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Previewing The Kangaroos: Kansas vs. UMKC

Wednesday night the Jayhawks play the second of three games in the final week before conference play tips just a week from tonight. 

The opponent for the evening is a familiar one from down the road in the UMKC Kangaroos.  Kansas sits just one of seven remaining division one teams without a loss and UMKC sits 8-6 headed into the contest. 

Will the Morris twins return to the starting lineup?  Can Kansas maintain the form they found against Miami of Ohio?  All good questions, but for now we're looking at the opponent and what exactly they bring to the table in this one.


AP Poll
SOS Projected

The Players

The Kangaroos are led by 6'6" senior forward Jay Couisnard.  Couisnard averages just shy of 35 minutes per contest and contributes 15.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.  Couisnard has the ability to score both inside and out and also presents one of the better post defending options that the Kangaroos have.  That should present some mismatch opportunities for the Jayhawks underneath.

UMKC's second primary scorer is actually a relative handful underneath and like Couisnard he checks in at just 6'6".  Spencer Johnson is a forward that averages near a double double with over 12 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.  Strong numbers on the interior to go along with a 52% field goal percentage. Interestingly enough, Johnson is also second on the team in three point field goals so he certainly has the ability to step out beyond the arc.  Once again, good matchup size wise for the Jayhawks, but similar to the Kansas big men, Johnson has some versatility.

The Kangaroos final double digit scorer is guard Reggie Chamberlain.  Chamberlain is the teams leading three point threat shooting just shy of 42% from beyond the arc.  The 6' guard from KCMO averages 11 points per game.

6'1" guard Bakari Lewis runs the show in terms of distributing the basketball averaging 2.6 assists per contest.  Obviously that is a low number for a team leader and shows what type of offensive attack this team is likely to have.  Fact is, this is one of the lowest tams in all of division one in terms of assist to field goal ratio and that means you're playing a lot of one on one ball and settling for jumpers.

Rounding out the starters for UMKC KCK freshman forward Trinity Hall.  Hall averages 8.7 points per game and while he isn't a great shooter, he does do a nice job getting to the line for the Kangaroos. 

For those scoring at home, the starters measure; 6'6", 6'6", 6'7", 6' and 6'1".  Kansas will have an edge inside.

Off the bench UMKC does bring four players that on any given night could play as much if not more than one of the starters.  This is a nine deep rotation and one player that could see his minutes increase in this one is Bernard Kamwa a 6'8" 240 pound forward who also happens to be third on the team in rebounding.

Trending Roo's

UMKC is 8-6 and 1-3 in their conference to date.  They have already played fellow Sunflower State Big 12 team Kansas State and lost 80-64 in a game where the Wildcats were without Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly who both missed the game due to suspension. 

Beyond that, it's been an up and down season.  After four wins to start the year it's been no more than two consecutive wins and as many as three losses in a row.

Offensive Averages:

203rd / 6th
323rd / 10th
202nd / 4th
FG Pct
218th / 9th

Defensive Averages:

254th / 6th
231st / 10th
126th / 4th
FG Pct
284th / 9th

Prediction Time

Find me an area where you think UMKC can compete with Kansas and I'll be surprised.  There isn't a stat, a measurable or an example that points to this one being a game. 

That said, things do happen and there are certain things you can't measure. 

The good news is the Jayhawks played great just a few nights ago and if they carry and of that (hopefully all) over to this game it should be another fun one and who knows, maybe we'll be in for another dunk fest.