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Previewing the 2015 Maui Invitational field: Kansas

The Jayhawks look to get back on track in Maui after an early season defeat.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Self has led Kansas to an NCAA Tournament appearance in each of his 12 seasons at the helm. He's led the Jayhawks to a share of the Big 12 regular season championship for 11 straight years.

However the Jayhawks have been to just one Final Four (2012) and have won more than one game in the tournament just four times since their 2008 championship.

But with a majority of last year's scoring returning and a coveted recruit waiting in the wings, Jayhawks fans have to hope that this is the year that they return to playing games deep into March.

Offseason roundup

The Jayhawks lost both Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander to the NBA Draft, but they did return their top three leading scorers in Perry Ellis, Frank Mason III and Wayne Selden. Their huge get on the recruiting trail this offseason, as many St. John's fans will begrudgingly remember, was Mali big man Cheick Diallo.

Diallo has yet to play a game for Kansas while awaiting the NCAA's decision on his eligibility, although he will travel with the team to Maui.

Their season so far

Unlike most other teams in Maui, the Jayhawks have played just two games so far this season. They opened up the year with a blowout win over Northern Colorado, before being knocked off by Michigan State last week in the Champions Classic, 79-73.

Ranked as high as number four in the AP Top 25 Poll for last week, one would expect that ranking to drop a bit going into Maui.

Key players

Mason III, Selden and Ellis (yes, he is still in college), are all expected to lead the Jayhawks this season just as they did in 2014-15.

Jamari Traylor has been Kansas's biggest factor on the boards so far this year, with averages of seven rebounds and seven points in just 19.5 minutes through their first two games. Obviously the addition of Diallo would do nothing but help the Jayhawks front court going forward.

Kansas will begin play in Maui against Chaminade, and will then presumably play the winner of UNLV-UCLA.