Looking Ahead

Yes, it sounds cliché, but when it comes to basketball at the University of Kansas, they don't rebuild, they reload.

Yes, it sounds cliché, but when it comes to basketball at the University of Kansas, they don't rebuild, they reload.

That's exactly what the Jayhawks will do in 2013-14 and the anticipation will be well worth it. If the class is finished for coach Bill Self, it's already one of the best in the nation and one of the best that Self will bring to KU, as he will head into his 11th season at the helm.

Gone will be the four seniors, Jeff Withey, Kevin Young, Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford, most likely along with Ben McLemore.

In fact, Kansas will have an entirely new starting five when it tips off their season next fall.

Early on, Self will likely look to guard Naadir Tharpe and forwards Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor, along with Andrew White III to add punch. Forward Landen Lucas will step in, fresh off a redshirt year to adds some bulk to the frontline.

With the likely, not yet certain departure of Anrio Adams, who may be leaving the program, the Jayhawks will have less returning next season, but that's okay, as this year's recruiting class will have the opportunity to make a big impact immediately.

Kansas will welcome five new players to mix in swingmen Wayne Selden and Brannen Greene, guards Conner Frankamp and Frank Mason and big man Joel Embiid.

"It's a good group, covers a lot of ground and needs," Scout.com's Evan Daniels said. "Kansas added firepower on the perimeter and a lot of guys that can score the ball. They needed a point guard and they added two, added some shooting on the wing with Selden and Greene. Connor Frankamp is a point guard, but will be able to play off the ball some because of his skill set. Joel Embiid adds great talent up front and rapidly developing big man. Kansas has a great history with developing big men."

In Selden, KU is getting a kid that is high flying and dynamic and will be an attention getter from day one.

At 6-5 230, he's a player that will become a fan favorite from day one and could make a big impact on next year's KU team.

"Wayne is one of the most powerful wings in high school basketball," Self said. "He's got a great frame. He's explosive. He can play the two or three and maybe even play some emergency point. He's big enough to post and defend the four if we decide to go small and he can make shots."

At 6-6 185, Greene is a great shooter, who is freakishly athletic as well. The combination of Greene and Selden will be a fun one to watch.

"The combination of Greene and Selden is an impressive one. While Selden can shoot the ball, that isn't what he is known for. That means Greene and Selden will complement each other's games because Greene is one of the top shooters in the country. Also both of them have the length and athleticism to be versatile on the defensive end," Scout.com's Brian Snow said.

The guards will be big additions in Frankamp and Mason.

Frankamp (6-0 180)broke current Jayhawk Perry Ellis' Wichita City League scoring record and he is as pure of a shooter that Self has ever had. His ability to score is well documented, but it's his tireless work ethic that lets everyone know that he will only get better, as he grows through the program.

Mason is a point guard that the staff and especially Self is excited about joining the program.

"He's a jet," Self said. "Frank is a really, really quick guard. He's a true point. He can get guys easy baskets. He can break people down, very similar to the way the fans saw Sherron (Collins) break people down off the bounce."

Embiid will bring size and strength and rapidly developing talent that will mesh well with the Kansas program.

At 7-0 220pounds, he hit it off immediately with Self and after his visit to "Late Night In The Phog," it was little surprised when he chose Kansas.

"Joel fits what we do and how we play. He has so much to learn and he's just now getting it. He's a different player today than he was in the summer and I guarantee he will be a different player in February than he is now. I just think he's going to continue to get better and better at an accelerated rate," Self said.

Yes, Kansas will be a very young team, but there's no reason whatsoever to not expect this team to win a mind boggling 10th straight Big 12 crown.

Honestly, there just aren't many programs that can make such a claim. This is just how it's been at KU under Self. As long as they're healthy, you will always expect to see Jayhawk basketball at the top of the league and making a run through the month of March and it's with that though that fans can sit back and count their lucky stars.

For, it's fortunate for them as a Jayhawks fan that all will usually be well, as long as they look at the bench and see Self presiding over it. It's those reasons that fans can expect another fun ride in 2013-14.


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