Naadir Tharpe will play a bigger role for the Kansas Jayhawks than most probably expect.
He comes into a unique situation. One of the best returning players on the team, Tyshawn Taylor, spent most of his time at the point guard position last season. Elijah Johnson, another returning guard expected to flourish this year, has been looked at as the future point guard for the Jayhawks in his first two years.
So, some might say that there will be no time for Tharpe to get on the floor behind these two.
This is not the case, because head coach Bill Self is great at getting the most out of his players and getting as much talent out on the floor as possible.
Tharpe is one of his top recruits and his future point guard, so he will make sure he gets experience as a freshman.
Taylor is a great scorer off the ball, and Johnson is big enough to play the two-guard as well. I feel that Self will start Taylor at point guard, with Johnson at shooting guard taking over the minutes of the departed Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar, while Tharpe acts as the backup to Taylor.
This way, Tharpe has a chance to grow for four years and Johnson can find a new niche off the ball.
Tharpe is too talented to stay off the court in 2011-12, so expect Self to make use of him off the bench as the backup point guard.