Friday, January 21, 2011

Kansas vs. Texas--what to look for tomorrow

I have to believe that the ESPN College GameDay guys would prefer stopping in Lawrence tomorrow for the Kansas-Texas contest versus waiting a week to see the Jayhawks play what thus far has been a disappointing Kansas State team. (ESPN College GameDay is scheduled to be at Allen Fieldhouse next Saturday.)

Here's what to look for tomorrow when #2 KU takes on #11 Texas:

The streak: A win gives Kansas 70 straight on James Naismith Court at Allen Fieldhouse. Is there pressure with this streak? If so, it hasn't shown and, if anything, the Allen crowd has helped the team pull through in close games like the win over USC in December.

Jordan Hamilton: Hamilton scored 27 points on Wednesday night in the Longhorn's win over Texas A&M. The rub? Hamilton had zero offensive rebounds and one assist. When Hamilton had the ball, he was 10 of 14 from the field and hit all four of his free throws. Will Hamilton be more involved in Texas' total offense on Saturday?

Josh Selby: Selby is trying to make up for lost time given his nine-game suspension. He has the ability to take over a game, which he showed in his first outing versus USC, including the game-winning shot. Since then, Selby has been up-and-down offensively but has shown consistent improvement on the defensive side of the ball.

J'Covan Brown: Brown had a huge game against Kansas last year. He's streaky but can go off if given the opportunity.

Mario Little: Little hasn't played a lot of minutes for Kansas over the past three games but has been very productive in his limited time on the floor. Little is under-sized on the defensive side of the ball but creates match-up problems on offense.

DeAndre Daniels: Daniels won't be on the floor but is supplying a bit of drama off the court. Daniels originally committed to Texas but re-opened his recruitment and is said to now be favoring Kansas. His decision has been delayed given his desire to enroll in the spring semester at whichever school he chooses--Kansas, Texas or Kentucky.

Andy Katz of ESPN has picked Texas to stop Kansas' home court winning streak. I, on the other hand, predict a six point Kansas victory in another classic match-up between these two schools who have developed quite a hoops rivalry. The winner will be in the drivers' seat of the Big 12 title race.

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