Who Will Start for KU B-Ball This Year?

Let the speculation begin! A recent article on Phog.net highlights KU Coach Bill Self's philosophy for building his team and setting his lineup. The author, Kristi Chartrand, really did her homework and was given a great interview by Self. It is clear from the excerpts she includes in the article that Self emphasizes three areas in particular: (1) player versatility; (2) ignoring traditional position classifications (i.e. playing the 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5); (3) defensive pressure. Self said:

I don't like labeling guys positions. I personally like it when guys are versatile . . .

The Perfect scenario for me is to play with three guys who all have point guard skills, and one of them big enough to defend the three. That would be the perfect scenario for me.

There will be pressure. We'll play faster. . . .

With Stewart unavailable for the first semester, I expect that there will be several starting lineups. Once the Big 12 season gets under way, and Stewart is available, Self will settle in on one starting lineup. Here's my prediction:

STARTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OFF THE BENCH Chalmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robinson Stewart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hawkins/Case Rush . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Downs Wright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Moody/Jackson Giles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kaun

Chalmers will start, but Robinson will play a big role. He has gotten stronger in the offseason, and he will settle down with a year under his belt. Pressure on the ball will be a trademark of this team, and they will be fast with either point guard leading them.

Stewart is a slasher with a handle and is an excellent on-ball defender. Hawkins will play significant minutes. There's been lots of talk about the offseason work Case has done, but I don't see him playing significant minutes.

Rush gets the nod over Downs because he has a better handle and similar scoring capabilities. Rush is better in the open court as well. Downs will play significant minutes.

Moody's role will not be nearly so great this year as it was last year, when the team's depth was an issue. Moody and Jackson will split the backup time, assuming Jackson has made progress this summer. Otherwise, it may be a long season for Darnell.

I expect Giles and Kaun will split time pretty equally. I am excited to see how they have developed in the offseason.

Comment and let me know what you think! In February, I will pull out this blog and re-post it. We'll see how accurate it is then.

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