Kansas adds to offseason transfer haul with former Alabama guard Rylan Griffen

Nick Bromberg

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON - MARCH 24: Rylan Griffen #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide watches his shot during the first half against the Grand Canyon Antelopes in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on March 24, 2024 in Spokane, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Former Alabama guard Rylan Griffen is heading to Kansas. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Kansas is wasting no time reshaping its roster after a disappointing end to the 2023-24 men’s college basketball season.

Bill Self’s Jayhawks got a transfer commitment from Alabama’s Rylan Griffen on Friday. Griffen is the fourth major transfer Kansas has landed since the Jayhawks were eliminated in the second round of the NCAA tournament this March.

Griffen played a key role in Alabama’s run to the Final Four earlier this spring. He scored 19 points in the Crimson Tide’s Sweet 16 win over No. 1 seed North Carolina and had 13 in Alabama’s Elite Eight win over Clemson. Griffen scored eight points in 26 minutes in the Tide’s Final Four loss to UConn.

Griffen averaged just over 11 points per game and shot over 39% from behind the 3-point line last season. Kansas shot just 33% from behind the arc as a team a season ago and ranked outside the top 200 in the nation.

Before adding Griffen, Kansas secured commitments from former South Dakota State guard Zeke Mayo, former Wisconsin forward AJ Storr and former Florida guard Riley Kugel. All four players rank among Rivals’ top 100 transfers this offseason.

Mayo was ranked as the fifth-best player in the transfer portal. He averaged 19 points per game in 2023 and shot 47% from the field. Storr averaged 12 points per game a season ago.

Their additions should give Kansas a lot more depth than it had a season ago. The Jayhawks faltered in February and March as Kevin McCullar and Hunter Dickinson both suffered late-season injuries. McCullar missed the postseason, while Dickinson was able to return for the NCAA tournament after missing the Big 12 tournament with a shoulder injury.

The Jayhawks went just seven-deep a season ago, and McCullar and Dickinson were two of four players who averaged at least 32 minutes a game. Next year, Kansas should have a much stronger bench — and has a case to be the No. 1 team in the country entering the season again if Dickinson returns.

The former Michigan center has a year of eligibility remaining and could choose to come back to Kansas for a second season. He averaged 17.9 points and 10.9 rebounds a game a season ago. If Dickinson returns, Kansas will bring him back along with KJ Adams (12.6 points per game) and point guard Dajuan Harris (8.5 points and 6.5 assists per game) in addition to the players it’s added through the portal.

The Jayhawks are also adding two highly touted freshmen. Five-star recruit and Indiana player of the year Flory Bidunga has signed with the Jayhawks along with four-star forward Rakease Passmore. Assuming Dickinson comes back, Kansas will enter the 2024-25 season as the national title favorite for a second straight season.

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