The “GRAFF” Report
The stretch-run is here for Kansas basketball. The toughest stretch on the schedule for KU started this weekend with a 72-64 loss to Iowa State in Hilton Coliseum. This stretch of games includes four ranked squads and five road games.
By: Trevor Graff
Here’s a preview of the five toughest matchups remaining for KU:
1. 8 KU at 4 Missouri (Saturday, February 4)
The first installment of this year’s Border Showdown will take place in Columbia, Mo. Mizzou Arena will be the most hostile environment KU sees this season. Add to the environment a guard heavy team with four players averaging double figure scoring, and the foundation is laid for a great rivalry game.
2. 8 KU at 6 Baylor (Wednesday, February 8)
The Jayhawks will have to make a quick turnaround for Baylor. The Jayhawks won the first game, at home, 92-74, but the Bears’ length and zone defense pose a real threat at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Tex. If KU can contain the trio of Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy and Quincy Miller, all of whom scored fourteen points or more in the last matchup, Baylor will struggle. Allow the Bears to create turnovers with their length that lead to easy baskets and KU will be in trouble.
3. 8 KU vs. 4 Missouri (Saturday, February 25)
Beating a team once is tough, but beating them again even tougher. Home-court advantage won’t be enough to beat Missouri. The Jayhawks will have to display great ball handling once again to beat a ball-hawking Missouri club at home.
4. 8 KU at Kansas State (Monday, February 13)
Bramlage Coliseum takes things to an entirely new level when the Jayhawks come to town. The Cats are struggling at the moment, but the Sunflower Showdown is a volatile rivalry in which anything can happen. The Cats search for vengeance will be made easier by their hostile environment. Kansas wins if they force Rodney McGruder out of his game early.
5. 8 KU at Texas A&M (Wednesday, February 22)
Texas A&M forced KU into an ugly offensive matchup. This slow grind it out style and Reed Arena could create another headache for Bill Self. If Khris Middleton is back in the line-up, A&M could give KU another tough game.