It was an unfortunate start for the No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks in the season opener, as they fell to the No. 1 team in the country, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, by a score of 102-90. KU got strong performances out of Marcus Garrett and Ochai Agbaji, but fell short defensively, on the glass and at the free throw line. The Jayhawks look to bounce back on Friday against St. Joe’s.
- Friday, November 27, 2020, 1:00 pm CDT
- Suncoast Credit Union Arena – Fort Myers, Fla.
- Line: KU -19.5
- No. 6/5 Kansas (0-1) looks to rebound from its season-opening loss to No. 1/2 Gonzaga, 102-90, when it plays Saint Joseph’s (0-1) on Friday, Nov. 27, at 1 p.m. (Central) in the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off. The contest will be televised on FS1.
- Kansas is 96-13 following a loss in the Bill Self era, which started in 2003-04, including 3-0 last season in 2019-20. Incredibly, KU has been even more efficient over the last six-plus seasons, amassing a record of 45-5 after losses. This includes an 8-1 mark in 2018-19. .
- Kansas entered the season ranked No. 6 in the preseason Associated Press and No. 5 USA TODAY Coaches’ top-25 polls. The Jayhawks have been ranked sixth or higher in each of the last eight preseason AP polls and in the top five in the last seven coaches’ polls.
- KU has been ranked in each of the last 221 AP polls dating back to 2008-09. The 221-consecutive weeks in the polls is the longest active streak in the nation. KU holds the same streak in the coaches’ poll at 228.
- Senior guard Marcus Garrett’s 22 points against No. 1 Gonzaga in the season opener (11/26/20) was this third career 20-point effort and the most since he scored a career-high 24 points against Oklahoma (2/15/20).
Eagle to Watch
Taylor Funk – 6’8”, junior, forward
Funk averaged 11.8 PPG a season ago, but poured in a team-high 28 points on 11-16 shooting in Thursday’s loss to Auburn. St. Joe’s expects Funk to take forward this season, and definitely showed that on Thursday night. Funk also pulled down seven boards for the Eagles against Auburn.
Kansas should bounce back in this one. St. Joe’s took Auburn to overtime, and unless the Hawks are hitting threes at a high clip (and they will shoot lots of them), it will be hard for them to keep up with a KU team that showed a lot of offensive prowess.
I like David McCormack to bounce back with a strong performance against a St. Joseph’s team that doesn’t have the bodies to stop him down low. Throw that in with Marcus Garrett putting up steady numbers, and one of Bryce Thompson and Tyon Grant-Foster hitting threes, and I think Kansas wins comfortably.
Kansas 78, St. Joe’s 58
Record this year: 0-1 overall, 0-1 ATS