March Preview: Kansas Jayhawks

Strengths: Closing games out

Kansas is 11-2 in games decided by less than 10 points, and is 10-1 in such games in Big 12 Play. With a record like that it is pretty easy to see why the Big 12 always runs through Lawrence. The leadership of Player of the Year Candidate Frank Mason lll and Devonte’ Graham have a big reason to do with that. Both Frank Mason lll and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk have hit game winning shots (one was on a travel), while Josh Jackson and Landen Lucas have also both hit game winning free throws. Knowing how to close out games is very important to winning the NCAA Tournament and nobody has as much experience doing it this year than the Jayhawks. Kansas has also made huge second half comebacks by pressing teams for stretches. KU came back to beat Oklahoma and West Virginia by make huge runs with their press and three point shooting.

 

Weakness: Depth

After the loss of Udoka Azubuike due to a broken wrist, Kansas’ rotation has gotten really small with them only playing 7 players consistently. Frank Mason lll has looked tired at points this season as he is playing 35.9 Minutes Per Game. If Landen Lucas gets in foul trouble the team can easily be taken advantage of inside as he is their only force inside defensively. Transfer Dwight Coleby and freshman Mitch Lightfoot have failed to live up to expectations. Carlton Bragg has failed to live up to the high expectations people had for him coming into this year. If Kansas gets in foul trouble they are in jeopardy of losing to anyone. They rely so heavily and Mason III, Jackson, and Graham that any foul trouble of those three could kill any chance Kansas has of making a deep run.

 

Photo: KUAthletics.com

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