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KU point-guards-in-waiting confident enough to get the job done

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Freshman point guard Devon Dotson will be asked to both play and fill a big role for the Jayhawks during the 2018-19 season.

Freshman point guard Devon Dotson will be asked to both play and fill a big role for the Jayhawks during the 2018-19 season. by Matt Tait

There's this notion out there that it's going to be tough for the Kansas men's basketball team to move forward with somebody new in the driver's seat, playing point guard for Bill Self's team during the 2018-19 season.

Makes sense, if you ask me.

After all, the next KU basketball season will be the first in four seasons that did not feature either Frank Mason III, Devonte' Graham or both handling point guard duties for the Jayhawks.

Big shoes to fill. A tough adjustment for the coaching staff, players and, probably most obviously, the adoring Kansas fan base.

But KU fans need not worry about whether the Jayhawks have pieces in place who are capable of handling the role.

We may not yet know if Cal transfer Charlie Moore or incoming freshman Devon Dotson will be able to put up the kind of numbers that Graham and Mason did during their best seasons as Jayhawks.

In case you have not yet grown tired of hearing about those two, here's one way to look at their careers that you might not yet have considered. In the five seasons where KU's latest dynamic duo ran the show in the Jayhawks' backcourt, Mason and Graham's combined averages were: 15.2 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 4.9 assists per game and a 41.8 percent clip from 3-point range.

Getting numbers like those from either Moore or Dotson this season — or even the two of them combined — while not impossible to foresee will not be easy.

But forget about numbers for a minute. One of the strengths of the 2018-19 team will be its depth and when you've got nine or 10 guys who can log minutes on the court, the pressure is off of any one or two guys to put up big numbers.

So let's focus on that other element of what being a point guard is all about — confidence, leadership, style and sizzle.

Moore, a tough and crafty guard from Chicago with an outgoing personality, had enough of those qualities to earn the start in all 34 games for Cal during his freshman season in 2016-17. He also was named Mr. Basketball Illinois following his stellar senior season of high school, when he averaged 28 points, 7 assists, 5 steals and 4 rebounds per game.

Kansas sophomore point guard Charlie Moore pulls up for a shot during a scrimmage on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

Kansas sophomore point guard Charlie Moore pulls up for a shot during a scrimmage on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. by Nick Krug

And then there's Dotson. We don't know exactly what he's capable of yet in terms of delivering at the Division I level. But we do know he has style. Lots of it.

Look no further than the recent graduation video he released to see that for yourself.

Regardless of who's running point for Kansas next season, Self's squad appears to be in good hands in natural leadership and confidence department.

And in case you're entertaining the idea of comparing either of these players to Graham or Mason for the next couple of seasons, do yourself a favor and cast that idea aside today.

Both of those guys, in terms of statistics and what they brought to the program, are all-time greats in program history and asking anyone to replicate their careers is an awfully difficult thing to ask for.

Be sure to check out that Dotson video in the link provided above to get a real feel for the young man's flare.

It should be a fun battle to see which one of these two players wins the starting job — my money's still on Dotson — and how they work together to try to fill Graham and Mason's shoes.

Comments

Jason Venable 5 months ago

CM averaged 12.2 points and 3.5 assists as a freshman at Cal. I feel completely comfortable having him as 1 of 2 PG's at KU.

Jay Scott 5 months ago

....but the guy who actually played the point at times last season.....was one of the top 10 ranked PG's coming out of high school....and IS returning....let's not talk about him at all......

Awful journalism.

Matt Tait 5 months ago

If you're talking about Garrett, you're a little off base. For one, he was always viewed by the KU staff as a combo guard, not a point guard, and for two, he's not going to be asked to play point guard much at all — if any — next season.

But thanks for reading and for your comment.

Dirk Medema 5 months ago

Awful journalism seems harsh. Given the amount of time someone other than Devonte played the point last year, the amount of coverage in the article is only slightly less.

I do think returning players are being sold a bit short, especially given Coach's appreciation for the familiar and reliable. To that end I would expect someone other than Dotson to start at the beginning of the year but he will still get plenty of opportunities/minutes to start the year. Guessing he will at least have a Sherron role if not starting.

Matt Tait 5 months ago

Charlie Moore definitely has a great shot to earn the starting job. It's just my opinion that Dotson will do it. At least as of now.

I'm not sure the returning guys are being sold short anywhere. At least not here. In case you missed it last week, I had a big story about everything Garrett is doing to improve his shot this summer, which will only make him a more dangerous all-around player.

Beyond that, there's not much returning that actually has played at Kansas.

  • Lightfoot will be in a very crowded front court

  • The same is true for De Sousa and there, obviously, are questions around his name

  • Garrett I've already mentioned

  • And Sam Cunliffe has hardly played at Kansas

  • Other than that — and Udoka, of course — there are not a lot of returners to talk about

Tony Bandle 5 months ago

Well, at least we have returning at Print Point Person, Matt Tait. .Matt showed a lot of flair last season but still kept up with the meat and potatoes reporting that needs to be generated by coverage of a Final Four Team.

Never too far too the ecstatic and never too down in the dumps, Tait the Great showed a steady and consistent view of the ups and downs. While many of the players on the court will be new, the player on the page is back and will be better than ever!!

Matt Tait 5 months ago

This cracked me up. Thanks, Tony. For the laugh and the compliment!

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