One question that’s been asked on multiple occasions thus far has been what’s going on with Kansas freshman guard Kelly Oubre. A McDonald’s All-American who finished his high school career at Findlay Prep, Oubre was expected to hit the ground running immediately upon his arrival in Lawrence. Unfortunately for Oubre that hasn’t been the case, as he’s averaging 2.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in 7.8 minutes of action per game.
With those paltry numbers many have wondered if Oubre is headed towards a freshman campaign that fails to meet expectations, but Kansas head coach Bill Self isn’t among those people. Thursday in his press conference ahead of the Jayhawks’ game against Florida, Oubre’s start to the season was one of the topics the head coach discussed according to Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star.
In six games, Oubre is averaging just 2.2 points per game while committing seven turnovers. In limited action, his play has been marked by a state of awkward hesitancy.
“He’s been better in practice than he has been in the games, but he’s still not comfortable yet,” Self said. “He’s a thinker and not a reactor yet. He hasn’t played to his athletic ability in practice like he will. He’s just trying to figure it out.”
Different players progress at different rates, which is something that tends to be forgotten in this current “one and done” era. Elite freshmen are expected to show up on campus ready to roll from the start, going on a one-man tour de force through their team’s schedule before walking up to shake NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s hand in late-June.
And when that doesn’t happen, the questions and backlash (as if the player placed himself atop the ratings and pre-draft boards) roll in.
Oubre’s a very talented player whose college career hasn’t gotten off to the start envisioned. But he just needs to stay the course and heed the words of his head coach; there’s still plenty of basketball to be played this season.