Game 12: No. 14 Kansas at Stanford – Preview and Prediction

The Jayhawks round out the non-conference slate with a tricky game against Stanford.

For the first time in over two weeks, Kansas finally looked like Kansas as they thrashed Omaha on Monday 109-64. Even though it was Omaha, it was sure nice to see the Jayhawks finally play like we’ve grown accustomed to. They sank 16 three-pointers and shot 62.3% from the field. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk led KU with 26 points, including 6-7 from long-range. Now the Jayhawks turn their focus to a tricky road game against Stanford. The game will be played at the Golden 1 Center, home of Frank Mason and the Sacramento Kings.

About Stanford: The Cardinal come in with a 6-6 record with losses to Eastern Washington and Portland State. They’ve also played some of the nation’s best including North Carolina, Florida and Ohio State. Stanford is led by All-Pac 12 performer Reid Travis. Jayhawk fans should be familiar with him, as he put 29 points and made it to the free-throw line 22 (TWENTY-TWO!) times. He will be a load to handle, that is for sure.

Game Info and Notes:

  • Thursday, December 21st, 2017 at 10:00 pm CT
  • Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, Calif.
  • ESPN2 or WatchESPN App
  • The Jayhawks hold the series 9-3, winning the last matchup last season 89-74
  • This contest will be the third NBA venue Kansas has played in this season. Kansas defeated Kentucky, 65-61, at the United Center in Chicago, on Nov. 14, and Syracuse, 76-60, at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Dec. 2.
  • Stanford is coached by Jarrod Haase, who played for KU 1995-97
  • KU ended a two-game home losing skid with a 109-64 win against Omaha (12/18) in Allen Fieldhouse. The game marked the third 100-point game of the season and 23rd in the Bill Self era. The last time KU had three 100-point games before the New Year was KU’s 2
  • Kansas leads the nation in assists per game at 20.5. KU also ranks in the top-10 nationally in field goal percentage (fourth at 52.3), scoring margin (third at 21.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth at 1.7).
  • Lagerald Vick is the only one of two players in the Big 12 that ranks in the top 10 in scoring and rebounding
  • Udoka Azubuike leads the NCAA in FG%, shooting 77.6% from the field
  • After Azubuike’s 26-point effort at Nebraska, Kansas has seen four different players score 26 points or more in a game this season. That also includes Devonte’ Graham, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Lagerald Vick.
  • Kansas is one of six teams in NCAA Division I that have five players averaging 10.7 points for better. The others include Virginia Tech, Duke, Arkansas, TCU and William & Mary
  • KU is trying avoid its first three-loss December since 1998-99
Mavericks to Watch

Reid Travis – 6’8″ senior, forward

Travis is enjoying a spectacular senior campaign, as he’s averaging 22.2 PPG and 7.3 RPG. He gets a lot of his damage done from the free-throw line, as he averages 8.4 free-throw attempts per game — which ranks eighth nationally. This season he’s already attempted 101 free-throws, while Kansas as a team has only attempted 132. In this game more than ever, Kansas’ interior depth will be tested. Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot will need to stay out of foul trouble.

Michael Humphrey – 6’9″ senior, forward

Humphrey is kind of Travis’ tag-team partner down in the post. He chips in with 10.9 PPG and a team-leading 8.7 RPG. Humphrey can be prone to fouling, as he is averaging about 3.5 fouls per contests. It’ll be interesting to see how KU combats Stanford’s two bigs with a smaller lineup.

Daejon Davis – 6’3″ freshman, guard

The freshman does a little bit of everything for the Cardinal. He runs the point, but can also rebound and score. He’s averaging 9.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 4.3 APG, which leads the team. Davis is shooting 50% from the field and 35% from long-range. It should be a good matchup between Davis and Devonte’ Graham.

Prediction

Kansas 88 – Stanford 76

I see this as a tricky game for the Jayhawks. They have to travel cross-country for a late west-coast game against a team who has pretty decent post depth. I see Stanford giving the KU a game with Travis leading the charge, but I don’t see them packing the punch to run with Kansas’ offense for 40 minutes. Plus with this game being played in an NBA arena, Stanford will be without a true home crowd with no students. If they were in Palo Alto this game, I’d probably pick this game to be a little closer.

Stanford’s three-point defense is pretty meh, ranking 194th in three-pointers allowed and 285th in opponents three-point percentage. We could be in for another three-point barrage from the Jayhawks. Mykhailiuk seemed to flip a switch after draining the game winner against Nebraska last Saturday. Malik Newman finally started to hit some shots in the last 10 minutes against Omaha on Monday night. The key for the Jayhawks is to stay out foul trouble, especially the bigs. If Azubuike and Lightfoot get into early foul trouble, it could be a repeat of Washington all over again.

Bobby Norell

My name is Bobby Norell. I'm from a small town in northern Indiana. I recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Sport Communication. Even though my diploma says I'm a Hoosier, my love for the Jayhawks has never wavered. They'll always come No.1.