The Kansas men’s basketball program’s busy offseason raged on Wednesday, when the Jayhawks landed a commitment from another newcomer.
Former Iowa State guard Jalen Coleman-Lands, a 6-foot-4, 187-pound senior shooting guard originally from Indianapolis, announced on social media late Wednesday morning that he was joining the Jayhawks.
Known as a shooter and a scrappy defender who can use his length and strength to guard the 1 through 4 positions, Coleman-Lands said his one year at ISU gave him a good feel for what Kansas is all about.
“I’m familiar with how they play, offensively and defensively, and I really like how Coach Self uses his guys with the main goal being to win,” Coleman-Lands told the Journal-World in a phone interview Wednesday. “I view this as me kind of finishing off my college career on a high note, being able to play with some talented guys and have a coaching staff and teammates who share the common goal of trying to win a championship.”
After initially declaring his intention to test his NBA draft status last month, Coleman-Lands explained that he planned to maintain his college eligibility with the option to transfer.
On Wednesday, Coleman-Lands said he got the feedback he needed and was no longer considering the NBA at this time.
“I’m not teetering around with it,” he said. “Once I said I’m go-ing to KU, I’m locked in. I was grateful for the information I got, but I want to finish off my career on a high note and chase those big milestones with great players and a great team.”
Thanks to all of their offseason additions and what they have returning, the 2021-22 Jayhawks are viewed by most national analysts and outlets as a top 5 team heading into next season.
Coleman-Lands said his conversations with KU coach Bill Self about joining the Jayhawks first started about 2 weeks ago. From there, things moved quickly and he jumped at the opportunity to use his super senior season, made possible by the COVID-19 pandemic, at Kansas.
While KU forward Mitch Lightfoot's super senior season will not count against KU's limit of 13 scholarships for the 2021-22 season, players who transfer schools to use the extra year allowed by the NCAA, like Coleman-Lands, do count against the limit.
“It’s a blessing for me to even have this opportunity,” he told the Journal-World. “I have an entire season left to trust my game and have fun and share the mission of trying to win a championship.”
Coleman-Lands becomes the 10th new player to join the Jayhawks this offseason and puts the Jayhawks on pace to be one scholarship over the limit of 13.
With 2020-21 starters Ochai Agbaji and Jalen Wilson, along with Monday night Arizona State commitment Remy Martin, still testing their NBA draft stock, the possibility exists that one or more of those players may not be in Lawrence when the start of the 2021-22 school year rolls around.
With roster movement and the transfer scene exploding this offseason, the possibility also exists that a spot could open up through those channels, as well.
Either way it works out, the addition of Coleman-Lands brings Kansas another legitimate outside shooting threat.
During his lone season with the Cyclones in 2020-21, the former DePaul and Illinois player who earned honorable mention all-Big 12 honors ranked second on the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game, which put him 10th in the Big 12 Conference.
He shot 39.5% from 3-point range and made a team-high 58 triples on 147 attempts.
For his career, which to date spans 133 games and 102 starts at three schools, Coleman-Lands is a 37% 3-point shooter, having made 293 shots from behind the arc in 792 attempts.
In two games against the Jayhawks last season — both losses — the 6-4 guard made 12 of 25 shots, including 6 of 14 from 3-point range, and scored 20 points in each contest.
While he heard from other coaches and programs in recent weeks who told him they wanted him to be the leading scorer and net 30 points a game, Coleman-Lands had bigger things in mind.
“That was cool,” he said. “And they were telling me what they thought I wanted to hear. But my main thing is to fill a role where I have a part in helping Kansas win. That’s my reason for coming back. My biggest emphasis is to go out there and win and be on a team that I can contribute.”
Kansas Basketball Roster Movement
Prep guard Bobby Pettiford, 6-1, 175
Prep guard Kyle Cuffe Jr., 6-2, 180
Prep forward Zach Clemence, 6-10, 221
Prep forward KJ Adams, 6-7, 220
Arizona State transfer Remy Martin, 6-0, 175
Iowa State transfer Jalen Coleman-Lands, 6-4, 187
Drake transfer Joseph Yesufu, 6-0, 180
Juco transfer Sydney Curry, 6-8, 260
DII transfer Cam Martin, 6-9, 240
Walk-on Dillon Wilhite, 6-9, 235
SF Tristan Enaruna transferred to Iowa State
SG Bryce Thompson transferred to Oklahoma State
SG Latrell Jossell transferred to Stephen F. Austin
PF Gethro Muscadin transferred to New Mexico
SF Tyon Grant-Foster transferred to DePaul
PG Marcus Garrett graduated
Jayhawks testing NBA draft stock:
PG Remy Martin
SG Ochai Agbaji
F Jalen Wilson
* All 3 have until July 7 to decide whether to stay in the draft or return to Kansas