Non-con sets up well for young team

The Kansas Jayhawks return precisely four members from last season's unexpectedly great team, whose season ended in the national championship game. Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey and Kevin Young are all back, but beyond that the 2012-2013 Jayhawks are looking to be, dare we say it…young.

A Class of 2012 six members strong and two more freshmen - redshirts Ben McLemore and and Jamari Traylor - will all be leaned on heavily to contribute. So the non-conference schedule the Jayhawks announced this week sets up nicely for a team looking to build experience and steam heading into conference play.

There's still some punch, with games against Michigan State and Ohio State lined up and seven total opponents who advanced to post-season play in 2012.

"I think it is going to be a really good RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) schedule," said Kansas head coach Bill Self. "I don't think there are as many traditional names on it as we have had the last couple of years. Ohio State and Michigan State will be two of the best teams in the country. Then you throw in the Temples and the Colorados, the Washington States, Oregon States, Richmonds, Belmonts, American; there are some good teams in there that will have really good RPIs that should probably help our RPI."

The contest with Michigan State comes as part of the second annual Champions Classic. Last season, the Jayhawks faced off with Kentucky in a highly-touted early-season tilt. This year it's the Spartans in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome on Nov. 13. Next year, it will be versus Duke in Chicago.

The schedule is as follows (Home in bold):

Oct. 30 - Emporia State (Ex.)

Nov. 5 - Washburn (Ex.)

Nov. 9 - Southeast Missouri St. (CBE)

Nov. 13 - Michigan State (Champions Classic)

Nov. 16 - UT Chattanooga (CBE)

Nov. 19 - Washington State (CBE) - Kansas City

Nov. 20 - St. Louis/Texas A&M (CBE) - Kansas City

Nov. 26 - San Jose State

Nov. 30 - Oregon State - Kansas City

Dec. 8 - Colorado

Dec. 15 - Belmont

Dec. 18 - Richmond

Dec. 22 - Ohio State

Dec. 29 - American University

Jan. 6 - Temple Top Stories