In the span of just three days, the 2019-20 Kansas men’s basketball roster became even deeper with the addition of graduate transfer Isaiah Moss and four-star wing Jalen Wilson.
Moss, a 6-foot-5 combo guard from Iowa, is an instant shooting upgrade for a Kansas team ranked No. 138 nationally in three-point accuracy in 2018-19. The Chicago native knocked down 42.1% of his threes last season, good for fourth in the Big Ten.
Moss’ defensive prowess, particularly while guarding spot-up shooters, will add a new dimension to the Jayhawks, who finished No. 75 nationally in defensive efficiency last season. Moss finished his 2018-19 campaign with 32 steals, the second-best mark on his team.
Moss will likely be used as a floor-spacer off the bench, which could provide exactly the kind of spark Kansas needs when the team is short on scoring.
One of the many things last year’s Kansas team lacked was a solid “three-and-D” player who could provide consistent shot-making on one end of the floor and solid defensive pressure on the other. If Moss can fulfill this vital bench role, we may be looking at one of the stronger bench units in the country for the 2019-20 season.
With the addition of Wilson, Kansas is getting a big boost in shooting, passing, and size. Wilson’s 6-foot-8 frame is an ideal height for a college small forward, and his body will only continue to improve once he reaps the benefits of college athletic training.
Wilson’s commitment was not always a guarantee, as he had previously signed a letter of intent to attend Michigan in November 2018. When former Wolverines' coach John Beilein departed to become the next coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wilson immediately rescinded his commitment, leading up to his final decision Wednesday to play college basketball in Lawrence.
Wilson averaged 18.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in his senior season at Guyer High in Denton, Texas. This kind of versatility and efficiency checks all the boxes for the Jayhawks, who are surely delighted by the prospect of a sizable forward who can score, rebound, pass and play multiple positions.
During his visit to Lawrence, Wilson's mother Lisa mentioned that coach Bill Self said he could see him playing both the two and three, and even rotating to the four if Kansas’ big men need rest. Wilson’s ability to guard these positions may also help limit the defensive breakdowns Kansas often experienced last season, particularly on switches.
Moss and Wilson are each set to make an instant impact once the regular season tips off Nov. 5 against Duke. Regardless of any other top 2019 recruits Kansas may have missed out on (looking at you, R.J. Hampton), the Jayhawk faithful should feel quite content with the latest additions to this loaded roster.