KU.
“I don’t see it being good for our sport over time, but for this one particular year, it was good for Kansas,” Self said. “Hopefully, we can take full advantage of it come this winter.”
With that, it’s time for another Kansas Jayhawks Q&A. As always, thank you for all the questions!
Totally unrelated to what you asked for, but how do you pronounce your name? If I'm going to be reading it several times a week, I'd like to know I have it right!
For Bball - What player isn't getting much hype, but will be a contributor for the team by the end of the year?
— Joel (@jakefoelgrif) May 25, 2023
That’s a great question. I’m going to go with incoming freshman Marcus Adams.
I think in an incoming class of four freshmen, you’re hoping for one of them to play real minutes right away. I think that’s Elmarko Jackson, who comes in with high expectations.
You’re also looking for another that could play rotation minutes by the end of the season — I think that’s Adams. Adams has been a late riser throughout his recruitment, but I really like his game. He’s a three-level scorer and he’s impressed in multiple basketball tournaments this year.
I think come the end of the season, Adams is going to be looked at as a future KU star.
Can you please look into Grant Nelson's combine performance, and give a best-guess on the odds KU lands him if he chooses not to go? Roster management concerns may be there if so, right?
— Ellis Lindison (@ELindison) May 25, 2023
Well, Nelson didn’t have the best showing in the NBA Draft Combine games. Still, it’s his athleticism and overall feel at his size that is intriguing, so it’s hard to say how much NBA teams cared about his performance.
I think if he does withdraw before the May 31 deadline, KU has a small shot. He said he’s been contacted by pretty much every blue blood, but the issue for Kansas is how the rotation would work with him and KJ Adams.
Who starts? Will he get the ball enough to show off his skills to NBA teams? I think that the uncertainty of a role would make him less likely to pick KU than some other school that can give him the opportunity to star.
It’s hard to put a percentage on it, but I’d say it’s fairly unlikely he ends up with the Jayhawks at this point. But it’s probably worth revisiting that conversation after the May 31 deadline.
What KU football 2021 signee is likely to see the field most this season?
— Isaiah Eaton (@IsaiahEaton10) May 25, 2023
Man, I am going to go with running back Devin Neal here. I think he’s incredibly talented and hopefully his injury issues are behind him.
Let’s talk about this potential starting lineup, how it will look in November vs March? I know you wrote an article, but I’m so interested in how KJ is utilized this year.
Is the team playing abroad this summer?
— L Town (@JAYHAWKMAYOR) May 25, 2023
I think in November, KU’s starting lineup will be Dajuan Harris, Nick Timberlake, Kevin McCullar, KJ Adams and Hunter Dickinson. Based on Self’s comments on Thursday, I could see Arterio Morris challenging for Timberlake’s spot sooner rather than later.
KJ Adams is super intriguing. I think his usage on offense really depends on how good his shot is. If he has improved his shot, he likely can play some on the perimeter and some on the inside. But that remains to be seen.
As for an overseas trip... my beat partner Gary Bedore has more.
Can KUFB keep the “underdog mentality” going if they win their first 4-5 games? If so, when does it change and they see themselves as the team with the upper hand?
— Mike Vogel ️ (@mikvogel) May 25, 2023
I think the Jayhawks can keep that mentality for a while. It’s clear Lance Leipold and his staff have worked hard to establish that they want to build off making a bowl game last season. If they win their first four or five games, I don’t think it really changes anything — they did that last year.
I think the mentality changes when Kansas is consistently winning closer to nine or 10 games, competing atop the Big 12 or even challenging for an expanded College Football Playoff. That should still be a ways away.