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 Thursday, January 13
Blue Ribbon Yearbook

LOCATION: Lawrence, KS
LAST SEASON: 23-10 (.690)
NICKNAME: Jayhawks
COLORS: Crimson & Blue
HOMECOURT: Allen Field House (16,300)
COACH: Roy Williams (North Carolina '72)
record at school 305-72 (11 years)
career record 305-72 (11 years)
ASSISTANTS: Neil Dougherty (Cameron '84)
Joe Holladay (Oklahoma '69)
Ben Miller (Luther '91)
TEAM WINS: (last 5 years) 25-29-34-35-23
RPI (last 5 years) 3-4-1-7-15
1998-99 FINISH: Lost in NCAA second round.

ESPN.com Clubhouse

Last season was unlike any other in Roy Williams' 11 years, which was to be expected. Kansas operated without a player who would be an All-America or a first-round draft pick for the first time in six years. Less was expected and, in a 23-10 season that fell 11 victories short of the previous year, less was delivered.

That didn't make 1998-99 unsatisfying. Ultimately, it was for the Jayhawks. In what was seen as a "bridge" year, Kansas finished second in the Big 12, won the conference tournament and threw a major scare into Kentucky before falling in the second round of the NCAAs.

Where Kansas teams of the past sat dejectedly in the loser's locker room, pushing back tears over an upset tournament loss, this one felt pretty good about itself. It would have felt a lot better had Ryan Robertson not passed up a jumper in the lane for a dish to an unprepared Kenny Gregory as the final seconds ticked away in regulation against Kentucky. Gregory caught the pass, but lofted an airball ensuring overtime when the Wildcats won it.

But Williams could live with this ending. The Jayhawks had played well down the stretch, went 4-1 in postseason and had a chance to pull off a big upset in March.

As usual, the postseason was as interesting off the court for Kansas as it was on. You can read about the Lester Earl saga below.

The Jayhawks found themselves engulfed in another publicity swirl when a North Carolina writer asserted a gentlemen's deal had been struck to return Williams to his alma mater when Bill Guthridge stepped down. Implied was that the Tar Heels' first-round exit to Weber State might hasten the transaction.

Blue Ribbon Analysis

Roy Williams has talked about altering some philosophies to take advantage of his talent. He said he'll consider using UCLA's high post offense and the triple post of Tex Winter and the vintage Chicago Bulls.

It's interesting Williams would suggest a shift in thought. It means he has a team he likes.

It's easy to like this team later in the season. Early on, the Jayhawks may take some lumps. They're overscheduled, as usual, with December games against Michigan State and Ohio State. But Kansas gets the nod over Oklahoma State and Texas as the league favorite.

Now the trick is get past the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It seems like eons ago that Kansas had its five-year run of Sweet 16s (1993-1997). It's strange not having the Jayhawks around for the second weekend.

This team should be there.

Typically, the story was generated and spread by folks who know much more about the North Carolina program than Williams, who dismissed the talk immediately. Then he used the occasion of the team's annual basketball banquet to further solidify his commitment to Kansas.

"The best thing is the people here," Williams said. "They understand. They trust me. I think I've shown loyalty to the Kansas people for 11 years when I've had other opportunities to go and make a heck of a lot more money. I don't know what else I can do.

"You should never say never. I don't know what tomorrow is going to bring, and I'm not going to paint myself in a corner. At the same time, I've shown my loyalty and I get sick and tired of listening to that stuff."

In some of his strongest comments on his status in an interview with the Kansas City Star, Williams talked about how his feelings for Kansas have deepened over the years.

"I cannot paint a scenario that would entice me to leave because I don't know that there is one," he said. "That's saying it as plain as I can.

"Money has never gotten it done. The pro game has never gotten it done. I've never been enticed by the college game to go somewhere else. I love Lawrence."

And the Kansas community loves Williams, even after last year's inconsistent regular season. In the previous nine years, the Jayhawks had lost consecutive games only once. It happened twice last year. Kansas won at Missouri, then lost at Massachusetts. The Jayhawks defeated Big 12 regular season champion Texas, then lost at home to the Tigers.

The entire season was one big hesitation. The first sign of trouble came in early December when Iowa overcame an 18-point, second-half deficit to defeat the Jayhawks in Allen Field House, ending the program's 62-game home floor streak. Kansas blew double-digit second-half leads in three other losses (Nebraska at home, at Texas Tech, at Iowa State). The loss to the Cyclones was particularly galling to Williams, who uncharacteristically closed the locker room doors for 20 minutes after the game.

How did it happen? Many reasons.

For starters, there was no Paul Pierce or Raef LaFrentz to provide the instant offense to stop an opponent's runs. The Jayhawks never developed the kind of "go-to" player who could break down the defense when the shot clock ticked down to single digits. Point guard Jeff Boschee gets credit for trying, and his late three-pointer did beat Colorado, but on other occasions he came up empty.

Boschee was good enough to nip Missouri guard Keyon Dooling as the league's top freshman, and he went on to become the MVP of the conference tournament. With Ryan Robertson gone, it becomes Boschee's team.

It should be a good one, better than last year, not as good as the recent 34- and 35-victory teams. A freshman, forward Nick Collison, could start. Other newcomers like swingman Luke Axtell could make a big impact. Williams is talking about tinkering with the offense to adjust to his personnel, a near-radical suggestion from this branch of the Dean Smith coaching tree.

Whatever changes, Kansas remains on firm ground. The Jayhawks likely will be the choice in the Big 12, where they've won every league tournament and two of the three regular season championships. And, just as important to Kansas followers, Williams says he's happy where he is.

(6-1, 185 lbs., SO, PG, #13, 10.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.7 apg, 29.4 minutes, .385 FG, .356 3PT, .739 FT, Valley City HS/Valley City, N.D.)

He became the first freshman to start at point guard for Kansas since Jacque Vaughn and only the fourth freshman to start all season under Williams. The others Vaughn, Raef LaFrentz and Paul Pierce were NBA first-round draft picks.

Boschee's rookie season was similar to Vaughn's in this respect: He took over a team in transition. Vaughn played with the guys who had been in Final Fours. Boschee played with some guys who had been on 30-plus victory teams. Vaughn shared the backcourt spotlight with a senior shooting guard named Steve Woodberry. Boschee did it with Ryan Robertson.

Vaughn won a game in Allen Field House with a dramatic three-pointer to beat Indiana. Boschee beat Colorado in a similar fashion. A difference: Boschee shot much more than Vaughn and sees himself as more of a scorer. Unfortunately for Kansas, turnovers (110) came nearly as often as field goals (124) and assists (121). Then, there was his defense.

"I don't want this to sound bad," Boschee said. "But, defensively, everyone is so much quicker than they were back home (in North Dakota)."

Ya' think? But for a kid from small town North Dakota, Boschee did quite well for himself. He led Big 12 freshmen in scoring, assists and three-pointers, set a KU freshman record for treys with 79, won the league's top freshman award and was named most outstanding player of the Big 12 Tournament.

The assist-turnover ratio should improve with experience. And, while his .356 percentage from behind the arc was acceptable, he is capable of better. But Boschee could be proud of his rookie season.

(7-0, 245 lbs., JR, C, #44, 13.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.0 apg, 2.4 bpg, 28.7 minutes, .448 FG, .739 FT, Villa Park HS/Orange, Calif.)

The Kansas big man is on schedule. He didn't win the team's MVP (it went to Ryan Robertson), but Chenowith led Kansas in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. Had Paul Pierce returned for his senior year, Chenowith could have spent his sophomore year out of the spotlight. As it was, he clearly was KU's "go-to" player when Boschee and Robertson weren't taking three-pointers.

For the most part, Chenowith delivered. He made second-team All-Big 12 and was one of the league's most improved players. He was capable of scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds every game. But he also could be bothered by smaller, quicker centers.

The one statistic totally unacceptable for this seven-footer is his field-goal percentage. Chenowith likes to roam outside and he's good enough from the perimeter to take the occasional jumper. But he relied on that shot too often last year. More of his points must come from inside, and they probably will if Collison can develop at power forward.

Without a doubt, Chenowith is the team's best surfer. He's so good that Williams worries when Chenowith goes home. The tide is obviously better in Southern California than Lawrence.

"I hate sending him home," Williams said. "I'm afraid he'll go right to the beach."

He does, but Chenowith has always returned. Surf board stays home.

(6-6, 190 lbs., SR, SF, #21, 9.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 27.1 minutes, .513 FG, .250 3PT, .602 FG, Fayetteville HS/Fayetteville, Ark.)

The Jimmie Walker look-alike has become the team's emotional leader. He could end up being the team's only starting senior and wind up sharing time with transfer Luke Axtell.

Bradford's a lefty, thin and doesn't shoot it well from the perimeter, but can play three or four positions. Although he can get pushed around when playing power forward, Bradford's long arms allow him to defend bigger players.

Even though he grew up in Fayetteville, the Razorbacks didn't come hard after him. When Arkansas didn't make Bradford a priority, leaving seemed like the best option.

When JaRon Rush backed off his commitment from Kansas to attend UCLA two years ago, one of the reasons he cited was Roy Williams' substitution patterns. What he meant was, he didn't want to go some place where he couldn't play 30 minutes right away and cited the part-time status of Bradford as an example.

The funny thing is, Bradford enjoys his role. He came off the bench for two years, and will end up starting the final two. That's what all college players used to do.

(6-5, 215 lbs., JR, SG, #20, 11.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, 25.3 minutes, .470 FG, .314 3PT, .478 FT, Independence HS/Columbus, Oh.)

At times, he's the best player on the floor. At other times, he seems lost. Undoubtedly, Gregory prefers the open court and struggles once a game settles into a halfcourt battle.

The season started with much promise. Gregory had 18 points in a victory over Gonzaga (a victory that looked more impressive in mid-March than in November), and after nine games led the Jayhawks with a 16.2 average that included a 27-point effort against Southern Cal.

Then, suddenly, Gregory fell into a month-long slump. He lost his starting position and returned to the role-playing status of his freshman season. Around mid-season, he sounded dejected over the whole thing.

"The whole day I just sit there looking for an explanation for why, so maybe I could deal with it a little better," he said. "But there's no particular reason why I'm not doing the things I should be doing."

Ballhandling is one area that keeps Gregory from moving to the next level. He committed 57 turnovers (56 assists), many times losing the ball while trying to dribble through traffic.

But Gregory's upside is tremendous. Nobody in the Big 12 has his leaping ability and, when Kansas found itself in the doldrums and needed somebody to create a basket, Gregory usually got the call and got the basket. Williams needs to find a way to adjust the offense to Gregory's special abilities.

(6-9, 230 lbs., FR, PF, #4, 22.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 5.0 bpg, 3.0 apg, 2.0 spg, Iowa Falls HS/Iowa Falls, Ia.)

Collison is projected to fill the role left by T.J. Pugh. He would be the fifth player to start as a freshman under Williams.

According to recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons, Collison is the most fundamentally sound big man in this year's class. Which means he didn't dunk a lot during summer camps. Gibbons also said he was more athletic in high school than two-time All-America Raef LaFrentz, also from small-town Iowa.

Collison will give the Jayhawks more versatility at the power forward position. T.J. Pugh was a workhorse but didn't have a green, or even yellow, light from outside. Collison is a good shooter, whose 230-pound frame also will let him score around the basket. Perhaps his most important adjustment will be rebounding.

Once the Big 12 wars begin, Collison could get tossed around like a beanbag and must learn to shove back. Indeed, much of Collison's summer was spent in the weight room.

But there's a lot to like here. Collison's dad, Dave, is a high school coach, so Nick grew up well-schooled. His Iowa Falls HS team went undefeated over his final two years, so he knows how to win.

Collison should take some defensive pressure off Chenowith. With Pugh and Lester Earl at power forward last year, defenses could cheat and stuff the middle. The Jayhawks endured long scoring droughts partly because little came easily on the inside. If Collison is as good as advertised, that should change.

(6-9, 210 lbs., JR, G-F, #33, 13.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 28.7 minutes, .428 FG, .393 3PT, .737 FT in 1997-98 at Texas, Westlake HS/Austin, Tex.)

Axtell could start, as he did as a Texas freshman. But Kansas probably would prefer to have a gun come off the bench. And even if Axtell doesn't start, he'll probably rank third or fourth in minutes played, subbing for Gregory at shooting guard and Bradford at small forward. However, his Jayhawk debut is on hold for the time being because of a broken bone in his left (non-shooting) hand. He is expected to be healthy by the season opener.

The guy can shoot. At Texas, there were no limits on his game, which wasn't always a good thing. The Longhorns were capable of 18-0 runs in which Axtell would bury three straight from behind the arc. They were also capable of getting outscored 18-0 with Axtell missing three straight.

Axtell won't have the opportunity to miss three in a row like that at Kansas, a program he chose in part to help him find discipline in his game.

Defense is where Axtell needs to find himself most. If he doesn't stay with his man, occasionally a problem in Austin, he'll find himself on the bench. He also needs to become a better ballhandler.

Kansas could field a lineup of Boschee, Gregory, Axtell, Collison and Chenowith that could be the most productive Williams has ever had. They may not stop anybody from scoring, but they'd be fun to watch.

(6-8, 245 lbs., SR, F, #3, 4.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 13.9 minutes, .486 FG, .550 FT, Glen Oaks HS/Baton Rouge, La. & Louisiana State)

The one place Kansas didn't want to land in the NCAA Tournament was New Orleans, a mere 90 miles from Earl's hometown. Controversy had followed Earl since his high school days, through his short stay at LSU and now at Kansas. The farther away from New Orleans and the circus it would bring, the better.

So, on Selection Sunday, when the brackets revealed the Midwest pairings at New Orleans, there was Kansas as the sixth seed.

The Jayhawks said all the right things. It's Roy Williams' favorite town, site of North Carolina's 1982 championship when he was an assistant. Earl would pick the restaurants.

But from a fan reaction standpoint, it was a miserable few days for Kansas. It probably would have become more of a national story had it not been for the Minnesota mess that was unfolding at the same time. As it was, it was big doings in the Bayou, and deservedly so, said LSU fans.

After all, Earl ratted on the hometown Tigers, got them on probation and skated. It seemed many in the Superdome had clicked the turnstile just to boo, shake car keys and wave money at Earl.

"I thought it was great," Earl said after KU's opening-round victory over Evansville. "I didn't think I had that many friends. It's nice to know they're thinking about me."

Williams had attempted a pre-emptive strike. The day before leaving for New Orleans, he opened up about the problems Earl had caused while at Kansas.

Mostly, it has to do with perception. Earl was driving around in a $35,000 Yukon. He had been hanging with rap musician/sports agent Master P. Did Master P. buy the truck and finance trips to Los Angeles last summer?

Williams and Earl say no. The car was purchased by a family friend. Earl said he paid for the Los Angeles trip and was hanging out with former Kansas player Paul Pierce, not Master P. Williams had Earl talk with the school's compliance people and told him he wouldn't play for the Jayhawks until he could confirm Earl's stories.

The day Williams' story appeared in print, former LSU coach Dale Brown granted an interview to a Kansas City radio station and, among other things, accused the Kansas coaches of illegally inducing Earl to transfer. Brown said former KU assistant coach Matt Doherty had telephoned Earl in his final days at LSU during halftime of a KU game in early January, 1997. A week later, Earl showed up at Kansas.

Brown said he sent a report on Earl to the NCAA, Sports Illustrated and HBO, and that his mission was to change the system. Immunity "should not be granted to people who knowingly and blatantly violate NCAA rules," Brown said. "I violated them on several occasions at LSU, all to do with human dignity."

The war of words was on. "Ludicrous," Kansas athletic director Bob Frederick said. As for the phone call during a game, check the phone records, the Jayhawks said.

All this for a power forward with damaged knees who averaged 4.9 ppg and 3.4 rpg. Earl missed a total of 11 games because of ankle problems and December knee surgery. The troubles deprived Earl of his greatest strength, leaping ability. He was never more than a role player. Earl actually contributed more the previous year, when he averaged 7.6 ppg and 6.5 rpg.

Meanwhile, the NCAA's verdict was upheld. LSU was slapped with probation for giving Earl a $5,000 cash payment while recruiting him, and Earl walked because he was granted immunity for ratting on the Tigers. You could understand where LSU fans were coming from in New Orleans.

Earl remains in Lawrence for a final season, a year he received from the Collegiate Commissioners Association when Kansas protested LSU's refusal to release him from his scholarship. And, as long as Earl suits up for Kansas, there will be questions about his background and his friends.

As for Kansas becoming a haven for the wayward, a case can be made. Texas transfer Luke Axtell is also on the roster. Coach Tom Penders lost his job when an assistant coach leaked Axtell's grades to a radio station.

Don't expect Williams to change his philosophy on transfers. Players like Jerod Haase (California) and Rex Walters (Northwestern) worked out just fine. Axtell couldn't get along with his coaches.

Earl is a different story. Trouble followed Earl as the new school year started. He was arrested by Lawrence police for failing to appear in court concerning a traffic ticket.

No big deal?

(6-3, 180 lbs., SO, G, #24, 4.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.7 apg, 14.7 minutes, .443 FG, .320 3PT, 692 FT, St. Joseph's HS/Broadview, Ill.)

London moved along at freshman speed early, stealing a few minutes here and there, getting most of his points in blowout victories, showing some promise but not really turning heads.

Then, when the Jayhawks visited Missouri in an early Big 12 game, early impressions got a major upgrade. In a hostile place, London went for 10 points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes as Kansas surprised the Tigers.

"I don't think he realized how good he can be," Williams said.

London is a leaper and can shoot from the perimeter. He is fast and has long arms that allow him to guard larger players. He could create quite a logjam at the shooting guard position.

(6-9, 230 lbs., JR, F, #22, 1.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 5.5 minutes, .533 FG, .615 FT, Camdenton HS/Camdenton, Mo.)

If he's your last big man off the bench, you've got a good team.

Carey did everything asked of him a year ago and wasn't afraid to shoot when called upon. He scored six points in eight minutes against Kansas State, eight in 13 minutes against Texas A&M. He shot 53.3 percent, which is pretty good when you consider he usually checked in late in the first half.

The K-State effort was particularly impressive. He hadn't gotten off the bench in the previous three games.

Carey got a lot of time when Lester Earl was injured. His dad, Ray Bob, played at Missouri.

(6-9, 225 lbs., FR, F, #0, 18.5 ppg, 13.0 rpg, 3 bpg, Richmond HS/Richmond, Calif.)

Yet another Californian. The Jayhawks seemed to have California (Vaughn, Pierce, Chenowith) and Iowa (LaFrentz, Collison, Kirk Hinrich) locked up.

Gooden is shaped like Collison and they have similar games. Collison emerged from the evaluation camps with a higher rating, but who knows what that means? Gooden is good enough that he figures to work immediately into a frontcourt rotation that also includes Chenowith, Collison and Earl.

Like Collison, Gooden is a better outside shooter than any player the Jayhawks have had at power forward, but he needs to develop as a rebounder and banger.

(6-3, 175 lbs., FR, G, #10, 23.2 ppg, 6.7 apg, 4.2 steals, .580 FG, Sioux City West HS/Sioux City, Ia.)

Back to Iowa for another recruit. Hinrich can play either guard spot, but it looks like the Jayhawks need a solid backup for Boschee at the point.

Hinrich, like the other two freshman recruits, said shooting is his greatest strength. He has the ability to get his own shot.

The Kansas recruiting class was generally rated among the nation's top 30, but cracked nobody's top 10. Yet this may be Williams' best class in his 11 years. Everybody is ticketed for immediatel playing time, with Collison starting and Hinrich and Gooden in top reserve roles.

That's not happened under Williams.

(6-8, 210 lbs., SR, F, #32, 1.1 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 4.1 minutes, .318 FG, .222 FT, Scripps Ranch HS/San Diego, Calif., University of Utah & Canada JC, Calif.)

Kansas was Johnson's third school in three years and, after sitting out the first half of last season recovering from knee surgery, he didn't get much opportunity to prove himself.

He hurt himself during the program's late night scrimmage to open practice. Then, Johnson never got more than eight minutes in a game. Conditioning was a problem.

This year, Johnson will have a tough battle for minutes in the frontcourt rotation.

(6-0, 170 lbs., SR, G, #5, 0.6 ppg, 0.4 rpg, 4.0 minutes, .188 FG, .133 3PT, .714 FT, Raytown HS/Raytown, Mo.)

"Noon-ball" got his chance at the beginning of last season as Boschee's primary backup. He had a nice start, with 14 points and no turnovers in his first four games. Eventually, Nooner lost his job and in one stretch didn't get off the bench in 10 of 14 games.

After that opening four-game salvo, Nooner didn't hit another field goal.

(6-3, 180 lbs., SO, G, #12, 0.4 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 2.8 minutes, .250 FG, .750 FT, Horton HS/Horton, Kan.)

The only Kansas resident on the roster, Crider will fight for minutes again this season. His one field goal came early last year, in the annual walkover against Fort Hays State.


(6-5, SG, 12.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.2 apg, 35.3 minutes, .439 FG, .370 3PT, .871 FT)

Rick and Ilsa will always have Paris; Robertson will always have New Orleans. In the most glorious day of his career, his final game in a Kansas uniform, Robertson fired in 31 points in the NCAA Tournament loss to Kentucky. He was the best player on the floor that day, and it made you wonder where the kind of production was throughout a career that produced a 7.3 scoring average.

That game may have gotten Robertson drafted. Although he was only third-team All-Conference, Robertson was the first Big 12 player selected in June, picked by Sacramento with the 45th overall choice.

The final game punctuated a steady career. He never missed a game or practice. His 142 career games ranks second at KU to Danny Manning's 147. He finished his career ranked in the top 10 in assists, three-pointers and free-throw percentage. In the postseason, Robertson scaled the 1,000-point career mark. He did it all while accumulating a 3.65 GPA and was named academic All-America.

Robertson was never spectacular, just solid from the day he arrived as one of Missouri's all-time best high school players. He ticked off the Tigers by coming to Kansas and always played to a chorus of boos in Columbia.

Along the way, Robertson's teams won three conference championships and three league tournaments. His teams never lost to Kansas State, Colorado, Oklahoma State or Texas, compiling a combined 25-0 record. His teams went 121-21 in four seasons, the second-best victory span and winning percentage (.850) in school history.

And the program didn't have a better spokesman. Robertson became known as a "go-to" guy in the locker room. After his home finale, in which he missed eight of 10 from the field but knocked in the winning free-throw with no time left to beat Oklahoma State, Robertson was asked who would portray him in a movie.

"Who's a second-rate actor?" Robertson said. "Because I don't feel like Tom Cruise. I didn't shoot very well. So I guess I'm like Adam Sandler."

He and his quips will be missed.

(6-8, PF, 4.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 22.8 minutes, .496 FG, .589 FT, 0.4 bpg)

Like teammate Ryan Robertson, Pugh picked the NCAA Tournament to turn in the best game of his career. In the regional opener against Evansville, Pugh recorded a career best 15 points and 10 rebounds to set the tone for an easier-than-expected triumph.

"Nice," Pugh said afterwards. "But I've never been too big on stats. I don't think we're at our best when I'm scoring points."

Refreshing honesty, and he's right. If Kansas had to find Pugh to score, the Jayhawks were in trouble. Pugh finished with fewer than 600 career points. Only one scholarship player who completed four years under Williams had fewer.

Part of Pugh problems were injuries. He didn't get in a full season without banging, pulling or twisting something to reduce his playing time. He had ankle surgery in October and during the season dislodged a tooth, cut a chin, injured his right thumb and left foot.

Injuries kept Pugh from fulfilling the promise he showed as Nebraska's high school player of the year in 1995. He didn't jump as high or shoot as well as he did in high school. But during his four years at Kansas, nobody played harder and played in as much pain as Pugh, and for that he was always a fan favorite.

(6-3, G, 0.8 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 12 appearances)

Janisse came to Kansas figuring to challenge for the backup point guard role. But he wasn't ready to make the jump from community college in California to high level Division I and played only 70 minutes in 1997-98.

It only got worse for Janisse last year as freshman Jeff Boschee became the starting point and the Jayhawks went with others to fill in the cracks. Janisse played in only 12 games. He made both of his three-point attempts.

(6-2, G, 0.4 ppg, seven appearances)

A practice player who scored his only points last season by making a three-pointer against Southern California.

Martin was a walk-on who grew up in Lawrence, so it was a thrill for him to be on the team. He also helped the team GPA and was named honorable mention academic All-Big 12.

Continuity? Although nine of the top 11 scorers return, newcomers will play prominent roles this season.

Toughness? In the frontcourt, mostly. Chenowith is a solid rebounder and shot-blocker, but he can be moved out of position.

Shooting? It's only a question because of the returning players. The Jayhawks lost their top three-point shooter (Robertson) and a player who usually shot only near the basket.

Youth! In Axtell, Collison, Gooden and Hinrich, the Jayhawks may have the best crop of newcomers in the Big 12.

Chenowith! In a conference that also includes Texas center Chris Mihm, Chenowith sometimes gets lost in the publicity shuffle. But he is an excellent player, perhaps a future lottery pick.

Scoring! It shouldn't be a problem for the Jayhawks. Preventing scoring could be the problem.

The 19th edition of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook is on sale now. To order, call 800-828-HOOP (4667), or visit their web site at http://www.collegebaskets.com

 Dick Vitale previews Kansas.
RealVideo:  | 28.8

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