The Jayhawks play their second in a stretch of what should be three fairly easy games Thursday in Allen Fieldhouse, as the Stony Brook Seawolves come to town for a 7pm tipoff.
Stony Brook is ranked 200th by KenPom and 169th by Bart Torvik. They come in having only played one game, in which they were petty thoroughly outplayed by George Mason, who came into that game ranked in the 200s by KenPom, but jumped to 142nd after the 74-52 beating. In that game the Seawolves shot poorly, just 21% from behind the arc, and 44% from two. They're also hitting 50% of their free throws, but to be fair, they only shot four.
Though it's only one game, these numbers might not be that misleading. Last year this team ranked 330th in D1 by hitting just 29% of their threes, and 264th inside the arc hitting 47% of their twos, while making just 68% of their free throws. Unsurprisingly, KenPom pegged them as the 295th rated offense, and they currently sit at 203rd. They didn't have a single player shoot any better than 36.1% from outside last year, so it seems unlikely that this would be a mid-major team that goes crazy from deep against Kansas.
Defensively, they sit at 209th per KP right now. They don't have a player over 6'4 who played more than 20 minutes in game one, but they do have a 6'9 center who started 18 of 20 games last year, so they don't lack height in the same way that previous opponent Tarleton State did.
Players to Watch
Jahlil Jenkins, senior guard
Jenkins is a senior transfer from Farleigh Dickinson who had 13 points and three steals in game one. He hit 3-6 from deep but just 2-8 inside the arc with 5 turnovers. He is worth keeping an eye on as he's a career 36% 3 point shooter on nearly 500 attempts.
Elijah Olaniyi, senior forward
Olaniyi stands 6'5, and also has a green light, though he missed four of five three point attempts against George Mason. He returns to Stony Brook this year after one transfer season at Miami. He's just a 32% 3 point shooter for his career, but generates steals and is a decent rebounder for his size.
Jaden Sayles, senior center
Sayles only played 10 minutes in game one despite not committing a foul, and did not start. I include him here because he may play heavier minutes in this one out of necessity given the height that Kansas can throw at them if needed. He started 18 games last year and provided a bit of rim protection while grabbing some boards. I don't see him having a huge game in the statsheet, but he may still be a meaningful part of their gameplan.
Not every book has a line posted for this one yet, but what I'm seeing most is Kansas -25.5. KU was sluggish in their game against Tarleton State, but eventually got their lead over the spread. I think they'll come out faster in this one, and take advantage of a team that just doesn't do anything particularly well. Kansas 84, Stony Brook 56
Record Straight Up: 2-0
Record ATS: 2-0