Commentary

Self has his best team at Kansas; how does the rest of the Big 12 look?

Originally Published: January 4, 2008
By Fran Fraschilla | Special to ESPN Insider

The very best


KansasKansas: 13-0
Jayhawk fans won't get excited until their reservations are made for the Final Four in San Antonio, but they should be excited about this team. It has got scoring depth (with five players in double figures), experience and arguably the best defense in the country. Kansas gives up 78 points for every 100 possessions, the second-best rate in college basketball. The Jayhawks turn teams over once every four trips down the floor because of outstanding defensive guards like Mario Chalmers and Russell Robinson.

Offensively, Darrell Arthur, Brandon Rush and Sherron Collins can carry the scoring load, but not to be overlooked is the improvement of Darnell Jackson and Sasha Kaun, both of whom have become a threat inside. And, the most clutch Jayhawk may be Chalmers, who handles pressure situations like a New York cabbie in rush hour traffic.

Bill Self won't get too excited but this is easily his best team since arriving in Lawrence. It should stay in the top five all season but -- and as he knows very well -- all that matters is what happens in March.

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Fran Fraschilla is a college basketball analyst for ESPN. He formerly was the head coach at Manhattan, St. John's and New Mexico.