Game 17: No. 6 Kansas at Texas – Preview and Prediction

The No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks look to make it a perfect week on the road, as they travel to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns. The Jayhawks are coming off a thorough victory on Tuesday over Oklahoma. It is still unknown if star guard Devon Dotson will be able to go, as he missed last game with a hip pointer, but Marcus Garrett filled in nicely for him against the Sooners. Texas is 2-2 to start Big 12 play in what is a pivotal season for head coach Shaka Smart.

  • Saturday, January 18, 2019, 1:00 pm CDT
  • Frank Erwin Center — Austin, Texas
  • ESPN or ESPN App
  • Kansas leads the overall series with Texas, 33-9, including a 10-7 in games played in Austin, with all 17 meetings in the Erwin Center. Dating back to the 2013-14 season, KU has won 11 of the last 12 meetings with Texas, with the lone loss last season in Austin.
  • KU is ranked No. 2 in the NET rankings through games of Jan. 16. The Jayhawks’ strength of schedule is No. 1 nationally. Kansas is the only school with seven Quadrant 1 wins. KU is 7-3 against Q1. Baylor, Seton Hall and Oregon are next in Q1 wins with five.
  • The Jayhawks have also played the most difficult slate of defensive teams in the nation, ranking No. 1 in opposing defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com. Despite this, KU ranks sixth in the NCAA in field goal percentage (49.9%) and sixth in scoring margin (+16.3).
  • The Jayhawks are 135-59 (69.6%) on the road in Big 12 play since 1996- 97, which includes a 2-0 mark so far this season. The team with the next highest winning percentage is Texas, which is 87-108 (44.6%) in conference road games since the league formed.
  • Kansas is No. 6 and No. 7 in the latest national polls released Jan. 13. Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 211 Associated Press polls, the longest streak in the nation. The Jayhawks have also been inside the top-10 in 96 of the last 110 AP polls.
  • Kansas has held nine opponents to 60 points or less through its first 16 games, including six of its last seven. KU has also limited 11 of its 16 opponents to below 40% shooting, including five of the last six foes.

Longhorns to Watch

Matt Coleman – Senior, Guard, 6’2″
Coleman has taken a step forward as a senior this year, as he leads the team with 12.1 PPG up from 9.8 PPG a year ago. The senior is also leading the team in assists with 4.6 APG and three-point shooting at 44.8 percent – no other longhorn is above 36 percent.

Courtney Ramey – Sophomore, Guard, 6’3”
Ramey is second on the team in scoring and has posted double figures in each of the last seven games. In Texas’ win against Oklahoma State on Wednesday, Ramey had a complete game with 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists. He’s only been 33 percent from three for the year, but over the last two games Ramey is 7-13 from three-point land.

Prediction

Even if Devon Dotson doesn’t end up going, Kansas will make more plays with the likes of Marcus Garrett, Udoka Azubuike and Isaiah Moss. Even with Kansas’ offensive woes, I don’t see the Longhorns being able to keep up with the Jayhawks. Texas is averaging just 66.7 PPG this season, and going up against a stingy Jayhawk defense it’s hard to see that changing on Saturday.

One guy who really needs to start hitting his stride is Ochai Agbaji. If Kansas is going to hit its true potential, they are going to Agbaji to up his game. He’s been held in single digits three out of the last four games.  

Kansas 78, Texas 64
KU -7

AUDIO PREVIEW: LINK

Season Record: 13-3 (8-8 ATS)

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.