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Kansas Early-Season Overreactions

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Let’s make a big deal of a small sample size.

NCAA Basketball: NC-Greensboro at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of the season is a chance to shake off the rust and see what areas of the game you have down and what needs work. It’s also the first opportunity for fans to watch this iteration of the team, and many of these players, playing against teams other than themselves since last spring.

The way Kansas schedules means rust has to be shaken off against top-100 KenPom teams. So there’s no shame in dropping an early, close game against a top-5 team, and it shouldn’t need stating that the team we watch in November will not be the team we see in March.

But what fun is that? The first chances to watch the Jayhawks after a long offseason is perfect for overreacting to the small, skewed sample size.

So what can we overreact to from Kansas’ two games, both good and bad? I don’t necessarily agree with all of these #hottakes, but if you wanted overreact, here are a few options.

Marcus Garrett is Now a Good 3-Point Shooter

The sharpshooter has hit two of four attempts during the two games that have counted, after shooting it well during the exhibition contests. All four of those attempts came in Friday’s game against UNC Greensboro. Last year, Garrett didn’t hit his first three until the fourth game of the year against Marquette (he was 1-6 through four games) and didn’t hit his second three of the season until his sixth game.

Watch out, America, the defensive specialist has added a new weapon to his arsenal.

Tristan Enaruna is KU’s Best 4-Man Option

This was potentially a bigger overreaction before Jalen Wilson’s injury. And initially it was going to be “Tristan Enaruna is KU’s best small-ball 4” but now that Wilson is out, he’s really the only option to go small. Enaruna has everything you’d want from the small four: quickness, length, and range. He can stretch the floor with shooting, can drive to the basket, and has the long arms to contest shots. It’s proven in his stat line through two games: 5-8 from the field, 2-3 from 3, 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 blocks.

And with Doke down low, playing small with Enaruna offers a lot of advantages for the Jayhawks to spread the floor and let Doke work.

Ochai Agbaji will be KU’s Most Improved Player

A more consistent outside shot. Quicker hands on defense. Agbaji looks ready to take the next step and be KU’s X factor. He’s a threat in transition, on lobs, and from behind the arch, and so far all of his numbers are looking better than a year ago.

2019: 14 ppg, 60% from 2, 45.5% from 3, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals

2018: 8.5 ppg, 58% from 2, 30.7% from 3, 4.6 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.5 steals

Bonus: Devon Dotson Can’t Come Off the Floor

This isn’t really even an overreaction. Dotson is the primary ball handler and motor of the offense. When he comes out of the game—which has been for a combined six of 80 minutes so far this year, which should tell you how Bill Self feels—the offense becomes stagnant. Dotson is working toward following in Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham’s footsteps, and that includes playing a ton of minutes.