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2019-20 Kansas men's basketball preview

Kansas Jayhawks

2018-2019 record: 26-10, 12-6 in the Big 12

Head coach: Bill Self

Tenure at Kansas: 16th season

Career coaching record: 447-96

Home court: Allen Fieldhouse

Starters: G Devon Dotson, G Isaiah Moss, F Jalen Wilson, F Tristan Enaruna, C Udoka Azubuike

Bench: G Christian Braun, G Dajuan Harris, G Marcus Garrett, G Elijah Elliott, G Chris Teahan, G Michael Jankovich, F Silvio De Sousa, G Ochai Agbaji, F David McCormack, F Mitch Lightfoot

Overview: After a loss in the 2018 Final Four, the 2018-2019 Jayhawks looked to return to NCAA glory, boasting a great recruiting class and solid returners. However, Kansas stumbled to a 26-10 record, good for just third in the Big 12 and missed out on the conference championship. The Jayhawks would go on to defeat Northeastern in the first round before being upset in the second round by fifth-seeded Auburn.

The team will lose most of its core from last year: key leaders Lagerald Vick and Dedric Lawson both are no longer with the team, leaving the Jawhawks without both leadership and much of their scoring from last year. Sophomore Devon Dotson, who put up 12.3 points per game and led the team with 3.5 assists per game last season, will look to step up to shoulder the scoring load. However, the defensive unit looks to have been relatively unscathed, with steals and blocks leaders Marcus Garrett and Udoka Azubuike returning to the squad.

Kansas also has one of its weaker recruiting classes in recent years, with just one recruit, forward Jalen Wilson, ranked in the top 100. Fellow guards Dajuan Harris and Isaiah McBride and forwards Tristan Enaruna and Christian Braun round out the class. Because of the huge holes on offense, several of the freshmen will likely find themselves thrust into prominent roles early on in the year as the Jayhawks look to recover from their disappointing 2018-2019 campaign.

One thing that needs to go right: Dotson is the only returning player to average more than two assists per game last season. Given the lack of offensive star power on the team, Kansas will need to find a way to keep the ball moving in order to facilitate an offense less dependent on individual brilliance.

One thing that could go wrong: With so much pressure and so little time to develop, the new freshmen struggle to develop, leaving the offense without any reliable scoring as the Jayhawks struggle to make a splash in March.


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