Kansas basketball: Jayhawks prepare for Baylor as Agbaji’s status looms

Kansas looks to bounce back tonight when they take on Iowa State at 6:00 PM CST (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
Kansas looks to bounce back tonight when they take on Iowa State at 6:00 PM CST (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images) /

Coming off of a road win against Iowa State in Ames earlier this week, the Kansas Jayhawks gear up for one of the biggest games in the Big 12 conference race.

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KU will welcome the Baylor Bears to Allen Fieldhouse to see if they can keep their half-game lead in the conference standings.

The question on every Jayhawk fan’s mind is whether or not their team will get senior star Ochai Agbaji back for Saturday’s contest. He sat out and did not travel to the game against ISU earlier this week due to COVID-19 safety protocols.

The remaining Jayhawks were able to hold their own on the road as they came away with a nine-point victory. Agbaji’s teammates really stepped up in what head coach Bill Self called a “good team win.”

KU got big minutes and effort from transfer Joseph Yesufu, who brought poise, control,  and – most importantly – energy on both ends of the floor.


KU was also without Remy Martin earlier this week, who has been struggling with a bone bruise in his knee for the last month. Self has indicated that Martin will be out for an extended period of time, but didn’t specify exactly when his return might come.

Who will come out on top?

If Kansas is able to get Agbaji back, they should like their chances in Allen Fieldhouse.

Assuming he’s cleared protocols and has no lingering symptoms, he should be able to operate close to 100%. The Jayhawks will need his offense against the Baylor defense, which is ranked No. 22 in the country and giving up an average of 61 points per game.

KU got drubbed by Kentucky on College GameDay just one week ago despite a juiced crowd, and they should have enough energy to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Without Agbaji, we eliminate a player that torched the No. 16  ranked defense of the Texas Tech Red Raiders not long ago when he put up 37 points on 7-of-8 three-pointers.

If the Jayhawks are still without Agbaji and Martin, the task will be much more difficult. Yes, the home crowd and the confidence from the game earlier this week should help, but there could be too many inconsistencies to go up against Baylor’s talent.

Baylor is also dealing with some injuries of their own. Guards LJ Cryler – who leads the Bears in scoring – and Adam Flagler both missed an earlier victory over West Virginia. They are day-to-day, so we probably won’t have a status update until game time.

Final prediction

Kansas 75, Baylor 69

With multiple players in and out of the lineup, it’s tough to know how this one will fall. In the case that both teams are still dealing with their injury and COVID-19 issues, the Jayhawks would have more depth and could have a slight edge with the boost they need from a rowdy home crowd.