Kansas University’s basketball team — which has been ranked preseason No. 13 by both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today — has been tapped No. 11 nationally by hoops guru Ken Pomeroy.
Pomeroy, who has a legion of fans who follow his RPI ratings, believes KU will finish the regular season with a 22-7 overall record, 13-5 in Big 12 games. Pomeroy has KU finishing two games ahead of Baylor (11-7) and Missouri (11-7). He has Texas A&M, Texas and Kansas State tied for fourth at 10-8.
According to kenpom.com, KU will lose to Kentucky in New York and Ohio State in Allen Fieldhouse, and also fall at Texas, Missouri, Baylor, Kansas State and Texas A&M. The MU and Baylor road games are Feb. 4 and 8, respectively.
Favorites: Sportsillustrated.cnn.com’s Andy Glockner picks KU to win its eighth-straight league title. Texas A&M is second, followed by Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas, Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
“If you want to be the champ, you have to beat the champ, and very few have done that over the years in this league,” Glockner writes. “These Jayhawks do not have the talent level of recent KU clubs, but with the rest of the challengers having questions of their own, the Jayhawks are the prudent default choice. Thomas Robinson steps into the frontcourt limelight and will try to make up for the loss of Markieff and Marcus Morris. The backcourt still has senior lead guard Tyshawn Taylor and junior Elijah Johnson. Can a three-man core win a league as deep as the Big 12? Depends on the contributions of players like Travis Releford and Loyola Marymount transfer Kevin Young, as well as what they can wean from a lower-profile freshman class that lost Ben McLemore and Jamari Taylor to eligibility issues (until next season). The Jayhawks could go 15-3 or 10-8 and neither would be a complete surprise. With Bill Self and Allen Fieldhouse as the guides, something closer to the former seems more likely,” Glockner added.
Ellis to ink Wednesday: Perry Ellis, a 6-foot-8 senior forward from Wichita Heights High School, will sign a national letter of intent with KU at 8 a.m. Wednesday in a ceremony at the Wichita City League school. Wednesday is the first day of the weeklong early signing period. Ellis is Rivals.com’s No. 24-rated player nationally. Zach Peters, a 6-9 senior from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, is also expected to sign with KU that day. He’s the country’s No. 144-rated player. He orally committed to KU as a sophomore.
Shabazz to wait until April: No. 1-rated Shabazz Muhammad will not choose a school in the early-signing period. Muhammad, a 6-6, 215-pound senior guard from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, has officially visited Texas A&M and Kentucky and made an unofficial to Southern California on Friday/Saturday. He’s expected to visit Duke for the North Carolina game on March 3, according to Zagsblog.com, and also is considering UCLA, UNLV and others.
Muhammad’s dad, Ron Holmes, told jayhawkslant.com that Muhammad will visit KU.
“It’s a done deal (visiting KU), but we just have to figure out what game,” Holmes said.
White update: Andrew White, a 6-6 senior from Miller School in Chester, Va., is expected to sign with a school during the early period. Rivals.com’s No. 56-rated player has visited KU, Louisville and West Virginia officially as well as North Carolina State and Richmond unofficially. Georgetown just recently offered a scholarship, according to jayhawkslant.com.
Here’s Rivals.com analyst Jerry Meyer’s take on the situation:
“There is no doubt that losing Kaleb Tarczewski to Arizona was a painful recruiting loss for Kansas. But as the cliché goes, you win some and you lose some. So the Kansas staff will keep plugging along on the recruiting front. The main thing I’m hearing about Kansas is that the Jayhawks are moving into a strong position in the recruitment of Andrew White. It is tough to get a gauge on exactly how White feels about his other schools.”