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The Next Step: Kansas Jayhawks
by Zachary Lyon, Future150 (10:35 PM CT, Sat March 26, 2016)
Udoka will help make up for the losses of Ellis and Traylor.
Udoka will help make up for the losses of Ellis and Traylor.
Zachary Lyon
Zachary Lyon:

Future150 Regional Analyst. Covering high and middle school basketball: NC, SC & VA

Lawrence, KS (Future150) -- The Big Dance is finally here and while everyone would like to cut down the nets, there can only be one champion. That being said, there is always the chance that the next season could be better than the last. With that in mind, Future150 would like to introduce "The Next Step", a segment dedicated to breaking down each program's recruiting class as they bow out of the tournament; because theres' always next season.

Kansas won fairly easy on their way to the Elite 8, but couldn't rally late as they fell to Villanova. What's the next step for the Jayhawks? 

The outlook for Kansas next season is truly up in the air at this point as many things could happen to improve or dampen the expectations for next year. 

One sure thing is that Kansas will lose Perry Ellis to graduation, who was the Jayhawks most productive player throughout most of the year with averages of around 17 points and 6 boards a game. 

Another given is that the Jayhawks will bring in two frontcourt players from the 2016 class in Udoka Azubuike, and Mitch Lightfoot. Azubuike is a huge body that can man the middle using his killer strength and athleticism. He is also a very solid low post scorer and shot blocker. With Lightfoot the Jayhawks are getting a four man that is capable of scoring the ball at all three levels, but will need to add more toughness and polish to his game if he wants to succeed in the Big 12. 

This is where things get interesting for Kansas. As top prospects Josh Jackson and Thon Maker remain uncommitted, many think the Jayhawks have a very decent shot at landing at least one if not both. Things could dramatically change, for the better, if one of these studs decided to bring their talents to Lawrence.

The other big question is whether or not Freshman F Cheick Diallo will enter into the NBA draft. Even though he had a less than average season (3 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1 BPG) many NBA scouts still see potential in him, and he could more than likely be a late first or early second round pick. 

It is hard to make a bold prediction for Kansas next season as many things have yet to take place. Continue to follow along with Future150 as we track Jackson and Maker's recruitment. As one, or both could be suiting up for Bill Self next year. 


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