Here are 5 issues to contemplate earlier than KU basketball plays Arkansas

DES MOINES, Iowa — Kansas men’s basketball doesn’t have to look too deep into its NCAA match history to revisit how dangerous a spherical of 32 matchup is in opposition to the winner of the 8-9 seed recreation.

The Jayhawks had been a 1-seed last year, similar to they are this year, when they confronted 9-seed Creighton. Although a 79-72 ultimate score in Kansas’ win final 12 months might indicate some stage of consolation, it wasn’t until the ultimate minute of the sport that the Jayhawks were capable of seal that victory. And taking a glance at a matchup on this year’s version, Saturday towards 8-seed Arkansas in the West area, redshirt junior forward Jalen Wilson famous that all it takes is one game to end a run.

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Here are five issues to suppose about forward of the 4:15 p.m. (CT) scheduled tip-off in Des Moines, Iowa, between Kansas (28-7) and Arkansas (21-13):

Bill Self’s status stays day-to-day

Kansas assistant coach Norm Roberts has been serving as the Jayhawks’ acting head coach the past four games, together with the three-game keep in the Big 12 Conference event, with head coach Bill Self unavailable for these video games due to well being causes. It’s unclear if that may end Saturday, with Roberts saying the decision on if Self can coach is one thing that’s out of his hands and up to folks like all doctors concerned. Roberts added what he is conscious of is each day Self is enhancing.

Here’s what initially stands out to Kansas about Arkansas

Athleticism has been a serious matter of conversation. Kansas freshman guard Gradey Dick mentioned if Arkansas isn’t probably the most athletic staff within the nation, it’s some of the athletic. And while Roberts praised how good the 16-seed Howard staff the Jayhawks just beat in the round of 64 is, he also highlighted the step up in athleticism Kansas is about to face.

Redshirt senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr. also pointed to his feeling that the Razorbacks are battled examined just like the Jayhawks are. Arkansas just didn’t enjoy as much success in the Southeastern Conference as Kansas did within the Big 12. The Razorbacks tied for ninth within the SEC regular season standings and misplaced in the SEC tournament quarterfinals, whereas the Jayhawks received the Big 12 regular season title and misplaced within the Big 12 event championship sport.

Kansas players anticipate Arkansas will try to beat them one-on-one offensively

Redshirt junior guard Dajuan Harris Jr.’s preparation to defend Arkansas has him considering a quantity of various things. For one, he knows they have to maintain the Razorbacks out of the paint. For another, he anticipates Arkansas to attempt to get to mismatches and beat Kansas that method.

Regarding the latter, Dick wouldn’t be stunned to see the Razorbacks make it a point to go one-on-one lots. He mentioned Arkansas likes to get players in isolation. And sophomore ahead KJ Adams Jr., the Jayhawks’ beginning 5-man, is fairly assured he’ll be capable of deal with himself whereas defending on the perimeter if Kansas is switching every thing.

“I’ve been guarding the guards all yr,” stated Adams, who’s listed at 6-foot-7 and 225 pounds. “So, I think it’ll be a good check, but I suppose I’ll be OK in opposition to their athletic guards.”

There are keys to making sure Kansas’ preparation in the course of the quick turnaround goes well

Roberts mentioned they have to stay centered on readying themselves for what Arkansas does finest. Dick said that while they should be taught from their own errors from the Howard win, additionally they should put the sport behind them shortly so they can give attention to Arkansas. And in addition to pointing to Arkansas’ strengths, Wilson stated they need to spend time on what they do finest themselves, too.

Here are some comparisons to past teams Kansas has performed, that Arkansas resembles

Roberts brought up TCU and Texas, due to their athleticism and length. McCullar brought up Texas, because of its athletes, and West Virginia. And Wilson talked about Texas, too.

But it additionally seemed like even mentioning Texas was a stretch for Wilson. He struggled to call an analogous team initially. Arkansas is just totally different in his estimation, and McCullar had a little perception into why that may be the case.

“Just what quantity of guys they’ve, even coming off the bench, that are all long athletes that can guard a quantity of positions and all handle the ball, score the ball at a high price, and simply compete at a high degree,” McCullar mentioned. “So, yeah, they’ve talent one-through-five and it’s going to be a great matchup.”

Jordan Guskey covers University of Kansas Athletics at The Topeka Capital-Journal. He is the National Sports Media Association’s sportswriter of the 12 months for the state of Kansas for 2022. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.

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