Sizing up the state of KU's point guard play with McBride out of the picture
Kansas coach Bill Self used the word “disappointed” when talking about freshman Issac McBride’s decision to leave the program last week.
But don’t for a second let that lead you to believe the Jayhawks are in bad shape at point guard moving forward.
For one, they still have Devon Dotson, who has only gotten better this offseason and proved during his freshman year that he was capable of playing darn near the entire game if needed.
Beyond that, Dotson is an all-Big 12 guard who could be in the mix for player of the year and a future pro. That’s always a good place to start when talking about the player that makes your team go.
In a perfect world, Dotson would get some rest throughout the regular season so that he’s as fresh as possible when the games really start to count.
And the way the KU roster is constructed, this could be about as close to a perfect world as you’re going to see. Translation: With all of that size and depth that can be utilized to wear opponents down, the Jayhawks may be able to build leads big enough to keep Dotson from having the play the final five or six minutes of at least a handful of games.
Add to that the two or three minutes here and there that he’ll get to rest during the normal flow of the games — Dotson averaged 32.4 minutes per game a season ago — and you’re looking at a sophomore point guard who is poised to play closer to 30 minutes a game this season than 40.
That’s good for both Dotson and the team, long term, and it should be more than doable.
But what about those games when Dotson encounters early foul trouble and has to sit? Who plays point for the Jayhawks then?
A few weeks ago, the automatic answer to that question in the eyes of most Kansas fans likely would have been McBride.
But in actuality, it might really have been Marcus Garrett all along.
Here’s why and how.
Not only has Garrett become one of the best initiators of KU’s offense on the roster during the past year or so, but he also has played the position before.
Recruited as a combo guard out of Skyline High in Dallas, Garrett played almost exclusively with the ball in his hands during his prep and AAU days before coming to Kansas. And he has shown increasing comfort playing with the ball in his hands during his years as a Jayhawk, as well.
Why this works this time around is because of the overall depth at Garrett’s primary position.
With Ochai Agbaji, Isaiah Moss, Jalen Wilson, Christian Braun and Tristan Enaruna all capable of playing that third guard spot, plugging Garrett in there is not nearly as crucial this season as it has been in years past.
What’s more at least two of those players mentioned above also can slide in and play Garrett’s role at the 4, if and when the Jayhawks elect to play small during the 2019-20 season.
Garrett at the point is not a long term fix for the Jayhawks. But he is comfortable with the ball in his hands, he can guard opposing point guards and as long as Dotson stays healthy he’ll only need to play it for a short time each game if at all.
There is another point guard on KU’s roster, and his long-term outlook is sky high, but the plan is still for freshman Dajuan Harris to redshirt the 2019-20 season.