Second-ranked Kansas is shooting splendidly from outside and looks to have the red-hot aim again when it hosts Oakland on Friday. The Jayhawks drained a school-record 19 3-pointers in Tuesday’s 114-71 trouncing of Texas Southern and are averaging 13 per game.
Senior guard Devonte’ Graham had 17 points and 11 assists for his second double-double of the season and was impressed with his team’s 3-point shooting. “I feel like every year something happens when we break a record or coach gets a record passing people,” Graham said after the victory. “Tradition is great to be a part of something so special.” Oakland has dropped back-to-back games to Toledo and Syracuse but will have standout senior forward Jalen Hayes back from a baffling four-game NCAA academic suspension. “They get him back,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said of Hayes. “He was ineligible the first four games for a screwy academic rule. He’s eligible and they had a guy (senior guard Kendrick Nunn) averaging 30 going into this past week. It’ll be a different game.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN3.com, Jayhawk TV (Kansas)
ABOUT OAKLAND (2-2): Hayes is slated to graduate in December but the NCAA made a controversial ruling by suspending him four games for not making “satisfactory progress toward a degree” after he received a 2.5 in a class in his major last spring when Oakland requires a 2.8. The 6-foot-7 Hayes averaged 15.9 points and eight rebounds last season and has produced 26 career double-doubles. Nunn, a transfer from Illinois, is averaging a team-best 24 points while senior guard Martez Walker is averaging 21.8.
ABOUT KANSAS (4-0): Senior guard Svi Mykhailiuk is averaging 20 points while making a team-best 16 3-pointers and junior guard Lagerald Vick is averaging 18.3 points and 7.3 rebounds after notching his first career double-double (19 points, career-best 11 rebounds) against Texas Southern. Sophomore center Udoka Azubuike is dominating inside by averaging 15.8 points on 84.8 percent shooting, while sophomore guard Malik Newman (12.3) and Graham (11.5) are also averaging in double digits. Freshman guard Marcus Garrett has two double-doubles after establishing season highs of 13 points and 11 rebounds versus Texas Southern and is averaging 7.5 points and a team-leading 7.8 rebounds.
1. Kansas won the lone previous meeting, 89-59 during the 2009-10 campaign.
2. The Jayhawks are 223-10 at Allen Fieldhouse during the 15-season Bill Self era.
3. The last time the Golden Grizzlies faced a top-2 team, they took No. 1 Michigan State into overtime before losing 99-93 on Dec. 22, 2015.
PREDICTION: Kansas 88, Oakland 69