1. The Jayhawks open the regular season with a 92-56 win against Tennessee State
Kansas looked really polished, you guys. The only real criticism I have from their opening win is that their spacing wasn’t very good sometimes. That’s it. I thought almost everybody played well too. Lagerald Vick tied a career high with 23 points, going 4-7 from three. He’s going to be really good this year and he was easily the best athlete on the floor. My main man Svi Mykhailiuk scored 15 points, going 3-6 from three. He looked pretty good. He and Vick are X-factors on this team (Not Mitch Lightfoot, Ryan). When they play well, Kansas is going to win.
So if I told you before the game that two Jayhawks were going to have double-doubles, but Udoka Azubuike (13 points, 6 boards) wouldn’t have one, would you have believed me? Well, it happened. Devonte’ Graham finished with a really nice stat line posting 10 points, 12 assists, and seven rebounds, while Marcus Garrett had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Graham drove to basket and didn’t take too many quick threes. He looked masterful. Malik Newman scored 12, knocking down two threes. He came off the bench due to a bad week of practice. Finally, Clay Young played meaningful minutes because Billy Preston was suspended due to missing class and curfew. Young scored three points and added two assists. He looked good actually. I wouldn’t mind seeing him play more to be honest.
2. Kansas v. Kentucky. Need I say more?
The Champions Classic is back, baby. The night will get started with #1 Duke taking on #2 Michigan State. I’m not sure why that isn’t the late game, but whatever. After that game ends (which, with our luck will be at 9 p.m.), the Jayhawks of Kansas will do battle against the Wildcats of Kentucky. Here’s my hot take: Kentucky isn’t that good. I thought that even before they beat Utah Valley by just 10. Then they beat Vermont by just four!
The Wildcats have four guards that are going to play. And will play about an eight man rotation. I think Kansas is a much better team. Some Wildcats to watch are Kevin Knox, Hamidou Diallo, and the frountcourt as a whole. Knox is a great athlete, Diallo is a great scorer, and the Kentucky front court is going to be a really tough match-up for the undersized Jayhawks. Kansas has a brilliant backcourt, Kentucky has a fearsome front court (the alliteration was unintentional). It looks like a good match-up on paper but here’s my….Prediction: Kansas wins 94-74.
3. KU Football looks okay in 42-27 loss to Texas
The defense was fine. The offense could have been a lot better. QB Carter Stanley went 27-43, for 268 yards, three scores, and three picks. Take away the picks and maybe, just maybe, KU wins this football game. But alas, the Jayhawk football team can’t have nice things. They didn’t look bad in this game. They really didn’t. Kansas just looked like Kansas. They did things like throw a pick in the end zone when you’re about to score. Stanley threw a pick six, and Steven Sims muffed a punt. They decided to try an onside kick to start the game. What? Ok, I mean “A” for trying I guess. If only they would play smarter. The play calling was head scratching at times too. So KU has two more game. They play Oklahoma in Lawrence, and Oklahoma State in Stillwater. If they don’t give up 70 in both of those games I would consider that a win.
4. Recruiting Update
So, this is old news by now, but Silvio de Sousa is looking at reclassifying from the 2018 class to the 2017 class. If the NCAA allows him to do so (don’t hold your breath), he would be able to play starting in January. This would be massive for the Jayhawks. He would add some much needed depth and post presence (no offense to Clay Young of course). Obviously I really hope that the NCAA can clear him and allows him to play. It’s still up in the air as of this writing though. Fingers crossed.
Landen Fields is a contributor for Rock Chalk Blog. You can check out his archive here.