Kelly Oubre finally breaks out for Kansas
With 23 points and 10 rebounds against Lafayette, the Jayhawks freshman finally found his footing.
When Kelly Oubre committed to Kansas, he was supposed to replace Andrew Wiggins in the Jayhawks’ lineup. Oubre was a McDonald’s All-American and a consensus top 10 recruit many believed would follow Wiggins’ footsteps by bolting for the NBA after one year in Lawrence.
Through the first nine games of the season, things didn’t go as planned. Oubre had only one start (in Kansas’ blowout loss to Kentucky) and rarely found himself on the floor. He had only 31 points total in those nine games. While Oubre’s length, athleticism and shooting stroke still had him in the lottery of most 2015 mock drafts, it was clear he hadn’t proven anything yet on the college level.
That might have started to change on Saturday. Kansas coach Bill Self benched wing Brannen Greene after he showed up late to a weight lifting session. Greene’s tardiness opened up a spot for the freshman Oubre, and he did not disappoint.
Oubre finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor and 4-of-7 shooting from deep. All of the promise he showed on the recruiting trail finally came to fruition.
Kansas won 96-69 with six scorers reaching double-figures. The Jayhawks are now 9-1 with only three non-conference games left before Big 12 play begins. Kansas has won 10 straight regular season titles in the Big 12, but it won’t be easy this season. The league is loaded, with five teams currently ranked in the top 25.
If Kansas is going to win the league for the 11th straight year, it’s going to need something out of Oubre. That’s not to say he needs to be as good as Wiggins or Ben McLemore, but he’ll at least need to be a contributor. He’s too talented not to be.