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Kansas Basketball Preview: The Jayhawks Attempt to Get Healthy Against Rider

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Porter Binks-USA TODAY Sports

After the murder that took place last Tuesday, Kansas now ranks 338th in the nation in three pointers and 343rd in the nation in twos. For a team that prides itself on being able to get easy looks at the rim, those numbers are concerning to say the least. (and for more evidence that the problems lie more with Kansas than anything else, see Kentucky's first halves against Buffalo and Boston U).

If one could draw up an opponent to face tonight, Rider would probably be it. The Broncos have played two Ivy League schools and a Patriot League school and allowed them to make 52.3 percent of their twos. Rider does have a 7 footer, Senior Matt Lopez, but he does not have a blocked shot thus far this year and his block percentage as a Sophomore at Utah State, from where he transferred, was a paltry 4.8 percent.

More importantly than the numbers, though, is watching to see if Kansas actually runs the offense. There has been a shocking lack of ball movement and post entries, with the team instead relying on an ineffective midrange game and players who are not suited for it attacking the rim with reckless abandon.

Point guard Frank Mason has just a 5.4 percent assist rate and an 18.6 percent turnover rate. He's also shooting 25 percent on both twos and threes. Needless to say he has to start improving in a hurry to avoid losing playing time to Freshman Devonte Graham (who, to be fair, has only been marginally better than Mason) and also to avoid sinking the season, not to mention avoiding the chatter that maybe this team would be better off with Conner Frankamp running the show.

The hope is that by making talented Freshmen Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander earn their playing time, Kansas will be that much better prepared for March. But, while it's still early and while these two are still just Freshmen, and the team in and of itself is very young, they need to stop screwing up basic basketball stuff. And quickly.