#18 Kansas Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Kansas Jayhawks

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #18
Conference Rank: #1 Big 12

Kansas Team Page#18 Kansas Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Kansas Basketball Tickets

The future has arrived. Collect all the women and children. Board up your windows. Don't walk on the streets alone. Hoard food and clean water. Address strangers as though they were your enemy. No one can be trusted; the future is a scary place...Andrew "Ender" Wiggins has arrived.

2012-13 Record: 31-6, 14-4
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA Tournament - Sweet Sixteen
Coach: Bill Self
Coach Record: 300-59 at Kansas, 507-164 overall

Who’s Out:
Talk about starting fresh. The entire lineup for Kansas' 2012-2013 squad is gone. All five starters have either graduated (four were seniors) or left for the NBA (Ben McLemore). To make matters worse, Coach Self rarely alternated or shifted his lineups. Travis Releford, McLemore, Elijah Johnson, and Jeff Withey all started 37 of 37 games last season. And forward Kevin Young started 33. With that, the team's leading "veteran" is sophomore forward Perry Ellis with all of three career starts under his belt. And you can figure the type of production that is now gone. Ben McLemore led the team in scoring as a freshman; Withey finished second in the country in blocks per game while tallying 13 double-doubles and one triple-double. All five men took at least 200 field goal attempts and, with the exception of Young, played well over 1000 minutes last season.

Who’s In:
This team has lost a ton of veteran production and experience. There is no doubt about that. What they've gained though is the greatest college basketball prospect since Kevin Durant, the best high school player since LeBron, the best Kansas recruit since Danny Manning. Andrew Wiggins, a 6'8" guard from Canada, has been talked about in the basketball ranks for over a year now by both college and professional analysts. He was the number one high school player in the country and figures to be the number one player in the 2014 NBA draft. The funny thing is, while everyone is building up Wiggins, and for good reason, the rest of this Kansas roster is still stacked with legit prospects. Even without Wiggins, this would be one of the best young rosters in the country.

Who to Watch:
Other than Andrew Wiggins, graded out as a five star recruit, Kansas will also be welcoming the following 2013-2014 freshmen to its team: five star recruit and number one center in the country Joel Embiid; five star recruit and McDonald's All-American Wayne Selden; four star recruits Conner Frankamp and Brannen Greene; three star point guard Frank Mason. Combine those guys with the freshmen (returning sophomores) from last season: four star recruit and McDonald's All-American Perry Ellis; four star forwards Andrew White and Landen Lucas. Taking it all in, this Kansas roster is currently constructed with 12 underclassmen on the active roster. It's quite possible Wiggins isn't even the best freshman on this team by the end of the year, let alone the best player.

Final Projection:
The Big 12 conference seems weak this season. Texas and Oklahoma are not where their basketball programs once were. And besides, Kansas has finished in first or tied for first in the conference each of the last nine seasons. In fact, Coach Bill Self has been at Kansas 10 years; the only time his team did not finish with at least a tie for the Big 12 title was his first season at the helm in 2003-2004, when they finished tied for second. This is the Jayhawks' conference to lose again this season. Relying on so many freshmen and inexperienced sophomores is occasionally a recipe for disaster but Kentucky proved a few years ago that, if the players are talented and smart enough, even freshmen can win a national title. Kansas will hope to follow the same formula, especially since a few of these freshmen might not be back next season.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Naadir Tharpe, Junior, Guard, 5.5 points per game
Andrew Wiggins, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Andrew White, Sophomore, Guard, 2.2 points per game
Perry Ellis, Sophomore, Forward, 5.8 points per game
Joel Embiid, Freshman, Center, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.2 (24th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.9 (54, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.1 (9, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 36.1 (1, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (204, 4)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.4 (65, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.7 (44, 3)
Rebound Margin: 6.2 (20, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.5 (23, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.0 (227, 38)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#1 Andrew Wiggins
#10 Wayne Selden
#18 Perry Ellis
#23 Joel Embiid

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#1 Andrew Wiggins
#16 Wayne Selden
#31 Brannen Greene
#42 Joel Embiid
#44 Conner Frankamp
#75 Frank Mason


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