Rock Chalk, Season flop

Tristan Allen, Editor In Chief

While the University of Kansas (KU) men’s basketball team may be 17-4** overall as of Jan. 29, fans should not expect the Jayhawks to make a deep playoff run.
First off, KU is currently 2-4** in road games. To make matters worse for Kansas, only two of these teams were ranked in the Associated Press’ (AP) Top 25 power rankings. In a single-game elimination tournament, it would not take too much adversity to at least endanger the Jayhawks’ season.
Another hindrance for the Jayhawks’ season is the lack of size on their roster. Udoka Azubuike, center, tore ligaments in his right hand, and the surgery required for it ended his season early.
Azubuike is the tallest player on Kansas’ roster at seven-foot-one, and the next tallest player, six-foot-ten David McCormack, does not even play at least 10 minutes per game.
This is not the first season in recent years Kansas had a lack of size on their roster, and Bill Self, head coach, found success despite this by having four guards in the starting lineup. While KU may have had success rolling with a four-guard lineup, going this route means sacrificing size. Opposing teams can utilize some mismatches among players and have an advantage in the paint.
The previous small lineups of Kansas’ past worked because they had reliable three-point shooting. Kansas made 35.6 percent of their three-point shots this season, but in seasons past, the team shot at least 40 percent from outside the perimeter. A small ball lineup can work, but only if they can space out the floor with a three-point shot.
KU should still be able to win a conference title. They are 5-2** against conference opponents as of Jan. 29.
In addition to the conference title, the Jayhawks should be able to make it out of the first round, given that they are a higher seeded team.
However, doubts begin to settle in during the second round. The only thing they would have going for them is a roster with some experience playing in the tournament, with several players from last year’s Final Four run returning this season, such as Lagerald Vick and Dedric Lawson, forwards.
Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, experience will not be enough to make up for a lack of size and three-point shooting. They will take an exit in the second round of March Madness.