Getting to know: Texas basketball
No. 11 Kansas returns to the Big 12 gauntlet after a brief detour this past weekend.
Three days after losing to Kentucky in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, KU (16-4, 5-2 Big 12) will travel to Texas (11-9, 3-4) for the second meeting this year between these two teams. The Jayhawks are tied for first in the Big 12 with Kansas State and Baylor.
The Longhorns are 5-1 in their last six home games against AP Top-20 opponents entering Tuesday’s contest. The Longhorns will look to end a two-game losing streak after their 98-88 loss at Georgia this past weekend.
Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.
Series history: Kansas has won 10 straight against Texas and leads the overall series by a 32-8 margin. KU is 10-6 against the Longhorns in meetings in Austin with all 16 matchups played in the Erwin Center. The Jayhawks have won their last four trips to Austin.
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BREAKING DOWN TEXAS
No. 12 — G Kerwin Roach II | 6-4, 180, sr.
Roach is in his fourth season in the backcourt rotation and has played in 115 career games (79 starts) for the Longhorns.
This season, Roach leads the team in scoring (14.3 ppg) and assists (3.5 apg) and ranks second in minutes (30.7 mpg). He is also third in rebounding (4.7 rpg) and steals (23). Roach has reached double figures in scoring in 15 of his first 18 contests.
In addition, Roach boasts a 63-to-38 (1.66 ratio) assist-to-turnover ratio on the year.
No. 2 — G Matt Coleman III | 6-2, 180, so.
Coleman is running the show in his second season as the starting point guard.
Through the first 20 games this year, he leads the team in minutes (31.1 mpg) and free throw percentage (.755) and ranks second in assists (3.3 apg), third in scoring (10.2 ppg) and fourth in steals (19).
Coleman has registered 30 assists compared to just 10 turnovers in his first seven Big 12 Conference contests.
No. 10 — F Jaxson Hayes | 6-11, 220, fr.
Hayes, a likely future NBA lottery pick, has made an immediate impact for Texas.
Entering Tuesday, Hayes leads the Big 12 Conference and ranks 10th nationally in blocks per game (53, 2.65 bpg). He ranks second on the team in scoring (10.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.1 rpg), while averaging 22.8 mpg.
Of his 84 made field goals this year, 55 have been dunks. That means 65.5 percent of buckets have been dunks this season.
No. 21 — F Dylan Osetkowski | 6-9, 250, sr.
Osetkowski is in his second season at UT in the frontcourt rotation and fifth year of college basketball. He has played and started in all 54 career games in his two seasons at Texas.
Through the first 20 games this season, Osetkowski leads the team in rebounding (8.3 rpg), double-doubles (5) and steals (30) and ranks third in minutes (28.7 mpg) and fourth in scoring (10.1 ppg).
Osetkowski has recorded eight double-doubles and reached double figures in scoring 36 times and in rebounds 12 times.
ONE THING TEXAS DOES WELL
Behind a second-year point guard, Texas does a great job taking care of the rock. The Longhorns are posting a turnover rate of just 16.8, which is 52nd in all of college basketball. They are allowing opposing teams to post a 7.7 steal rate as well.
ONE AREA TEXAS STRUGGLES
Texas, like most Big 12 teams, is not built to shoot well from deep. The Longhorns lean on their athleticism and try to make plays inside. They shoot just 33.1 percent from deep, which is ranked 220th in the nation.
MEET THE COACH
Texas is coached by Shaka Smart, who is 61-59 in his fourth season at UT and 224-115 in his 10th year overall. Smart has not defeated KU since joining Texas, as the Longhorns have dropped the previous 10 meetings with the Jayhawks.
Kansas is a 1-point favorite over Texas as of Tuesday morning, according to Action Network. This line seems too small, despite KU’s struggles in true road contests this season. The Jayhawks are better on both ends on the floor than the Longhorns, and should walk away with a win to stay atop the Big 12.
My prediction: Kansas 79, Texas 72