After a week off, the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks get back to work on Saturday evening when they host the Stanford Cardinal at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks are coming off their biggest win to date, as they took down No. 5 Tennessee in the finals of the NIT Preseason Tip-Off in Brooklyn. KU is looking start 6-0 for the second straight season, and on paper, it looks like they have the advantage over the Cardinal.
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Game Info and Notes:
- Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 4:30 pm CDT
- Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kan.
- ESPN or the WatchESPN App
- According VegasInsider.com, Kansas comes in as an 20-point favorite
- Enjoy it while you can, no Fran Fraschilla! Jon Sciambi & Jay Bilas are on the call.
- With its win against No. 5 Tennessee in the title game of the NIT Season Tip-Off, Kansas has now won 13-straight regular-season games against teams ranked in the AP top-10. In fact, KU has won 20 of the last 21 regular-season contests versus top-10 teams dating back to Feb. 8, 2012.
- Kansas is looking to go 6-0 for the second-straight year and sixth time in Bill Self’s 16 seasons at KU.
- The Jayhawks concluded the month of November without a loss (5-0). It marked the 12th time overall and the fifth time since 2007 that a KU squad has entered December perfect with four or more games played.
- Kansas leads the series with Stanford, 10-3, and the Jayhawks have won the last two meetings, each coming in the last two seasons.
- Redshirt junior F Dedric Lawson has three double-doubles this season and 39 for his career. He is tied for fourth on the NCAA active double-double career list.
- Kansas is 3-for-3 in Big 12 Player of the Week honors this season with Dedric Lawson on Nov. 12 and 26 with Lagerald Vick sandwiched in between on Nov. 19. Additionally, freshman Quentin Grimes was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week Nov. 12.
The Cardinal are coming off an 18-15 campaign in 2017-18, and that was with All-Conference performer Reid Travis. Things look even bleaker this season for Stanford, as they were picked to finish 9th in the Pac-12 and Travis bolted to Kentucky as a graduate transfer. So far this season, the Cardinal are 4-3, with losses to North Carolina, Wisconsin and Florida. Head coach and former KU player Jerrod Haase does have a few promising pieces, but for the most part, it should be tough sledding this season in Palo Alto.
Cardinal to Watch
KZ Okpala – 6’9′, sophomore, forward
Okpala has taken the lead role for the Cardinal this season, as he leads the team in scoring at 16.3 PPG, an improvement of +6 from a year ago. He’s also doubled his rebounding output to lead the team with 6.0 RPG this season. He’s improved his game nearly across the board this season He can score from almost anywhere on the floor, but is most effective inside the arc. The matchup between Okpala and Dedric Lawson should be a good one.
Cormac Ryan – 6’5′, freshman, guard
At just 10.7 PPG, Ryan is Stanford’s leading scorer, which kind of says the kind of season Stanford is having so far. He will bomb from outside, as he’s attempted at least 5 threes in every games this season, including 11 attempts vs. UNC. As we’ve seen in the past, one of the keys to beating KU in Allen Fieldhouse is knocking down threes. Can’t let Ryan get hot on Saturday.
Kansas 86, Stanford 63
At Allen Fieldhouse, after a week long break, I like KU to win this one and win it handily. Everyone is fresh and ready to go. There’s a good feeling around the whole university right now with both basketball teams and the hiring of Les Miles. I can’t see the Jayhawks losing this one. Too much talent and fire power for Stanford to overcome.
This is also the PERFECT game for Quentin Grimes to come out of his slump. Give me the Jayhawks in a rout.