The Kansas Jayhawks will look to log their second win of the season on Thursday evening when they host the Bison of North Dakota State. The Jayhawks defeated the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks on opening night by a score of 89-64.
The Bison enter the game with an 0-1 record after falling to nationally ranked Arkansas on opening night by a count of 76-58. North Dakota State kept it respectable and only trailed by 8 points at the half and ultimately covered the spread.
The game is scheduled for a 8:00 PM EST tip-off from Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, KS, and will be broadcast on ESPN Plus. Kansas is favored by 23 points in the game.
Kansas looking to impress in third game
It has to be difficult for the Jayhawks to live up to expectations coming into the season.
The reigning national champion lost a ton from last season’s roster in terms of both leadership and counting statistics. To make matters even more difficult, head coach Bill Self is serving a four-game suspension due to infractions brought forth by the FBI investigation in 2017.
Even furthering the difficulty is not having the wisdom of assistant coach Kurtis Townsend on the sideline, who is also suspended for the same reason.
Of course, the situation is not completely dire. The Jayhawks have won both contests they’ve played this season, in fact. After falling behind to Pittsburgh State in an exhibition, they were able to pull out the victory.
Despite not defeating Omaha by a convincing margin (the spread was 32), they didn’t suffer the same fate as say…Florida State.
Freshman Gradey Dick appears to be as advertised, scoring a game-high 23 points. The freshman forward was among six Jayhawks in double figures as the offense averaged 1.27 points per possession.
Also noteworthy, Kansas sent the Mavericks to the line 19 times in a game in which the Mavericks hoisted 21 triples. They need to cut that number down.
North Dakota State Looking for a Program Changing Victory
Longtime Bison coach David Richman wasn’t messing around with his schedule to kick off the 2022-23 season. While most low-major programs schedule plenty of “buy” games during the non-conference schedule, few take on two of the top 15 teams in the country within the first four days of the season.
The Bison were led by a couple of juniors in Boden Skunberg and Grant Nelson in their first game, each scoring 17 points. No other North Dakota State player scored more than seven points in the game, and only scored 0.79 points per possession for the game.
Had the team shot slightly better over (5-21 from deep, 15-23 from the stripe), the Richman’s group may have had a legit opportunity to knock off a vulnerable Arkansas team playing without star freshman Nick Smith.
Pick and Prediction
At some point, this Kansas team is going to put it all together. The question is whether or not it happens before or after Bill Self returns to the sideline.
This game is the perfect opportunity for the Jayhawks, the freshman jitters should be gone, and the team has played a game under Norm Roberts. Look for Kansas to cover the 23 points at home.
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