So after a long 4-day break between games, Kansas is ready to get back into the action against Texas. With the game in Austin, there may be some concern about the ability of the Jayhawks to put together their best performance. Do their noted road troubles catch up to them again here? Our writing panel weighs in below.
penhawk: After the poor performance for most of the Iowa State game, and nearly giving away the Oklahoma game, I don’t have a ton of hope for Kansas going to Austin to play a Texas team that suddenly seems to have something going. This is a terrible matchup for Kansas on paper, given Texas’ length and defensive ability. I don’t know that it will be as bad as last year, but this one may be ugly. Texas 64, Kansas 56
Jim Hammen: I’ve been vacillating all year about how good I think Texas is, and right now the dial is turned to “Good.” They looked impressive in dismantling West Virginia and TCU, and they know that their margin for error is slimmer after back-to-back losses to the Oklahoma schools. This is the essentially the same squad as last year, plus another year of experience plus Myles Turner, and that squad manhandled KU in Austin. I think the Jayhawks are a bit more prepared for Texas’ length this year, at least mentally; but unfortunately, I don’t think it leads to a road victory. Texas 68, Kansas 60.
dnoll5: First the good news: Kansas gets its two toughest conference games out of the way within a week of each other, and it’s nice to have two of the games that many saw as losses stack up so early in the conference season. The bad news: Texas has length, and KU has had a hard time with that this season. They’ve even had a more difficult time than expected establishing the post game when there is a decided advantage to KU. I just think UT has too much down low for Kansas to handle on the road. There’s no shame in losing to this Texas team in Austin. Texas 65, Kansas 62.
mikeville: Last time I let my heart overrule my brain (and logic) I picked the wrong way when KU traveled to Ames, IA. This time… well, I’ll stick with the logic. Texas is gonna be all kinds of fired up for this one. Yeah sure they got bombed by Oklahoma… lost to Oklahoma State… played a close one against Tech… whatever. Everyone gets up for the day when KU comes to town, and this won’t be any different. As every has already noted, KU will most likely struggle with UT’s length. Put in the emotion factor and what I’m guessing will be Texas’ first sellout of the season, and I gotta predict a loss for the good guys, Texas 70, Kansas 65.
Tom Fehr: Don’t really have a good read on what to expect in this one. Texas’ defense is pretty scary (3rd in Kenpom) and they block the ever-living crap out of everyone (2nd in block rate). I agree with dnoll5 in that there certainly would be no shame in losing this one, and on paper, they probably should. But I’ll be the optimist and go with my gut saying that KU will find a way to pull this one out. Kelly Oubre will have a big game. Kansas 72, Texas 70.
Fizzle406: not gonna be good. Texas 76, Kansas 59
misterbrain: Sounds like I'm going to be the only one who is actually optimistic about this game. Yes, Texas has a scary defense. But their high block rate is completely different than the one Kentucky has. Kentucky just blocks your shot with whoever happens to be facing you up. Texas funnels people into the middle so that Myles Turner and company can swat your shots away. Look at the two teams that beat them so far in conference play. Oklahoma was absolute nails from deep early, and when Texas tried to adjust, they sold out on protecting the perimeter and the inside D suffered. Oklahoma State followed a similar pattern with lights out shooting from deep and mid-range, and Texas couldn't adjust well enough. Kansas is similar in that they are good from mid and deep range, and that ability to stretch the floor will ultimately push them to a large enough lead to weather a late rally from Texas. Kansas 72, Texas 68