Fresh off a thrilling victory in the Champions Classic, the Jayhawks return home to face a team that’s better than many would think.
The only thing standing between the Jayhawks and their first undefeated November in seven years are four “cupcake” home games against teams they should beat by double-digits. Kansas is coming into Friday’s contest off an ugly-but-gritty victory over No. 7 Kentucky in Chicago, a game in which they looked absolutely gassed by the end of. KU will attempt to improve to 3-0 for the first time since Perry Ellis’ sophomore season (seriously) by taking on South Dakota State on Friday at Allen Fieldhouse.
About South Dakota State: The Jackrabbits of South Dakota State – yes, the football team that beat KU in Lawrence two years ago when Montell Cozart fumbled what was supposed to be a spike – enter Friday’s contest 3-0 on their season with a trio of double-digit victories. South Dakota State beat Alabama State, the University of Mary, and UC Irvine to open their year, but needless to say, their biggest test yet is their next game.
Returning from last year’s South Dakota State squad are the team’s top two scorers, Mike Daum and Reed Tellinghuisen, who led the Jackrabbits to a tournament berth in 2016-17. They lost to top-seeded Gonzaga in the first round, but this is a team that was picked to win the Summit League by the coaches in October.
Game Info and Notes:
- Friday, November 17th at 7:00 pm CDT
- Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS
- Spectrum Sports (or Channel 38 for non-subscribers!)
- Third-ever meeting between the two schools and first since 1984. KU leads the series, 2-0.
Jackrabbits to Watch
Mike Daum – 6’9″ junior forward
Daum broke the school scoring record last year with a whopping 25.1 points per contest for a total of 878 points. Through three games this year, he’s averaging around 21 points and 11 rebounds. Despite his ability to dominate in the post, he’s taken nearly half of his 15 shots per game over the last two years from three-point range, which he converts at a 40%+ clip. He’s a matchup nightmare for the smaller schools in the Summit League, and he’ll definitely get his in this matchup.
David Jenkins Jr. – 6’2″ freshman guard
Jenkins is second on the team in scoring this year with over 16 points per contest, and he’s 11-for-20 on three-pointers in three games. He is the team’s starting two-guard, which should present a nice challenge for Malik Newman. It is worth noting that aside from scoring, Jenkins has contributed very little on the stat report: he’s averaging less than 1.5 assists and less than 1.0 rebounds per game so far.
Reed Tellinghuisen – 6’7″ senior wing
Simply reading his name probably tells you exactly what he’s going to do – shoot threes. Tellinghuisen takes an absolute ton of three-pointers – more than six per game both this and last season, and he’s a converting over 37% for his career. He’s averaging close to 10 points this year with 75% of his shots coming from three-point range. Simply because he’s playing Kansas, he’s make at least five in this game.
Kansas 91, South Dakota State 73
The Jayhawks shot the ball atrociously on Tuesday night in Chicago, and that’s extremely unlikely to continue in the team’s return to Allen Fieldhouse. I expect them to score early and often in a variety of ways against a team that doesn’t offer much defensive resistance.
Defensively, it’ll be interesting to see how a Kansas team that defended Kentucky so well will do against South Dakota State’s offense. This is a high-tempo, fast-paced offense that can score in a lot of different ways. The Jackrabbits love to shoot threes, but if you guard the perimeter too tight, it opens the post for Daum and Jenkins to drive to the basket.
I can’t wait to see how Udoka Azubuike, Mitch Lightfoot, and Billy Preston (?) do against the best offensive team the Jayhawks have faced so far. Overall, the defensive rebounding numbers haven’t been that impressive, and you know Bill Self has spent the week reminding his players about this in practice. I think the Jayhawks win and play well, but South Dakota State is too good offensively to get blown out by too much.