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No. 2 Kansas takes on Indiana in battle of blue bloods

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An emotion-filled Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., will be the scene of a classic matchup Saturday between two college basketball blue bloods as No. 2 Kansas will face Indiana in the first game since the passing of George McGinnis, who died Thursday at age 73.

In his one year of varsity basketball at Indiana (1970-71), McGinnis led the Big Ten in scoring (29.9 points per game) and rebounds (14.7) to become the first sophomore in league history to lead the Big Ten in both categories.

He was inducted into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame in September.

“I loved George McGinnis,” Indiana coach Mike Woodson said. “He meant so much, not only to IU and the state of Indiana but to the entire basketball world. I looked up to George growing up in Indianapolis. He meant so much to me as a player and more importantly as a man. George was a Hall of Famer on and off the court, and I am going to miss him so much.”

Woodson must channel his emotions and focus on one of the nation’s best teams. Kansas boasts a formidable front line of Hunter Dickinson, KJ Adams Jr. and Kevin McCullar Jr. The trio is combining for 51.3 points and 23.5 rebounds per game for the Jayhawks (9-1). They’re the three leading scorers and rebounders for the Jayhawks, who are outscoring their opponents by almost 15 points and outrebounding by almost seven rebounds per game.

The Jayhawks are coming off a win over archrival Missouri on Saturday. Dickinson had another double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds in a 73-64 victory. McCullar and Adams led the Jayhawks with 17 points each.

Kansas closed the first half on a 14-0 run. But it was still closer than most expected, including Kansas coach Bill Self.

“I don’t care about what happened last year or the year before,” he said. “I care about what is going to happen from this point forward with our team,” Self said. “I am not going to think about Missouri again unless we have an opportunity to play them in the postseason, until next year (when the teams meet at Mizzou Arena).

“I am happy that we won, don’t get me wrong, but that is not something I’m going to hang my hat on, leaving out of here thinking we are 3-0 (against Mizzou). You know what? We are 9-1. We play at Indiana (next). We’ve got to get better for Indiana. That’s how I see it.”

The Hoosiers (7-2) are led by Kel’el Ware, who is averaging 16.7 points and 9.2 rebounds. He’s joined in double figures by Malik Reneau at 14.8 points and 4.9 rebounds. The Hoosiers as a team have just a plus-0.2 rebounding margin per game.

The Hoosiers are coming off a 104-76 loss to Auburn in Atlanta on Saturday. The Tigers’ 33-6 run turned a 12-point first-half deficit into an 18-point halftime lead.

“We came out ready to play,” Woodson told Voice of the Hoosiers’ Don Fischer during the postgame radio show. “We built a 12-point lead. The ball was moving. We got defensive stops. We rebounded. We did everything we set out to do.

“(Auburn) got their confidence going. Once they smacked us around a little bit, we stopped playing. That’s disappointing.”

–Field Level Media

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