Josh Klingler is the co-host and update anchor of "Fescoe in the Morning," heard weekdays 6a-9a on 610 Sports Radio. Perhaps the busiest sports personality in Kansas City, "Kling" also hosts pregame and postgame for KU Football and Men's Basketball broadcasts on the Jayhawk Radio Network and does morning sports updates on News Radio 980 KMBZ. He brings you his insight each Thursday on 610sports.com
It's on to basketball season, at least for me, with the month of November gone and into December the first snapshot of our local 3 has been taken. Time to play “What I think I know, what I'd like to know.”
What I know – Thomas Robinson should fall out of bed into a double double every night. I envision Wayne Simien's senior season where 20-15 nights seemed routine.
What I know – Jeff Withey is much better than anticipated. I guess credit goes the coaching staff for bringing along another big man. Withey still looks clunky at the offensive end, but shot blocking and shot altering have been tremendous.
What I'd like to know – if fans can live with the helter skelter Tyshawn Taylor? As much as I hate the term “it is what it is” it seems to fit Taylor. He's going to do things you can't coach and look fantastic, then commit the type of turnover which makes you want to strangle him.
What I'd like to know – if the bench play is going to be enough? It's no secret that the Jayhawks aren't very deep, but there are very few options right now. Naadir Tharpe needs to grow into a trustable backup at the point. Can Conner Teahan be a knock down shot guy against higher profile teams? And can you get enough from Kevin Young / Justin Wesley combined to be successful?
What I know – I was wrong about Frank Haith, at least for now, long term who knows but right now he's hit it out of the park. Haith's style has blended perfectly with the ready-made Tigers, which could have been a touchy thing. I really thought there would be some push – pull between the returning core and the new coach, but the results show otherwise.
What I know – Marcus Denmon doesn't get enough love. The kid is really, really good. He shouldn't be out of the headlines any more. He's averaging 21 points, shooting 50% from three and 55% from the field. Haith raves about is work ethic and the kid seems to just go out there and compete every night.
What I'd like to know – will lack of size ever kill them? It seems the biggest reservation is “what will they do when playing a bigger front line?” If I'm a Mizzou fan, I'm not that concerned. I think they are plenty big to compete in the Big 12 and are learning more and more each day about how to play a bit undersized.
What I'd like to know – will the fans get on board? Over 12k for the last game was a start, but five games at home have averaged 7799 fans. That's not good for a team that is up to #10 in the country. Wait and see time is over, get on the bandwagon.
Kansas State -
What I know – Frank Martin loves this team on the practice floor. He has said it a couple of times with Bob and I on the show and with Nick as well. He's still waiting for all of the signs he sees in practice to translate to the game floor. But it's really early for K-State, which has played the fewest games of the three locals heading into the holidays.
What I know – I like Thomas Gipson. He's off to a great start, 12 points 7 rebounds. I like his build, he's just a pup, but a big pup. Doesn't commit a ton of fouls nor seemingly make a whole bunch of freshman mistakes.
What I'd like to know – who will eventually be the go-to guy? Will it be Jamar Samuels, Will Spradling, Rodney McGruder? Or will it be a night by night decision.
What I'd like to know – how much can they improve between now and January 4th? K-State opens Big 12 play at Kansas, home against Missouri, home against Baylor. It's probably the three best teams in the league right off the bat.