THE GAME: Kansas Jayhawks (2-0) Vs Iona Gaels (1-1)
THE TIME: 7 p.m. CST
THE PLACE: Allen Fieldhouse
The Jayhawks finally take the floor again after their huge win against the Duke Blue Devils a week ago in Chicago. Andrew Wiggins leads Kansas in scoring, averaging 19 points in the first two wins of the season. Perry Ellis is right behind with 18.
Ellis leads the team in rebounds with 8.5 a game, with Wiggins tied for second with fellow freshman Joel Embiid, each averaging 5.5 boards. Wayne Selden leads the team with 8 total assists, followed by Frank Mason with 6. Wiggins and Ellis also lead the team with 3 steals each.
Kansas is averaging 87 points a game thus far while giving up an average of 73 per contest through two games. Kansas must defend better as the season progresses. The Jayhawks are usually among the leaders in the nation is Field Goal % Against but so far against Louisiana-Monroe and Duke, Kansas is allowing their opponents to shoot 47.7% from the field. It is doubtful Head Coach Bill Self finds this number acceptable.
Iona lost its first game of the season 73-69 to Cleveland State but bounced back to handle Wofford easily, 76-55.
The Gaels have three players who are averaging double figure points through two games. Sean Armand is averaging 18.5 points, David Laury is second with 17, and Isaiah Williams gets 13.5 a contest. Williams has nailed 7 three pointers in 15 attempts for a terrific 46.7% from long range. Laury leads the team with 17 rebounds
Iona is not just another cupcake opponent. The Gaels are the defensing Metro Atlantic Conference Champions and have gone to two straight NCAA Tournaments. They return 3 seniors and 2 juniors, including two of their top performers of a year ago.
Sean Armand was second on the team in scoring last season by dropping in 16.6 a game, and David Laury was the third leading scorer on that 20-14 team with 13.1 points an outing.
Kansas must maintain the intensity they displayed in the Duke game last week, despite not being in the national spotlight as fully in this game. The youngsters must know they cannot have a letdown against a school that isn’t a national powerhouse.
Kansas needs to show improvement on defense and an ability not to foul as often as they did in the first two games. The Jayhawks have accumulated 51 fouls total in their first 2 outings.
Kansas should win this one but be on the look out for improvement, both as a team and in individual play. Things like footwork, three-point shooting, entry passes, and defense are all things a number of the players need to work on. Iona won’t be a pushover, but Kansas should win this one by more than 15 points.