Kansas Preview Capsule
Last season: 31-8, lost to Villanova in Final Four
Coach: Bill Self
Conference: Big 12
Who’s gone: PG Devonte Graham (NBA), PG Malik Newman (NBA), SG Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (NBA), SG Clay Young, SF Sam Cunliffe (transfer to Evansville).
Who’s back: SG Marcus Garrett averaged 4.1 points as a freshman last season; PF Silvio De Sousa joined Jayhawks at semester last season, providing crucial depth but he is out indefinitely amid eligibility questions; SG LaGerald Vick declared for NBA draft but returned to Kansas; C Udoka Azubuike averaged 13 points and seven boards last season; PF Mitch Lightfoot provided energy and depth inside.
Who’s new: PG Charlie Moore transferred from California, where he averaged 12.2 points as a freshman; Twin brothers PF Dedric Lawson and SF K.J. Lawson transferred from Memphis, where Dedric averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds as a sophomore and K.J. averaged 12.3 points and 8.1 rebounds as a freshman; PG Quentin Grimes is a five-star prospect from The Woodlands, Texas; SG Devon Dotson is a five-star prospect from Charlotte, North Carolina; C David McCormack is a 6-foot-9 forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia; SG Ochai Agbaji is a potential redshirt candidate from Kansas City, Missouri.
The Skinny: The Jayhawks lost their top three scorers from last season and could be even better this year. Dedric Lawson was often the best player on the floor in practice last year but had to redshirt alongside Moore and his brother, K.J. Those three should give the Jayhawks some veteran leadership alongside a handful of holdovers, headlined by Azubuike and Vick, and a recruiting class that was ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Expectations: Las Vegas oddsmakers have Kansas at 17-2 to win the NCAA Tournament, the fourth-best odds behind Duke (5-1), Kentucky (11-2) and Gonzaga (15-2).