Kansas, a combined 68-6 the past two seasons, has lost five players as early entries to the NBA. Coach Bill Self is optimistic the Jayhawks can still make a run at their eighth consecutive conference title.
"I don't think we'll take a step backwards. I think we'll take a step sideways," Self said. "We'll be a totally different looking team. But I'm really excited. My batteries are about as charged as they've ever been because it is going to be a challenge.
"It's like the year after we won the national championship, you lose six of your top seven scorers and you had to come back and figure out a way to win the league the next year. That's where we're at. We've recruited well. We haven't hit a home run from the scouting services, but we have guys that fit what we need."
BAYLOR LOADED FOR BEAR
The Bears have signed Pierre Jackson to fix their point guard issues, but the key player is sophomore Perry Jones, a 6-foot-11 forward who could be the No. 1 pick in next year's NBA Draft.
"He enjoyed college so much he wanted to have another crack at it and have our season end different than it did last year," said Baylor coach Scott Drew. "Perry got better and better as the year went on. He has all the potential in the world. We just hope he continues to grow."
NEW COACH, NEW STYLE?
Mike Anderson played a frenetic pace at Missouri, a style he learned from Nolan Richardson at Arkansas. This year, the Tigers have a new coach in Frank Haith.