On Thursday night, the Blue Blood Kansas Jayhawks and coach Bill Self will head to Lubbock to face Chris Beard and the Red Raiders, who are trying to solidify themselves as a mainstay in college basketball’s elite (Coach Beard Won his 100th Game with TTU on Saturday). Here is what you need to know.
Kansas sits at #5 in the AP poll and has a record of 6-1, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Kansas lost a hard-fought season opener to #1 Gonzaga, then came back from an early 12 point deficit to defeat Kentucky who is now sitting at a disastrous 1-4 record. They dominated Washburn (DII) and their most recent opponent Omaha who have a combined record of 2-6. The Jayhawks have also had two wins against mid-majors North Dakota St and #9 Creighton, winning those games by a combined 5 points.
Now, let’s get into Coach Self’s starting 5. Kansas typically runs 3 guards and 2 forwards compared to TTU’s 4 guards and 1 forward. So how will Kansas score against the nation’s top defense? It all starts with the freshman forward Jalen Wilson, he leads the team in rebounds and points per game, he dominates when driving the paint and can also stretch the floor when needed. Jalen is followed up in scoring by junior guard Ochai Agbaji who is absolutely stellar when he pulls up from downtown, shooting 45% (3PT). The floor general for Kansas is senior guard Marcus Garrett who is the primary ball-handler on the team averaging roughly 4 APG and 8 PPG. Sophomore guard Christian Braun (11.9 PPG) and junior forward David McCormack (10.1 PPG) fill out The Jayhawks starting 5.
Thursday’s game provides a relatively close match-up on paper slightly favoring the Jayhawks, but Texas Tech Coach Chris Beard hopes guard Kevin McCullar will make his season debut Thursday giving the Red Raiders starting 5 a bit more consistency on offense. All things considered, if the Red Raiders can do what they do best and play swarming defense along with avoiding any prolonged woeful shooting runs they should be able to secure the win on their home court. For Kansas to escape Lubbock with a win they will need to avoid charging fouls and take advantage of fast-break opportunities. Find out how to catch all of Thursday nights action below:
When: Thursday, December 17th at 6 PM CT
Where: United Supermarkets Arena, Lubbock, Texas.
Radio: Double T 97.3 (Lubbock)
Odds: TTU -3.0 O/U 135
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