The Kansas Jayhawks are one of the most prestigious programs in the long history of college basketball. Countless legends have passed through the hallowed Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, and there is a long list of retired numbers and All-Americans who have worn a Jayhawks jersey. Coming up with an all-time starting five is not easy, but Jayhawks fans should ultimately be able to able to agree that this elite group stands out above all others who have played at The Phog.
5. Center: Wilt Chamberlain
Accept no substitutes! WIlt Chamberlain was an unstoppable player during his time in Lawrence, though he only spent two years on the varsity squad during his three years in college due to outdated rules. That is almost impossible to believe looking back, but the Big Dipper surely made the most of his time with the varsity team by averaging 30 points and 18 rebounds per game in those two seasons. The legendary center was twice a First Team All-American, and has his number retired by the program. His college career was merely a preview of his Hall of Fame NBA career, where he was a four-time league MVP and 13-time All-Star.
4. Forward: Danny Manning
Danny Manning is Kansas' all-time leading scorer and led the program to a national title in 1988. He won several national awards in that 1987-88 season, including Wooden, Naismith, and NABC National Player of the Year honors, and was the No. 1 overall pick in that year's NBA Draft. His No. 25 is retired at Kansas, and no one has gotten even remotely close to his mark of 2,951 career points. Manning is now the head coach at Wake Forest after beginning his coaching career at his alma mater as an assistant.
3. Forward: Nick Collison
Nick Collison is second behind only Manning in Jayhawk history with 2,097 career points. He spent four years at KU, and led the team to two Final Fours. He was a first-team All-American in 2003 and the NABC National Player of the Year, and his career led to him being a No. 12 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. Collison had his No. 4 jersey retired by both Kansas and by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the only NBA team he ever played for, in honor of his enduring contributions and relentless play. He edges out some all-time talents like Raef LaFrentz, Drew Gooden, and Clyde Lovellette to earn this spot, but surely deserves the honor.
2. Guard: Frank Mason III
Frank Mason was a first-team All-American in 2017 and ranks sixth all-time in scoring at Kansas. The guard was the consensus National Player of the Year in 2017 in a season where he averaged 20.9 points and 5.2 assists per game. He took Kansas to the Elite Eight on two occasions, and will have his number retired by the school in due time. Not many star players spend four years in college these days, making Mason one of those special exceptions who will be forever rememberd by Jayhawks fans.
1. Guard: Mario Chalmers
His career college stats might not leap all the way off the page, but Mario Chalmers will forever be known for his shot that took the 2008 national championship game to overtime -- a game in which his Jayhawks went on to win. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of that year's tournament, becoming just the fifth Kansas player ever to receive the honor. As a key piece of the 2008 squad that won it all -- the first Kansas title in 2020 years, and their most recent to date -- his number was later retired for his contributions to the program.
ALL-TIME BENCH: Sherron Collins, Raef LaFrentz,Clyde Lovellette, Paul Pierce