Last season: 27-9, lost in NCAA Tournament third round.
Nickname: Jayhawks. Coach: Bill Self.
Conference: Big 12.
Key returners: Senior forward Perry Ellis was the Jayhawks’ leading scorer (13.8 ppg) and rebounder (6.9 rpg) last season, and is a Big 12 player of the year candidate … Frank Mason III was their second-leading scorer (12.6 ppg) and assists leader (3.9 apg) … Wayne Selden Jr. was their third-leading scorer (9.4 ppg) and will spend more time as the third guard on the floor … top 3-point shooter Brannen Greene hopes to be ready for the opener after having offseason hip surgery … Devonte Graham provides a solid backup point guard … senior forward Jamari Traylor is a bruiser in the paint … freshman forward Cheick Diallo, a five-star prospect, is still awaiting NCAA eligibility to play this season … freshman forward Carlton Bragg, an accomplished pianist, has one-and-done potential.
Who left: Kelly Oubre Jr. parlayed his only season in Lawrence into becoming a first-round pick of the Washington Wizards … forward Cliff Alexander, whose family was being investigated for improper benefits, declared for the draft after his freshman season but was not picked.
The Skinny: This is arguably the most veteran team coach Bill Self has fielded since his 2008 national championship bunch. Diallo and Bragg give the Jayhawks better interior play than they had last season, while Ellis and Co. should provide some leadership. Early tests against Michigan State and San Diego State should provide a barometer for just how good the Jayhawks can be, and a 12th straight Big 12 title and national championship are clear goals.