1988 — Danny Manning
Danny Manning was the OG Kansas draft bust, and this one stings the most. Manning is a Kansas legend. He dragged an underdog 21–11 Jayhawks all the way to a national championship as Danny and the Miracles shocked the nation. Manning had 31 points and 18 rebounds to clinch the title, winning the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player along with the Naismith national player of the year.
He was a sure thing and an easy number one pick. Unfortunately, that pick belonged to the cursed Los Angeles Clippers, and Manning lasted only 26 games in the NBA before tearing his ACL. That was the beginning of a career plagued by knee injuries, one Manning admittedly made the most of. He fought back to make two All Star teams, then later dropped to a bench role and won a Sixth Man of the Year award, lasting 15 years in the NBA before retiring to a now successful coaching career. Still, Kansas fans will always wonder what might have been.