Coming into the season, I have to admit I didn't have Georgetown circled as a tough nonconference game. However, as we stand the Hoyas sit 20th in KenPom and are favored to take down the Jayhawks.
The first thing we check on on every opponent is its size. Georgetown ranks 41st in effective height, and runs 6'10", 6'9", 6'9", and 6'8" across the front line. It's worth noting, however, that most of Georgetown's size comes on the wings, and with a fairly similar lineup last year the Jayhawks shot 62.5 percent from two against Georgetown. Obviously that was at home and that team featured Tarik Black and Joel Embiid, but I do think Georgetown can be scored upon inside.
If not, one of the Jayhawks' biggest strengths line up with one of Georgetown's biggest weaknesses. The Hoyas rank 294th in defensive rebounding, and the Jayhawks rely heavily on pounding the offensive glass to score. Georgetown is also a bit below average at sending teams to the free throw line, so that's another area where the Jayhawks should be able to take advantage.
Georgetown looks to be a challenge offensively. They are 17th in the country in 2-point shooting, and Mikael Hopkins is the only player in Georgetown's top nine who doesn't shoot 50 percent from two. Even though Georgetown shoots threes at an above average clip and even though they shoot threes well, this is a game where Bill Self will be content to let the other team try to shoot over the top of the defense.
Senior Josh Smith is probably Georgetown's best player from an efficiency standpoint, but his foul trouble and his mobility issues leave a lot of areas for Kansas to exploit. Expect to see the Jayhawks try to get out and run a bit when he's in the game, and also have his man involved in either a lot of pick and roll situations or a lot of post to post screens.
Georgetown's offense features a lot of slashing to the basket, so the onus will be on Mason, Selden, and the rest of the perimeter defenders to stay in front of their man, but the big key to the game will be how well Georgetown shoots on the rare jumpers they take, as well as Kansas's ability to get good looks inside. I think they'll be able to do so, and I think they'll nip the Hoyas by five or so.