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A Look Ahead (Cause it's too Hard to Look Back...Yet)

I really don't feel like talking about the UCLA game yet. I'm still realizing that we won't see our Jayhawks play basketball until November, and it will take awhile for me to get some perspective.

While I'm not going to look back at our Elite Eight loss, I am willing to look foward to next season and beyond. Regarding our future teams, I really don't get the feeling that Rush is coming back. After listening to his postgame interview, it just sounds like he is ready to cash in and -possibly- become an NBA lottery pick. There is an interesting conversation over on KU Sports whether Rush should go pro or not. I am in the camp that if he wants to, he is ready for the NBA and could become a lottery pick. I think that he could improve his game if he stayed next season plus he could help lead the Jayhawks to a Final Four and he is no immediate need of cash with his brothers both used to play professional basketball. Despite all of that, I still think that he is going to be playing professionaly come next season. Regardless, let's look at a potential rotation for next season:

2007-2008 Season Rotation

Starting Lineup
G - Mario Chalmers (Jr.)
G - Russell Robinson (Sr.)
G - Sherron Collins (Soph.)
F - Julian Wright (Jr.)
F - Sasha Kaun (Sr.)

Bench Rotation
F - Darrell Arthur (Soph.)
F - Darnell Jackson (Sr.)
C - Cole Aldrich (Fr.)
G - Tyrell Reed (Fr.)

Possibilities for Bench Rotation
G - Rodrick Stewart (Sr.)
G - Brady Morningstar (Soph.)
G/F - Connor Teahan (Fr.)

Keep in mind, Rush is no certainty to leave and that is a solid team even without Brandon. I would rather have DA in the starting lineup than Sasha, but I get the feeling Sasha will keep his starting spot. I think that Morningstar and Teahan can both develop into really solid bench players, although with our stacked 9 man rotation without them they might have to wait at least another year before they get regular playing time. Aldrich will really help us out against players with a dominating post presence, because it will allow for us to have a bruiser in (Sasha, him and Darnell) at all times.

Because it is always more fun the farther away you look ahead, let's look at a possible 2008-2009 rotation. Let's assume that Julian Wright (Jr.) and Super Mario (Jr.) leave early for the NBA after next season. Wright has already said that he will after graduating in 3 years, but Super is far from a lock to leave early. Just to be safe, let's assume he leaves. Darrell Arthur (Soph.), Sherron Collins (Soph.) and Cole Aldrich (Fr.) are all possibilities to leave early, with DA the only real concern to depart. I think that DA will have to start at least one full season before making the jump, so let's say this will be his last season.

2008-2009 Rotation

Starting Lineup
G - Sherron Collins (Jr.)
G - Tyrell Reed (Soph.)
G - Connor Teahan (Soph.)
F - Darrell Arthur (Jr.)
C - Cole Aldrich (Sr.)

Bench Rotation
G - Brady Morningstar (Jr.)
C - Matt Kleinmann (Sr.)

The first four starting spots would be pretty secure assuming everyone stays, but that 5th spot depends a lot on who emerges next season and, more importantly, who we sign to be a 08-09 freshman. The reason I chose Connor Teahan is because we need a bigger guard, and at 6'5" he provides that size. Plus, he is underrated and could emerge as a solid college basketball player. Remember, this is assuming that we don't recruit any freshmen (we will and they will likely be Mickey D's All-Americans but I can't tell you who it will be). The freshmen will comprise a huge part of our bench, but just imagine how good this team could be if Super stayed.

This post made me feel better, knowing that if Self develops this talent properly we'll stay in Final Four contention for awhile. I'm already excited for next season, I can't wait for it to start.

Rock Chalk!