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Bill Self still recruiting for 2024-25 season, expecting improvement from multiple guards

LAWRENCE (KSNT) – Despite the fact that KU men’s basketball will be a contender for the nation’s top-ranked team in preseason college hoops polls in 2024, Bill Self wants to add more to the roster.

“I’d like one more,” Self said on Monday at the Topeka Jayhawk Club’s 22nd annual golf tournament. “I think that with Zach [Clemence] and Elmarko [Jackson], they’re good enough to play a lot of minutes, but I’d like to have a little bit more depth to be honest with you. So we’re still looking. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. But I like where we’re at.”

However, the Jayhawks aren’t just looking for the best players available.

“Hopefully we can find someone that fits with what we’re trying to do and would fit and compliment the guys we already have,” Self said. “We need some guys from a role standpoint that can make the other guys look better. Not necessarily be a guy that you would think come in and score all the points or anything like that. That’d be nice, obviously. But, how do we have somebody that can come in and be a nice asset to us and benefit the other ones skill levels?”

He mentioned wanting a role-player comparable to past Jayhawks like Tyrell Reed, Brady Morningstar, Travis Releford or Kevin Young.

Self expects a significant improvement from returners Jamari McDowell and Elmarko Jackson. Jackson, a McDonald’s All-American out of high school, started 17 games for KU as a true freshman, before losing his starting role to now NBA bound Johnny Furphy. He scored 4.3 points per game. McDowell played in 31 games but averaged less than eight minutes on the court per game.

“I think they should have a big jump,” the KU head coach said. “Usually I think kids show the biggest step after their freshman year and before their sophomore year. But, the good thing about it is, with the guys we have on the surface those guys won’t have to probably have a production moment…”

Self says Jackson was in a tough spot as a true freshman with his workload.

Self also says Wisconsin transfer AJ Storr will be expected to be one of KU’s best players right away. Storr scored 16.8 points per game for the Badgers as a sophomore in the 2023-24 season. The Jayhawk head coach says his scoring is elite but wants him to improve as a defender and rebounder.

“I do think that he’s got a chance to be as good of athlete/ player as we’ve had in awhile,” Self said.

KU currently has 12 players on scholarship. It could add one more but must use a self-imposed scholarship penalty, staying at 12, in either 2024-25 or 2025-26.

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