🏀 Game Preview: vs. Omaha
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 5/5 Kansas continues its five-game homestand when it hosts Omaha (2-4), Friday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m., CT. The contest will air on ESPN2 with Rich Hollenberg and Jimmy Dykes calling the action.
Kansas is coming off a 73-72 win against #8/7 Creighton on Dec. 8 in Allen Fieldhouse. The victory improved Kansas to 15-3 against Associated Press top-10 teams at home in the Bill Self era.
Omaha is 2-4 on the season after its 65-63 win against SIUE (Southern Illinois Edwardsville) on Dec. 5. The Mavericks and Jayhawks have one common opponent. Creighton defeated Omaha 94-67, on Dec. 1, while Kansas posted a 73-72 win against Creighton on Dec. 8.
This will be the second meeting between Kansas and, with the Jayhawks winning 109-64 on Dec. 18, 2017, in Allen Fieldhouse, during KU’s 2017-18 Final Four season. Current Jayhawks who played in the first meeting include Marcus Garrett (4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists), Mitch Lightfoot (6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 blocked shot) and Chris Teahan (3 points).
Kansas averages 79.3 points per game, which is fourth in the Big 12, and is fifth in the league with a +8.8 scoring margin. KU pulls down 42.0 rebounds per contest, which is second in the Big 12 and holds a +8.8 rebound margin advantage, which is also second in the league. KU has outrebounded its last five foes since losing the battle of the boards in the season opener against #1 Gonzaga. Kansas also ranks in the upper half of the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense (fourth at 42.5), 3-point field goal percentage (third at 40.2), blocked shots (fourth at 4.0), steals (fourth at 8.3) and 3-point field goals made (third at 8.2). KU averages 12.8 assists per contest.
Redshirt-freshman forward Jalen Wilson has led Kansas in scoring each of the last two games and three of the last four outings, which includes two 23-point efforts versus Kentucky (12/1) and Creighton (12/8). Wilson and leads the team with a 16.3 ppg, which is fifth in the Big 12. Wilson also leads Kansas in rebounds with a 9.0 rpg that is third in the conference.
Junior guard Ochai Agbaji is next in scoring at 13.5 points per game. He is second on the squad with 13 3-point field goals made, 16 assists and nine steals. Sophomore guard Christian Braun also has a team-high 10 steals and he is second on the squad with 13 3-pointers made and a 6.5 rebound average. Braun scores 13.0 points per game, which includes a career-high 30 points against Saint Joseph’s (11/27).
Junior forward David McCormack (10.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and senior Marcus Garrett (9.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg) round out the KU starters. McCormack has scoed 37 points in his last three games. An All-American candidate, Garrett leads KU with 19 assists and has nine steals.
- Through six 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 223 Associated Press polls dating back to 2008-09. The 223-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 230.
- Kansas has been ranked in the top 10 in each of the last 22 polls dating back the first poll of the 2019-20 season.
- Kansas’ last six losses have been to ranked foes, with three of those in the top five.
- Redshirt-freshman Jalen Wilson has led KU in scoring three of the last four games posting 23 points against two ranked foes – #20 Kentucky and #8 Creighton.
- 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.
- Redshirt-senior Mitch Lightfoot posted three blocked shots against Washburn (12/3) and became the 21st player in KU history to record 100 career blocks, currently at 102.
- With its 89-54 win against Washburn in Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 3, the Jayhawks have won a mind-boggling 48-straight home openers beginning in 1973-74 under head coach Ted Owens.
- This season, Kansas men’s basketball will be wearing a patch that reads “UNITED WE STAND” signifying its stance on the recent social injustice in the United States. The patch has gold lettering with the black background being in the shape of the state of Kansas.
Kansas concludes its five-game homestand when it plays host to Tarleton State on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 1 p.m. (Central). The contest will air on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+ and it will be the third game where fans will be able to attend the contest in Allen Fieldhouse with an estimated 2,500 capacity.