Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 12/23/14
This past season was not one to celebrate for the Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team. Although they claimed the Big 12 regular season title for the tenth consecutive season, they failed to make it to the elite eight (much less the final four) for the second consecutive season. Their freshmen stars did not deliver as expected: Wiggins (although averaging about 17 points and 6 rebounds per game) was inconsistent with his playing ability throughout the season, while center Joel Embiid’s lack of presence during the tournament (he experienced a stress fracture in his lower back) hindered the Jayhawks ultimate performance. Kansas’ young squad just couldn’t make the cut this year. UConn went on to win the championship proudly representing the American Athletic conference (everyone should be fully aware of this by now). The Huskies won their championship with a veteran starting squad that included two seniors and two juniors (not trying to make excuses, but experience always helps.) Although the season is over, big changes are occurring for the Jayhawks. Wiggins and Embiid have both announced that they will enter the 2014 NBA draft, leaving Kansas after just finishing their freshmen year. Young and eager, these two have doubt, hard work, and immense competition to face entering the big leagues. So where does this leave the Jayhawks without the two shining stars that make up their starting lineup? The high school draft is far from over, with many of the top ranked high school players in the country finalizing their selections from the coveted lists of schools that have approached them with offers to play. Kansas is no slacker when it comes to recruits, already seizing two of the best in the country: Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre Jr, both McDonald’s All Americans (bringing Kansas’ recruiting total to 36, with 17 of those under head coach Bill Self).   Alexander, a 6’8 forward from Chicago Curie high school and listed No. 3 overall recruit according to ESPN 100, is Kansas’ best bet of replacing a departing Embiid. Granted, he does not size up in comparison to Embiid’s 7’0 stature, but he is a force to be reckoned with under the basket, averaging 27 points, 17 rebounds, five blocked shots, and six assists during his senior year at Chicago Curie. Without Embiid, who averaged about 11 points and 8 rebounds per game, a dominating inside force is absolutely necessary for the Jayhawks to succeed. Alexander’s high school averages are impressive, and the fact that he has stated that he is in no rush to enter the NBA? Perfect. That should allow Self some time to mold Alexander into the potential powerhouse that Kansas needs. Oubre Jr.a rangy 6’7 guard/forward from Findley College Prep in Henderson, Nevada is also a top recruit, being listed No. 11. With Wiggins (a versatile talented player who could basically be placed anywhere on the court) leaving the Jayhawk squad, Self needs another multifaceted (yet more consistently able to deliver) player to fill the void. Oubre averaged 22 points per game for Findley Prep, and (once again) considering that Wiggins was quite the let down this season, experiencing ups and downs his entire freshman year. The next couple of weeks will be huge for the Jayhawks: Alexander and Oubre will both compete in the Jordan Brand Classic (one of the country’s premier high school all-star games) tomorrow night in Brooklyn Center. Also, the remaining stars of college basketball will make their final decision as to which elite basketball program they will represent. With all of these promising changes coming to Rock Chalk country, the Huskies better watch out. The post Kansas Jayhawks: Out with the New, In with the Newer appeared first on isportsweb.
PLAYERS: Joel Embiid

Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Report: Alex Smith out Week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL


Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

Kevin Garnett: ‘Very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Jayhawks News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.