An experienced big man who never developed quite the way some people expected after his excellent sophomore season, Kaun entered the NCAA Tournament as somewhat of a forgotten guy on a team loaded with prospects. Despite featuring great size, excellent hands and a good feel for the game in the low post, Kaun posted similar numbers in his senior year as he did two years ago as a sophomore. Against Davidson, the Kansas senior was perfect from the field and showed some good tools that will certainly place him on the radar of NBA scouts during the Final Four and going into the heart of the draft process over the next couple months.
Offensively, the senior showed the ability to score with both hands against Davidson, a trait that has aided him in shooting 62% from the field this season. As a player who was only once comfortable with his right hand, it was impressive to see him spin to his right shoulder on his first three scoring attempts. He still lacks any type of game away from the basket, but showed decent agility throughout the game, specifically on an alley-oop dunk in the second halfa set play that Kansas runs somewhat regularly for him. Kaun failed to make the subsequent free throw attempt to complete the three point play, however, and has only converted on 54.1% of his charity stripes attempts this season.
Defensively, the Kansas senior has no fear in banging in the post, and shows good potential as a man to man defender. He rotates well on the weak side as well, and seems to have the proper understanding of how to defend and recover on the pick and roll. Though he moves well in the paint and rotates properly, Kaun doesnt really stand out as a shot-blocker at this point in time, as hes not quite that explosive to establish himself here.
Right now, the senior is held back offensively by his limitations outside of the paint. He shows good comfort and patience in the low-post, but appears lost with the ball on the perimeter. Kaun cant hit a mid-range jumper even when left open, and his passing ability out of the high post leaves a lot to be desired. Rebounding will also be another area of focus for Kaun. He positions himself well under the basket most of the time, but has poor timing and instincts, and sometimes struggles to hold onto the ball. Foul trouble has also plagued the big man at times this season, and might be part of the reason he only played around 18 minutes per game this season (though the incredibly stacked Kansas front court probably has a lot to do with this as well).
Though its rare to talk about a senior with 7 point and 4 rebound per game averages as a potential draft prospect, Sasha Kaun has the tools that could make him an NBA player. It will probably help his cause that he has experience as a role player next to a top level big man at the college level. Kaun will most certainly gain an invite to the Portsmouth Invitational and pre-draft camp in Orlando, and his package of size and scoring ability could allow him to really emerge in that type of setting. Even if his name isnt called on draft night, he will be given every chance to make a team as a free agent next fall. If he doesnt make it, no one should shed any tears for him, as he will quickly be able to work himself into a 7-figure salary back in his native country of Russia, where local rules make domestic players of his size and quality an invaluable asset.