The 13th ranked Kansas Jayhawks take on the New Mexico Lobos tonight in Kansas’ annual December Sprint Center appearance. Get your television and Kansas Jayhawks live stream information right here.
THE GAME: Kansas Jayhawks (6-3) @ New Mexico Lobos (7-1)
THE PLACE: Sprint Center, Kansas City
THE TIME: Saturday, December 14th, 6:00 p.m. CST
THE NETWORK: ESPN 2
LIVE STREAM: WatchESPN
The Kansas Jayhawks play on ESPN 2 Saturday evening so if you are on the go or can’t be near your television, we have you covered. You can still catch the Jayhawks live online at WatchESPN.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1- GUARD PLAY: Frank Mason, Wayne Selden, Jr., and Naadir Tharpe combined for 12 turnovers Tuesday night against Florida. To make things even worse, these three primary ball handlers for Kansas dished out just three assists, all by Tharpe. The guard play for the Jayhawks must improve if Kansas is going to take a positive step forward. Not only does their ball handling and passing leave much to be desired, but right now, their shooting has not been good, especially from behind the arc, where they are 20 for 66 combined (30%). These players aren’t as bad as they are playing right now but they need to turn it around quickly.
2- BREAKING THE ZONE: Until Kansas can prove they can beat a zone defense, teams are going to continue to throw it at them. The two things that most effectively break down a zone are passing and shooting 3′s, two things the Jayhawks are not very good at right now. As a team, Kansas is only 44 for 140 from 3-point range (30.5%). Teams are daring them to shoot the ball by packing their zones into the lane. Kansas must get hot from deep to loosen up the middle. Their passing isn’t much better as the ball doesn’t move around as quickly and crisply as past Jayhawk editions. Hopefully, in time Kansas’ half court offense will start to improve.
3- DEFENSE: At times, there seem to be indications that the Kansas defense is improving but it is still inconsistent. Naadir Tharpe in particular, seems to always lose his man. He also struggles with tight on-the-ball defense, as his man drives by him. When he plays off his man a step or two, they seemingly have no trouble getting shots off as he cannot close quickly enough to challenge the shot. Not just to pick on Tharpe here, because the Jayhawks routinely get blown by on defense, especially on the perimeter, but he needs to be better. Kansas still has not found the comfort zone on defense. With their length and athleticism, they should be able to wreak havoc more often.