KU straw poll: Which players will emerge in 2010-11?
I made it around to 10 (of the 15) Kansas men's basketball players during 45 minutes at media day last week and was able to ask them their opinions for an anonymous poll. Players were allowed to vote for themselves.
The results are below. Question: Who will be this year's most improved player?
Thoughts: From all indications, Markieff has been one of the hardest workers during the offseason, so it's not too shocking that he received the most votes. If the one voter is right, and Marcus Morris is KU's most improved player for the second straight year, you'd have to think he'd be a lottery pick in 2011.
Question: Who is the best offensive player?
Thoughts: No votes for Josh Selby, huh? Marcus definitely deserves this distinction, though I didn't think he'd be a unanimous choice.
Question: Who is the best defensive player?
Thoughts: This surprised me quite a bit. I would have thought that Brady Morningstar would run away with this category because of his defensive reputation; Travis Releford must be wowing his teammates in practices and pickup games with his D.
Question: Who will be this year's surprise player?
Thoughts: Though this is similar to asking for the "most improved player," I figured there was enough distinction to ask a separate question. KU could definitely benefit from a more consistent Thomas Robinson, who showed flashes of potential a year ago. Mario Little and Elijah Johnson also are good picks to surprise, as it's tough to know what to expect from them because of limited playing time.
Question: Where is the toughest place to play in the Big 12?
Thoughts: I wasn't able to ask this to question to everyone, and for a few players, it didn't apply because they haven't been to Big 12 arenas yet. This tally seems about right. I'd agree that Bramlage has the best atmosphere when KU is playing there, though I can't blame the one player for picking Gallagher-Iba, either.