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
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player. Elmarko Jackson. . 6'3" 195 lbs. Freshman. 462. . Elmarko Jackson. Elmarko Jackson. G

Jackson, not Furphy, is the one who took Timberlake’s spot in the starting lineup, and that has unlocked things for Kansas’s offense. The freshman guard had been a good fit next to the senior Harris despite his less-than-ideal shooting numbers. 

With 37/30/92 shooting splits, Jackson is less efficient than Furphy, but he’s doing that on 1.2 more shots a game. With his great free-throw shooting numbers, I fully expect his field goal percentage to improve, because he has shown himself to be a quality shooter. Free-throw percentage is usually a solid indicator of three-point shooting success. 

If Jackson jumps up to 35% from beyond the arc, then Kansas’s offense will level up not just Jackson. Self seems to believe that it is coming for his freshman guard because he played him for 27 minutes against Wichita State, and 32 against UConn at the start of December, Kansas’s biggest test of the year.