Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios for the 2017-18 Jayhawks | Tale of the Tait

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) and Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham (4) slap hands during the first half, Thursday, March 23, 2017 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
by Nick Krug

Whether it wraps up on a win or a loss, the end of any Kansas basketball season brings with it immediate questions about the future.

Who’s coming back? Who’s going pro? What does next year’s rotation look like? How many days until Late Night?

It’s an age old ritual for Kansas basketball fans and always brings with it some excitement and sadness.

This year, most of the sadness will come from the departure of seniors Frank Mason III and Landen Lucas, two fan favorites who worked as hard as anybody and brought incredible consistency to the program during the past three seasons.

In the era of one-and-done players dominating headlines, four- and five-year guys like Mason and Lucas are not only a rare commodity but also real treats.

Following them out the door likely will be freshman phenom Josh Jackson, a projected top-three pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, who had a magnificent season for the Jayhawks and has everything one needs to become a terrific pro.

Beyond that, however, there are a few question marks, a few exciting prospects and even a couple of unknowns about what KU basketball will look like entering the 2017-18 season.

The following will break down two such scenarios, a best-case and worst-case look for next season.

Best-case scenario:

This one’s easy. Devonte’ Graham elects to return for his senior season, Svi Mykhailiuk joins him and the Jayhawks return a few key veterans and add some healthy bodies and exciting new faces to the lineup in preparation for a run at consecutive Big 12 title No. 14 and a return trip to the elusive Final Four.

In this scenario, one possible starting lineup would be:

G – Devonte’ Graham
G – Malik Newman
G – Lagerald Vick
F – Billy Preston
C – Udoka Azubuike

That fivesome is a preseason Top…

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