Georgetown-Kansas Preview

BY foxsports • November 21, 2011

Kansas coach Bill Self has bad memories of the last time he took a team to the Maui Invitational.

Georgetown coach John Thompson III has never been to this event, but is eagerly looking forward to it after an offseason trip that caused headlines for the wrong reason.

The No. 14 Jayhawks and Hoyas meet for the second time Monday night in the final quarterfinal at the Lahaina Civic Center.

This year's event features what is considered one of the strongest fields, with four ranked teams along with perennial powerhouses UCLA and Georgetown (2-0). It's reminiscent of what Kansas (1-1) faced in the 2005 tournament when it finished seventh with losses to Arizona and Arkansas.

"I don't know what that trip particularly did for us because we weren't very good on that trip, but also we weren't ready to be good," Self said.

The long-distance trip is something the Hoyas are accustomed to after traveling to China in the offseason, but that journey was more notorious for a brawl that occurred during one of the games. Thompson is taking this one much more seriously.

"We have to remember that this is very much a business trip and that while it's nice to see, this is almost the antithesis of the China trip, where we were sight-seeing and taking part in the culture, and here we have to focus on three games in three days," he told the Hoyas' official website.

Self's team has four new starters from last season's squad that went 35-3. The Jayhawks haven't played since shooting 33.9 percent and falling 75-65 to No. 2 Kentucky on Tuesday in New York.

"The great thing about playing Kentucky in the second game of the season with a bunch of inexperienced guys is you find out where you're at and what your deficiencies are and if they're magnified," Self said. "There are some things that were magnified that I believe are correctable."

Tyshawn Taylor scored a team-high 22 points, making 15 free throws and missing 10 of 13 shots from the floor.

The Jayhawks' defense is also a concern after letting the Wildcats shoot 51.0 percent. Georgetown led the Big East last season at 47.5 percent, and is at 54.2 percent this season.

"They run that variation of the Princeton stuff, so they get a lot of easy baskets off back-cutting," Self said. "We're going to have to do a good job of eliminating lay-ups and 3s, which has always been a strategy of ours whenever we play somebody that runs a similar-type offense."

The Hoyas have opened with routs by an average of 35.0 points. They are adjusting after losing their top two scorers from last season - Austin Freeman and Chris Wright.

"We have to get precise, regardless of who's in the game," Thompson said. "We have to get that precision at both ends of the court regardless of who coach has in and what we have to get quickly."

Georgetown won the only previous meeting, 70-57 in the 1987 NCAA tournament. The winner will play UCLA or Chaminade in Tuesday's semifinals, with No. 6 Duke, No. 10 Memphis and No. 17 Michigan looming in the other side of the bracket.


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