• WHEN/WHERE: 11 a.m. Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence
Kansas City Star
• TV/RADIO: ESPN; KCSP (610 AM)
• ABOUT GEORGETOWN (7-2): The Hoyas lost All-American forward Otto Porter to the NBA, but head coach John Thompson III has regrouped with a group that features UCLA transfer center Josh Smith and leading scorer D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera. Smith, a 350-pound load, considered transferring to Kansas last season but settled on Georgetown, where he became eligible right away under an NCAA hardship waiver. He should present quite a test for KU freshman center Joel Embiid. “We think we have some big guys, and we’re not even in the same ballpark when you start talking about Josh,” KU coach Bill Self said.” His hands are soft, and he’s a terrific player.” … KU and Georgetown, who are starting a four-year series, have played only twice. Georgetown beat KU in the Sweet 16 in 1987, while the Jayhawks won at the Maui Invitational in 2011.
• ABOUT KANSAS (7-3): For now, KU coach Bill Self says junior point guard Naadir Tharpe will continue to start after scoring eight points and handing out nine assists in an 80-63 victory over New Mexico last week. It could always change, Self says, but he’s hoping Tharpe continues to provide leadership in the backcourt. “We definitely need him to be the quarterback for us,” Self said. … Freshman wing Andrew Wiggins shot just three of 11 against New Mexico while struggling to contain Lobos standout Kendall Williams, but Self said Wiggins had a great week of practice. … After today’s game, KU will have nine days off before facing Toledo on Dec. 30 at Allen Fieldhouse.
• BOTTOM LINE: After 29 days away from Allen Fieldhouse, KU finally returns home, where the Jayhawks have won 66 straight against non-conference opponents. The Jayhawks should have enough stored up energy to make it 67 against Georgetown.
Georgetown at No. 18 Kansas
| Rustin Dodd, email@example.com