TOP 5 TEAM PREVIEWS: #4 KANSAS JAYHAWKS


KAN JHAWKS

 

Last Season’s Record: (33-5) Lost in Elite 8 to Villanova

Head Coach: Bill Self (Entering 14th season as Kansas Head Coach)

 

Key Departures:

WAYNE SELDEN (Guard)

PERRY ELLIS (Forward)

CHEICK DIALLO (Forward)

 

Key Newcomers: 

(#’s next to players name indicates national ranking)

#1:JOSH JACKSON (Forward)

#31:UDOKA AZUBUIKE (Center)

MITCH LIGHTFOOT (Forward)

 

Key Returning players:

FRANK MASON III (Guard)

DEVONTE’ GRAHAM (Guard)

CARLTON BRAGG (Forward)

LANDEN LUCAS (Forward)

SVIATOSLAV MYKHAILIUK (Guard)

 

TEAM OVERVIEW

Kansas had national championship aspirations last season as they were perhaps the most talented team in college basketball. Unfortunately, they fell in the Elite 8 to red hot and title winner Villanova. Expectations are sky high for the 2016-17 season as they return key players and add the number 1 recruit in high school basketball. As has been the case for the last dozen years, the Jayhawks will be the favorites in the Big 12 conference.

The Jayhawks lose their 2 main contributors from last season. Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis are off to the NBA. Freshmen Cheick Diallo also entered the NBA Draft as a freshmen and he was a first round pick. However, plenty of talent remains in Lawrence.

The backcourt duo of Frank Mason III (12.9pts, 4.6ast, 4.3reb) and Devonte’ Graham (11.3pts, 3.7ast, 3.3reb) return and they are one of the better duos in America. Both averaged over 30 minutes per game and will be expected to have even better seasons in 2016-17. Helping those 2 out in the backcourt will be Mykhailiuk. The 6’8″ junior shot over 40% from the 3 point line. He should expect an increase from the 13 minutes he played in per game as a sophomore.

320px-Kansas-Basketball-Staff-Nov-15-07-Washburn

Head Coach Bill Self

Self will have an abundance of talent in the front-court. The Jayhawks have both experience and youth at the forward and center spots. 6’9″ sophomore PF Carlton Bragg Jr. didn’t receive much playing time as a highly touted high school prospect. However, he is on the radar of every NBA team and is considered a breakout candidate. He combines athleticism and power. He is raw but extremely talented.

Senior F Landen Lucas averaged 6pts and 7reb in just under 20 minutes per game last year. Self will be relying on his experience to help mentor the incoming freshmen. As usual, Kansas had a top 10 rated recruiting class and there are 2 players who might only be suiting up in a Jayhawk uniform for 1 season.

Freshmen center Udoka Azubuike is huge. At 6’11”, and 280 pounds, he eats up space in the middle of the lane. He is very talented on both ends of the floor. The 5 star recruit is athletic for his height and weight. He is more of a defensive than offensive presence at this stage in his development. However, he offers an outstanding defensive package. His rebounding and shot-blocking ability will get him on the floor early and often. He is too talented not to play.

For the 2nd time in 4 years, Self has landed the number 1 prospect from the high school ranks. Josh Jackson is the type of player who can change the fortune of a teams’ season. He can do everything on the basketball court. At 6’7, he will play small forward and will remind fans of Andrew Wiggins, who was the number 1 recruit a few years ago. Jackson will start on the wing. The California native will impress people with his offensive repertoire and defensive prowess. He might be the most athletic player in college basketball. The odds are high that Jackson will only be suiting up in a Jayhawk uniform for one season. He is projected as a top 3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

 

FINAL 4 IF

The Jayhawks are loaded again this season. They have talent at every position and sport nice depth in the front-court. They will be the prohibitive favorites in the Big 12 again. They will be ranked among the nation’s elite all season long. However, Jayhawk fans want national championships.

Self has set the bar very high in Lawrence, Kansas. After being upset by Villanova in the Elite 8, this version of the Kansas Jayhawks will have getting to the Final 4 very high on their to do list. With the talented back-court of Graham and Mason III along with the nice depth in the front-court, the ingredients are there for them to do so.

In our opinion, Josh Jackson might be the difference maker if they make the final 4 and win a national championship. He has the talent to carry a team on its back, ala, Camelo Anthony for Syracuse in 2003. Only time will tell if it happens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “TOP 5 TEAM PREVIEWS: #4 KANSAS JAYHAWKS”

  1. jsc says:

    Good emphasis on the Kansas backcourt. Strongly feel that this is the best backcourt in the country. Also agree on the Jackson/Anthony comparison. The kid will be a special player.

    1. Hello JSC,
      Josh Jackson was the number 1 rated recruit in the class of 2016. We feel he has the potential to have a freshmen season comparable to Carmelo Anthony in 2003 while he was at Syracuse. Anthony put that team on his back to win the national championship. Jackson has that type of talent, although his shooting does need to improve. Jackson also has a game that resembles former Kansas star, Andrew Wiggins. Jackson is a leading candidate to be the number 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The back-court is one of the top 3 in college basketball. While they might not be surefire NBA players, all of the guards are extremely productive, confident, and battle-tested.
      -Rob

  2. Tom Karbowski says:

    Hey – I like your analysis of my Jayhawks. I think that Jackson has the ability to be a player of the year candidate, but I don’t see him doing it on a consistent basis just yet.

    The kid Azubukie is a monster! I’m hoping for the best.

    1. Hi Tom,
      Kansas head coach Bill Self has another very talented team. The Jayhawks have a great blend of youth and veterans. The back-court of Graham and Mason III is one of the better ones in the country. The front-court is experienced even with the loss of Perry Ellis. Azubuike is a talented freshmen. The player that might just bring them to another Final 4 is freshmen Josh Jackson. He was the number ranked player in the class of 2016. He is a special talent. Jayhawk fans will really like watching this years team.
      -ob

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Related Post

2016 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS (STEPHEN ZIMMERMAN)2016 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS (STEPHEN ZIMMERMAN)

2016 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS

<div class="at-above-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://inthegymrange.com/2016-nba-draft-prospects-stephen-zimmerman-wednesday-january-27-2016/"></div>STEPHEN ZIMMERMAN COLLEGE: UNLV HEIGHT: 7’0″ WEIGHT: 235 POUNDS AGE: 19 years old POSITION: CENTER/POWER FORWARD CLASS: FRESHMEN 2015-2016 STATISTICS: 10.2PTS, 9.3REB, 0.8AST PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: BETWEEN