The Orlando Classic will get started on Monday night as the Kansas Jayhawks take on Rider University. The matchup is a non-bracketed game of the tournament that will finish up in Orlando, Florida later in the week.
This is the third meeting between Kansas and Rider. In both match ups, Kansas won in blowouts and scored 100 points in each. Kansas is 13-1 all-time vs. teams from the MAAC. The Broncs were picked seventh in the MAAC this season
The Jayhawks are coming off a 72-40 drubbing from the hands of No. 1 Kentucky while Rider is 2-1 on the season. They have wins against Lehigh and Pennsylvania and a loss to Princeton.
Who to watch for on Rider:
Junior Guard Teddy Okereafor – Okereafor is averaging 15.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this season. In their last game, he dropped 29 points on Lehigh at home. Okereafor is leading the team in points, three-pointers made (7), assists (10), steals (5) and tied for most rebounds. Okereafor sat out last season after transferring from VCU.
Junior guard Zedric Sadler – Sadler is averaging 12.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game and scored 23 points in Rider’s win over Penn.
Note — Okereafor and Sadler have combined for 27 of Rider’s 57 three-point field goal attempts and they combined for 13 total makes. If Kansas can contain both these guards on the perimeter, they should win easily.
Who to watch for on Kansas:
Cliff Alexander – Cliff Alexander was really the only Jayhawk that performed well for the Jayhawks against Kentucky as he had 8 points and 8 rebounds. KU’s troubles started at the rim, as they just couldn’t score in the paint. Kansas needs Alexander and Perry Ellis to step-up big time around the rim before they start facing tougher competition in this Orlando Classic. Outside of Rider’s starting center (7-foot tall), Kansas should be able to dominate Rider in the height department.
Wayne Selden – Selden needs to assert himself as the leader of this team if Kansas wants to perform well in the Orlando Classic. He certainly has the skills to do it. Selden needs to bounce back from his 4-for-12 shooting performance against Kentucky.
Kansas wins this game easily, most likely by 30+ points. I could see Kansas dropping 80 or 90 points on this team. Final score prediction: 88-52.