August 14, 2018

Basketball Gameday: No. 2 Kansas vs. Washington

07 December 2017, 11:21 | Henrietta Morgan

Mike Stobe Getty Images

Mike Stobe  Getty Images

Radio: KOMO 1000 AM and FM 97.7 (Tony Castricone and Jason Hamilton).

Coach: Bill Self, 54, has a 630-193 (.765) record in his 25th season. Self has led Kansas to 14 NCAA tournaments, nine Sweet 16s, seven Elite Eights, two Final Fours and a national championship in 2008.

Syracuse ranks 26th in blocks per game (5.0) while CT ranks 39th in blocks allowed per game (2.7).

The Huskies are officially ahead of schedule now after being picked to finish 10th in the Pac-12 in the preseason.

Last meeting: Then-No. 22 Jayhawks won 73-54 at Sprint Center on November 24, 2008 in the semifinals of the CBE Classic. Everybody knew it was Devonté and Lagerald's game Saturday. The Jayhawks never made another significant run.

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"Watch Syracuse ... they play a lot like Syracuse".

After Graham's percentage from 3-point range sagged below the 30 percent mark, two consecutive 35-point performances against Toledo and Syracuse changed all that.

The Huskies barely escaped the Monmouth Hawks in their last game, 84-81. Graham was named as the Big-12 Preseason Player of the Year.

F Noah Dickerson ... 6-8 ... Jr.

The 6-2, 175-pound guard is leading the nation in scoring with an average of 28.7 points per game while shooting an impressive 47.6 percent from the field.

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Colorado 75, New Mexico 57: Dominique Collier scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and the Buffaloes broke open a close game with a late run to beat the Lobos. He's projected to be a mid-to-late first-round pick. Kansas' 0.591 effective field goal percentage was their biggest strength over Syracuse, who had a rate of 0.375. The Jayhawks are 7-1. Azubuike played just 11 games in 2016-17 before a wrist injury ended his freshman season.

The Jayhawks are undefeated, but their schedule will be tougher moving forward. Key losses include leading scorers Frank Mason, the National Player of the Year victor, and NBA draft lottery pick Josh Jackson.

Luckily for Hopkins and the Huskies (7-2), the scouting report for Kansas was made much easier thanks to some favorable scheduling and a phone call between the UW coach and members of the Syracuse staff. He became the subject of a school investigation following a November 11 single-car accident on campus. That's why you come to these big schools and have those opportunities. He's not expected to play, but will be available Wednesday. "It's not like we're just playing against the walk-ons or something like that". Three Jayhawks are sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules, Preston is out indefinitely and redshirt sophomore guard Sam Cunliffe, the Seattle native who starred at Rainier Beach High and Seattle Prep, becomes eligible December 16 after transferring from Arizona State.

The Kansas basketball team needs to continue to improve as the move toward conference play at the end of the month. They're off to their best start since 2010-11 when they began 18-0.

There are strong indications that Young is going to have a dominant year as he has scored 33 points against Portland, 42 on the road against OR, 32 against North Texas and 28 points vs. Texas-San Antonio in his four most recent games.

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The talent of the No. 2-ranked Jayhawks' so-called Red team - now featuring a main lineup of non-active players Billy Preston, Charlie Moore, Sam Cunliffe and Dedric and K.J. Lawson - have been pushing their active roster counterparts at KU practices far more than the ragtag group of walk-ons often deployed in these settings.

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