Kansas Basketball Record Watch 2018-19: Silvio De Sousa
A couple of months ago, when KU junior Udoka Azubuike announced he would return for his junior season at Kansas instead of trying to make it in the NBA, the first thing that popped into my head was where Azubuike stood in KU’s record books in a few key areas.
Granted, because he missed all but 11 games of his freshman season and also missed time during his sophomore season, Azubuike has not exactly played the kind of games or logged the amount of minutes to make a real push for any of KU’s biggest records.
But surely there are some that, after a monster junior season, could be a factor for Azubuike, right?
And if that’s the case, couldn’t that be true for just about every scholarship player on KU’s roster?
I mean, we all can agree that Quentin Grimes isn’t going to finish his first year at Kansas — and possibly his only year here — as the school’s all-time leading scorer, but could he make a push for KU’s freshman scoring record?
Last year’s KU media guide featured 19 full pages of school records. So over the next several days, we’re going to take a look at (a) what records some of these guys might be closing in on, if any, and (b) which record(s) each KU player could realistically make a run at during the 2018-19 season.
Some of it might be a stretch. But, hey, it’s August, and even if some of what you’ll read in the next few days isn’t likely, it’s still kind of fun to think about the best case scenarios in a sort of what-if mentality.
Next up: Silvio De Sousa
During all of the growing pains that came with Silvio De Sousa adjusting from second-semester freshman who couldn’t play two minutes to key part of a team that reached the Final Four, there was one constant.
Mr. De Sousa has a very nice looking shooting stroke.
It shows up in warmups when he’s taking mid-range jumpers. It shows up in practice when he’s a little more free to extend his range and operating as a part of the scout team. And it most certainly shows up at the free throw line. Every. Single. Time.
Automatic it is not. After all, the 6-foot-9, 245-pound Angola native from IMG Academy did miss six of the 21 free throws he attempted last season. But even those misses looked good.
De Sousa’s form is so smooth and his repetition so precise that every time he raises the ball from his waste to his shoulders, it looks like the start of something that’s destined for the bottom of the net.
Because De Sousa enters his second season at Kansas much more comfortable with everything around him, one can only imagine that he will get more than 21 opportunities at the free throw line this season. And if he does, I don’t think it’s crazy to predict he could make most, if not all of them.
That brings us to the De Sousa record watch portion of this blog. And while it certainly is possible for De Sousa to do some serious work on the boards and set some kind of rebounding record, — my pick would be most rebounds in a single possession, though I haven’t found that stat in any of KU’s official record books — I like the free throw record as De Sousa’s most attainable this season.
Not most free throws. And not most attempts either.
I’m talking about most consecutive makes from the free throw line.
Sherron Collins owns the record today, making 36 in a row back in 2009. Wayne Simien is right behind him with 34 in a row in 2005.
That’s a lot. For anybody.
But I don’t think De Sousa making three or four a game for 10 or a 11 games straight is all that hard to picture. He’s not going to get many more attempts than that per game. And he’s not going to be a high-volume free throw shooter.
So his record, should he get it, will have to be pieced together over time. But, in some ways, that makes it easier to achieve, in my opinion.
Making a few a game over the course of a few weeks sounds much more doable than making 10 a game for three straight games.
Who knows? And it’s one of the more obscure record watch entries we’ve had so far. But De Sousa has the stroke to do it. He just needs the opportunity.
• Kansas Basketball Record Watch 2018-19 •