Yoni Cohen of FOX Sports just posted his predictions for the Big 12 basketball season, which is just days away. Of course, he pays tribute to the Jayhawks' talent:
Kansas has too much of a good thing. In addition to sensational swing Brandon Rush, the Jayhawks return productive guards Russell Robinson and Mario Chalmers, forwards Julian Wright, C.J. Giles and Darnell Jackson, and center Sasha Kaun. Throw in Arthur and Collins, and Bill Self has the ingredients for a Final Four run —or the egos for a third consecutive first-round flop. To a large extent, Kansas' success or failure will be determined off the court. If every player embraces their role, the Jayhawks will dominate the Big 12. But if NBA aspirations get in the way of NCAA teamwork, Self may reconsider his hard-charging recruiting style.
It should be noted, though, that C.J. Giles is currently not practicing with the 'Hawks and probably won't return to the team. As well, Sasha Kaun is out for three to six weeks with an injury, so the pressure will be on freshman Darrell Arthur. (Fortunately, he's a McDonald's All-American.) Cohen goes on to make some gutsy prognostications:
Thanks to the return of guard Acie Law and forward Joseph Jones, the league's premier inside-outside combination, Texas A&M will be better than Texas. Behind Aaron Bruce, Curtis Jerrells and McDonald's All-American Tweety Carter, Baylor rather than Iowa State will feature the conference's best backcourt. Much-maligned Kansas State will rise to the top even as oft-celebrated Oklahoma sinks to the bottom.
This piece is worth a read. On a side note, Cohen's guesswork on the ability of new coaches is pretty good, until he gets to Colorado: "Coach who may get fired: Ricardo Patton, Colorado. It's hard to believe he's still around." Actually, he's not. Patton stated last week that he will resign after the season ends. Oops.