There are game previews aplenty around the internet. I'll run you through those before I start my own.
According to Ken Pomeroy and his scouting report on Texas Tech, they are a better offensive team (42nd in Adj Efficiency) than defensive (72nd). This should set up some good possessions as our defense is one of the top units in the nation. They are a decent team overall coming in with a record of 13-5, but they need home games like this against quality opponents to get into the Tournament. They will likely be a bubble team and conference home games are often the difference from being in or out. Two things seperate the Red Raiders from the majority of our opponents, they don't shoot the 3 very often and they don't turn the ball over.
The Red Raiders are led by senior guard Jarrius Jackson and junior guard/foward Martin Zeno. Jackson is averaging 20.8 points a game in 36.1 minutes of playing time a game. He also is a great outside shooter, shooting 46 for 91 from behind the arc (50.5%). Zeno also plays a lot, averaging 33 minutes a contest while averaging 16.9 points and leading the team with 4.9 rebounds per game. Their rebounds are spread out amongst their entire team as no one has more than 5 a game but all 5 starters average at least 1.9 boards a game.
Here are the projected lineups:
KANSAS (16-2, 3-0)
F -- Sasha Kaun (6-11)
F -- Julian Wright (6-8)
G -- Brandon Rush (6-6)
G -- Russell Robinson (6-1)
G -- Mario Chalmers (6-1)
TEXAS TECH (13-5, 2-1)
F -- Michael Prince (6-7)
F -- Damir Suljagic (6-8)
G -- Martin Zeno (6-5)
G -- Jarrius Jackson (6-2)
G -- Charlie Burgess (6-1)
My 3 Keys to the Game for the Jayhawks
1. Dominate Down Low
They are strong outside with Jackson, Zeno and Burgess but aren't nearly as good down low with Suljagic and Prince. Either Kaun or DJack should have a great day against the Red Raiders and it is critical to our team's success.
2. Shut Down Jackson
Their offense comes and goes with Jarrius Jackson, if we can put Super Mario on him and shut him down we have a great chance at being successful. I say we put Super Mario on him and see what he can do, but part of me thinks that Brush might be a better matchup for Jackson. Self knows better than I do though, so whatever he does I trust.
3. Don't Turn the Ball Over
We already discussed that they don't turn the ball over...at all. So while we are on the road in a hostile environment we can't give them a huge turnover edge. Our defense is great at forcing turnovers and they are great at not turning the ball over, so that will be one thing to watch as well. Still, as long as we don't crazy with turnovers like we did against Iowa State we'll be fine.
Tech is coming off a loss to Baylor, so this game
is hugely important for them.