After starting every game last season, another guard we expect to be right back in the starting lineup is Kansas basketball junior-to-be Christian Braun.
Last season the 6-6′ Burlington, KS native, averaged 31.2 minutes and 9.7 points per game. We saw the guard shine early in the season, scoring 30 points against St. Joseph’s in November and 22 against West Virginia during Big 12 play.
Braun showed glimpses of his ability to shoot lights out from long distance – he hit five and six threes in the above games, respectively.
Approaching upperclassman status, Braun nearly doubled his minutes and points per game from his freshman to sophomore year.
Coach Self was often forced to play small ball last season, and we saw how this opened up the floor for open threes, especially from one of Braun’s favorite spots at the wing.
While he shined at times, many KU fans noticed his tendency to disappear. It’s no secret that Braun will need to be more consistent to put KU in a position for success.
His summer agenda has included cutting time off his three-point shot release, becoming a better passer, and finding his teammates for open looks.
Braun has “an aggressive mindset” regarding what he’s done during the offseason, and his teammates are certainly noticing all of the work he’s putting in.
“We definitely count on CB for a lot. He’s helped out in every aspect he plays,” McCormack told KUSports.com. “He’s one of the hardest (playing) players on the team, so nothing he does is ever taken for granted by us.”
Whether Self decides to go big or small with his personnel, Braun’s height as a guard and ability to play in different spots should only help Kansas basketball this year.
If Braun can make the jump that many fans, teammates, and coaches think he can, it will immensely help himself and his team. We all saw his improvement from year one to two at KU, so it will be crucial his offseason work translates on the court.
Stay posted at ThroughThePhog.com as we take a look at roles and predictions of other key rotation Jayhawks as we lead up to the season.