KU men’s basketball releases nonconference schedule
The public and the media have been gradually assembling the 2023-24 Kansas men’s basketball schedule from bits and pieces since not long after last season ended. Now, with KU’s official announcement Monday morning, it has finally been revealed in its full glory.
Well, the nonconference schedule has, at least — Big 12 Conference matchups remain to be determined. And, according to KU’s news release, “There is still one game to be added on the Kansas schedule.”
Even so, the Jayhawks’ November and December are nearly set. KU will host, in total, one home exhibition against Fort Hays State on Nov. 1, seven home games beginning with the Nov. 6 season opener against North Carolina Central, four neutral-site contests and one true road game at Indiana on Dec. 16.
The Jayhawks beat the Hoosiers 84-62 at Allen Fieldhouse last year, but their rematch will present one of the biggest obstacles of an early-season slate that also features a Champions Classic battle with Kentucky at the United Center in Chicago just over a week into the season, as well as a tough matchup with defending champion UConn in Lawrence on Dec. 1.
Between those two tests, KU will tackle a brutal Maui Invitational field at the three-day Hawaiian tournament between Nov. 20 and Nov. 22. Possible opponents include Gonzaga, Marquette, Purdue, Syracuse, Tennessee (which beat KU in the Bahamas last year), UCLA and Division II foe Chaminade.
The Border Showdown against Missouri also returns to Kansas on Dec. 9.
“Once again, our non-conference schedule will be one of the toughest in America, as it has been most years since we’ve been here,” KU coach Bill Self said in a news release. “Playing Kentucky in Champions; going to Maui with maybe as loaded of a field as Maui has ever had; coming home and playing Missouri and Connecticut; and going to Indiana are all monster-type games and games that could have national implications.”
The official season opener against North Carolina Central will honor Kansas graduate John McLendon, a former Eagles coach who went on to become the first African American head coach at a predominantly white institution (at Cleveland State) and the namesake of the McLendon Minority Leadership initiative for coaches.
The Jayhawks will later host Manhattan College (Nov. 10), Eastern Illinois (Nov. 28), Kansas City (Dec. 5) and Yale (Dec. 22).