The Kansas Jayhawks basketball team has undergone changes this offseason, and it’s possible that more changes are in the offing, especially on defense.
College Hoops Today’s Jon Rothstein was at Kansas practice on Wednesday and tweeted out several nuggets of information based on what he saw at practice.
One drew particular interest, and it had to do with how the Jayhawks were working on defense.
‘Kansas was regularly working on pressuring the opposing team’s PG for 94 feet today in practice. It is an obvious early focal point.’
This could be nothing. After all, most college basketball coaches use the month leading up to the opening of the season to experiment with strategy that they could implement during the season.
But the use of full-court pressure for Kansas would mark an interesting development, if head coach Bill Self followed through on it and used it as a staple in his defense during the season. Kansas has primarily been a half-court, man-to-man defensive team that only presses when the need arises. But, after a second-round exit from the NCAA Tournament in March, Self said the team had to get faster and more physical to be competitive this season.
Five young Jayhawks transferred out of the program, while Kansas took in experienced transfers like Arizona’s Remy Martin and Iowa State’s Jalen Coleman-Lands.
Self also wouldn’t be the first Big 12 coach to make a change in how they do things in order to be more competitive. Two seasons ago, Baylor head coach Scott Drew — who had staunchly used a half-court zone defense for more than a decade in Waco — moved to a man-to-man defense after he took in players like guards Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell and MaCio Teague. Two seasons later, the Bears won a national championship and Mitchell was the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.
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You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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