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Kansas Gets Silvio De Sousa Back, But 2020 NCAA Tournament Odds Still +1800

NCAA Basketball
Can Bill Self get the Kansas Jayhawks back on track after a down year? Photo By Dirk (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • Silvio De Sousa has been ruled eligible for the upcoming season
  • The Kansas Jayhawks didn’t win the Big 12 for the first time in 15 seasons
  • Kansas is at +1800 to win the 2020 NCAA Tournament

It’s been a long, winding journey for Kansas Jayhawks forward Silvio De Sousa, but he’s finally cleared to play.

But the Jayhawks’ NCAA Tournament Championship Odds still sit at +1800, as sportsbooks don’t feel this moves the needle. Are the Jayhawks a good bet at this point?

2020 NCAA Tournament Odds

Team Odds at Bovada
Michigan State +650
Kentucky +750
Duke +750
Virginia +800
North Carolina +1200
Villanova +1400
Gonzaga +1600
Michigan +1800
Kansas +1800
Louisville +2500

*Odds taken 05/25/2019

Silvio De Sousa Wins His Appeal, Eligible To Play

Last February, he was ruled ineligible to play for the remainder of the 2019 season and also the 2019-20 season. However, the school appealed and won, and now De Sousa is clear to play next season.

De Sousa, who is from Angola, is still a fairly raw prospect but we know what he’s capable of. He played 20 of 23 games in the 2017-18 season as Kansas made a run to the Final Four. As unpolished as he was, he still showed that he can be an efficient scorer inside and an elite rebounder.

Jayhawks Frontcourt Is Loaded

There’s no question that Kansas has a lot to figure out but with De Sousa cleared, Udoka Azubuike back along with former McDonald’s All-American David McCormack, they appear to have the best crop of centers in the country. The question is: can any of these guys slide over to the four and play power forward?

If not, it’s conceivable that De Sousa really doesn’t have a huge impact on the season. Azubuike will soak up most of the starter’s minutes and then McCormack and De Sousa will be left to fight for scraps.

It’s not a bad situation for the team but it’s just meant to highlight that the return of De Sousa may not be as huge as everyone perceives. He has to develop a shot from range. If he can prove he can space the floor, he’ll find plenty of work.

Plenty Of Talent Returning

Don’t fret too much about the Jayhawks quandary in the front court. Many teams would like to have the problem of having too much talent and few can do a better job of sorting out the roles than Bill Self.

Devon Dotson headlines a returning group that includes Ochai Agbaji, Marcus Garrett and Mitch Lightfoot. In terms of recruiting the Jayhawks are hoping to land R.J. Hampton, who is the sixth-ranked player in this year’s class, according to Rivals.com.

The team could also get Quentin Grimes back if he pulls out of the NBA Draft. The former McDonald’s All-American is still making his decision, but getting him back and adding Hampton would make this a really stacked team.

What’s The Best Bet?

The Jayhawks are a team I like at +1800. Normally, this team is in and around the +1000 range but they’re fresh off a bad year. The 2019-20 team will – at the very least – be elite in terms of rebounding and defense. We saw as much while Azubuike was healthy last season.

Do they have a solution at power forward? It’s probably not quite clear yet but there’s plenty of talent around. Do they have the necessary shooting? That’s a big question mark although Agbaji did well before slumping down the stretch. And recruits like Isaac McBride or Christian Braun could fill the role.

It’s best to wait a week to bet this as Grimes and Dotson are making their NBA decisions shortly, while Hampton also makes his commitment. If this team gets all three back including Hampton (and more importantly, keeps him away from Texas Tech), they’ll be the top dog in the Big 12 again in my view. At that point, they’re worth a bet at +1800.

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