NCAA Basketball Countdown: #7 Kansas Jayhawks

After a return to the top of the Big 12 last year, Kansas has to replace their two top stars from a near 30 win team, but Bill Self doesn’t rebuild, he reloads.

2019-2020 Record: 28-3

National Championship Odds: +1800

Big 12 Championship Odds: +170

Key Returners

Ochai Agbaji: 10.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.0 APG

Marcus Garrett: 9.2 PPG, 4.6 APG, 4.5 RPG

David McCormack: 6.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 0.4 BPG

Key Recruits

Bryce Thompson: 5 Star Combo Guard

Tyon Grant-Foster: 3 Star Shooting Guard (#2 JUCO recruit)

Gethro Muscadin: 3 Star Center

Latrell Jossell: 3 Star Point Guard

Upcoming Games

DateOpponentTime (EST)
11/26#3 Gonzaga (N)6:00 pm
11/27St. Joseph’s (N)2:00 pm
12/1#6 Kentucky (N)TBA
12/5North Dakota StTBA
12/8#8 Creighton TBA

Season Preview

Kansas faces a very daunting task this year, as they are forced to replace their two superstar players from last year as Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson are both headed to the NBA. On top of that this was a less than stellar recruiting class than what Bill Self is accustomed to, ranked #21 which is far below his expectations. They bring back two solid starters in Ochai Agbaji and Marcus Garrett, but they are not going to be able to control the offense and dominate the way that Dotson and Udoka were able to last year.

Garrett will likely be one of the best perimeter defenders in the nation, which will reflect a defense that should be a top 5 group in terms of defensive efficiency, but he and Agbaji need some help to step up and provide support for them. Christian Braun was outstanding in a limited role last season, with a top-60 O-Rating in the country, and should slide into a starting spot this upcoming year. David McCormack will likely take over for Azubuike, though it is unlikely he’ll be able to match his statistics which included the best FG% in the nation. And finally, Self and company will turn to their new guys, as 5 Star freshman Bryce Thompson will see a significant role out of the gate and could very well start on opening night, and Tyon Grant-Foster will see big minutes off the bench.

Despite the pandemic that has made scheduling difficult, the Jayhawks have put together one of the best non-conference slates in the nation, facing 3 teams in our top 10 in the span of 2 weeks. On top of that, they open conference play in a loaded Big 12 with two ranked foes in Texas Tech and West Virginia. This group has no single leader on the court, and will be tested immediately out of the gate, which will set the tone for the 2020-21 season in Lawrence.

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