Originally published May 13, 2014 at 11:01a.m., updated May 14, 2014 at 12:52a.m.

KU hoops reveals ‘challenging’ 2014-15 nonconference slate

Kansas head coach Bill Self raises a fist to the student section as they salute the the Jayhawks' tenth-straight conference title following their 83-75 win over Oklahoma on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self raises a fist to the student section as they salute the the Jayhawks' tenth-straight conference title following their 83-75 win over Oklahoma on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Marquee matchups against 2014 Final Four teams Kentucky and Florida, an appearance in the Orlando Classic and road trips to Georgetown and Temple highlight Kansas University’s 2014-15 nonconference basketball schedule, which was released Tuesday.

The Jayhawks will meet Kentucky on Nov. 14 at the Champions Classic in Indianapolis. UK, which finished national runner-up to UConn last season, is expected to be ranked No. 1 in the preseason.

Florida, which beat KU, 67-61, last year in Gainesville, will travel to Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 5 for an SEC/Big 12 Challenge contest.

The Jayhawks will travel to Georgetown on Dec. 10 and Temple on Dec. 22. KU will meet UNLV on Jan. 4 in Allen Fieldhouse and Utah on Dec. 13 in Kansas City’s Sprint Center.

Teams that will be competing in the Nov. 27-30 Orlando Classic: KU, Michigan State, Marquette, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Rider, Santa Clara and Rhode Island.

Other home games: UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 14), Rider (Nov. 24), Lafayette (Dec. 20) and Kent State (Dec. 30).

“Obviously, next year’s nonconference will be very challenging,” KU coach Bill Self said. “We always play a good schedule, but this past year was rated by many to be about as tough of a nonconference schedule that a team has played in years. Certainly, next year’s schedule will be one of the better nonconference schedules that anyone in America plays, as well.

“When you think about two teams that were in the Final Four last year with Kentucky and Florida, then you throw in the Orlando Classic, which is loaded, including Michigan State, then on the road at Georgetown and Temple along with other tough nonconference contests like Utah and UNLV, all of those will certainly prepare our guys to make another strong push at a conference championship.”

KU announced Tuesday that Late Night in the Phog will be held on Friday, Oct. 10. The Jayhawk football team hosts Oklahoma State on Oct. 11.

Teams are allowed to start practicing this season on Oct. 3 — 42 days before the first game — but that weekend would not be an ideal time to host recruits at Late Night, since most of the top high school prospects will be competing with USA Basketball. Plus, the Jayhawks are on the road in football on Oct. 4.

Rider explained: KU’s game against Rider on Nov. 24 is in conjunction with the Orlando Classic, designed to give the Jayhawks an extra home game this season. Yes, it’s possible KU could meet Rider again in the actual tournament. Rider will be placed on the other side of the bracket.

“It’s possible, not likely though,” said Larry Keating, KU special assistant to the athletic director in charge of scheduling. “You don’t have to play a fourth game if you don’t want to,” he noted. “Michigan State will be doing the same thing against Santa Clara. It’s likely Rider will be on Michigan State’s side of the bracket and Santa Clara on our side.”

Tough slate: Keating likes the look of KU’s schedule on paper. “It’s a good schedule. I’ve not seen the other ones so it’s hard to say (where it’ll rank). I’d say it’s comparable to last year in terms of strength. I’d bet this year’s teams (opponents) will all be better than they were last year. Nine or 10 of them will be better than last year.”

Notes: Last season, Santa Barbara went 21-9 last season and placed second in the Big West at 12-4. Forward Alan Williams led the country in rebounding at 11.5 per game. ... Rider went 14-17 and tied for sixth in the MAAC with a 9-11 mark. ... Florida went 36-3, 18-0 in the SEC. ... Georgetown went 18-15 and played in the NIT. KU beat the Hoyas, 86-64, in Allen. ... Utah went 21-12 and tied for eighth in the Pac 12 at 9-9. Utah played in the NIT. ... Lafayette went 11-20 and tied for seventh in the Patriot League at 6-12. ... Temple went 9-22 and tied for eighth in the American Athletic Conference at 4-14. ... Kent State went 16-16, 7-11 in the Mid-American Conference East. ... UNLV went 20-13 and finished tied for third in the Mountain West at 10-8. ... KU will play exhibitions against Washburn (Nov. 4) and Emporia State (Nov. 11).

2014-15 Kansas basketball non-conference schedule

(times released at a later date)

Date — Opponent — Location

Nov. 4 — Washburn (Exh.) — Lawrence, Kan.

Nov. 11 — Emporia State (Exh.) — Lawrence, Kan.

Nov. 14 — UC Santa Barbara — Lawrence, Kan.

Nov. 18 — Kentucky (Champions Classic) — Indianapolis, Ind.

Nov. 24 — Rider (Orlando Classic) — Lawrence, Kan.

Nov. 27 — TBA (Orlando Classic) — Orlando, Fla.

Nov. 28 — Semifinals (Orlando Classic) — Orlando, Fla.

Nov. 30 — Championship (Orlando Classic) — Orlando, Fla.

Dec. 5 — Florida (SEC/Big 12 Challenge) — Lawrence, Kan.

Dec. 10 — at Georgetown — Washington, D.C.

Dec. 13 — Utah (Sprint Center) — Kansas City, Mo.

Dec. 20 — Lafayette — Lawrence, Kan.

Dec. 22 — at Temple — Philadelphia, Pa.

Dec. 30 — Kent State — Lawrence, Kan.

Jan. 4 — UNLV — Lawrence, Kan.


Daniel Kennamore 8 years, 6 months ago

Solid line-up...although only seems to be one really intresting home-game (Florida).

Benz Junque 8 years, 6 months ago

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Luca Rossi 8 years, 6 months ago

Can anyone tell me where Rhodes Island is?

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

There is a Big Man named Colossus in Rhodes. Self must be recruiting him.

Michael Maris 8 years, 6 months ago

Keeg's is probably looking for a KU / Marquette match-up to take place.

Ian Emerson 8 years, 6 months ago

16 games versus NCAA teams ARE YOU KIDDING MEEEEE!?!?!??!?!

Benz Junque 8 years, 6 months ago

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Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

12 of those are against the other 6 Big 12 teams that made the NCAA touranment last year. Only 4 of those are non-conference games and only 2 of those are actually games KU scheduled as the Kentucky and Florida games are part of special events. KU could have 2 more tournament teams on the schedule depending on how Orlando plays out. KU and Michigan St. will be on opposite sides of the bracket for sure because that's the marquee match up they want in the finals, but KU could get Tennessee in the semifinals who made the the Sweet 16 last year.

Glen Miller 8 years, 6 months ago

Tennessee is not going to be near the team they were this year though. Should win that game if we get it.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

Tennessee is still going to be a solid team next year and their new coach runs a system pretty similar to Louisville's and unless the PG issues are resolved, that could be an issue for KU.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

How do we get 4 play dates, commencing with the Nov 24th Rider game, with an 8 team tournament.

Really happy to see a tough non-com schedule, especially playing in Philly and DC. Temple and Georgetown are great selections.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 6 months ago

Touigh schedule?...Absolutely!! Tough as last season? friggin' way. Last season was a nightmare for a young team and it will be again this year.

I may be the lone voice in the wilderness but I like about 10 games whereby the KU Kids can gain a measure of confidence. No way we beat UK..Michigan State is our Krytonite..Florida will be tough....etc.

Give me 9 or 10 games that are very winnable with 3 or 4 real challenges...not the other way around.

Oh well, it is what it is. Bill just can't help himself. :)

Joe Joseph 8 years, 6 months ago

Good competition means good exposure. It's all about getting the name and the brand out there. Not to mention, the selection committee continues to prove it values SOS over W/L record...

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 6 months ago

Oak, Im not sure anybody (especially Calipari or Self) would agree with "no way we beat UK". I think it would be a tough game, for sure, but UK lost their beast Randle, while we added one in Cliff Alexander, a Top3 MickeyD. They return key guys, and we return a wide variety of experience.

MichiganState was a great senior-laden team. They start over with whatever 'reload' this year, so that game edge may very well go to KU...

I'd hate to sell our KU kids short, as also look for a return of toughness and better defense. We know who the KU coach is...

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

Kentucky is going to deservedly be on the short list of teams expected to win a title next year. They are also going to be a very big team next year and KU is going to have one of their smaller teams in recent memory. Can KU beat Kentucky next year? Absolutely, but that also doesn't change that Kentucky's size means they are not a good match up on paper for KU either.

Benz Junque 8 years, 6 months ago

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Joe Joseph 8 years, 6 months ago

Big time competition means big time exposure. It's all about getting the name and the brand out there.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

KU basketball doesn't have that issue. It's more about getting the team ready for March and playing good teams away from Allen Fieldhouse is a good way to do that.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

Nice solid schedule. A couple of good home games, at least one challenging road game, hopefully Temple is closer to normal instead of a crappy team like last year, and potentially 2-3 very good neutral court games. This is a pretty well balanced schedule with the only thing missing is a quality mid major team. KU should have at least 10 wins going into Big 12 play with this schedule.

Titus Canby 8 years, 6 months ago

Gary, did our contract with Colorado end? I wouldn't mind playing them every year.

Gary Bedore 8 years, 6 months ago

Yes the contract is over. I talked to Tad Boyle at the AAU tournament and he said he'd like to get with Bill and talk about another series, but truthfully, now that Colorado is a tough out for KU (at CU) I can't imagine KU wanting to go back in there for a while. The fact that CU has figured out a way to keep the KU fans out of Coors Center makes that a less attractive matchup in this modern era of athletics.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 6 months ago


1] After re-evaluating the schedule and reading the well thought-out posts, I have come to the conclusion that there is no game on the schedule we can't win.

2] Slam dunks: UC Santa Barbara, Rider [twice if necessary], Lafayette, Kent State.

3] Challenging but very winnable: @ Georgetown, @Temple, UNLV, Utah.

4] Orlando Classic: All three eventual opponents winnable with MSU, Tennessee and Marquette being the biggest challenges.

5] Underdogs against UK and Florida.

6] This team will go as far as the guard play will take us...the departure of Naadir and the addition of Devonte will pay dividends...but it will be further down the road into the season. There may be some struggles early on.

7] Maybe having the KU football team on the road may be a GOOD thing for basketball recruiting!! Hopefully, we see some signs of life and glimmers of hope for the Football Hawks. I am afraid that light at the end of the tunnel is only a pin point at this juncture!!

8] Assuming no injuries or blockbuster signings, the 2014/15 Jayhawk nonconference schedule could be anywhere from 9-4 to 11-2. Since there's no harm in being crazy, I'll predict 13-0!! :)

Tony Bandle 8 years, 6 months ago

PS. 14-0 if we end up playing Rider twice.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 6 months ago

Just 13-0, highly unlikely KU gets paired with Rider twice, but if they did, the second game would be the November 27 opening round in Orlando which is already part of the 13 game non conference schedule.

Benz Junque 8 years, 6 months ago

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Tony Bandle 8 years, 6 months ago

BJ..all kidding aside, I agree with you. Truth be told, I think 11-2 is a possibility with a loss to UK and stubbing our toes against someone in Orlando.

As far as the Big 12 goes, it will probably be the usual suspects battling it out with KU, Texas, OU and Iowa State the main combatants Losing Smart hurts OSU and not losing Weber hurts KSU. TT, WV and TCU will continue to get their butts kicked. Projected conference record for KU 14-4 as the Big 12 Co-Champs with Texas.

Say 2-1 in the Big 12 Tourney and your looking at 27-7 prior to the NCAA. In the Big Dance all the way to the Elite Eight, 3-1 total for '14/'15 is 30 - 8.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 6 months ago

I see Kansas beating UK and the rest of the non-con schedule. In fact, I see the Hawks rolling to an undefeated National Championship....40-0! The way I see it....we go undefeated next year until somebody beats us.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 6 months ago

Benz .. "We aren't beating Kentucky next year, sorry."

You mean the first game of the season, or the last game in April?

Benz Junque 8 years, 6 months ago

The first game of the season. Anything goes by the end of the year.

Doug Merrill 8 years, 6 months ago

Gary Were we not on a home and away deal with San Diego? I was counting on that return match for revenge...

Micky Baker 8 years, 6 months ago

It's another good schedule, but KU won't be away from Allen Field House for nearly a month like this past season.

Kansas will beat Florida at Allen Field House, and that game against Kentucky, that will be a good matchup for Kansas because we will have more quickness than they do. Kentucky will have some bigger guys, but they won't be able to move as well as our guys can. Our guys are also more physical and that could frustrate UK. We have kids with greater upper body strength that can wear down anyone. That should be an interesting game, not just because it's the top 2 programs in history. I'd give KU a slight edge right now because I think that there will be a huge jump for the second year players like Selden, Frankcamp, and Mason.

That Orlando special could see KU face Michigan State, and that one is an even match up.

I'm okay with this kind of schedule because the Big 12 is going to have some really good teams next season like Texas, K-State, Iowa State, and even Baylor. When KU plays with an up tempo, they'll be hard to beat. We'll see how that plays out.

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