#4 Houston and #8 Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse on ESPN. I am fascinated by this coaching match-up. Kelvin Sampson and Bill Self are two of the best coaches in college basketball history. This will be a basketball fans’ dream match-up: a game between two top-10 teams in a historic arena, with both having legitimate shots at Big 12 and national championships.
For this scouting report, I studied the last two Kansas games vs. Iowa State and Oklahoma State.
Houston travels to Lawrence, Kansas, Friday for a Saturday matinee vs. #8 Kansas. The Jayhawks have a talented squad and the best starting lineup that the Coogs have faced this season. Their starters average 66.8 of their 79.2 points per game (84.3%). Their bench is ranked #329 in the nation in points. The teams that have been the most successful against KU have got their key players into foul trouble and forced them to use their bench players.
Kansas has great size across their probable starting lineup, with #3 DaJuan Harris Jr. being their shortest starter at 6’2″ and every other starter 6’7″ or taller. Kansas is a fundamental team on both ends of the court. They take care of the ball on offense and typically take good, clean shots. They play solid, half-court, man-to-man defense and force teams to make tough shots.
This would be the biggest regular-season win in recent memory for the Coogs!
Head of the Snake
#15 Kevin McCullar Jr and DaJuan Harris Jr. are both worthy candidates to be the “Head of the Snake” for Kansas. McCullar is an elite three-level scorer and one of the top scorers in the nation. Harris is an elite point guard who gets the ball where it needs to go on offense and is a three-level scorer.
But my “Head of the Snake” is Michigan transfer #1 Hunter Dickinson. Dickinson is a 7’2″ three-level scorer. He is deadly in the post and mid-range and is more than capable of hitting the three as well. He is a top 5 rebounder in the country and is a problem on both ends.
The Coogs must double-team him as much as possible and recover quickly when he makes the skip pass to the opposite corner. It will take a team effort to beat Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse, but Coach Sampson and the staff will have the Coogs ready!
- They do a great job taking care of and sharing the basketball; Ranked #1 in the nation in assists per game at 20.7. Ranked #10 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 1.76;
- Kansas does a good job of taking high-quality shots on offense. The Coogs will have to make it tough on them. They are ranked #4 nationally in FG %, shooting 50.86%;
- It’s a really good cutting team. The Coogs struggled a bit guarding back-door cuts vs. Texas. They’ll have to pay closer attention to the KU cutters
- Coogs must recover quickly when “Monster trapping” the post! Dickinson is great at passing out of the double-team
- Hunter Dickinson loves to rebound and look to an outlet pass to someone around half-court to initiate transition offense.; Ranked #48 in offensive transition points with 13.62 transition points per game
- They LOVE to drive and look to kick to the opposite corner (Same as TCU and Texas Tech); Can’t “over-help” on defense and be able to recover on outstanding corner-three shooters like McCullar, Furphy, and Timberlake.
- Must focus on baseline out-of-bounds (BLOB) plays; They run several BLOB plays to get Adams, McCullar, and Harris open looks.
- Pretty good defensive team. Have only seen them play tough HC M2M;
- Ranked #19 in the nation in defensive rebounding, grabbing 28.67 defensive rebounds per game;
- Struggle vs. the pick and roll