After a month, the Kansas men’s basketball team is beginning to take its shape around a freshman-loaded team. This 10th ranked team in the country is currently 7-1, with its one loss coming in a blowout to first ranked Kentucky.
Even though the team is off to a hot start, there are certainly some questions that need to be addressed before conference play. To start, who is the go-to player? Going into the season, most believed Wayne Selden would be the guy to take over a game. With Selden’s lackluster start and a sub-par performance in the Orlando Classic, the leader of this team is in question.
Another player who is off to a rough start is hyped freshman Kelly Oubre. Last year, Oubre was the 11th recruit in the country, and when he chose Kansas, the Jayhawk empire felt confident in their new star. But after eight games, the freshman is putting up an average of just 2.8 points per game while playing under 10 minutes per game. On top of his underwhelming numbers, Oubre seems to put minimal effort in the time he plays. Hopefully in the new year, there is a new Kelly Oubre.
The turnover situation also needs to change before the thick of the Jayhawks’ schedule. Right now, KU is turning the ball over more than 13 times per game. Though this is normally average for any team, it is unacceptable for KU to already be at this number considering the opponents they have faced. Aside from Kentucky, the Jayhawks have not played any ranked teams. Florida and Georgetown, two teams that are no where near levels of performance in years past, should have been easy wins for KU. Turnovers prevented the Jayhawks from statement wins and resulted in close, single-digit games.
On the positive side, freshmen Cliff Alexander and Devonte’ Graham are off to surprisingly impressive starts. They will have to continue playing at this high level if the Jayhawks want to hold off Texas and win their 11th straight Big XII championship. Despite these difficulties, this Kansas squad as a whole should remain a top 10 team all season.