End of era
With the loss of both Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, the Jayhawks are going to have to turn over a new leaf heading into this season. However even after losing two talents like Wiggins and Embiid (both Top 3 projected picks in the draft before Embiid’s most recent injury) the Jayhawks are favored pretty well in the 2014-2015 NCAAB Odds. Right now the future odds from Bovada have the Jayhawks betting pick at +1400 to win the NCAA Title.
While they are not the favorite by any means, they are behind only Kentucky, Arizona and Duke in the NCAAB Future Odds, and they are tied with North Carolina and Wisconsin at 14/1. Their futures could be the result of bringing in two five star recruits this summer in Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre. Both are high 90s graded recruits, and both should have an immediate impact on the Jayhawks.
They will likely get their chance to show their stuff right away too. The Jayhawks are returning with some of the key players from last year, such as now sophomore Wayne Selden as well as Perry Ellis. These two, along with the incoming freshmen, Alexander and Oubre will likely make up the bulk of the scoring for Bill Self’s club.
However Kansas struggled in the tournament with Embiid sidelined with his back injury, and if they cannot have good post scoring this season, they are going to slide some from where they were in 2014. Kansas wasn’t even that great towards the end of the season, and after Embiid went down, they failed to get a #1 seed and were out before the Sweet Sixteen. With two players who Self called “franchise changing,” leaving for the NBA, will Kansas have any sort of value in the NCAAB Future Odds?
The Sharp Pick
The Jayhawks were selected to represent the United States in the World University Games in Korea next summer, and even though it’s a great honor for Self’s club, I think it might be the only honor the Jayhawks will win in 2015. Even with some solid parts returning, along with new ones coming in, if Kansas couldn’t win with Wiggins and Embiid, what makes anyone think they can win without them?
The Kentucky Wildcats are going to be extremely hard to beat this season. They made a huge run last year in the tournament, and now they have one of their best recruiting classes in the last five years coming into Lexington. I just don’t see the Jayhawks competing with that kind of firepower, assuming they made it that far. The Big 12 is going to be tough this season. Iowa State and Baylor should both still be pretty good this season, and after flaming out early, I don’t think the Jayhawks should be expected to wildly exceed their results from the 2013-2014 season.