Kansas basketball: 3 players primed to level up in conference play

The Kansas Jayhawks are already the favorite to win the Big 12, but with slight improvements from these three players, they could become a sure-thing in one of the most loaded conferences in college basketball.
Kansas Jayhawks guard Elmarko Jackson (13)
Kansas Jayhawks guard Elmarko Jackson (13) / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 4

G. player. . Freshman. Johnny Furphy. 462. Johnny Furphy. Johnny Furphy. . 6'9" 202 lbs

The lengthy freshman wing missed Kansas’s game against Yale due to a “family commitment” and that forced Niolas Timberlake to play 29 minutes off the bench. Timberlake began the year in teh starting lineup and that didn’t go well, so Self certainly doesn’t want him playing that much. 

Against Wichita State last time out, Furphy returned to play 14 minutes and Timberlake only played seven. So far, Furphy is averaging 5.4 points a game, the most outside of the starting five. 

His shooting is invaluable to the secnd unit, hitting 36.1% of his 3.0 three-pointers per game. The offense is second in the country in assists, averaging 21.5 per game as a team, and with that type of ball-movment and the gravity of Hunter Dickinson int he post, you need shooters who can knock-down threes. That’s been Furphy. 

Timberlake by comparison is at 27% from deep and Parker Braun is at 25%. Furphy will keep earning more minutes and will be a crucial sixth-man for a championship caliber team. With that type of exposure, he may even be one-and-done to the NBA.