The No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks look to add another impressive non-conference victory to its resume on Tuesday evening when they play host to No. 8 Creighton. The Jayhawks are coming off a skin-of-their-teeth win over North Dakota State on Saturday, while the Blue Jays come in 3-0 including an 11-point win over the same North Dakota State team. This will be KU’s third-straight home game, but it will be its first with a crowd, albeit a very limited one. About 2,500 fans will be allowed inside Allen Fieldhouse, which has historically been one of, if not the best home court advantage in college basketball.
- Tuesday, December 8th, 2020, 4:00 PM CDT
- Allen Fieldhouse – Lawrence, Kan.
- No. 5/5 Kansas continues its five-game homestand when it hosts #8/7 Creighton, Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 4 p.m. (Central). The contest will air on ESPN with Mark Neely and Robbie Hummel calling the action
- This will be the second Big 12/Big East Battle with Kansas losing at Villanova, 56-55, last year (12.21.19). Dating back to 2007, Kansas is 8-4 in conference challenges (1-1 vs. Arizona, 2-0 vs. UCLA, 1-1 vs. Florida, 2-1 vs. Kentucky, 1-0 vs. Texas A&M, 1-0 vs. Tennessee, 0-1 vs. Villanova)
- Creighton will be the second top-10 team and the third ranked foe Kansas will have faced this season. KU fell to #1 Gonzaga on Nov. 26 and defeated #20 Kentucky on Dec. 1.
- Through five games, Kansas has had four different players lead the team in scoring and five in steals. This includes ties for the team high.
- Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 222 Associated Press polls dating back to 2008-09. The 222-consecutive weeks in the AP poll is an all-time record, surpassing UCLA’s 221 from 1966-80. KU holds the same streak in the coaches’ poll at 229.
- Senior Marcus Garrett was named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 on Dec. 1. Garrett has been named to every national player of the year watch list for 2020-21. Garrett is tied for the team lead with seven steals but has yet to lead the squad in steals for a game.
Blue Jays to Watch
Christian Bishop – 6’7”, junior, forward
Bishop has been Creighton’s leading scorer through the first three games, averaging 15.0 PPG and 5.3 boards per game in just 17 minutes per game. Bishop is going to get his points in the more conventional way, as he’s only taken one three-pointer this season and attempted just five in his three-year career. Last season he started in 25 of 31 games, while averaging 8.6 PPG and 5.3 RPG.
Marcus Zegarowski – 6’2”, junior, forward
Zegarowski, the Big East Preseason Player of the Year, runs the point for Creighton’s offense. In the early going he’s averaging 12 PPG and an eye-popping 7.0 APG. He’s also been one of the best three-point shooters for the Blue Jays. He’s just 7-22 from deep, but in his first two seasons he shot 42% in both years.
Jayhawk Pick to Click
Ochai Agbaji – 6’5”, junior, guard
Agbaji has been one of KU’s best and most consistent players in the early going and in big games like this, you need your best players to show up and show out. The Jayhawks will need Agbaji in a big way. In KU’s win over Kentucky last week, he poured in 17 points then followed that up with 13 points in the win against North Dakota State. Around a 30% three-point shooter in his first two seasons in Lawrence, Agbaji has stepped up in that department so far as he’s knocking down 41% of his threes this season.
Kansas did not play its best game against North Dakota State on Saturday, and I find it hard to believe they’ll throw up two clunkers in a row, especially at home…even if it is an emptier home. The Jayhawks shot the ball terribly against NDSU (just 26.7% from three) and turned the ball over 11 times. I expect the Jayhawks to clean those things up and come out hungrier and execute better than they did on Saturday. Look for KU’s studs – Agbaji, Jalen Wilson and Marcus Garrett – to carry them. Give me the Jayhawks in a close one, and look for this win to look REALLY good on KU’s resume come March.
Kansas 74, Creighton 68
Season Record: 4-1 (4-1 ATS)