After a week off, Kansas gets back at it against Howard on Thursday. As unfair as it is for Kansas to play 5 on 1 (zing!), it's just as unfair for them to be playing the Bisons. Howard is just 4-9 this year, and are ranked 305th in KenPom. They played fellow KU opponent Georgetown this year and while they only scored 48 points in a 71 possession game they held the Hoyas to just 62. On the whole though their defense leaves a lot to be desired, allowing over a point per possession on the year. It's nothing compared to the offense however, which is ranked 301st in KenPom scoring just .91 PPP
A more detailed preview is after the jump:
2011-12 record: 4-9
Location: Washington, DC
Undergraduates: 10, 491
Famous alumni: Gus Johnson (best college basketball announcer out there), Thurgood Marshall (Supreme Ct. Justice)
What they're good at: Howard isn't good at much. They get to the line a fair amount, with the 81st best FTA/FGA. They are reasonably good at shooting the three, converting at 35.9%, but they only take around 22% of their attempts from the field from beyond the arc. They'll probably have to shoot a lot more in order to have any upset hopes on Thursday. Howard gets over a fourth of its points from the free throw line, which is 16th most in the country. Junior Mike Phillips is their best FT shooter, converting at 83%.
What they're not good at: Pretty much everything else. Howard is 342nd in FTA/FGA defense, and allow opponents to shoot just under 50% from two. Coupled with their own 40.3% two point shooting and Kansas should have their way inside the arc. Howard turns it over a lot, 25.1% of their possessions, so the opportunity for a few highlight reel dunks will certainly be there.
Prediction: KenPom gives Howard a 1% shot at the upset for a reason. Although they use a ton of bench minutes, it's more out of a lack of good options than a surplus of them. To judge crudely, no Howard player has a 100 ORtg, so as long as Kansas shows up to the gym they should win. Adding to the blowout potential is the fact that Howard has only one Senior on the roster (and he plays in just 14.3% of the team's minutes). With their tallest player standing 6'10" but not having anyone else over 6'7" this should be a good opportunity for Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey to polish their post moves. I'll take Kansas to win 93-57 in a tuneup for the big New Years Eve showdown with North Dakota.