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ESPN’s Jay Bilas Talks Duke, Kansas And College B-Ball’s Freshmen Class

by Mark Seidel
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Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Yarbro-135 Mark Yarbro
Mark was born in Gastonia, NC on August 14th, 1967. He graduated from...
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Jay Bilas joined Yarbs and Killer to discuss the college basketball games last night, who the front runners are to cut down the nets this year,  Jabari Parker vs. Andrew Wiggins and how good is Julius Randle?

On The Contenders:
Kansas. “[Kansas does] such a good job of getting the ball inside and they play angles real well,” said Bilas. “They reverse the ball and as they do their big guys will move you up the lane. So if you get up the high side of them, they’re going to reverse the ball and they’re gonna spin you up the lane and they’re going to throw the ball to the corner of the backboard. And they get so many easy opportunities as a result of that and pick up a lot of fouls. They do a great job of it. I was just really impressed with their transition game, they can really run.”

Duke. “As good as I think Duke is, and I think they’re really good, the one thing they’re going to have a problem with the remainder of the year is rebounding,” said Bilas. “They’ve got to compete on the backboards, and if they can’t do that, that’s going to be a limiting factor for them.”

Kentucky. “I think they’re super talented. I thought Michigan State’s game plan was magnificent. They really packed it in they protected the elbow and the block and in that dribble-drive motion offense that John Calipari uses, when they send a cutter through, what Tom Izzo did was just have the cutter’s defender stay at the free throw line and try to cut out that drive and then recover if there was a pass out. I thought it was really brilliant and it worked really well.”

“They went to more of a post-up game to go to Julius Randle. As well as Michigan State played, this is how talented Kentucky is: Kentucky had a -10 turnover margin and that led to a lot of easy baskets for Michigan State and they missed 16 free throws and they only lost by four. They shore up those things and you’re looking at a Final Four team.”

On Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins:
Jabari Parker: “With Parker I saw kind of a Carmelo Anthony or bigger Grant Hill type player who can do everything out there. He’s really good and I don’t think he’s as good as he’s going to be. They were using him as the ball handler in pick-and-roll situations and he was making plays. That was the best game he’s played since he’s been at Duke.”

Andrew Wiggins: “Uber-talented; he’s so athletic. I don’t think he’s quite as skilled as some of these other guys, but his growth curve is gigantic. I think he’s going to continue to get better. And he’s a really nice kid. He doesn’t seem to have the dominant personality yet. But heck, he’s averaging 19 points and shooting 58% in his first two guys. Not a lot of guys are doing that out of the gate. He’s gonna be really good.”

To hear more of Bilas’ thoughts on reducing the shot clock, his belief that referees should call more fouls and deeper thoughts on the contenders throughout the league, click the audio above.

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