It seems that every year, we start the season staring down a monster matchup that we just don’t quite know what to think about. This season is no different, as Bill Self has crafted yet another killer of a non-conference schedule, with back to back games against fellow blue-bloods Indiana and Duke. Today, we focus on tonight’s matchup with the Hoosiers. Who do you think comes out victorious in the season-opener? Read on for the thoughts of our writers, and don’t forget to weigh in down in the comment section.
mikeville: First game of the season, 3800 miles away from home, #11 Indiana on a neutral floor, what could go wrong? I don’t know anything about Indiana other than their preseason ranking. I’m picking blind. I don’t care. I’m pretty sure we’re the better team, the more talented team, but who knows if that will manifest in mid-November. Still, what the hell, I’ll take the Jayhawks. Kansas 80, Indiana 66.
dnoll5: I have no analysis for this game as it is so early, but here’s what I want to happen: Josh Jackson embraces the spotlight and shows his diverse game, Carlton Bragg figures out whatever he needs to have figured out, Frank and Devonte run the show, Landen is as fundamental as always, Svi goes off, and LaGerald Vick shows that he’s way more than a role player. Oh, and dunks. Lots of awesome dunks. Kansas 88, Indiana 68.
Fizzle406: I have no idea what to expect here. I think Kansas wins. Kansas 76, Indiana 70
David: Indiana is a high-powered offensive team, and I don't think Bragg and Jackson will be in form yet defensively, so I think this ends up a shootout. Fortunately, I think Kansas is deeper and will have the best players on the court, and I think that gives them the advantage in the end. Plus, this will be Indiana's first heavyweight bout without their best player and point guard from last year, Yogi Ferrell. I like Kansas to slowly develop a lead that keeps Indiana at arm’s length. Kansas 84, Indiana 75
University of Kansas Graduate 2008: Never know what to make of these early non-con games. Indiana losing Yogi makes me more optimistic. Indiana can shoot and score, but they’ve never been the best defensively and I doubt that changes. For all the worrying about rebounding, I think KU does well inside and on the glass which leads to a nice opening victory.Kansas 78, Indiana 71.
Winmore: Kansas bball will be fine by season’s end, but ‘Hawk fans may be set up for a rough start. I love that Bill Self has once again put together a monster non-con slate. Unlike college football there is no significant penalty for losing a game or two and many times taking your lumps against top line competition in the non-con. It can make you a much stronger team come March. KU’s backcourt is gonna be a hell of a lot of fun to watch this season, but up front I am no fan of what I’ve seen in the exhibition from Lucas, and especially Bragg who looks soft as hell and doesn’t throw in nearly enough points for it to be okay to have him just stand around and watch the other team grab every rebound. With Duke looming on the horizon, I think a combination of Kansas’ early season slow gelling and looking ahead to a potential 1-v-2 match-up will cost KU here. Indiana 80, Kansas 77
Jakebogen95: Alas, the Jayhawks return the court. After what has been a rough year for Kansas football, it’s finally time to welcome back the team that dwarfs the Big 12 every year. With new faces for Kansas such as the no.1 projected 2017 NBA Draft pick F Josh Jackson, C Azuibuke and F Mitch Lightfoot and returning members of last year’s elite eight team such as guards Frank Mason and Devonte Graham it should be an exciting year. Indiana is no joke, but I think this Kansas team might be better than last year. I still expect some jitters to start, but hopefully KU is able to slow down a high-powered Indiana Hoosier offense. I think they do and get the win. Kansas 84, Indiana 73
misterbrain: It’s hard to really know what kind of performance we are going to get from either team, with Indiana having to replace so much and being thin at the PG spot, where Kansas is probably one of the strongest teams in the country. But Bill Self has a habit of tinkering early, especially in big games, so there is an uncertainty as to what exactly we are going to see. Add in the questions spawned by Landen Lucas and his walking boot, and it all comes out to a complete guess anyway. I’ve seen a bit of concern about free throw shooting with this team, and I’m hoping that’s not a real issue, but I could see that being something we struggle with out of the gate and it actually causing some tense moments in this game. I’m on record already with a Kansas victory, and I’ll have to stick with that. Give me Kansas 87, Indiana 82.