Kansas Jayhawks (14-7 general, 8-5 Massive 12) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (2-13 general, 0-10 Massive 12)
Time: 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021
Location: Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa
TV: ABC | Radio: IMG Jayhawk Radio Community
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Keys for Kansas
1. Comply with the blueprint
It’s onerous to beat a workforce by 33 factors one night time after which flip round and play them two days later and anticipate the identical outcome.
However that ought to completely be the mindset the Jayhawks take into the rematch with Iowa State.
That doesn’t imply that the KU gamers ought to depart Ames with their heads hanging in the event that they solely win by 20 factors. It does, nevertheless, imply that they need to strategy the sport with that because the expectation.
Clearly, KU has confirmed that it may be 33 factors higher than the Cyclones. And that even got here on an evening when the Jayhawks nonetheless did some issues mistaken and have been harm by sure issues the Cyclones have been capable of do. KU coach Invoice Self talked about one particular motion that ISU ran on offense that labored 5 or 6 completely different occasions.
“I believe we obtained crushed on it 5 occasions,” mentioned Self, who didn’t level out the precise play. “They solely made like six or 9 factors off of it, however we’ve obtained to make an adjustment there or one thing. However, for probably the most half, we’ll do the identical factor, similar to they are going to, too.”
Doing the identical factor when it comes to sticking to the scouting report and the offensive and defensive sport plans doesn’t assure the identical outcome.
However, because the workforce that had the clear benefit within the first matchup and left that one feeling good about itself, the Jayhawks ought to go into this one with extra confidence than they’ve had in weeks.
Whether or not they flip that confidence into one other convincing victory might be decided by how properly they execute and the way onerous they play.
2. Watch out counting on 3-pointers
Kansas was sensational from behind the 3-point line in Recreation 1 towards Iowa State, knocking in 12 of 26 photographs from behind the arc, with six completely different Jayhawks making no less than one 3-pointer.
Whereas this workforce must proceed to fireplace away and get sizzling from 3-point land to achieve its ceiling, it mustn’t anticipate issues to come back fairly as simple within the rematch.
And there are a few the explanation why.
For one, KU’s 12 3-point makes have been the second most the workforce has hit in a Massive 12 sport this season (16 vs. West Virginia is probably the most) and tied for the third highest complete all season.
Past that, Iowa State’s protection isn’t often fairly as beneficiant to opposing 3-point shooters.
The 12 makes and KU’s 46.2% clip have been each season highs towards the ISU protection.
Actually, the Cyclones have allowed only one different opponent (Iowa, with 11) to achieve double-digit 3-point makes in a sport this season. And just one different opponent (Mississippi State at 42.1%) has shot higher than 40% from 3-point vary towards the ISU D.
Taking issues one step additional, the Iowa State offense’s 5 3-point makes on Thursday night time have been only one off its season low.
All of this mixed signifies that if KU’s taking pictures comes again to the averages that the ISU protection sometimes permits and the ISU offense makes a couple of extra 3-pointers, the sport will get a lot nearer in a rush.
Iowa State made simply 3-of-14 (21.4%) from 3-point vary in Thursday’s first half and two of 11 within the second half. If that first-half quantity had been nearer to the workforce’s season common of 34%, ISU would’ve had roughly six extra factors within the first half and been down by simply six on the break as a substitute of 12.
3. Proceed defensive development
Kansas scored 50 factors within the paint on Thursday night time towards the Cyclones and simply 12 of them got here from massive man David McCormack, who hit 5 discipline targets in 10 makes an attempt.
Self applauded KU’s skill to get these factors within the paint by driving the ball downhill and working in transition. And one fo the largest causes the Jayhawks have been capable of do both was their defensive exercise and depth.
KU’s energetic arms and fly-around model led to all types of deflections, steals and loose-ball conditions. And people usually led to simple factors on the rim.
Whereas Self and his gamers have preached defensive enchancment in current weeks as one of many keys to Kansas getting again on monitor, this space, the place protection turns into simple offense, is the dream state of affairs.
“If we’re going to get to the purpose the place we’re good, we have to rating off of deflections and steals and lengthy rebounds,” Self mentioned. “We’re not gonna be the kind of workforce that will get the rebound and the purpose guard goes again to satisfy the ball after which we go rating as a result of we’re not nice at that. We have to create some deflections and a few unfastened balls with a view to change into a very good transition workforce. And I assumed we did that within the second half (Thursday night time).”
Doing extra of that on this sport not solely will bode properly for KU’s probabilities at pushing its profitable streak to a few in a row, but additionally may go a great distance towards created the sorts of defensive habits that may serve them properly towards harder groups down the street, as properly.
The Rebounding Battle
Kansas out-rebounded Iowa State by 12 (44-32) on Thursday night time, and that was with out its two massive males, David McCormack and Mitch Lightfoot dooing a lot of the harm.
McCormack completed with six boards in 18 minutes, however obtained 4 of them within the first 2:25 of the sport. And Lightfoot, who performed 18 minutes off the bench, completed with three rebounds.
KU’s rebounding edge included an 11-9 benefit on the offensive glass, which led to 17 second-chance factors for the Jayhawks and simply two for ISU.
That is nothing new for the Cyclones, who’ve been out-rebounded by their opponents all season lengthy. Actually, ISU entered this week’s double-dip with Kansas giving up a mean of 39.4 boards per sport whereas getting simply 30.6 for a unfavourable rebounding margin.
The Jayhawks, in the meantime, have out-rebounded their opponents, 38.4-30.7, with the KU backcourt contributed almost simply as a lot because the bigs on the glass.
That was actually the case on Thursday night time, when Jalen Wilson led all gamers with 11 rebounds (4 offensive), whereas Christian Braun, Bryce Thopmson, Ochai Agbaji and Marcus Garrett mixed to seize 15 boards.
Even when you took away Wilson’s contributions, the Jayhawks nonetheless would’ve out-rebounded the Cyclones by one.
ISU is 1-14 within the rebounding battle to this point this season, with its lone victory on the glass coming in a win over Jackson State in Recreation 6, when the Cyclones grabbed 43 boards to JSU’s 35.
KU, in the meantime, is 13-2 this season when profitable the rebounding battle and 1-5 in video games when it has misplaced on the boards.
It’s all about momentum for the Jayhawks proper now and Kansas is in place so as to add to its feel-good week by choosing up its third consecutive victory. The Jayhawks haven’t received three straight since early December.
Kansas modified up its journey routine for this 12 months’s journey to Ames, partly due to COVID-19 and partly due to the video games being performed simply a few days aside.
As an alternative of flying to Ames from Topeka, KU was scheduled to take two buses so the workforce and employees may apply correct social distancing on the journey. Had they accomplished so by flying, the Jayhawks would have needed to take a much bigger aircraft and flown to Des Moines after which drove to Ames anyway.
“You are probably not saving that a lot time,” Self mentioned Thursday night time. “It turns into most likely a three-hour journey versus a four-hour journey by bus.”
As well as, the Jayhawks plans referred to as for skipping Friday’s apply in Lawrence and as a substitute doing a little form of gentle exercise and walk-through once they obtained to Ames on Friday night.
“That’s the one factor that’s completely different,” Self mentioned of KU’s apply schedule. “We’re going to remain off our toes till we get there after which we will go apply at Hilton.”
After Thursday’s victory, Self mentioned he hoped, by now, that his workforce had grown accustomed to taking part in in half-empty arenas and bringing its personal power to the constructing on sport night time.
No place will that be extra vital — or appear more odd — than ISU’s Hilton Coliseum, which has change into referred to as one of many hardest street venues within the nation and given KU all kinds of matches all through the years.
The Jayhawks, who lead the all-time sequence with Iowa State 185-66, personal a 26-22 document inside Hilton Coliseum, however might be taking part in in entrance of simply 1,200 or so folks once they tip this one off.
“It actually will not be just like the Hilton Coliseum that we have seen many occasions, once they welcomed us with open arms,” Self joked after Thursday’s victory.
In line with oddsmakers in Las Vegas, the Jayhawks, who have been 15-point house favorites on Thursday night time, are 13-point favorites on the street towards the identical ISU workforce.
KenPom.com, which supplies KU an 83% win likelihood on this one, lists the sport as a 10-point Kansas edge, 77-67.
G – Marcus Garrett, 6-5, 195, Sr.
G – Ochai Agbaji, 6-5, 210, Jr.
G – Christian Braun, 6-6, 205, Soph.
G – Jalen Wilson, 6-7, 190, RS-Fr.
F – David McCormack, 6-10, 265, Jr.
G – Rasir Bolton, 6-3, 185, Jr.
G – Jalen Coleman-Lands, 6-4, 187, Sr.
G – Jaden Walker, 6-1, 196, Fr.
F – Javan Johnson, 6-6, 205, RS-Jr.
F – Solomon Younger, 6-8, 255, RS-Sr.