We’re just a few days away from the most wonderful time of the year.
November 5th will mark the beginning of the college basketball season for Kansas as they face Duke in the Champions Classic in New York City. Before it officially begins, let’s look at some predictions for the 2019-2020 KU basketball season.
Devon Dotson enters Kansas lore
Self’s tenure has featured several great college point guards, names like Chalmers, Collins, Mason and Graham. Devon Dotson should be included in that group once this season ends. Dotson started every game as a freshman and emerged as the leader of a rag-tag bunch. He comes into this season on several preseason award watch lists and is in the running for the best point guard in the country. If KU has any major successes this year, it’ll be because Dotson drove them there with his steady hand and will to win.
David McCormack breaks out
McCormack showed flashes of what he could be last year and seemed to gain Bill Self’s trust as the season went on. He started the last 13 games and averaged seven point and almost 5 rebounds. McCormack is big but has surprising touch around the rim. He also showed some solid post moves last year and was more than just a lob threat. We should see a big jump from McCormack this season after an entire offseason fine tuning his body and becoming more skilled. I wouldn’t be shocked if McCormack pushes Silvio De Sousa for his starting spot and emerges as the next product of the Bill Self big man factory.
Kansas goes undefeated in November
November is bookended by matchups against preseason top four opponents. The Jayhawks face fourth ranked Duke on November 5th and should face preseason number one Michigan State in the Maui Invitational, assuming both teams make the championship game. Throw in a game against either UCLA or BYU in Maui and Kansas has one of the most difficult opening months of any team. Duke is once again very young and ranked a few spots too high for my liking. Michigan State will be playing without one of their best players after Jeremy Langford’s injury. Those factors, along with KU’s veteran experience will lead to the Jayhawks escaping November unscathed and starting the season 7-0.
Marcus Garrett becomes a solid three-point shooter
I’ve always been somewhat of a Garrett defender. I think the good outweighs the bad and his impact on defense often goes unnoticed. This year though, I think the offense catches up a bit. Last year Garrett averaged a putrid 24 percent from three, a few percentage points down from his freshman year. Garrett enters this season with a notably different shooting stroke, which was on display in KU’s first exhibition game when he made four threes. I’m not saying four threes a game is the new normal, but look for the improved accuracy to continue and for Garrett to make a noticeable improvement from behind the arc.
Udoka Azubuike shoots 50 percent on free throws
OK, I admit, this is more wishful thinking than anything else. I’m doing my best Lavar Ball and trying to speak it into existence.