KU's Tyshawn Taylor will have to raise his 35% from the floor for the Jayhawks to succeed. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
College basketball "began" last week and we all learned a little bit more about our Big 12 teams. But now it's time to get serious with the premier preseason tournament in the game today, the EA Sports Maui Invitational. This year's field may be the deepest ever with Tennessee, UCLA, Georgetown, Memphis, Duke, Kansas, Michigan and of course the tournament host, Chaminade, all participating.
Kansas is coming off a loss to No. 2 Kentucky 75-65 on Tuesday night. They hung tough with the Wildcats, tying them at halftime 28-28, but UK got all five starters in double figure scoring to pull away in the second half. Georgetown comes in undefeated at 2-0, facing their first real competition of the season.
Will the Jayhawks rebound or the Hoyas stay perfect? We continue after The Jump.Kansas and Georgetown have one thing in common: they both have tons of inexperience on their rosters. Georgetown will be relying on freshmen Jabril Trawick, Otto Porter, and Greg Whittington who are early bright spots, averaging 16.5 minutes/game apiece or more already. The Hoyas also have a trio in veterans Hollis Thompson, Henry Sims and Jason Clark who average nearly 43 points a game together. Head coach John Thompson III runs his alma mater's famous Princeton offense that opens up backdoor buckets and opportunities to make threes early and often. That doesn't bode well for Kansas who let UK shoot a crisp 7-for-15 from beyond the arc.
For the Jayhawks, they shot a horrid 34% from the field as a team vs Kentucky. There's a way to fix that: feed your Preseason All-American Thomas Robinson. Against a difficult front line in Kentucky he scored only 11 and grabbed 12 rebounds. Now against Georgetown, Robinson could very well face a stiff challenge from the 6-10 Henry Sims, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt to the Kansas forward in that battle. Tyshawn Taylor has to take on more of a leadership/scoring role. Don't let his 34 points in two games fool you because 18 of them have come from the charity stripe. From the field, he's only 7-for-20. He's the most experienced starter on the team, and it's time for him to play like it.
This will be a fun one to watch, if you're willing to stay up until approximately 10:50 pm central time to do so. We will definitely figure out these teams' identities if either is able to win tonight and let the momentum carry them through the week. It's almost too close to call, but I'll give the Hoyas a slight edge to win by at least four points.