In their first true test of the 2012-13 college basketball season, Bill Self's Kansas Jayhawks will hit the court this Tuesday for a marquee showdown with the Michigan State Spartans of the Big Ten.
The Jayhawks used a 17-point, 12-rebound effort from senior big man Jeff Withey to roll through Southeast Missouri State in their opener, but now face a significantly tougher test against a Tom Izzo-led team that is still searching for its first win of the year. Unable to slide by Connecticut despite a strong second half comeback on Friday, the Spartans are now facing the very real prospect of starting their campaign with an 0-2 mark for the second consecutive season.
Though he broke his hand shortly before Halloween and has been unable to contribute since, Kansas senior forward Kevin Young is fully expected to make his 2012-13 debut against the Spartans. Young saw just 11.4 minutes per game as a junior in his first eligible year after transferring to Lawrence from Loyola Marymount, but offers Self an experienced wing with elite athleticism and a developing touch around the perimeter. Young should immediately step in as a top contributor for Self going forward, and his presence will on Tuesday will be a significant asset against an MSU squad featuring a number of big men capable of scoring in the paint.