Kansas basketball hosts No. 4 UConn tonight for their first real test at Allen Fieldhouse this season.
While the Kansas basketball team has not quite clicked yet, they have an opportunity to secure a top-5 win over UConn tonight in what will be a packed venue at Phog Allen Fieldhouse.
The Huskies sit at 7-0, with a blowout win vs. Indiana and a comfortable victory over No. 15 Texas two weeks ago. Things won’t get much easier for Dan Hurley’s group after today, though, as they’ll face No. 17 North Carolina and No. 11 Gonzaga on a neutral site.
Sophomore big man Donovan Clingan is having a breakout season, while Alex Karaban has become a tremendous player. Transfers Cam Spencer and Tristen Newton are leading the guard room with 5-star guard Stephon Castle out due to injury.
Castle remaining sidelined is definitely a bonus for a Kansas basketball squad that has immensely struggled with guard play. UConn is starting true freshman Solomon Ball in his place, who shot 1-of-8 in their last game. Dajuan Harris — who has been unimpressive to start the year — must take advantage of that matchup.
Kansas’ record is 6-1 following a 2-1 finish in the Maui Invitational. Marquette dominated the Jayhawks en route to their first and only loss this year, but they hold marquee wins over Kentucky and Tennessee and will look to add another to their resume.
The matchup between Clingan and superstar center Hunter Dickinson is one we’ll need to watch. Arguably the best player to ever enter the transfer portal, Dickinson is averaging an otherworldly 21.7 points and 12.7 rebounds across KU’s seven contests. He also shoots 67% from the field and 61.5% on 3-point attempts.
Like Kansas, UConn struggles with their outside shots. In fact, the Huskies’ 3-point percentage (30.9%) is far worse than KU’s (35.7%). The winner of this game must overwhelm their opponent in the paint, and that starts with Dickinson on both ends of the ball.
This bout will be a dogfight until the time the buzzer sounds. The Jayhawks must cut down on turnovers and lazy defensive possessions because UConn can capitalize on that quickly. But with the crowd on KU’s side, there is no telling what the wonders of Allen Fieldhouse can do.