KU v. Saint Louis Preview

Coach: Jim Crews
Conference: Atlantic 10
2012-13 Record: 2-1

Expected Starters


#11 Mike McCall Jr., 6’0 Junior combo guard
11 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1 spg, 2.7 to/game, 46.4% fg, 75% ft, 66.7% 3pt
McCall is a player that is at his best when he’s attacking the paint. He is very right hand dominant and can score at the rim, in the mid-range, and set others up off the dribble. McCall is an inconsistent perimeter shooter but he is knocking down 66.7% (4-6)of his long range attempts this season. The junior is a terrific defender and combines with Jett to form a very formidable defensive backcourt.

#5 Jordair Jett, 6'1 Junior shooting guard
8.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5 apg, 2.7 spg, 0.7 bpg, 3.3 to/game, 47.6% fg, 50% ft, 25% 3pt
Jett is a big-time perimeter defender with great strength and quick feet. He plays passing lanes well, averaging 2.7 steals per game. The junior is very good at attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line. He also rebounds his position well and has done a nice job of creating opportunities for his teammates, averaging 5 assists per game. Jett struggles as a perimeter shooter and is more comfortable attacking the basket off the dribble off of the pick and roll.

#21 Dwayne Evans, 6'5 Junior small forward
17 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 0.3 apg, 1 spg, 0.3 bpg, 2.7 to/game, 68% fg, 81% ft
Evans is a very tough player who is an outstanding rebounder for his size. The junior averages 3.3 offensive rebounds per game and the Jayhawks need to keep him off the glass. Evans has improved as a perimeter shooter but still is not very confident from beyond the arc.. The junior can attack the basket on straight line drives and has had success getting to the free throw line, averaging seven attempts per game.

#32 Cory Remekun, 6’8 Senior power forward
12 ppg, 2 rpg, 2 bpg, 1 to/game, 83% fg, 33.3% ft
Remekun played in his first game last night after being injured to start the season. He is a solid shooter who is good in transition for St. Louis. He plays good position defense and brings a physical presence to the game for the Billikens. Remekun prefers a jump hook over his left shoulder in the low post and has range out to 17ft. The senior is a solid offensive rebounder but struggles as a ball handler on the perimeter.

#51 Rob Loe, 6'11 Junior power forward
8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1 apg, 2 to/game, 36.4% fg, 100% ft, 30.8% 3pt
Loe is a versatile post player who can operate on the blocks and step out beyond the arc on catch and shoot and pick and pop situations. Last season 97 of his 151 field goal attempts came from beyond the arc and this season he is currently knocking down 4 of his 13 long range attempts. Loe is a very average low post defender and he struggles as a rebounder. Expect the Jayhawks to put him in a lot of pick and roll situations and to feed Withey on the interior in hopes of getting him in foul trouble.

Substitutes


#3 Kwamain Mitchell ** INJURED **, 5’11 Senior point guard
While he is injured, Mitchell is still worth mentioning in regards to this St. Louis team. Mitchell is a 3pt threat who is a very good set-up man for this team with his ability to attack off the dribble to his right or left and set up his teammates. He makes good decisions with the basketball and is a solid shooter from beyond the arc. The senior is also a very good defender, especially on the ball.

#24 Cody Ellis
6’8 Senior power forward
12 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.7 to/game, 32% fg, 90% ft, 16.7% 3pt
Ellis is a terrific perimeter shooter, but has struggled so far this season, knocking down just 16.7% of his 3pt attempts this season after hitting 68 attempts from long range last year (38.1%). Ellis isn’t a player who puts the ball on the floor often but when he does it’s usually going to his left. He needs others to create offense for him through kickouts, pick and pop situations, and coming off of screens. One of his biggest offensive assets is his shot fake, which he uses on the perimeter very effectively. Ellis is a good position defender but struggles as a rebounder.

#30 Jake Barnett, 6’5 Junior small forward
4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.3 to/game, 27.3% fg, 100% ft, 25% 3pt
Barnett is a terrific perimeter shooter who has struggled so far this season, knocking down just 25% (2-8)of his 3pt field goal attempts. On the season 8 of his 11 field goal attempts have come from beyond the arc. He isn’t a great ball handler and is only able to attack the basket off of straight line drives. Barnett rebounds his position well and takes good care of the basketball.

#54 John Manning, 6'11 Sophomore center
1.3 ppg, 0.3 apg, 0.3 bpg, 50% fg, 100% ft
Manning brings a big body to this St. Louis team. He is a player that is a low post scorer only and, unlike the other Billiken post players, lacks the ability to step outside and knock down perimeter shots. Manning lacks mobility so expect the Jayhawks to test him by forcing him to defend ball screen action.

#0 Keith Carter, 6’0 Freshman point guard
1.5 ppg, 1 rpg, 1 apg, 0.5 spg, 50% fg, 100% 3pt
Carter has played only earned nine minutes of action per game. He is a threat from beyond the arc and has yet to turn the ball over this season. Expect the Jayhawks to turn the pressure up on Carter in an attempt to rattle the freshman.

#1 Grandy Glaze, 6’6 Sophomore power forward
2.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.7 to/game, 40% fg
Glaze is an undersized power player that plays spot minutes for the Billikens. The sophomore doesn’t have great range on the perimeter and is at his best operating in the paint. Glaze lacks ball skills on the perimeter but is a capable offensive rebounder.

Strengths


Team Defense
The Billikens are allowing their opponents 60.7 points per game. Last season, St. Louis held their opponents to 57.6 points per game, which ranked 8th in the country. However, so far this season, their opponents are shooting a high percentage from the floor and from beyond the arc. Expect these numbers to come down over time, especially with the defenders they have in the back court.
Ball Screen Game
St. Louis moves the ball well and has a versatile offense due to the ability of their post players to step out and knock down the perimeter shot. The Billikens will run a large number of pick and roll or pick and pop actions on the perimeter. These actions will be difficult for the Jayhawks to defend, especially for the Jayhawk post players.
Controlling Tempo
The Billikens want to play at a slower pace where they can get into their offensive sets and create open shots off of screens. While St. Louis is only averaging 69 points per game, they are shooting 46.1% from the floor. They shoot the perimeter shot very well but are only knocking down 30.8% of their 3pt field goal attempts so far this season. It will be critical that the Jayhawks force tempo in this game and get St. Louis to play at their pace.

Weaknesses


Post Defense / Physicality
While the St. Louis post players are very skilled players who will give the Jayhawks fits when they’re on offense, they aren’t a physical team. Kansas should have a decided advantage when they throw the ball into the post or when they attack the glass.
Lack of Guard Depth
With Mitchell out the Billikens lack depth on the perimeter. If McCall or Jett get into foul trouble St. Louis will be stuck with an inexperienced player getting major minutes in this game.

Kansas Keys to the Game


3pt Field Goal Defense
The Billikens are a team that relies heavily on the 3pt line for their offense. Last season St. Louis knocked down nearly 36% of their attempts but, on the other end, the Jayhawks have traditionally been one of the elite teams nationally in defending the 3pt line since Bill Self took over. The key area for Kansas will be defending pick and pop situations as the St. Louis “bigs” are terrific perimeter shooters.
Pound the Glass
Kansas should be the more physical team and should have a decided edge in the paint in this contest. They need to convert their offensive rebounds into 2nd chance points and punish the big men of the Billikens as they are below average on the glass. St. Louis struggled on the boards last year so expect the Jayhawks to end up with a decided rebound advantage.
Ball / Player Movement
St. Louis will sag defensively and try to make it tough for the Jayhawks to attack the paint off the dribble. The more crisp the Jayhawks ball movement and player movement are, the more they should have opportunities to attack the Billiken defenders on closeouts. If Kansas can draw help defense from St. Louis they should be able to drop the ball off to their bigs and kick the ball out to open shooters on the perimeter. The Jayhawks will need to knock down shots in this game.

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