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Returning Points and Minutes

Something I gathered during the offseason here and finally getting around to putting it together, a quick chart showing just how much scoring needs to made up this year thanks to the departures from last season.  After watching the replay of the Kentucky game, I've got a few things that scare me heading into the season.  But first, here's a chart showing the points per game breakdown between returning players and players that left Lawrence. 

Points_returning_medium

This shows the offense has a lot of ground to make up for the guys that left after last year.  We knew this was the case and comparing it to the past years leaves a little bit of comfort.  After the 2008 season, the situation actually looked a little worse but we had Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins coming back and they carried a huge load in the following season.  Also shows why the loss to UNI was so devastating in the tournament, that team brought back all kinds of experience.  Ugh, don't want to think about that anymore. 

For this year's team, Robinson and Taylor are the only two players returning that scored more than five points a game last year.  With very little help from freshman recruits, there's a big void to fill on the offensive end.  Kentucky's a very talented team and maybe the best defense we'll see all year but the offense stalled out multiple times on Tuesday.  After hopping out to an 18-12 lead with a little over 9 minutes to go on Tuesday, the team stalled and only made four field goals (3 of which were dunks) in the last 9 minutes of the first half while turning it over six times. 

The second half started the way the first half ended, outside of a nice layup by T-Rob.  A couple of Kentucky blocks and two turnovers left the team down by 9 after the first three minutes of the half.  At that point, the ground was starting to wobble.  Taylor started attacking and got himself to the line to save the game from getting out of hand.  But the worries are still there.

I have a fear that we're going to struggle with turnovers and shooting all year, leading to droughts of scoring on our end.  The offensive spurts we've lived on the last few seasons look like they could be awfully hard to come by this year.  Add in counting on guys to do things they've never shown in college and we're looking at a ton of nailbiters this season.  It will be fun but also might not be good for anyone's blood pressure.

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