Rebuild – “to replace, restrengthen, or reinforce…” Certainly a word that many Kansas fans thought this year would be, and still might say this year was. Yet, many would say it turned out to be a rebuilding “half year.”
Although, I would say we just had a young team, no rebuilding needed. When comparing the start of the year to the end of the year, it is clear something clicked in the minds of the freshman that built this team.
Beginning of the year (non conference)
With a shaky start from the Morris twins, many questioned why the hell we decided to recruit them. Yet most people in my mind didn’t realize that Marcus was averaging roughly eight points and five rebounds while only playing 19 minutes. As a freshman in a tough non-conference schedule, those are some impressive stats in my mind.
When compared to his brother sadly, Markieff does not hold up the same stats, as much as his brother.
Probably the best surprise of the year, for me was Tyshawn Taylor. With amazing speed and ball handling, I am really happy with what Tyshawn did this year beginning and ending.
From the start Tyshawn was averaging almost 10 points, three assists, and two rebounds, while only getting around 26 minutes a game. He not only had to battle for minutes, but he had to battle for a coaches trust.
With a freshman’s fragile psyche it would be hard for any freshman to put up these numbers without a coaches trust.
With these stats, and the help of Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich and Brady Morningstar, the Jayhawks stumbled out to a horrible record of 11-4. I mean in a rebuilding year KU only managed to beat Washington, Tennessee and Siena.
Alright seriously, that was a great start for what many thought would be a tragic start to the season.
End of the year (conference)
Now here comes to fun part of the year. The part of the year when everything started to click and the Jayhawks started to really play ball. The freshman stepped up and Mario Little was back and somewhat healthy.
Marcus finished out the season with an average still pretty much the consistent with the beginning of the year, but the key word he was consistent. Many freshmen aren’t as consistent as Marcus.
The same could be said for Tyshawn Taylor. He finished as strong as he started. The freshmen that stepped up were just flat out consistent.
The freshmen were consistent enough to get KU to a Sweet 16 birth, almost an Elite 8. If you consider a Sweet 16 birth a “rebuilding” year, then I think you are crazy. We are so lucky to be KU fans.
With next season looming, I’m excited to see what the Jayhawks are going to do. I’m hoping and looking for the Jayhawks to open their wings and fly into the Final 4. If there is a Jayhawk fan that is not excited for next season I would like to meet you and shake you until you grip reality.
The only thing left to say is, Rock Chalk Jayhawk GO KU!