NCAA Basketball: Buckeyes, Spartans Headline Jayhawks' Non-Conference Schedule

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NCAA Basketball: Buckeyes, Spartans Headline Jayhawks' Non-Conference Schedule
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The only returning Kansas basketball player in 2011 with significant experience as a starter was Tyshawn Taylor, with the others largely seeing spot duty as role players. 

Despite the inexperienced, thin roster, the Jayhawks managed to nearly knock off Duke and compete with eventual national champion Kentucky in early season non-conference games. Those two opponents highlighted a strong non-conference schedule that also included tournament teams Long Beach State, Georgetown and Davidson. 

Due to this heavy dose of tournament teams during November and December, the inexperienced Kansas roster quickly found their identity.

Bill Self's young 2012-13 roster showcases a whopping 10 freshmen but also welcomes back three starting seniors with proven track records in Jeff Withey, Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford. 

Once again, the upcoming non-conference slate is packed with college basketball powers and another half dozen potential tournament teams. 

While this week's trip to Switzerland and France will be sure to test the team against professional level players, the best development tool for Coach Self and his staff will come when they play Michigan State in mid-November's Champions Class and a month later during their visit to Columbus to face the Buckeyes.  

Those elite Big Ten teams, along with two former Big 12 foes, headline a non-conference schedule that should reveal all we need to know about the 2012-13 Kansas Jayhawks basketball team.

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