Friday, March 30, 2012

Final Four Preview - Kansas

Kansas Jayhawks (31-6)

Regular Season Big 12 Champions
#2 Seed Midwest Regional

Tournament Wins:

W 65-50 vs #15 Detroit
W 63-60 vs #10 Purdue
W 60-57 vs #11 North Carolina State
W 80-67 vs #1 North Carolina


#5 Jeff Withey - Junior - 7'0" 235 lbs - The seven foot Withey is a phenomenal shot blocker and even blocked 10 shots in Kansas's Sweet 16 win over North Carolina State. Withey is ranked 60th among NBA draft prospects by ESPN analyst Chad Ford and projects to be a late first round pick in this year's draft.
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#0 Thomas Robinson - Junior - 6'10" 237 lbs - Robinson finally emerged out of the shadow of Marcus and Markieff Morris this year and turned himself into a Top 5 NBA prospect. An explosive leaper, and an excellent rebounder, Robinson leads the Jayhawks in scoring (15.8 ppg) and rebounding (12.5 rpg) in the NCAA Tournament.
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#24 Travis Releford - Junior - 6'6" 210 lbs - Releford has been steady in his first year as a starter at Kansas. He played his best game of the tournament in the Midwest Regional Final against North Carolina scoring 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting.
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#10 Tyshawn Taylor - Senior - 6'3" 185 lbs - Kansas's second leading scorer has struggled a bit with his shooting during the NCAA Tournament missing all 17 of his 3-point attempts. Still, he started to break out of his funk against North Carolina finishing with a team-high 22 points. A great athlete with a high basketball IQ, Taylor is a factor on both ends of the floor. He is projected to be a late first round or early second round pick in this year's draft.
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#15 Elijah Johnson -Junior - 6'4" 195 lbs - Another athletic guard who can play either guard position, Johnson brings excellent speed to the table and has hit a team-high 9 three-pointers in the tournament. He is currently ranked #54 on Chad Ford's draft board.
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Key Reserve:

#40 Kevin Young - Junior - 6'8" 195 lbs - A two year starter at Loyola Marymount before transferring to Kansas and taking on more of a reserve role, Young leads all Kansas bench players in scoring, rebounding, assists and blocks in the NCAA Tournament.
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Bill Self - Self is in his 9th season at Kansas and won a title with the Jayhawks back in 2008. In his career, he's produced 6 different 30+ game winners including this year's team, and he's won 8 straight Big 12 Regular Season Championships. This is just Self's second Final Four.
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Where I had them finishing:

I actually have Kansas going all the way to the Finals and losing to Kentucky so they're one of the two Final Four picks I had right.


Kansas defeated a Jared Sullinger-less Ohio State squad on December 10th, 78-67. Thomas Robinson led the way with 21 points and 7 rebounds, and Tyshawn Taylor dished out 13 assists in the win. Kansas never trailed and held Ohio State to just 39% shooting.

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