Three juniors enter preseason drills as front-runners for starting positions in Kansas University's men's basketball lineup, with the other two slots up for grabs, KU coach Bill Self said in an online chat Monday on the Journal-World's kusports.com Web site.
"I would say that right now, based on what I know, (juniors) Wayne Simien, Aaron Miles and Keith Langford have a great chance to start, obviously," Self said, answering one of the 250 questions submitted by Jayhawk fans.
"David Padgett has looked good so far, and if he stays healthy he'll challenge for a spot," Self said of the freshman power forward, who figures to be challenged for playing time by senior big man Jeff Graves, with sophomore big man Moulaye Niang also vying for minutes.
"And the perimeter spot could come from a lot of people. It could be a young guy like Case or Giddens, or it could be a veteran like Michael Lee.
"There's a lot of guys fighting for a couple spots."
Jeremy Case and J.R. Giddens are freshman guards from Oklahoma; Lee is a junior who saw extensive playing time a year ago.
Of Graves' chances of starting, Self said: "I certainly feel he has a chance. I also think he'll have to work for it like all the guys. I've not made up my mind on anything. All the positions are up for grabs. He is one who will have a chance (to start) along with others."
Self has a lot of time to come up with his first lineup. Practice begins with Friday's Late Night in the Phog.
The first game is Nov. 21 against Tennessee-Chattanooga, following exhibition tuneups Nov. 4 and Nov. 11.
The Jayhawks this season will face tough nonconference opponents such as Michigan State, Stanford and Oregon.
"I'd love to play traditional powerhouses such as Kentucky, Duke, Syracuse, Connecticut, something like that," Self said. "I think this will be something fans want to see, and games players will want to play in. We won't play all those teams, but I feel that four to five of our games in the future will be against that caliber of opponents."