As Derrick Rose so memorably demonstrated to NBA fans in April, even the best basketball teams can sometimes be crippled by the loss of a single player.
If anything, the situation is magnified at the college level, where one elite player can often carry a collection of so-so teammates to extraordinary heights.
Kansas center Jeff Withey, a key factor for last year's national runners-up, will have a particularly big spotlight on him next season. With the KU offense depending so heavily on Elijah Johnson and other erstwhile role players, Withey’s game-changing defense will be vital to the Jayhawks’ chances of living up to their elevated expectations.
Herein, more on Withey and 11 more players around the country whose teams absolutely can’t compete without them.