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Oklahoma MBB Opponent Watch: Kansas Jayhawks

The Kansas Jayhawks have a reputation of being the best in the Big 12 Conference. Nothing has changed as the Jayhawks sit atop the leader board at 5-0 and 17-1 overall.


Bill Self has his team eyeing the NCAA Tournament and a #1 seed come post season play. However there is a ton of basketball to be played between now and then. While the Kansas Jayhawks remain the only unbeaten team in conference play, they have had their fair share of tests come their way.

Allen Fieldhouse will play host to the Oklahoma Sooners in a hostile environment. Up to this point of the season, the Sooners have been fairly successful on the road. In nine games away from Norman, OK, Oklahoma has come away with a win six times. This game marks the tenth game away from home and not many are giving the Sooners a shot to steal a win.

Leading the way for Kansas is freshman Ben McLemore with 16.1 points per game. He could be a real threat beyond the 3-point line even if a defender is able to get a hand in his face. On the season, McLemore is shooting 53.3% but is blazing the nets from 3-point land at a conversion rate of 60%.

Behind him is 7-footer Jeff Withey who will continue to use his height as an advantage against opposing teams. Withey currently leads the team in rebounds at 8.3 a game and is second in scoring contributing 13 each and every night. However, his biggest downfall could be exposed as he is susceptible to being taken off the dribble. Lon Kruger will be well aware of this while looking to exploit this factor through the agility and capabilities of Romero Osby, a player who has been known to step outside and take a three-point shot.

It is not just McLemore and Withey who can score for this Kansas squad. Lurking in the shadows is Travis Releford, a familiar name for many, who currently averages 12.9 points per game while seeing the most time on the court out of any of his teammates.

Finally we get to Elijah Johnson, a player known for his passing ability. Johnson averages 4.9 assists per game but is prone to turning the ball over. He is not as active as some other defenders in the passing lane and rarely creates a steal. Yet, Johnson remains a vital part of this team's success.

As a team, the Jayhawks are putting up 75.1 points per contest. Much of that is due to the success they have on the offensive glass as they pull down 38.8 rebounds a game. However, Kansas will most likely over match the opponent in shooting percentage as they rank 19th in the country at 48.2%.

Lon Kruger and Co. certainly have their work cut out for them as they take to the road yet again. Not many walk into the Phog and escape with a win, but anything could happen!