KU basketball assistant Kurtis Townsend “impressed” with Christian Braun’s level of play to start the season

Christian braun is poised to have the best season of his basketball career in Kansas 10 games in his junior season. He’s averaging a career-high 16.8 points per game, which is the team’s second-best score. He is also reaching career highs in rebounds (6.7), assists (2.8), steals (1.4) per game. KU Assistant Basketball Coach Kurtis Townsend helped Braun’s development while on campus. But he’s not shocked at the level Braun performed at during the non-conference roster.

“I’m really impressed but I’m not surprised,” Townsend said on Hawk Talk earlier this week. “[Braun] worked as hard as anyone this summer. I know he kinda flirted trying to put his name in [the NBA Draft] and see where he was and he didn’t get the right amount of feedback. So he used it as fuel to come back and work on parts of his game that he needed to work on. “

And what parts of his game has Braun improved the most?

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“To be able to take your own shot from the dribble, to be able to shoot faster,” said Townsend. “He worked on the defensive end. People told him he had to be able to slide and be a little faster. We put him the best player in St. John. He was going to keep the best player in the game. Colorado, Jabari Walker [Tuesday] night. So he’s become our guy that we’re not afraid to put on the other team’s best perimeter. “

On offense, Braun improved his efficiency inside the arc. He shoots 73.1% on 2 with 7.8 attempts per game. To put this in perspective, Udoka Azubuike shot 74.6% on 2s during his four year career. His ability to take a good look at the rim could be a by-product of his improved ability to create his own shot.

Defensively, Braun averages 1.4 interceptions and 1.3 blocks per game, a career-high. If he continues to produce at this rate, Braun and David McCormack would be the first players since Dedric Lawson in 2018-19 to record more than one flight and one block per game.

One thing Braun has also brought is confidence. The junior was not afraid to talk smack to opposing players. Notably, Braun was assessed a technical foul when he pointed at a Dayton player he dunked. Recently he appeared to be saying something toward the Missouri Bench against the Tigers. Against Stephen F. Austin, cameras showed Braun telling his former teammate Latrell Jossell “No” after blocking Jossell’s shot.

Townsend is a fan of the way Braun behaves on the pitch.

“You love to have this,” Townsend said. “You call it confidence and I would say he’s a little pushy. Because he likes to talk and I think he already has some technical fouls to talk about. But you like it. You like having a guy like that in. your team that gives you confidence and you know that you are happy that he is in your team because he is going to fight and he wants to win. He is a great boy, he comes from a big family and they are all really, really competitive their whole family. He’s been great for us. I hope that will continue. “

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