What happens when you lose a superstar in Ben McLemore and a plethora of senior leaders like Jeff Withey and Travis Releford?
The answer in the case of the Kansas Jayhawks is to load your roster with a dynamic freshman class that can easily contend for a national championship this season.
The biggest name in the freshman class is some guy named Andrew Wiggins, who according to everybody on planet Earth is the best thing since sliced bread.
While Wiggins may end up being the best player in collegiate basketball and the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, he still has to prove that he can play with the big boys at the college level.
With a bevy of expectations surrounding Wiggins and his classmates, here is a look at the pass-fail marks for the Jayhawks youngsters heading into the 2013-14 season.
Anything less than the marks listed below would be deemed a failure and vice versa for a passing mark.
Andrew Wiggins, Guard
Pass-Fail Marks: 17.5 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game, 1.5 assists per game.
How fast Wiggins will adapt to the college game remains to be seen, but if all the reports are true, he will not have an issue with the jump from high school to college.
Wiggins is expected to be the main provider of points this season for the Jayhawks, and with the Big 12 being weak—except for Oklahoma State—he should have a field day during conference play.
In nonconference play, Wiggins could put up some mercurial numbers against the likes of Towson, Toledo and Iona, but he will be challenged against some of college basketball's elite, including Georgetown, Duke and New Mexico.
With that being said, an average of 17.5 points per game is a good expectation to hold Wiggins to.
In the rebounding department, Wiggins will surely use his 6'8" height to an advantage to help out Perry Ellis and Joel Embiid inside.
Joel Embiid, Center
Pass-Fail Marks: 7.5 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game, 1.5 blocks per game.
While Wiggins received plenty of hype during the summer, Embiid has attained that same level of hype in the weeks leading up to the regular season.
Bill Self on Joel Embiid: "I think Joel has a chance to be about as talented a big guy as I have ever had." #BIG12MBB— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) October 22, 2013
The 7-foot center will be called on to replace the contributions of Withey and Kevin Young in the paint, and while that seems like quite the tall task, Embiid should be able to handle it.
If you didn't know better and attended practice yesterday, you'd have thought Kansas freshman Joel Embiid was projected No. 1 pick.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) October 10, 2013
Luckily for Embiid, he will not have to attain the same numbers in the points department that Withey did, but he will be asked to rebound like a mad man in the paint.
Embiid will not be the only key player in the paint for Kansas this season, as sophomore Perry Ellis is expected to start at the power forward position.
Since he has Ellis to combine with in the paint, Embiid's expectations in the rebounding and blocking department are not monumental, but they are enough to get the Jayhawks to glory.
Wayne Selden, Guard
Pass-Fail Marks: 7.5 points per game, 4.0 assists per game, 1.5 steals per game
Wayne Selden is a solid player in his own right, but he will undoubtedly be overshadowed by Wiggins and Embiid all season long.
Selden, along with junior Naadir Tharpe, will be asked to take over at the guard position for McLemore and Elijah Johnson, both of whom left the program after last season.
Every 1 is ranting & raving abt Andrew Wiggins but listen to me on this KU fans, Wayne Selden is going to be a STAR. NBA ready right now.— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) September 28, 2013
As he commands the backcourt, Selden will surely pick up his fair share of assists with a major point producer like Wiggins in the lineup.
Since he will be dishing to Wiggins and his teammates more than scoring himself, Selden's points-per-game total should be low, but his assists-per-game total should be quite high.
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