10 Greatest Kansas Basketball Players of All Time (by SN's DeCourcy

  • I have a hard time arguing against any of these, but the only other guy I could think of that should be on this list is Jo Jo White and I’m not sure who I would take off the list… maybe gooden?


  • Put Jo Jo in there, somehow, someway. Not his fault the officials missed the call against Texas Western. He makes that shot, they get the call right and there’s no movie about them, and possibly another championship for us.

    I scrolled down the top ten player list and noticed no top ten player lists for misery. What a shame!

  • @mihawk

    I’m a huge Manning fan… but seriously… putting Manning ahead of the Big Dipper? No friggin’ way!

    Jo Jo has to be on that list, and I would bump half the guys off that behind Jo Jo. He was a 7x NBA All Star and NBA Finals MVP. Actually… My Top 3 would be Wilt, Danny and then Jo Jo…

    The list is weighted too much on more recent players.

  • Gooden bolted when it was clear that had he stayed we’d have been a threat to go undefeated. Nck, Drew, Kirk, Wayne, Aaron, Keith. Wouldn’t have mattered if he’d stayed or not had we made some FT’s, but if he had stayed, Wayne plays less, doesn’t get hurt, maybe, ob boy, what a powerhouse that would have been.

    For that reason Gooden gets booted off.

    Notable recent omissions. Rush, Langford, Jacque, Richard Scott, Calvin Thompson, Ron Kellogg, Cedric Hunter, BMac.

    Of course, if Joel, Wigs stick around, they very well would have nosed their way onto the list.

    Lots of ifs.

  • @drgnslayr The list is about careers at Kansas and Danny absolutely had the better Kansas career than Wilt did. Like the list said, if Wilt had played in an era with a shot clock, he probably plays all 3 years he could have played and probably wins 3 championships because he was so much better than the competition, but the rules were what they were and Wilt only played 2 years and didn’t win a title.

  • @drgnslayr That was one that i struggled with too… Danny was awesome, but Wilt was just unstoppable.

    From a career perspective I think Vaughn has to be on the list too. I mean the guy was THE point guard on some of KU’s best all time teams

  • JoJo White and Kirk should be there.

  • @drgnslayr Agreed! No way Manning should be ahead of Wilt! No way! JoJo has to be on the list too.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    “The list is about careers at Kansas and Danny absolutely had the better Kansas career than Wilt did.”

    It didn’t specify that (where I could see). It should have specified their careers ONLY at Kansas. It was a bit vague. Then I’m thinking… did the players have to be from the State of Kansas?

    “10 Greatest Kansas Basketball Players Of All TImes”

    If I was guessing I would think it is just about the players born in Kansas.

    It isn’t even fair comparing Wilt to Danny. Wilt started his career at Kansas on the freshman team for a year. His first year wasn’t even varsity ball. And the game was segregated back then. Wilt had far more hurdles than Danny could ever imagine.

    Wilt paved the way for Danny.

  • @Lulufulu

    Like @Texas-Hawk-10 mentioned, the list is based on what the players did while at KU and there is no question that Danny accomplished more, including one National Title, than Wilt did. Now, if we are looking at entire careers, then yes, Wilt is at the top and Paul Pierce would be much higher.

    Unfortunately, there are only 10 spots and once you get past the top 4 or 5 then you have a number of players that could be there too, including Jo Jo White who went to have a great pro career and players like Sherron did not, but when you compare what they did in college it is a lot more difficult to compare, particularly when some players played only one or two years at KU. Wiggins did not make the list, but if you look at entire careers, in a dozen years he might be at the very top.

  • I remember my parents talking about Darnell Valentine. He played just before I remember watching/caring.

    Can some of you much older and wiser bored rats shed some light on Darnell’s greatness?

  • @VailHawk maybe you should just say older and MUCH wiser!😏

  • @VailHawk

    Darnell Valentine was a special player. He was one of a long line of Wichita players that played at KU. I seem to remember that it came down to KU and UNC and luckily we got him. What I remember most about him is that the first time I saw him in person and in uniform (they wore the short-shorts back then) I kept thinking his thighs are bigger than my chest …he did have huge thighs. He had a great career as a PG at KU and was named 4 time to the All-Conference team and he also was a 3 time Academic All-American. He was also selected for the 1980 Olympic team but did not get to play because of the boycott of Russia… He is at the very top in many statistical categories and no doubt one of the better players ever at Kansas. He was selected in the first round by the NBA and had a decent but not particularly great career…maybe 10 years? and after that I believe he played for a couple of years in Europe.

    As a side note, his HS Coach, Lafayette Norwood, came to KU with him as an assistant to Coach Owens and left 4 years later after Darnell graduated, and went on to coach basketball at Johnson County Community College. I believe he still teaches golf at JCCC. In his younger years, Norwood was also an outstanding basketball player in his own right.

    That’s it, that’s all I have. Hopefully others can chime in with more details.

  • @VailHawk I fall into the “older” category… I remember Darnell Valentine being a very, very good college basketball player. He was one of my favorite KU players of that era. I always thought it a shame that his career ended on what I feel was a VERY sour note. I was at the stupid game in New Orleans where he missed what seemed like 15 layups and we got beat by …Wussy U. Shockers. Evidently I haven’t gotten over it 34 years later.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Good call on Darnell. I hooked up lots of 1-on-1 with Darnell when he was a Trail Blazer. We used to call him “thunder thighs” because of his monstrous thighs.

    What a lot of people don’t know is how good of a defender Darnell was. To this day, in my book, he had the best defense stance I’ve ever seen out of a guard. I’m sure part of that related to his ridiculously strong thighs and legs. It was very hard to drive around those thighs. His knees were bent and his legs were spread and it just seemed impossible to get around him. He lowered his center of gravity, but didn’t give up any lateral movements by doing so. It felt like you were being double-teamed because his legs were so spread out.

    He was a great hedge defender… an art that has been forgotten, even today in the NBA. There were faster guards, but Darnell made the most of his physical abilities. Had he become a little better scorer, he would have left a much bigger footprint on the NBA.

    Outstanding person… quality through and through! To my knowledge, he still lives in Portland.

  • @nuleafjhawk

    " Evidently I haven’t gotten over it 34 years later."

    You are not alone. When Jones hit that fade away jumper, landing himself into the bench and sealing the game, I thought I was going to die!

  • This list has no credibility with me if JoJo is not included. I have him at #3 behind Wilt and Danny. The exact position is debatable but to not have him in the top 10? No way!

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