Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Graduate four starters. Lose the fifth to the NBA. Expectations are a Final Four. Wait, what?
Bill Self might have the most difficult coaching job he's had at Kansas but a lot of coaches would not mind the task of coaching Andrew Wiggins.
The team Self has is similar to his 2005-06 squad that had to replace Wayne Simien, Aaron Miles, Keith Langford, Michael Lee and J.R. Giddens. Until this 2013 class led by Wiggins, the class of Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Julian Wright and Micah Downs had been his best.
That team, which had freshmen and sophomores playing most of the minutes, had the luxury of semi-tempered expectations. The Jayhawks started slow—3-4 through seven games—then won the Big 12 regular season, the Big 12 tournament and lost in the opening round of the NCAA tournament to Bradley.
This team has two returning players who should become starters, Perry Ellis and Naadir Tharpe. Other than those two, the Jayhawks will be relying mostly on freshmen and Memphis transfer Tarik Black.
When that class is considered better than the one that helped land Self his first national championship, the expectations should be high.