Inside the office of Colorado women's basketball coach Linda Lappe hangs a dry-erase board.
Just a few days after the 2012-13 season concluded, the players on the 2013-14 roster were already written on that board. In the world of college basketball, there is little time to waste. One season ends and it's on to the next.
"It's a process to be consistent," Lappe said. "It starts right after the season."
While the Buffaloes are not likely to forget the great season they just had, Lappe and her staff have little choice but to begin preparations on what they hope is another successful season next year.
Just three players will graduate from this year's team, which went 25-7, finished No. 19 in the final Associated Press poll and reached the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Still, it's going to be a drastically different team next year.
So, as the Buffs look ahead, here are a few questions they must answer to be successful next year:
1. Who will replace Chucky Jeffery at point guard?
Jeffery is the only starter from this year's squad that will graduate, but she leaves a pretty big hole to fill. She is one of the all-time greats at CU and led the team in points, rebounds, assists and steals in each of the past two seasons.
More than likely, sophomore-to-be Ky Weston or senior Brittany Wilson will run the point.
"Brittany is going to have more experience there, but if Ky really wants to do it and she works hard at it and she really learns the offense ... I think she could be a really good point guard, as well," Lappe said. "That's why we brought her here."
Whichever player displays the most consistency, in practice and in games, is likely to take over that role. Just don't expect Weston or Wilson to put up Jeffery's overall numbers. Instead, Lappe believes the Buffs will have more of a traditional point guard.
"We're not going to have a point guard that does what Chucky did, and that's perfectly fine," she said. "I've never had a point guard, or seen a point guard really do what Chucky did, in terms of overall rebounding, scoring, steals, assists. It's pretty rare."
2. Where will the Buffs find more points?
CU has to replace Jeffery's 13.7 points per game. But, the Buffs need to find some extra points, too. They averaged 65.0 per game, but that number fell to 49.4 in their seven losses -- all against very good teams. They need to be consistently in the 60s and even in the low 70s.
"I think everybody has to score more," Lappe said. "I think our posts have to be more efficient, have to get easier shots. Our wings have to be able to knock down open shots and be able to create a little bit better."
The experience and maturity of forwards Jen Reese, Arielle Roberson and Jamee Swan ought to produce more points. Guards Lexy Kresl and Lauren Huggins (who redshirted this season) are also capable of knocking down big shots from the perimeter and Jasmine Sborov could be an asset if she improves her offensive game.
In addition, Wilson has occasionally displayed an ability to score in bunches, and Weston grew more comfortable as the season went on. Reserve Ashley Wilson can be explosive at times, too. Anything that recruits Haley Smith, an athletic 6-foot wing and Desiree Harris, a 5-8 guard who displayed great scoring punch in high school, provide will be an added bonus.
3. Can the Buffs be tough enough?
For the most part, Lappe has been pleased with how tough the Buffs have become. They did not show that against Kansas in the NCAA Tournament, but progress is being made, and it should continue.
New recruits Zoe Beard-Fails, a 6-foot-2 forward from Herndon, Va., and Briana Watts, a 6-4 center from Fresno, Calif., are both physical players who will add muscle to CU's already improving front court.
Senior center Rachel Hargis made significant improvements this past year and will be counted on heavily next year. Add in Roberson, Swan, Reese, Beard-Fails and Watts, and the Buffs could be a tough bunch in the paint.
"It was a little bit by design for sure, that we've got to get stronger," Lappe said. "I thought we showed significant progress towards that this year, but there were definitely some games where we weren't strong enough."
4. Who will lead this team?
Meagan Malcolm-Peck was a great leader for the Buffs this year, and Jeffery provided a solid amount of leadership on the court. With both gone, CU needs to fill those gaps.
The Buffs work on leadership skills for all their players, and Lappe said she sees a lot of leadership qualities in her players. As for who takes on the role of being the Malcolm-Peck for the 2013-14 squad, that remains to be seen.
"Leaders usually emerge," Lappe said. "Every year is a little bit different. It's who does the team trust? It might be a lot of people."
It's early, but Lappe sees the potential for positive answers to all these questions. If the Buffs can get those positive answers, the 2013-14 season could be another memorable year.
Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.