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Merry Cheicksmas!

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The Big XII Conference and the rest of the nation is now, officially, on notice.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Check. Check. Check one. Check two...

Cheick!

Merry Cheicksmas 'Hawk fans!

It's the man, the myth, the wide-winged Malian you've all been waiting to see. The wait was rough - the type of excruciating delay which Jayhawk fans would usually revel in a satisfying schadenfreude when it happens to a player at Kentucky or Carolina or UCLA. It stings like hell when it happens to one of your own though.

That's all over now. None of it matters, even if the NCAA has still yet to provide a suitable answer for Cheick Diallo's suspension. Right now it kinda stinks of little more than arbitrary NCAA grandstanding. None of it matters now though.

What does matter? Bill Self and his Jayhawks have finally loaded their last, and possibly most potent, bullet. Spin the cylinder, Billy boy, pull back the hammer. You, and every Jayhwk fan, can now realistically set your sights on the possibility of something special this season.

Self is savvy enough to know it's not quite time to boast. He'll be the first to tell you that his 'Hawks have yet to accomplish anything this season. But the man has to be excited. This is the first veteran squad the man has had in Lawrence since 2013. Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden Jr., and Frank Mason III, three stars, have played together for three seasons now. Add to that Devonte' Graham - his shared time with Mason on the court makes these 'Hawks lethally fast - and sweet shooting, rangy freshman Carlton Bragg Jr and these 2015 Jayhawks have already come out to showcase a hot shooting and potent offense that is averaging 94.6 points a game, bringing home the hardware from the Maui Invitational Tournament in the process.

The only thing that was missing was Diallo's presence in the low post, something that easily could have been the difference in the Jayhawks lone loss to Tom Izzo's Michigan State Spartans in the Champions Classic - a loss that came after Kansas dominated 35 minutes of the contest before bowing out and then hilariously sending Jayhawk faithful into a fit of rash, speculative panic.

Self and his 'Hawks get Diallo at the perfect time, too. Starting with tonight's game against Loyola Maryland, the Jayhawks have three rummies at home in the Phog (Harvard and Holy Cross due up next) on which to feast. Diallo can come off the bench and ease his way into the flow of the game before the Jayhawks face Oregon State at Sprint Center on December 12.

By the time Kansas hosts Baylor on January 2, 2016 to start the Big XII Conference season, Self's team could be rolling.

So enjoy it 'Hawk fans. Cheicksmas is finally here! The waiting was the worst part. Now it's time to savor the arrival.

And finally, at long last, welcome to the show, Diallo.