Kansas-Duke basketball preview
11/12/2013 6:11 PM
05/16/2014 10:42 AM
8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the United Center in Chicago
ESPN; KCSP (610 AM)
•ABOUT KANSAS (1-0):
Kansas sophomore Jamari Traylor, who had five points in KU’s 80-63 victory over Louisiana-Monroe in the season opener, is returning to his hometown of Chicago. But Traylor made it clear he’s focused more on Duke. (“I’m worried about the scouting report,” he said.) The fifth-ranked Jayhawks are 0-2 in the Champions Classic after losses to Kentucky and Michigan State the last two seasons. And it’s been more than 10 years since Kansas last defeated Duke, a Sweet 16 victory in 2003 on the way to the NCAA title game. Expect the rotation to be cut down even more on Tuesday, with freshmen Conner Frankamp and Brannen Greene outside of the nine-man rotation. KU is 48-26 against ranked teams under Bill Self.
•ABOUT DUKE (1-0):
Sophomore Rodney Hood, a 6-foot-8 swingman, had 22 points in his Duke debut after transferring from Mississippi State before last season. Kansas coach Bill Self said Hood could be “the best three-man” that KU will see this season. Hood shot nine of 10 from the floor in a 111-77 victory over Davidson last Friday, and while freshman Jabari Parker gets the headlines, Kansas must also find a way to stop Hood. The fourth-ranked Blue Devils are a little thin in the frontcourt. And to beat Duke, Self says Kansas must handle their pressure and win the battle inside. Duke, coached by Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski, is fourth all-time in victories with 2,002 — exactly 100 wins behind of Kansas. Duke freshman Semi Ojeleye is a native of Ottawa, Kan.
Kansas trails Duke 7-2 in the all-time series, and Self is 0-3 against Krzyzewski. Self may be due against Duke, but how will Andrew Wiggins and KU’s young players react in a high-pressure environment?