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Kansas' PF Perry Ellis
If most programs lost all five of their starters from a Sweet 16 team, they would be in a major rebuilding mode.
Not Kansas. Head coach Bill Self has amazingly assembled another gifted group of players to put on the floor at Allen Fieldhouse. By reeling in Andrew Wiggins, the class of 2013 No. 1 recruit, Self has positioned the Jayhawks for a distinctive season as long as they get their post players to step up on the defensive end.
Gone is Jeff Withey, the 2013 co-NABC Defensive Player of the Year. While Kevin Young did not add much on the offensive end, the rangy PF was a capable rebounder and solid defender.
Withey and Young provided the foundation for the No.1 field-goal percentage defensive team in the nation.
KU will depend on Memphis transfer Tarik Black, rising sophomore Perry Ellis and incoming man-child, Joel Embiid to shut things down in the middle.
However, Black never fully played up to his potential for the Tigers. At 6’9”, 260 pounds, you would expect him to dominate on the boards. Instead, he never averaged more than 5 RPG in any of his three seasons in Memphis.
Ellis is primed for a breakout year. But last season he looked promising, at times; at other times, he looked lost.
Black’s presence will help Embiid’s development move along at a slower pace. However, I would not be surprised to see the class of 2013’s No. 1 center starting before Big 12 conference play begins in January.
If this group can lock down the lane and pound the boards, KU will be one of the best teams in the country.
If they are erratic and uneven in the paint, the 2013-14 season could be a major disappointment, even with Wiggins and Wayne Selden going for it on the wings.