basketball

Hoops Gameday: No. 3 Kansas

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Associated Press

Who, What, Where, When

Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-4) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (8-1)

Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 - 2:15 p.m.

Allen Fieldhouse

TV: ESPN

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Internet: WatchESPN.com

Nebraska projected starters
NAME HT/WT YEAR NOTES

Glynn Watson

6-0/174

So.

Second on the team with 13.2 ppg and 3.3 apg and leads the Big Ten with 2.1 spg

Tai Webster

6-4/195

Sr.

Scored 20 points vs Creighton for his fourth 20-point game this season and the sixth of his career

Jack McVeigh

6-8/215

So.

Averaging 8.7 ppg and 4.1 rpg per game and leads the Huskers with 17 made 3-pointers

Michael Jacobson

6-9/239

So.

Averaging 6.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg and 1.4 bpg, ranking 12th in the Big Ten in blocked shots

Edward Morrow

6-7/234

So.

Finished with a career-high 13 rebounds vs. Creighton, his third 10-rebound game of the season

Kansas projected starters
NAME HT/WT YEAR NOTES

Frank Mason III

5-11/190

Sr.

Among the Big 12 scoring leaders at 20.8 ppg and averages a team-high 5.3 apg, named to Naismith Trophy Watch List

Devonte' Graham

6-2/185

Jr.

Averages 13.7 points and 5.1 assists, also named to Naismith Trophy Watch List

Legerald Vick

6-5/175

So.

Averaging 9.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 1.2 spg

Josh Jackson

6-8/207

Fr.

No. 1 recruit in 2016 class, averages 14.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 3.6 spg, also named to Naismith Trophy Watch List

Udoka Azubuike

7-0/280

Fr.

Averaging 4.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 1.6 bpg

3 KEYS TO VICTORY

1. Find a way to score

There is no bigger issue facing Nebraska right now than its undeniable issues offensively. While the Huskers have been playing solid defense, they've struggled to find any sort of rhythm or flow with the basketball, and it's cost them multiple games as a result. Last time out in a loss to Creighton was the worst yet, as NU shot just 32.4 percent from the field and was 3-of-22 from 3-point range. Despite holding the Bluejays to their worst offensive performance of the season, Nebraska still lost by 15 because it simply could not score. If that doesn't change quickly, expect a similar result today.

2. Defend the 3

After losing to Indiana and then barely edging Duke in the first two games, Kansas made a lineup shift to get more guards on the floor. That's resulted in the Jayhawks shooting lights out in the past seven games since. Kansas is now averaging 87.8 points per game and just went off from 3-point range last time out in a win over UMKC, knocking down 15-of-27 from beyond the arc and shooting 56 percent from the field. If the Jayhawks come out and shoot like that today, the Huskers will have an extremely difficult time keeping up.

3. Hold your own in the paint

A big reason why Kansas made the move to a more guard-heavy lineup was because it wasn't getting quite the production it was expecting from its frontcourt early on. Despite boasting plenty of size and skill down low, led by 7-foot, 280-pound center Udoka Azubuike, the Jayhawks weren't controlling the paint on either end of the floor the way they had hoped. Given Nebraska's lack of size, it's not as if the Huskers are going to have much of an advantage here. But NU's bigs must play well enough to make Kansas one dimensional and then hope the Jayhawks have an off-shooting day.

QUOTABLE

“I think he’s a good coach, and other people think it too in our profession. He’s a fun guy. Maybe he’ll tweet you back at halftime and that kind of stuff. You don’t see that very often. But he’s probably the social media king of our profession, so that makes it interesting.”

- Kansas head coach Bill Self on Nebraska head coach Tim Miles

PREDICTION

Kansas 78-60

Robin's season record: 8-1

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