The start of the 2018-19 basketball season is still months away, but the Kansas Jayhawks are already racking up accolades. On Saturday, Jon Rothstein released his “way-too-early” top 25 on FanRag Sports, and he ranks the Jayhawks No. 1.
Three other Big 12 teams are ranked in Rothstein’s top 25: Kansas State at No. 13, TCU at No. 18 and West Virginia at No. 21. Rothstein’s ranking assumes starting center Udoka Azubuike, who entered the 2018 NBA Draft without an agent in April, returns to Kansas for his junior season.
If Azubuike elects to stay in the draft, Kansas has several young big men — Silvio De Sousa, Mitch Lightfoot and David McCormack — to potentially fill the void. Even so, the Jayhawks are set to be a team with an entirely new look.
Rothstein projects Kansas’ starting five with freshman guards Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson alongside Memphis twin transfers Dedric and K.J. Lawson. That’s four new faces, along with Cal transfer Charlie Moore and McCormack also potentially playing big roles in their first year with Kansas.
Senior guards Devonte Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk are gone, while starters Lagerald Vick and Malik Newman hired agents and ended their collegiate careers. With one scholarship remaining, Kansas has been active trying to bring in one more new face: Bill Self tried hard to bring in Albany grad transfer Joe Cremo, only to watch him commit to Villanova on Tuesday.