What to Expect from Kansas in the World University Games

The Kansas Jayhawks are representing the United States in the World University Games. Technically there is no Round of 32, so we should be fine.

As you may know by now, the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team will be representing the USA in the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea. The Jayhawks will play Team Canada in two exhibition games on June 23 and 26 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City before leaving for South Korea on June 28th

According to the Kansas City Star , the Jayhawks will face Turkey, Serbia, Brazil, Chile and Switzerland in pool play starting July 3. If they finish in the top two of Pool D, they will advance to an eight-team medal round. If they fail to finish in the top two, they will fall into one of two eight-team consolation brackets, where they will be guaranteed three games.

There is no Round of 32, so I think the Jayhawks will be fine.

Here are a few things to look for during the World University Games:

A First Look

This will be the first look we get at what is sure to be a preseason top-five team. This could arguably be the best team Kansas has put out on the court since 2011, so it will be interesting to see how they do with the extra practice time and games against international competition. Also joining the Jayhawks for the World University Games is Southern Methodist guard Nic Moore, the reigning American Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

New Jayhawks, Same Expectations.

Two new recruits, Lagerald Vick and Carlton Bragg, will be participating for Team USA, so here’s a chance to get an early look at the impact they can make during the season. Mali native Cheick Dallo is not eligible to play for Team USA.

Other Players Unavailable

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk will also be ineligible for Team USA as he is from Ukraine, and Brannen Greene will be out recovering from hip surgery. Devonte Graham is out with a partially-torn quad tendon. Transfer Dwight Coleby is also unavailable because he is from the Bahamas.

Guard Play

We will get to see the return of Frank Mason and his fantastic guard play from a season ago, now playing alongside Nic Moore. After Graham’s recent injury, Bill Self and the Jayhawks added senior guard Julian DeBose from Florida Gulf Coast. Considering how it became obvious last season that Mason was being worn down by too many minutes, Mason ought to be expected to share time with Moore and DeBose in these games.

Wayne Selden, (the) Junior.

Wayne Selden decided to return for his junior year, which prompted Scott Chasen to make the fantastic pun above. We still don’t know if Selden will become the player Kansas fans expected since his freshman year or if inconsistency will continue to haunt him. After going a horrific 3-11 in last year’s NCAA tournament, Selden may be more determined to become the player we saw flashes of last season. This will be his chance to show which player he will be this year.

Perry Ellis: POTY Candidate

Perry Ellis elected to return to KU for his senior season, and now one of the frontrunners for next season’s Big 12 Player of the Year award will be back in crimson and blue. Expect him to continue as the main scoring option during these games, just as he has been through the last few years. And hey, maybe we’ll get to see a rare Perry Ellis smile if Team USA manages to bring home a medal.

Different Rules

Because of FIBA rules, the Jayhawks will be playing with a 24 second shot clock. This will force them to play at a faster pace, something recent Jayhawk teams have not done. This will help KU transition to the new 30 second shot clock the NCAA has implemented. Hopefully the pace will also carry over into the regular season and we get to see the Jayhawks run in transition more.

Overall, this will be a chance to get some early reads on what could be one of the best Kansas teams we’ve seen recently. They will go up against some high level international competition and have a chance to come back from the games with a medal. The stars of last season should continue to shine, and we could witness an emergence of a few new impact players.

Schedule & TV Info

Here’s the schedule for KU’s games, via the  :

▪ Friday, July 3: USA vs. Turkey at Dongkang Gymnasium, 10 p.m. Central (noon July 4 in South Korea)

▪ Sunday, July 5: Brazil vs. USA at Dongkang Gymnasium, 6:30 a.m. Central (8:30 p.m. July 5 in South Korea)

▪ Tuesday, July 7: Chile vs. USA at Muan Indoor Gymnasium, 12:30 a.m. Central (2:30 p.m. July 7 in South Korea)

▪ Tuesday, July 7: USA vs. Serbia at Dongkang Gymnasium, 10 p.m. Central (noon July 8 in South Korea)

▪ Wednesday, July 8: USA vs. Switzerland at Dongkang Gymnasium, 8 p.m. Central (10 a.m. July 9 in South Korea)

▪ July 10-13: Three games TBA in medal and bracket play at Dongkang Gymnasium

All games will be televised on ESPNU, however, it is yet to be decided if they will be broadcast live or on tape delay.

Dylan King

Staff writer for Rock Chalk Blog. http://twitter.com/_DK22