Kansas is in a weird place among other NCAA programs because they are not the giant sharks in the water that other programs like Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky.
Make no mistake, Bill Self’s team is drenched in college basketball history just like the teams listed above and has one of the five best players in the tournament in Josh Jackson, who will help them immensely in this environment.
In the current era they have won an NCAA Championship in 2008, been to two Final Fours, won thirteen straight conference regular season championships and been a fixture in March Madness.
That run of excellence has led to many of Self’s players making their way to the NBA where they represent on a nightly basis. Jawhawks are a common sight among the rosters of various clubs in the league and that isn’t stopping anytime soon.
Here are the five current NBA stars that would start for an all-Kansas lineup in the NBA and be able to go out and dominate:
Point Guard, Mario Chalmers
Rio is currently coming back from a pretty devastating achilles injury last year while with the Memphis Grizzlies. He has averaged nine points and three assists for his career and while those numbers aren’t world beaters, Chalmers bring real value to a team.
The Anchorage native is not afraid of big moments in the slightest and played in four straight NBA Finals as a member of the Miami Heat. His takeover in game four of the 2012 championship series is a testament to his drive and determination on the court.
Lastly, he hit the biggest shot in Kansas history over Derrick Rose in the National Championship Game back in 2008. There was no was he wasn’t going to make this list as one of the huge reasons why they brought home the trophy.
Shooting Guard, Andrew Wiggins
Wiggins was possibly the highest touted prospect ever to set foot in Allen Fieldhouse as a member of the Jayhawks. He was the number one overall high school recruit in all of college basketball.
Now, as a Minnesota Timberwolf, A-Wiggins is trying to bring around a new era of basketball alongside Karl-Anthony Towns. While his game hasn’t even rounded into full form yet, the guard is a versatile scorer on the wing who averages 20 point per game.
Small Forward, Paul Pierce
Pierce is the resident “old-head” on this list and his career at Kansas stands up pretty well to the youngsters he would be playing alongside on this team. In fact, he is the only member of this starting five that was around before Self was coaching there.
The Truth made his living in the clutch and will still bury jumpers from deep given space. In his prime, he was also an underrated athlete. He is the defacto choice to take the last shot for this squad.
Power Forward, Markieff Morris
The Morris Twins made waves at Kansas during their careers there while paired together on the floor. Just like in the NBA, scouting them both can be a nightmare because both of their games are just different enough to cause headaches.
Both are also good three-point shooters now, so teams would have to be wary of their range from behind the line. Markieff adds a bit of playmaking as he can get off the occasional move on the bounce.
Center, Joel Embiid
The Process started in Allen Fieldhouse where he was a touted recruit that was initially overshadowed by Wiggins, but became the best player on the team during the regular season for Bill Self.
A dream-shaking unicorn that hasn’t been seen in the NCAA ranks since. He had the complete game at a stage where most big men are either rim protectors or stretch the floor. The absolute star of this lineup for sure.