2018 Kansas Jayhawks Basketball Predictions with Odds and Expert Picks
The Kansas Jayhawks are always talented, but this year they are loaded and have the most ideal Bill Self roster we have seen in a few years. And it's a very interesting roster. And by interesting, I mean a little odd. They have three guys who will lead the way and take this team as far as it can go. One is a five-star, one-and-done prodigy. One is a transfer who sat out last year and is hungry for action. And one is a guy who seems to have been in Kansas for a decade now. Most teams don't have that kind of diversity on a roster - or at least not when all the guys are at such a high level.
Kansas Jayhawks Additions/Losses
We'll start with the transfer. Dedric Lawson left Memphis after two strong seasons. He scored 19.2 points per game in his last season there. He's a former McDonald's All-American, and he was All-AAC in his second year at Memphis. He has game. He's a power forward and represents what has been a missing link for Kansas. Self loves playing two big men, and for a few years he has lacked a viable second guy. Lawson should fit like a glove.
Now for the young potential superstar. Quentin Grimes, a shooting guard from Houston, is a consensus Top 10 recruit. His is from a very athletic family - his brother, Tyler Myers, is a defenseman for the NHL's Winnipeg Jets. He has the potential to be a Top 5 pick in next year's draft and is a lock to start in the backcourt and eat a lot of minutes.
Those aren't the only two talented additions. Devon Dotson is another five-star recruit who is going to compete for starting duties at the point. Charlie Moore transferred to Kansas after one year at Cal and will compete with Dotson for time at the point. And David McCormack is a high-level, four-star center who will get depth minutes behind starter Udoka Azubuike. K.J. Lawson, Dedric's brother, also transfers in, but he won't have nearly the impact of his sibling.
Kansas Jayhawks Outlook
The depth here is impressive. Lawson and Azubuike are a two-person wrecking crew up front - a two-headed weapon that Self uses better than any coach, largely because he still embraces the twin tower approach when so many others have moved on from it. Grimes has freak potential. The point combo should work fine. And they have plenty of veteran talent to draw on beyond that.
On the court this is a very good team. The biggest issue could come in the form of off-court distractions. Sophomore Silvio de Sousa is being held out of action over questions about his recruitment. Worst-case scenario, that could lead to having the team lose their Big 12 title and Final Four appearance from last year. And it isn't going to be a constant concern for Self. The team needs to block this out if they want to reach their potential.
Kansas Jayhawks Schedule
Things sure don't start out easy, and they open up against No. 10 Michigan State. In the NIT Season Tip-Off things start out easily for them, but they could face Marquette and potentially Tennessee in the later rounds - two very legitimate teams. On Dec. 15 they play Villanova. And later in January, as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, they play a potential classic against Kentucky There is no shortage of chances for the team to test and prove themselves and earn quality wins heading into the Big 12 season. The conference schedule is what it is - home and road games against each team, and no stretches of games that feel terrifying in the manageable conference.
Kansas Jayhawks Futures Odds
Despite being the No. 1-ranked team heading into the season, the Jayhawks are just the fifth betting choice to cut down the nets in early April. They sit at +950 at Bovada , which is quite a ways behind co-favorites Duke and Kentucky at +500. They also trail two outsiders in Gonzaga and Nevada.
Kansas Jayhawks Predictions
The Jayhawks are all but a lock to win the Big 12. That's no shock - they always are. But this is the best version of their team we have seen in a few years. The front court is the ideal one for Self, and that is what will make this team work. And Grimes is excellent. It would be far from shocking to see this as a Top 5 team all year, and they are a viable National Championship contender. I am not convinced they are the best team in the country, though, and will not pick them to win the national title.
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