Written by: Ben Brown – Staff Writing Intern (@TheBigShalom)
Although the Jayhawks will look very different from last year, you are going to see the success we are used to seeing from a Kansas basketball team. The backcourt is going to be very strong this year. Frank Mason and Devonte Graham will be the leaders, but I expect freshmen Josh Jackson to show why he was the number 2 recruit in the country. After 57 years, Perry Ellis has finally graduated and Carlton Bragg should be a good replacement for him. This team is going to be deep. However a team could beat them if they force the Jayhawks to shoot threes.
Josh Jackson is a 6-8 small forward from Michigan. He is ranked second overall in the country for the 2016 class and first overall in his position. Coach Bill Self has described him as an extreme competitor, but also a great teammate. Jackson has the ability to push his team on the court while being a leader in the locker room. A rare trait from a 19 year old. I am excited to see him play this Friday against #11 Indiana.
Kansas is going to run away with the Big 12 this year. West Virginia and Iowa State are the only teams in the preseason top 25, but besides a fluke game, there is no reason they should lose more than 5 games this season. The development of the front court is the key to bring back a championship to Lawrence. Some big matchups to look forward to are: Indiana (Nov 11), Duke (Nov 15), at Iowa State (Jan 16), at Kentucky (Jan 28) and at Texas (Feb 25). This edition of the Kansas Jayhawks is a championship contender, I am very interested to see how they look in their first two very tough games.