Discussion

Kansas Jayhawks

by Jonathan Wall | March 6th, 2009

Good Wins: Tennessee, Missouri, @Oklahoma, Texas A&M

Bad Losses: @Texas Tech, Massachusetts

Strengths:
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.

Weaknesses:

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.

Other Factors:
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!

Tournament Prediction:
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.

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  1. Quintin Says:

    Ok first off how many games have you seen the Hawks play this year??? Second to predict that there goin to lose in the first two rounds is insane! As your bracket stands right now they would be playing America- thats a win then they would play the winner of Siena and Cal, and i gotta say that doesn’t scare me i’ve seen both teams play numerous times and i think that Cole Aldrich would have a hayday against them. That Sweet Sixteen right there.With some bracket experts having KU goin against two seeded Duke, and you can’t begin to tell me that we don’t have a good chance at beating Duke. They have NO inside game, and nobody on that team can stop the dribble drive of Collins and Taylor. So you might be just a little wrong in assuming the Hawks are gonna go out that easy. They got a lot of fight in them came back from down 16 to KSU down 14 OU and down 14 to Texas, all wins.

    Second thing KU can go big, they have not shown it yet, but i think you’d be hard pressed to find another guy like Marcus Morris who can step out and stay with small forwards, and Markieff can be a beast on the boards as well as Mario Little strong arming any small forward who’d try to match up with him on the boards or tryin to D him up in the paint.

    Nextly they have some depth with there guards, Tyshawn Taylor is peaking again, Brady Morningstar is a lock down defender (Single handly shut down AJ Abrams) Sherron Collins is still underrrated in the media, he is better than almost all point guards except maybe Lawson. Not to mention Tyrel Reed is a great shooter and a super smart player, and Travis Releford has been improving, and adds size at the 3 guard being 6’5″

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  2. Jonathan Says:

    @ Quintin: All great comments. Honestly, I liked KU’s chances before their most recent loss to Texas Tech. I know you can’t base a season on one game, but the way they contained Collins and forced the rest of the team to beat them was the exact way I’d expect their first round opponent to play them. KU has proven me wrong all season, but I just can’t see them making a deep run based on the tournament field out there. Name me another player after Collins that could carry the scoring load? They fact is, is that they don’t have another viable option.

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  3. Quintin Says:

    I got one for you Tyshawn Taylor. The kid put up 26 against a hostile OU crowd and did it without taking that many shots, and Cole Aldrich is always capible of putting up 20 and 15 a night if teams aren’t focusing on him. He wasn’t himself that game against Tech. Also Marcus Morris is starting to turn it on, his face up game is greatly improved and he has great quickness for a guy thats 6’8″. Also you can’t slack off Tyrel and Brady those guys can light it up from outside. I think KU is still underrated and has a great chance at a sweet sixteen or elite eight run. Don’t forget this team holds teams under 38 percent shooting. This team is only five possesions away from being a three lose team…. Syracuse- Flynn hit a last second three to go to OT. UMass- Self picked up an untimely T and Collins wasn’t trusting. Missouri- Taylor hits and ugly shot the bounced off the front of the rim, went straight up and came back down.

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  4. Jonathan Says:

    Like I said, Kansas is a one-trick pony. Baylor exposed them again today in the second round. I’m not trying to bash on them by they do have some holes.

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  5. Christopher Mackinder Says:

    I have to agree with Jonathan. This Kansas team is solid, but has all the makings of a top-4 seed to go home early due to a lack of starting experience and the reliance on Collins.

    And, for the record Quintin, in the original projected matchups, I would take Kansas over American, but have the Jayhawks losing to Siena, or, if Kansas won that game, to Duke.

    If you’re a KU fan (not sure, but you seem like it), this season already has been a success. KU won the Big 12 outright after losing the entire starting 5! Reaching the Sweet 16 was the preseason projection anyway and I don’t see Kansas going further than that.

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  6. Quintin Says:

    They were able to beat Siena earlier this year, and i don’ think they will underestimate them due to there wins in last years Tourny. I’m not saying its impossible, for me its not so much what KUs seed is compared to who they play, and which KU team shos up, they either come out fired up and grab a huge lead, or the team the comes out and digs a huge hole and has to expend all its energy just to get back in the game.

    By the way i am a huge KU fan and i do consider this year a good year, but i believe that Coach Self needs to pull back Collins reigns sometimes. Games when he is hittin let him shoot, but as in Thursdays game he was cold and needed to pass instead of throwing up an air ball.

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  7. Troy Says:

    One-trick pony? Maybe that’s a bit harsh although I understand your labeling us as so. We do tend to go as Collins goes.
    I was at the Texas game when we were awarded the Big 12 trophy, and the sense of “finality” and accomplishment was thick… and I began to worry about the Big 12 Tourney right then, and especially if we drew Baylor.
    Interesting there were more KU-bashers than those willing to credit Baylor. If anyone was exposed, it was Baylor, for being the underachieving team of the Big 12 regular season…. they were preseason picked ahead of KU.
    Self knows what he is doing, as if that needs to be said. I’m guessing he’ll use the Baylor loss and the extra prep time to have the Jayhawks ready for a run to the Sweet 16.
    We need Tyshawn to play well. Our young guys have got to play well for us to advance, and I am guessing they will.

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  8. OTHER Says:

    There are a lot of things that Kansas is doing this year that wasn’t expected of them. With having such a young team, it was a suprise to some that they won the Big 12. I think that they will keep the suprises coming, and possibly pull an upset over Michigan State, making it to the Elite 8. Nonetheless, they have had an outstanding year, and all the fans should be satisfied with the way this team has played all season long. We have had our ups and downs, but we have learned valueable lessons from our mistakes, and have become one of the best teams in the nation. I am proud to be a Jayhawk fan, regaurdless of how much farther they make it into this tournament. May God be with them, and I will never be a “fair weather fan.” GO JAYHAWKS.!!!

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  9. Quintin Says:

    You guys need a new Big 12 writer!!! KU sweet sixteen

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