NCAA BK

Sat, Dec 21, 2013 - 12:00 PM ET
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Georgetown-Kansas Preview

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Coach Bill Self previously has admitted he did his young Kansas squad no favors with a rigorous non-conference slate.

The 18th-ranked Jayhawks will play their first home game in nearly a month Saturday when they meet a Georgetown team seeking consistency.

Kansas (7-3) has done plenty of traveling through the first part of the season, falling victim to the treacherous schedule at times. After beating then-No. 4 Duke in Chicago on Nov. 12, it suffered its first loss Nov. 29 to Villanova - currently ranked eighth - in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas, where it played three games in three days.

The Jayhawks, who start three freshmen in Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden and Joel Embiid, then fell at Colorado - now No. 20 in the AP poll - on Dec. 7 and at then-No. 19 Florida on Dec. 10.

Perry Ellis scored a game-high 21 points and added nine rebounds, while Embiid scored 16 of his season-best 18 points in the second half to help Kansas beat New Mexico 80-63 last Saturday in Kansas City.

''Our bigs were really good,'' Self said. ''Perry was the most consistent one and he scored the most points, but there was a stretch in the second half where Joel looked pretty good.''

Embiid and Wiggins, who finished with 11 points and shot 3 for 11, battled foul trouble for most of the game.

''I was frustrated,'' Embiid said. ''Yeah, I wanted it bad, and they wanted to throw me the ball and let me score, and that's what I needed to do.''

The Jayhawks, who have won 32 of 33 at home, are returning to Allen Fieldhouse for the first time since beating Towson on Nov. 22. It marks the first true road game of the season for Georgetown (7-2), which is coming off an 85-76 win over Elon on Tuesday.

The Hoyas, though, also have spent considerable time away from home. They fell to then-No. 19 Oregon on Nov. 9 in South Korea to open the season and played three games in four days in Puerto Rico, where they earned a victory over then-No. 10 Virginia Commonwealth on Nov. 24.

Georgetown's play has been spotty at times, including in a loss to Northeastern in Puerto Rico and a narrow six-point win over Colgate on Dec. 7 that forced coach John Thompson III to keep his players from speaking with the media.

He wasn't particularly pleased with the most recent effort, either.

"In general, we have to play much smarter than we did," Thompson said. "We made several key mental mistakes that on a different night can cost you a game. Hopefully we won't make the same mental mistakes that I alluded to and hopefully we do a better job of helping each other to stop what is coming (against Kansas)."

The Hoyas have won six straight, as Markel Starks scored 21 points, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 19 and Joshua Smith added 18 against Elon.

"There are going to be times where I have to score the ball," Starks said. "When you look at the stat sheet, the scoring was spread out. I thought we did a very good job of sharing the ball."

This will be the third meeting between these teams after Georgetown won 70-57 in the 1987 NCAA tournament regional semifinals and Kansas earned a 67-63 victory at the 2011 Maui Invitational.

Tagged: Georgetown, Kansas

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