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Basketball

PREVIEW: A look at Kansas’ personnel

Jan 7, 2017; Lawrence, KS, USA;  Kansas Jayhawks guard Frank Mason (0) drives to the basket as Texas Tech Red Raiders forward Anthony Livingston (21) defends during the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks won 85-68. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State is set to host the nation’s new No. 1 team on Monday when Kansas visits Hilton Coliseum for a Big Monday contest on ESPN. Here are three points on the Jayhawks’ personnel ahead of Monday’s game:

1 — Elite guards

Few teams in college basketball have a better group of guards on their roster than the Kansas Jayhawks. Led by senior point guard Frank Mason, the backcourt is one of the primary reasons for an offense that is No. 4 in adjusted offense on KenPom.com.

Mason leads the Big 12 in scoring at 20.5 points per game and is second in the conference in assists at 5.5. Iowa State’s Monte Morris (5.8 assists per game) is the only player in the league dishing out more assists.

The 5-foot-11 floor general is sixth in KenPom’s national player of the year standings.

“They’re very good,” Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm told the Cyclone Radio Network after Saturday’s loss to TCU. “We’ve got to be on our A-game. When we’re on our A-game, we’re very, very good. We weren’t on our A-game like we needed to be and our goal is to do that on Monday.”

Junior Devonte Graham (13.5 points) and 6-foot-8 junior Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10.8 points) combine to give the Jayhawks a pair of better than solid secondary options in the backcourt. Mykhailiuk has made 37 3-pointers and is shooting 42.5 percent from deep.

Sophomore Lagerald Vick is shooting 42.6 percent from behind the arc with 20 makes.

2 — Freshman phenom

Freshman Josh Jackson has proven to be one of the best young players in the country. He’s ranked seventh in KenPom’s national player of the year rankings and is the second-highest ranked freshman behind Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox.

Jan 14, 2017; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Josh Jackson (11) pulls down a rebound during the second half against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won 87-80. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 15.6 points per game and is second on the team with 6.7 rebounds per game. He is also the team leader with 28 steals and 24 blocks.

3 — Solid frontcourt

Senior Landen Lucas leads a group of solid bigs that always seem to do their jobs even though they aren’t the flashiest of players. The 6-foot-10 Lucas leads the team with 7.6 rebounds per game and is scoring 7.6 points per game on 63.5 percent shooting from the floor.

KU’s other 6-foot-10 forward, sophomore Carlton Bragg, is averaging 5.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

Jared Stansbury

administrator

Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.

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