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Kansas-Duke: Future Implications

by Kevin Kelly
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Flickr || bdengland

Jayhawks Flyin' Higher Than Expected

The Kansas Jayhawks Men’s Basketball team (not just Andrew Wiggins) must take precedence over the freshmen domination beginning to take place. 

I didn’t believe they deserved to be fifth in the country, but after the Duke game, I can’t say enough about the Jayhawks. I thought Duke was going to win by 10 or more points. Needless to say… I was incorrect.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not an overreaction. It’s just an admission of wrongful doubt. Perry Ellis and the rest of Bill Self’s young team made me stick my foot in my mouth. Big time.

Side Note: I’d like to nickname Perry Ellis “the Wallet” right now. Not only because he shares a name with a famous company that makes wallets, but also because he can get put through the washer and drier and still hold it all together (e.g. After he got knocked down and had to come out of the game, he came back and dropped a perfect pass in ahead of Andrew Wiggins in transition who slammed home a dunk to increase the Jayhawks’ late lead).It looks like Ellis will be holding this team together pretty often throughout the season.

As unlikely as it may be, if it takes off as his nickname, send the credit my way.

The potential of the 2013-2014 Kansas squad is off the charts and no, not just Andrew Wiggins.

Wayne Selden Jr. is a physical beast and he had many eye-popping moments\on offense and defense in the United Center on Tuesday night. Joel Embiid is very raw, but he could be a dominant basketball player for years to come and not only at the college level. Everyone needs to understand Embiid has only been playing basketball since he was 16. *Queue NBA GM’s drooling.* 

Also keep in mind that Wiggins, Embiid, and Selden Jr. are all projected to go in the top half of the first round of the 2014 NBA draft. Once again… *Queue NBA GM’s drooling.*

The depth of the Jayhawks is frightening for any and every opponent, especially in a year with tighter refereeing resulting in many more foul calls. Jamari Traylor is a kid with loads of potential and he has one of the most amazing stories you will ever hear of in sports. I am going to steal a line from Black Thought of The Roots and say that Traylor’s life is truly the definition of “tragedy turned triumph." If you haven’t heard about his journey to Lawrence, Kansas, read it when you get a chance. Frank Mason also showed he can be an excellent boost off the bench. He shot 12 free throws in 23 minutes of action and made 11. Not bad.

Tuesday’s win over Duke was excellent for Kansas. It gave confidence to a relatively young team and it showed the whole country that the Jayhawks should be able to compete against every single team in the nation all season long, but its impact might not just be on this season.

Why? Well, the answer is really quite simple. Their names are Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones.

Learn them now.

Okafor is a 6’10” center from Chicago and he was at the United Center on Tuesday. He is the number one rated player in the 2014 ESPN top 100. Jones is a point guard from Minnesota. He is the fourth player in the 2014 ESPN top 100 and he is the number one point guard. Okafor and Jones have developed a relationship and they have said that they would like to go to the same school. As of now, it looks like that school will likely be either Kansas or Duke. Make no mistake, if Okafor and Jones end up deciding to go to Kansas or Duke together, that school will have a chance at an absolute dynasty.

Bill Self can only hope the win against Duke tipped the scales the Jayhawks’ way.

Their decisions will be made known at 4pm ET on Friday. Pay attention.