Kansas Jayhawks Basketball: Stars are aligning for 2018 after Vick announcement

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 25: (L-R) Lagerald Vick
OMAHA, NE - MARCH 25: (L-R) Lagerald Vick /

Kansas Jayhawks guard Lagerald Vick announced that he is leaving, making four starting guards gone for 2018. This leaves room for one more addition.

With Devonte’ Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk and Malik Newman already gone, Lagerald Vick’s decision to leave answered some potential questions fans may have had. The bench was too crowded with scholarships, and if the Kansas Jayhawks wanted to add another, something was going to have to be done.

Many fans hate to see a transfer. Once a Jayhawk, always a Jayhawk. That is hard to say when you happen to be a Carlton Bragg fan, for example. Although many people may feel like Vick isn’t ready for the NBA, it’s a better transition than a transfer for fans. It also opens up room for Romeo Langford, if he chooses Kansas.

Bill Self may just be counting on that. If Langford chooses the Jayhawks later this month, the monstrous loss of four talented starters is a little less bitter of a pill to swallow. Certain moves were going to have to be made if Self was planning on bringing any more players in, and these decisions from underclassmen Newman and Vick make things easier.

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Before their announcement, talk around the water cooler zoned in on players like Marcus Garrett and Mitch Lightfoot, or even Sam Cunliffe. Those three were mentioned as possibly transferring to other schools, due to the lack of playing time and crowded bench. This could still very well happen, but those chances aren’t near as large as they were a week ago.

Imagine if Newman and Vick both stayed. The likelihood of Langford choosing Kansas should have been quite narrow. Those two established starters returning, plus incoming freshmen Quentin Grimes, Devon Dotson and Ochai Agbaji with Cunliffe and Charlie Moore, there would be too many guards with not enough minutes. This could cause gaps in the roster a couple of years down the road.

If Langford does come to Kansas, Bill Self will have a steady rotation of the backcourt with Grimes, Dotson, Langford, Agbaji, and Moore. As long as Udoka Azubuike returns, the frontcourt will have an equally impressive rotation with Udoka, Silvio De Sousa, Dedric Lawson, K.J. Lawson, David McCormack and Mitch Lightfoot.

If by chance you didn’t just get excited, read that last paragraph one more time. Balance, depth, athleticism, and strength. Perimeter shooting, inside domination and speed. On paper, this will be by far the deepest and talented team Bill Self has ever had.

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It would not surprise me if Garrett decided to redshirt or transfer this season, which I expect one of the two to happen.