2010-11 College Basketball Season Preview: Pittsburgh

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Kansas Jayhawks (Last Year: 33-3, 15-1 in Big 12)

2010-11 Projected Depth Chart:

F/C: Marcus Morris (Jr)/Jeff Withey (Jr)

F: Markieff Morris (Jr)/Thomas Robinson (So)

G/F: Mario Little (Sr)/Travis Releford (So)

G: Tyshawn Taylor (Jr)/Brady Morningstar (Sr)/Tyrel Reed (Sr)/Royce Woolridge (Fr)

PG: Josh Selby (Fr)/Elijah Johnson (So)

Gone: PG-Sherron Collins, C-Cole Aldrich, SG-Xavier Henry

2010-11 Outlook:
Kansas has been patiently waiting all offseason for the NCAA to rule on prize recruit Josh Selby's eligibility. Selby is a talented combo guard who can run the point or play off the ball, and is a critical piece to the Jayhawks' success this season. The longer the NCAA takes in investigating his amateur status, the bigger setback Kansas will suffer.

When/If he is cleared to play, Selby will form a dynamic, athletic, versatile backcourt with Tyshawn Taylor who is looking to bounce back after a disappointing sophomore season. In the time being, senior guards Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Redd will see a significant amount of minutes, while Elijah Johnson and Royce Woolridge try to crack the rotation.

On the wing, Mario Little and Travis Releford both redshirted a year ago, but should figure into lineup with hopes of replacing Xavier Henry's production.

The Jayhawks relied on Cole Aldrich in so many different ways the past couple of seasons, and will try to replace his presence in the middle. The Morris twins return to help fill that void but there is not a whole lot of depth.

Marcus made a nice jump during his sophomore season showing off his physicality and ability to knock down jump shots. Markieff should step into a more prominent role and has a game very similar to his brother's though he is more aggressive on the glass. Sophomore Thomas Robinson will have to provide depth until 7-footer Jeff Withey fully recovers from foot surgery which could be another couple of weeks.

Without Selby, Kansas is still a top 20 team. With him, they are Final Four contenders; that is how big of a difference-maker he can be. Regardless, you can bet Bill Self will coach this team up and have them highly competitive in the Big 12.

Player to Watch: Tyshawn Taylor, G
With each game Selby is not on the floor, Taylor's impact becomes more and more important. After showing great promise during his freshman season, Taylor found himself in and out of the starting lineup last season due to his inconsistencies especially with shooting the ball. On a positive note, he did show improvement as a true point guard which is encouraging since he will take ownership of that position now that Sherron Collins has moved on in his basketball career.

Key Non-Conference Games:
  • 11/27 vs. Arizona (in Las Vegas)
  • 12/2 vs. UCLA
  • 12/7 vs. Memphis (in New York)
  • 12/18 vs. USC
  • 12/22 at California
  • 1/9 at Michigan

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