Tuesday, January 25, 2022

College basketball rankings: Kansas remains No. 5 in Top 25 And 1 as David McCormack shines off the bench

College basketball rankings: Kansas remains No. 5 in Top 25 And 1 as David McCormack shines off the bench

McCormack scored 17 points and posted a career-high in rebounds in Tuesday’s win over Oklahoma State

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CBS Sports Graphic

David McCormack is a 6-foot-10, 250-pound senior at Kansas who has struggled, relatively speaking, for much of this season. He’s averaging fewer points, fewer rebounds and shooting a lower percentage from the field than he did last season. So, after 12 mostly underwhelming games, KU coach Bill Self removed McCormack from the starting lineup on Tuesday.

It was an adjustment that worked.

“Everyone embraced it,” McCormack told reporters afterward.

It certainly appeared that way.

The Jayhawks’ new starting center, Mitch Lightfoot, was solid in 15 minutes on the court, but it was McCormack who really flourished in his new role. The former McDonald’s All-American scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench in the Jayhawks’ 74-63 win at Oklahoma State. It was the best performance he’s provided all season.

“Coach just switched the lineup,” McCormack said. “I think it was for the better.”

This is not a perfect Kansas team — evidence being that the Jayhawks literally missed 19 straight shots to close the first half at Oklahoma State. That’s hard to do. But, despite that, Kansas still won on the road by double-digits. That’s also hard to do. And it’s important to remember that, if not for Dayton’s Mustapha Amzil getting an offensive rebound and fortunate bounce in the final seconds on the day after Thanksgiving, the Jayhawks would be undefeated and ranked either first or second basically everywhere.

In other words, they’re really good.

Kansas doesn’t have a freshman star or a guaranteed lottery pick. But what the Jayhawks do have is a Hall of Fame coach (Self), a likely All-American (Ochai Agbagi) and enough talented veterans to make a run at the national title. KU remains No. 5 in Wednesday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. The Jayhawks’ next game is Saturday at Texas Tech, where KenPom projects them as 1-point favorites.

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 Top 25 And 1 rankings

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