Last night was a tremendous night for college basketball and it was an incredible night for college basketball's youth. Julius Randle was a force for Kentucky, Jabari Parker put on a show for Duke and Andrew Wiggins closed out late for Kansas. Beyond that though, this Kansas team has perhaps as much talent at its disposal as any team we've seen under Bill Self or any Kansas team in quite some time.
That said the euphoria of last night's win will wear off at some point and this team is going to experience some ups and downs inevitably. But the ceiling is through the roof. This group has talent at every position and it has talent that runs deep. Last night was a small sample, but the game was huge and the result was exciting. Who's up? Who's down?
Get him cheap while you can. This guy has a future with Kansas basketball. He has speed, he is clutch at the free throw line and he seemed very in control for a true freshman point guard playing in his first big game against the no. 4 team in the country. I feel like someone around here has tried to suggest that point guard was going to be a strength this year and no one was ready to bite. Maybe now?
Still has some work to do, but if Tarik Black is going to notch two fouls in the first three minutes then Embiid is going to take that spot sooner than we would have thought. He moves incredibly well for a seven footer. Passes well and mixes it up on the interior. Once he catches up to the speed of things and avoids those indecisive moments where he lets the ball stick in his hands for too long, he's going to be a weapon.
Kansas native and an absolute stud. A year ago Ellis looked lost at the division one level. Wide eyes, had the fundamentals, but couldn't finish. It's there now. His stoicism is the same as it always was, but now he's converting, he's decisive and he's a calming influence and leader for this team.
Avoid the early foul trouble, play within the system and he's everything you could have asked. The hype machine is the risk here. It's hard to watch a guy who's being constantly analyzed as not good enough and then you look up and he's put up a 22, 10 game. Hopefully Wiggins can ignore that and just have confidence in his ability rather than try to prove something to everyone. I thought he played an excellent game last night and did a great job closing.
It's one game so it's hard to be overly critical, but Black is a very physical player and it seems like the foul trouble is going to be a trend here. If that continues Embiid is going to steal more and more minutes and he could eventually steal the bulk of the minutes if he can stay out of foul trouble and progress the way his potential indicates. Black still has value to this team, but it might not be as high as we originally thought.
I was expecting to see more of him and I'm not sure if it was the matchups, the flow of the game or where we needed the help, but he didn't see much time in this one. I still see White as a player in the Kansas program at some point, but maybe we're not going to see that as quickly as we thought with the steady performance of Wayne Selden.
Is it possible for a freshman to put up 15 points, 5 boards and 4 assists in a huge game on a big stage while looking like a poised upperclassman and still be a little off the radar? Wayne Selden should probably be a buy, who am I kidding...these freshman looked good last night.
He clearly frustrates Self, but he also is a pretty obvious weapon from beyond the arc. Mark Greene down as a guy we're all going to love at some point in his career.
I'm not sure that we can ever expect huge things from Traylor, but he was decisive, he's physical and he's a good big body down low for certain situations. He's a nice piece tot he puzzle, but far from the biggest piece.