Coming off a season stolen of what would’ve been an extensive run in the NCAA tournament, Kansas basketball should remain a dominating force within the Big 12 conference.
The 2020-21 NCAA basketball season seems to be on track, and that means the world to Kansas basketball fans. It is sure to be a year of redemption after a pandemic swept the Jayhawks’ hopes at a Final Four right from under their feet.
The Big 12 had a relatively unimpressive showing last year, the conference featured only Kansas, Baylor, and West Virginia in the final rankings of the 2019-20 season. It is unexpected what the conference will see this year in terms of program success. Hopefully, the full schedule can be played but I feel that there are imminent COVID-19 related hiccups along the way.
Kansas will have a little more on their agenda this year in the conference. The Jayhawks’ Top 25 counterparts Baylor and West Virginia will both be teams that will tend to challenge the Kansas defense. Baylor has popped into the main conversation of programs that will be fighting for their spot in March this year.
Kansas will have some threats as the season moves into conference play. Baylor lead the conference on defense last season and is expected to make a run for the Big 12 this year. The Mountaineers return with Bob Huggins who plans to overtake the defensive game in the conference. While West Virginia has struggled offensively in conference matchups, their defense vs the Jayhawks has been impressive.
The Jayhawks will also have an interesting relationship with Iowa State this year, as the Cyclones return this year with plans to continue their offensive success in the conference. Iowa State will bring back offensive threats to suppress Kansas defensively. Sophomore guard Tre Jackson and junior guard Rasir Bolton are set to return and gain more experience this season.
To our benefit however, Kansas basketball has produced some legitimate upperclassmen talent entering the 2020-21 season. In addition to the young talent that is still working itself into our chemistry, the Jayhawks should have a fair amount of confidence on both sides of the court this year.
From our impressions at this year’s boot camp, We’ve got strong showings from our boys on the hardwood. Seniors Marcus Garrett and Silvio De Sousa are set to return on the KU roster, along with sophomore guard Christian Braun.
The combination of Braun and Garrett will be tough for opposing defenses to handle. Finding these two opportunities from three-point range should be an effective tactic this season.
Senior forward Silvio De Sousa will be watched for sure this season, as making his final mark with Kansas should be extremely important to him. We should expect to see more aggressive ball play and he will be an extremely helpful asset for us on the defensive end of the court.
The Big 12 is without a doubt a breeding ground for some of the best talent in collegiate basketball. It will be a matter of adapting to pandemic conditions that will allow us to have more positive takeaways from our season this year.
As for the rest of NCAA, it should obviously model its season from the likes of the NBA, which was able to complete their “revised regular season”, and conduct their playoffs according to schedule. We should be glad to see college basketball return this November, and with any luck we could possibly see limited attendances introduced during this season.