Good Wins: Tennessee, Missouri, @Oklahoma, Texas A&M
Bad Losses: @Texas Tech, Massachusetts
1. Sherron Collins. With the exception of Blake Griffin, there’s no better player in the Big 12 than the Kansas guard. He is currently averaging 18 points and almost five assists per game for a team that was considered way too green going into the year. Collins has wiped away the negative thoughts with some spectacular games that have Kansas gunning for a Big 12 title. Collins is THE reason the team is so composed on the floor.
2. The schedule. People criticized Bill Self for the difficult preseason schedule before the year started. Many (myself included) questioned if he was making the right choice by pitting his young squad against the likes of Michigan State, Tennessee, and Arizona, and placing the Jayhawks in the CBE Classic. Looking back on it now, Self made the smartest decision of all. The young team flourished under the pressure and was better for it during Big 12 conference play.
1. Sherron Collins. Question: How can Sherron Collins be strength and a weakness? Answer: Because he’s the one player on whom the team relies. Look at Collins’ stats in Kansas’ two conference losses this season. Bad games from Collins equal close games or bad losses. It sounds so easy, and to be honest, it really is. If a team wants to beat Kansas, it needs to make sure he doesn’t get his touches.
2. Forwards. Cole Aldrich and Marcus Morris make up Kansas’ interior, but after that you’d be hard pressed to name another guy that can help when called upon. That could lead Self into some pretty interesting predicaments if the Jayhawks play a team in the tournament that has some big bodies.
Kansas’ 2008 Championship season. While the team is relatively young, Kansas does have an upper hand in the “been there, done that” department. It should come in handy if the team finds itself in a tough game. All Self needs to do is remind his older players that they did it last season and can do it again. You’d be shocked at how easily guys buy into that line of thinking during March Madness. The toughest thing is that there’s only one team each year that can use that line!
Kansas just doesn’t have the depth to make a strong tournament run. The Jayhawks will probably get a high seed based on their current record and ranking, but don’t be surprised if they get bounced in the first or second round.