2007 Kansas Jayhawks Basketball Preview
It was in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament that the Kansas Jayhawks (33- 5 overall, 14- 2 Big 12), who lost to UCLA 68- 55, ended their run at the national title and inclusion in our picks on college basketball games. The Hawks, who last season finished first in the Big 12, will once again be ably guided by coach Bill Self (105- 29 in four years with Kansas, 312- 134 overall in 14 years). Self sees four of five starters returning.
The Jayhawks were a sound scoring unit and fine defensively last season yielding bettable NCAA point spreads. The club scored an average of 78.4 PPG, ranking them second in the conference and 20th in the nation, and they held opponents to 61.7 PPG, which was third in the Big 12 and 28th in the country. The team’s rebounding margin, which was first in the conference, was a solid plus-6.7 RPG. That was 10th nationally. They moved the ball well, with 17.1 APG, second in the league and 16th overall. Their weakness was in turnovers. Allowing 14.2 TPG, the Jayhawks were sixth in the Big 12 and 141st in the nation.
Although coach Self thought his front men didn’t bang hard enough last season, they lead all clubs in rebounds. The frontcourt returns senior center Sasha Kaun (5.9 RPG, 3.8 APG, 53.0 FG%). He needs to step up as a shooter and throw the ball up more. Look for sophomore forward Darrell Arthur (9.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 53.8 FG%) to be the man to step-up this season.
The Jayhawks have one of the best backcourts in the nation which we look for when we bet on college games. Lead by junior guard Brandon Rush’s (13.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 44.3 FG%) speed and scoring chops, the unit offers two fine point guards—senior Russell Robinson (7.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 4.4 APG, 43.6 FG%) and sophomore Sherron Collins (9.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.9 APG, 47.8 FG%). There’s a lot of depth, including three-point expert Mario Chalmers.
The fact is that there is no doubt that the Kansas Jayhawks are the best team in the Big 12 and one of the top club’s in the nation and are sure to be included in our NCAA tournament picks. They certainly have the talent on the court to make it to the finals. It’s been twenty years since the Jayhawks won their last national title. Look for Kansas to make its 37th NCAA appearance and possibly win its third crown.