Busting Brackets

Kansas Basketball: 3 keys to victory for the Jayhawks against Houston

The Kansas Jayhawks will take on the nation’s best defensive team in a top-ten matchup on Saturday.

Kansas v West Virginia
Kansas v West Virginia / G Fiume/GettyImages
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3. Hit open shots (especially from three) and protect the basketball

According to BartTorvik, the Houston Cougars come into Saturday’s matchup as the best defensive team inside the arc, posting the nation’s best 41 2PD%. 

Although Kansas may have Dickinson and he, alongside KJ Adams, will get their looks down low, being able to hit open shots -- especially from behind the arc -- will be critical for Kansas because quite frankly, the sheer number of possessions Kansas will have on offense will be limited due to Houston’s ability to create turnovers and wear a team down on offense.

The Jayhawks are a strong three-point shooting team, shooting 37% on the year, according to TeamRankings. Because Houston does a great job defending inside the arc, finding ways to open the floor by utilizing Kevin McCullar, Dajuan Harris, Hunter Dickinson off of pick-and-pop and maybe, just maybe getting a look for Nick Timberlake seems like a beneficial way to play to one of their strengths and not fall into the physicality trap that Houston displays inside the arc.

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The Jayhawks may not shoot a high volume of threes per game but being able to knock them down can give them breathing room if or when the game gets tight in the final couple of minutes.