It’s always a big deal when Kansas and Duke, two basketball blue-bloods, meet. On Tuesday, when they face off in the Champions Classic, there may be greater fanfare than usual. That’s because each team fields one of the best young players in the country. For Kansas, its Andrew Wiggins; for Duke, Jabari Parker.
Coach Bill Self’s Jayhawks enter this early-season showcase ranked at No. 5 in the nation, but are the underdogs against Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s No. 4 Dukies.
Can Wiggins play up to the hype of a Sports Illustrated magazine cover and elevate Kansas to a massive, early season win?
He and Parker play the same position, so they will see quite a bit of each other. However, the victory may not come down to a pair of highly-touted teenagers.
Former Duke stars Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly are all gone. In their place stand by Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon, Rodney Hood and Amile Jefferson. In the team’s season-opening blowout of Davidson, the scoring was balanced, to say the least. Parker put up 22 points, as did Hood. Cook was close behind with 21 and Sulaimon scored 20.
Will Kansas’ core unit of Andrew White III, Wayne Selden, Jr., Tarik Black and Perry Ellis find a way to shut down an attack that comes at you from all angles? Like Duke, the Jayhawks are tasked with replacing stars, including Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey.
With championship coaches and talented rosters, this game will be one of the most exciting early-season match ups.
As both Self and Coach K understand all too well, there is only one thing, one question, that truly matters: