The Kansas Jayhawks will open the season against the South East Missouri State Redhakws in the CBE Classic. In what will probably be a fairly easy win for the Jayhawks, the SEMO Redhawks will try to compete with the Big 12 favorites in hopes of pulling the upset. While the Redhawks are no basketball powerhouse they are picked to finish 2nd in the eastern division in the Ohio Valley Conference and return 3 of their top 5 scorers from last season, and after seeing the way the Jayhawks struggled against the Washburn Ichabod's, the Redhawks chances of upsetting Kansas may have gone up just a bit.
When: Friday, November 9th, 8:00 PM ET
Where: Lawrence, Kansas
Watch: Jayhawk TV (check local listing))
South East Missouri State
No injuries to report
F Kevin Young (3.4 PPG-3 RPG)
The Jayhawks replace veteran Tyshawn Taylor with experienced PG Elijah Johnson (10.2 PPG-3.2 RPG-3.5 APG) to run the point redshirt freshmen SG Ben McClemore has yet to play in a regular season game, yet he is on his way to basketball stardom by making a statement scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the Jayhawks win over Washburn by. Guards Naadir Tharpe and Anrio Adams should start the game from the bench, but both should get plenty of minutes against the Redhawks and contribute to the scoring effort.
The Redhawks backcourt may not have the scoring presence or depth that the Jayhawks do, but the Redhakws do have experience on their team. G Marland Smith (12.3 PPG-3RPG-2.5 APG) and G Nick Niemcyzk (9.2 PPG-2.5 RPG-2 APG) lead the Redhawk offense with G Corey Wilford (6.6 PPG-1.3 RPG) and G Lucas Nutt (5.1 PPG-3.1 APG) on the bench.
In recent years the Jayhawks main point of offense has featured a daunting frontcourt and big men and this year is no different. While the double-double machine known as Thomas Robinson leaves a hole in the Jayhawks rotation, C Jeff Withey (9 PPG-6.3 RPG-3.6) will be sure to make up for his rebounding presence along with SF Travis Releford (8.5 PPG-4.2 RPG). McDonald All American PF Perry Ellis makes his Kansas debut against the Redhawks and looks to impress as he did in the Jayhawk's game against Emporia State by scoring 15 points.
Southeast Missouri State big man F Tyler Stone (14.7 PPG-7.3 RPG-1.1 BPG) returns for the Redhakws as their top scorer heading into their game with Kansas.
Prediction: Kansas W, 101-64
While it's hard to say exactly which Kansas team will show up early in the year, I have a feeling that Bill Self will have Kansas ready to go after a sluggish game against Washburn. 101 might be high for a team that struggled on offense last week and a 40 to 50 point gap might be aggressive as well, but I'm betting that the Jayhawks have too much depth and they'll use a solid defensive effort as a springboard to a high offensive output.