Kansas Basketball: Complete Roster, Season Preview for 2013-14 Jayhawks
Maybe you have heard this in the buildup to the college basketball season, but the Kansas Jayhawks are supposed to be really, really good this season.
Bill Self's team went 31-6 last season, but lost a ton of key players including Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey.
Luckily for the program, Self knows how to recruit, and he has reloaded instead of rebuild for the upcoming season.
Here is a complete preview of how the 2013-14 edition of the Jayhawks will look.
Andrew Wiggins: Now that the regular season is upon us, it is finally time to see what Andrew Wiggins can do on the court after receiving a massive amount of hype in the offseason.
The No. 1 overall recruit from the class of 2013 will be looking to earn a spot on the national All-American team and contend for National Player of the Year, if he turns heads from day one.
Tarik Black: With a ton of attention focused on the incoming freshmen at Kansas, Tarik Black's move to Lawrence from Memphis has been almost forgotten.
Black will bring an experienced head to the Jayhawks team that will need some veteran leadership with all of the young guns that they have on the roster.
Joel Embiid: Whenever a top-notch team possesses a 7-foot center, they can be dangerous in the paint.
That is exactly what Kansas has in freshman center Joel Embiid.
Naadir Tharpe: Although Naadir Tharpe will miss the first game of the season due to suspension, he should be one of the main cogs in the Kansas backcourt.
Last season, Tharpe averaged just 19.4 minutes and 5.5 points per game, both totals are expected to rise dramatically as he accepts a starting role this season.
Perry Ellis: Besides Tharpe, there are not many contributors from the 2012-13 edition of the Jayhawks left.
Perry Ellis started just three games in the last campaign, but he did average 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.
The sophomore forward is expected to be a compliment to Embiid in the paint, and if he grows as a player alongside the star freshman, Ellis' stock will grow monumentally.
Roster and Projected Rotation
Here is a link to the entire Kansas roster that is listed below.
|1||Wayne Selden, Jr.||G||Fr.|
|3||Andrew White III||G||Soph.|
|4||Justin Wesley||F||RS Sr.|
|15||Christian Garrett||G||RS Jr.|
|31||Jamari Traylor||F||RS Soph.|
|33||Landen Lucas||F||RS Fr.|
Starting Five: Andrew Wiggins; Naadir Tharpe; Wayne Selden, Jr; Perry Ellis; Joel Embiid
Key Contributors off of the Bench: Tarik Black; Jamari Traylor
Andrew Wiggins: Make no mistake about it, Wiggins is the superstar on this team, and he will be expected to make an impact in every single Kansas game this season.
Joel Embiid: Embiid is getting plenty of hype during the preseason, and if he can live up to the talk, just like Wiggins, the Jayhawks will have an excellent inside-outside freshmen combination.
Tarik Black: With so many kids on the team, an experienced vet like Black will do wonders for the Jayhawks, especially if they hit a rough patch like they did during the middle of last season.
Black will also be a key contributor off the bench as he is one of the more accurate shooters in the nation.
In his last two season at Memphis, Black led Conference USA in field goal percentage, shooting 58.9 percent from the field last season.
Best and Worst Case Scenarios
In an ideal world, the Jayhawks would rival Kentucky for the No. 1 spot in both polls all season.
For that to happen, Kansas must beat Duke, Florida, New Mexico and Georgetown in nonconference play as well as Oklahoma State in their two Big 12 matchups.
If all that occurs, the Jayhawks could be on a collision course with the Wildcats for a national championship showdown.
The worst-case scenario for Bill Self and company this season would involve Wiggins not living up to the hype at all.
The chances of that happening are minuscule, but it is worth asking where the Jayhawks would be without Wiggins as the season progresses.
If something does happen to Wiggins, Kansas would need everyone on their roster to contribute more, especially Tharpe, Selden and Embiid.
2013-14 Prediction: 26-5 (15-3 Big 12)
Let's be honest here, Kansas is going to lose a handful of games this season, and they may do so as early as the second game of the season against Duke at the Champions Classic.
Bill Self has handed his team quite the difficult nonconference slate with New Mexico, San Diego State, Florida and Georgetown all facing the Jayhawks before they enter Big 12 play.
The game with Duke is a toss-up while the trip to Gainesville will probably be chalked up as a loss.
Throw in a few unexpected slip-ups here and there, and the record posted above seems like a reasonable finish for the Jayhawks.
And yes, they will continue their streak and win the Big 12 for the 10th consecutive season.
Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90.