Davidson-Kansas Preview

I should have started these earlier in the season but I would like to start doing these on gamedays, as long as I’m not busy.

This is the first time Kansas has played Davidson since the Elite 8 games in 2008.

Do you remember?

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I remember the day of this game pretty vividly. I watched the game at my apartment and when I tried going downtown to see Mass St. for the celebration, my car’s oil had leaked everywhere. But I remember going downtown later in the evening to see people do stupid stuff on top of lightpoles and then walked to the Fieldhouse to see the team come back. It was a really cool moment (that obviously led to even better moments later on).

My favorite moment of the game was seeing Bill Self go to his knees after the final shot missed. Just an overall cool scene.

Anyways, Davidson doesn’t have Stephen Curry any more but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous of an opponent.

Davidson is 6-3 with their three losses coming against Duke (69-82), vs. Vanderbilt (83-87) and at Charlotte (61-84). They’re currently riding a two-game losing streak coming into Kansas City.

Davidson runs a eight-man rotation. De’Mon Brooks, a power forward, is their best scorer with 16 points per game but occasionally gets into foul-trouble.  He averages 23.3 minutes per game despite taking 12 shots more than the second-leading scorer and 32 less shots than the third-leading scorer for the Wildcats. He also is their leading rebounder, averaging seven per game. Jake Cohen is averaging 6.2 rebounds per game. Cohen also has blocked 14 shots this season.

JP Kuhlman and Chris Czerapowicz (yes, try saying that three times fast) are their three-point shot threats. Kuhlman is 13-for-41 from beyond the arc, while Czerapowicz is 16-for-46. Nik Cochran isn’t bad either, shooting 10-25 from downtown.

Kuhlman (19 assists, 18 turnovers), Cochran (24 assists, 13 turnovers) and Tom Droney (28 assists, 14 turnovers) are their primary guards.

Key match-ups for Kansas:

Cohen vs. Withey – Will Withey be able to stop Cohen inside?

Brooks vs. T-Rob – Can T-Rob force Brooks to get into foul trouble?

Kansas guards vs. Davidson guards – We don’t know how much Tyshawn Taylor will play. Can Elijah Johnson and Naadir Tharpe hold down the point guard duties without Taylor’s leadership? Kuhlman and Cochran are both juniors while Droney, a sophomore,  is experienced (Droney became the first freshman to start every game in a season under head coach Bob McKillop tenure with the Wildcats, who has been at Davidson since 1989). All their guards take care of the ball, unlike the Jayhawks.

Biggest Question(s) of the game:

 

Kansas – How much time will Taylor see on the floor for Kansas? He’s coming off a surgery on the 11th, which is supposed to take 1-3 weeks to heal. It wasn’t a major surgery but it was swelling a few days ago. Self said on Sunday that he expects Taylor to play, but just not sure how many minutes he can play. It will be interesting to see if Self plays him a lot, especially if Kansas is in a close game with Davidson coming down the stretch.

Kansas is coming off a eight-day break from game action after they played two very good opponents (and getting wins in both). Will KU be too cocky after beating No. 2 Ohio State or can they keep the good times going?

Davidson –  Can Brooks stay out of foul trouble vs. Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey? Also, can the Wildcats bounce back after two losses in a row. Playing in Kansas City is a lot different than playing in Allen Fieldhouse, so Davidson dodged a bullet there. Kansas has certainly lost to inferior opponents at the Sprint Center before and Davidson isn’t a joke.