When Perry Ellis said he was returning for his senior season, Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self thought about the possibilities.
“He’ll be a top-10 (career) scorer, I would assume high in the rebounding ranks, has a chance or will have a chance to be a two-time all-league player, he’s going to graduate, and who knows maybe make an All-America team and get his jersey up there,” Self said. “Hopefully he can have a Frank Kaminsky kind of year and shoot up the charts.”
It might be tough for Ellis to become a top-10 scorer. He needs 596 points to catch Kirk Hinrich, whose 1,753 points ranks 10th. Ellis scored 469 last season. But if he matches the number of rebounds he’s snared in each of the last two years, 234, he’ll be just four outside the career top 10.
But Ellis will have a chance to be remembered as one of the top players recruited by Self who used all of his eligibility, and it got us wondering, who were the best of those players?
5. Travis Releford, 2013 senior
A five-year player who took a redshirt season after his career began, Releford started as a junior and senior, falling just short of 1,000 career points at 965. As a senior, he was chosen second-team All-Big 12, first-team all-defense and team co-MVP.
4. Darnell Jackson, 2008 senior
Jackson was the team’s top rebounder on the Jayhawks’ 2008 national title team. As a senior, he was chosen to the All-Big 12 third team and voted to the league’s all-improved team. In his career, Jackson shot 58 percent from the floor, including 63 percent as a senior. He was selected in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft and appeared in 138 NBA games.
3. Russell Robinson, 2008 senior
The three-year starting point guard ranks ninth on the school’s career assist chart and fifth in steals. Robinson was a three-time choice for the Big 12 all-defensive team. He was the only player to start every game of the 2008 national title season.
2. Tyshawn Taylor, 2012 senior
A four-year starter who played both guard positions, Taylor owns the Big 12 record for most games played at 146. As a senior, he averaged 16.6 points and led Kansas with 33.6 minutes and 4.8 assists per game. Taylor finished with 1,580 career points and is sixth on the assists list with 575. He was first-team All-Big 12 (and third-team All-America) in 2012, helping lead Kansas to the national title game.
1. Sherron Collins, 2010 senior
Collins came off the bench in his first two years but was a major contributor. He was the Jayhawks’ starting point guard in 2009 and averaged 18.9 and 15.5 points over the next two seasons, earning All-Big 12 honors in those years. As a senior, Collins became a consensus first-team All-American. His 1,888 career points rank fifth at KU and his 552 assists rank eighth. He’s remembered for his big plays down the stretch of the 2008 championship game victory over Memphis, a critical three-pointer that sparked the comeback in regulation, and the assist on Mario Chalmers’ three-pointer that sent the game to overtime.