Kansas Jayhawks Basketball will once again start the season ranked among the top 5 teams in the country after the USA Today/Coaches Poll ranks Kansas No. 5 to begin the 2015-16 season.
Bill Self brings another loaded team to the floor in Lawrence, Kan., led by senior Perry Ellis and juniors Wayne Selden, Jr., and Frank Mason III.
Each of the three led the Jayhawks to a gold medal in the World University Games over the summer, and look as good as they’ve looked since arriving in town as freshman.
Depth will be a major advantage for Self, as it usually is, particularly in the back court.
Behind Selden and Mason, the Jayhawks will feature point guard Devonte Graham, sharp shooters Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Brannen Greene, as well as freshman LeGerald Vick.
In the low post, KU features plenty of depth as well, and could have a difference-maker in terms of national championship aspirations with freshman forward Cheick Diallo. Unfortunately for Self and his staff, the NCAA is still making is ruling on when and if Diallo will be eligible to play for Kansas this season, as his academic transcripts dating back to his time in native Mali, are in question.
Diallo has worked hard over the summer and through the early portion of the fall semester to finish off core classes and provide the NCAA with an updated and complete resume to earn his eligibility as a student-athlete.
For now, he is allowed to practice with his teammates, which is a good thing for the freshman should he gain clearance.
Should Diallo miss either an extended period of time, or the entire season, Kansas will still have plenty of talent. To go along with Ellis–a potential Big 12 player of the year–Jamari Traylor, Hunter Mickelson, Carlton Bragg, and Landen Lucas give the Jayhawks plenty of size and experience, as well as a nice blend of athleticism.
In all, Self has a ton of talent, which is why the Big 12 coaches have once again selected Kansas as the preseason favorite to win the conference title, which would make 12 in a row for the Jayhawks.
With the Associated Press Top 25 coming out soon as well, you can expect the Jayhawks to be among the top 5-8 teams in both polls heading into the season.
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