If the Kansas Jayhawks don’t win the Big 12 championship this year, I will be stunned.
Kansas has won the last eight conference titles, and I don’t think there is another team in the conference capable of ending that remarkable run.
The Jayhawks seem to have too much talent and experience back from a team that not only won the Big 12 a year ago, but also played for the national championship.
Kansas is one of the consistent forces in college basketball. After all, it hasn’t missed out on a trip to the NCAA tourney since 1989.
The Jayhawks were 32-7 last season and lost only twice in 18 conference games. Don’t expect much to change this year in that respect.
One of the players who is going to make sure Kansas stays on course as the team to beat in the Big 12 is Jeff Withey. The senior center with a future in the NBA averaged 9.0 points per outing and grabbed 6.3 rebounds per game. He also blocked an average of 3.6 shots per outing.
Withey will once again be a dominant defensive player and opponents are going to have a hard time fighting him for rebounds night in and nigh out.
But the thing Withey has to do now is raise his scoring average. He needs to be a player that consistently hits for double figures, especially with Kansas losing Thomas Robinson, who, last year, was no doubt a force to be reckoned with in the paint.
If Withey does become a go-to scoring threat for the Jayhawks, opponents are going to have a hard time defending a team that has a roster loaded with talent, including Elijah Johnson, who averaged 10.2 points and 3.5 assists per outing last season.
The Jayhawks are going to be fine. The other teams in the Big 12 are dreaming if they think they are going to end the dominance of Kansas.
Like I said, I’ll be stunned if Kansas doesn’t win the conference title, and I’ll add that no one should be surprised if the Jayhawks find their way back to the Final Four as well.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.