The fans and coaching staff of the Kansas Jayhawks have been waiting for the slow drip of the final high-profile recruits to sign this off-season, and Bill Self has earned one commitment thus far from forward Jamari Traylor. In the furor over Trevor Lacey, who signed with his home state Alabama, and DeAndre Daniels, who pushed back his decision until Thursday morning, Traylor has largely been ignored. This begs the question: What should the Jayhawks expect from Traylor?
The 6-7 forward played at IMG Academy with Daniels, so pairing the two together at the college level would not only help talent-wise, but with team chemistry as well. Andy Borman, the team’s director, says, “He has a tremendous upside. He might be the best overall athlete in the entire 2011 class. He attacks and defends the rim as well as anyone in our program. He has great hands and finishes extremely well around the rim.”
Even on a smaller end, that athleticism is apparently paired with a toughness that Scouts, Inc. mentions in their player profile. They give the power forward a three-star overall rating and love his rebounding ability:
Jamari is a tough and strong power forward that is athletic and competes on both ends of the floor. He rebounds at a high rate in and out of his area and is a tough match ups because of his strength and aggressiveness. He runs the floor well and will attack the rim all on clear paths. He will post and drop step or complete a drop off pass through contact. Taylor scores on the perimeter with a rhythm dribble pull up jumper mostly inside 15 feet.
Last year, Traylor averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks per game. The Jayhawks also beat out Indiana, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State for Traylor’s services. Paired with Thomas Robinson’s athleticism at forward, the Jayhawks suddenly look a lot tougher underneath, especially if they go with a smaller line-up.