#1 Kansas Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Kansas Jayhawks
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #1
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12
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Kansas extended their Big 12 Championship streak to 14 straight seasons after a 13-5 finish in conference play last season. The Jayhawks also made their 15th Final Four, though they lost to eventual national champions Villanova in the semifinals. Kansas loses their top three scorers from last season, but the crop of new players joining the Jayhawks makes them the preseason number one team. Dedric Lawson, K.J. Lawson and Charlie Moore are experienced big-time scorers who have transferred in, while Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes highlight a strong freshmen class for Bill Self. 
2017-18 Record: 31-8, 13-5
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA Tournament
Coach: Bill Self
Coach Record: 447-96 at Kansas, 654-201 overall
Key Departed Players:
Devonte’ Graham, Guard, 17.3 ppg
Svi Mykhailiuk, Guard, 14.6 ppg
Malik Newman, Guard, 14.2 ppg
Sam Cunliffe, Forward, 1.9 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Udoka Azubuike, Junior, Center, 13.0 ppg
Lagerald Vick, Senior, Guard, 12.1 ppg
Marcus Garrett, Sophomore, Guard, 4.1 ppg

Silvio De Sousa, Sophomore, Forward, 4.0 ppg
Mitch Lightfoot, Junior, Forward, 3.8 ppg

Key New Players:
Ochai Agbaji, Freshman, Guard

Devon Dotson, Freshman, Guard
Quentin Grimes, Freshman, Guard
Dedric Lawson, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Memphis
K.J. Lawson, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Memphis
David McCormack, Freshman, Forward
Charlie Moore, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from California
Last season’s top three scorers are gone, but Kansas does have two starters returning from last year. Udoka Azubuike considered leaving for the NBA, but the seven-footer is back for his junior season. Azubuike averaged 13.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks last season and will be a force in the paint this year. Lagerald Vick was thought to have left for professional basketball but was a late returnee to the Jayhawk roster. Vick will be the lone senior for Kansas and his experience will be important as the Jayhawks look to compete for a national title. Reserves Marcus Garrett and Mitch Lightfoot are back, along with Silvio De Sousa who will be held out of play until cleared by the NCAA. The excitement around Kansas is led by the newcomers, though. Dedric Lawson averaged 19.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.3 steals two seasons ago at Memphis. His brother K.J. averaged 12.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists two years ago. Both brothers should take the Big 12 by storm this season. Charlie Moore is a talented transfer as well who averaged 12.2 points and 3.5 assists two seasons ago at California. The incoming freshmen are talented as well, led by top-ten recruit Quentin Grimes. Devon Dotson joins Grimes as five-star recruits added by the Jayhawks. David McCormack and Ochai Agbaji are both four-star recruits who will add talented depth to the roster. Bill Self has potentially his deepest roster since taking over at Kansas. While Duke and Kentucky have dominated the one-and-done crops, Kansas has taken advantage of the transfer market. The mix of returning players, talented transfers and high-profile freshmen puts Kansas atop the preseason rankings.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.4 (29th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.8 (158, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 49.2 (13, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (96, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.0 (22, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.1 (11, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.8 (197, 6)
Rebound Margin: 0.4 (180, 6)
Assists Per Game: 16.6 (17, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.7 (70, 3)
Madness 2019 NBA Draft Rankings:
#9 Quentin Grimes
#55 Udoka Azubuike
Madness 2018 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#7 Quentin Grimes
#19 Devon Dotson
#32 Davis McCormack
#156 Ochai Agbaji