LAWRENCE -- The Kansas Jayhawks’ upcoming non-conference basketball schedule may lack the blue-blood appeal that flooded their schedule last season. But then again, it’s hard to match a 2011-12 slate that included Kentucky, UCLA, Duke, Georgetown and Ohio State.
And KU coach Bill Self still believes at least one thing: Some of the names might not show up on a marquee, but KU will be playing plenty of teams that will boost the Jayhawks’ RPI (Ratings Percentage Index).
Start with Michigan State and Ohio State, two Big Ten heavyweights that headline the 13-game slate that was released on Thursday afternoon.
“I think it’s going to be a really good RPI schedule,” Self said. “I don’t think there’s as many traditional names on it as maybe we’ve had in the last couple years.”
The Jayhawks will play Michigan State as part of the Champions Classic in Atlanta on Nov. 13, and they’ll head to Columbus to play Ohio State on Dec. 22.
Some other notable games: The Jayhawks will open with Southeast Missouri State at Allen Fieldhouse on Nov. 9. They’ll play two games at the Sprint Center in the CBE Classic on Nov. 19 and 20 — the first game will be against Washington State with Saint Louis and Texas A&M playing the other game. They’ll return to Sprint Center for a home game against Oregon State on Nov. 30. With the Sprint Center also hosting the Big 12 tournament and an NCAA second-and third-round site, KU could play as many as eight games in Kansas City.
KU will also host former Big 12 conference member Colorado at Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 8. And Richmond, which KU defeated in the Sweet 16 in 2011, will also return to Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 18 — nearly nine years after the Spiders upset KU at home on Jan. 22, 2004.
“It’s probably a schedule that was done knowing that we also have eight freshmen,” Self said. “So it’s probably the youngest team we’ve had. (It’s) by no means easy, but we certainly didn’t load up like we did last year with traditional names.”
FUTURE FOES?: Self added that he’d be open to playing Danny Manning’s Tulsa program or Larry Brown’s SMU squad in the coming years. But Self also said that he may give both coaches some time to build their program before asking them to take a trip to Allen Fieldhouse.
“It’ll also be done at a time where they feel confident and comfortable in doing so,” Self said.
All games at Allen Fieldhouse unless noted:Oct. 30: Emporia State (exh.)