2008 Kansas Jayhawks Basketball Preview
The Kansas Jayhawks (37-3 overall, 13-3 Big 12) have had a good run. Last season, after ending up in fourth place in the Big 12, the Jayhawks made it to the NCAA Finals, winning the National Championship by defeating Memphis in OT 75-68. In the past five years, they have been to the Big Dance five times, making the Elite Eight twice and winning it all once. This season, despite losing six major talents, the Jayhawks will still contend.
Six-foot-eleven, 240-pound center Cole Aldrich (8.3 MPG, 2.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.1 APG, 51.8 FG%, 68.4 FT%), a sophomore, will be asked to step up this season. Against North Carolina last year he was impressive—scoring eight, rebound seven and blocking four in the national semi-finals. With the loss of the starting frontcourt and their 31.1 PPG, the Jayhawks will need nightly output from Aldrich and others. Two frosh will join him. Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris, twin talents, will play upfront. Look for brother Marcus, an extremely talented player, to take the low spot and for Markieff to get minutes at power forward.
Junior Sherron Collins (23.8 MPG, 9.3 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 3.1 APG, 46.2 FG%, 77.6 FT%), who last season was the Sixth Man of the Year in the Big 12, will start at point guard. He’s got muscle, talent and skill. Freshman Tyshawn Taylor, who had originally signed with Marquette, may start at the shooting position. Redshirted guard Brady Morningstar and junior college transfer Tyrone Appleton will both play. Another junior college transfer, Mario Little, will be a major three-point threat. Freshman Travis Releford is a solid defensive player.
Last season, Kansas won a school-record 37 games. This season the
Jayhawks will have a tough time repeating that performance. The
team has a tough non-conference schedule and is rebuilding. Still,
they should get to the March tourney and win a game or two in the
post-season before being bumped out. Once again, coach Bill Self
has shown himself to be an excellent recruiter who can find first-rate
specialists and fill holes on the team with talented underclassmen.