No. 6 Kansas at Texas Tech
• WHEN/WHERE: 3 p.m. Saturday at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock
• TV/RADIO: KMCI (Ch. 38); KCSP (610 AM)
• ABOUT KANSAS (13-1, 1-0 Big 12): After suffocating opponents for the better part of December, Kansas’ defense wasn’t so dominating in close victories over Temple and Iowa State. Consider: KU has forced just 23 turnovers in its last three games while turning it over 41 times during the same span. … KU coach Bill Self said his team wasn’t terrible against Iowa State; the Cyclones just made some tough shots. But he’d like to make sure the Jayhawks guard better at the end of possessions and clean up the defensive glass. “I’d like to see us get back into a little bit more of a defensive mind-set, and better flow offensively,” Self said. “The last two games, we haven’t had either.” … Kansas is 4-3 all-time in United Spirit Arena.
• ABOUT TEXAS TECH (8-5, 1-1 Big 12): The Red Raiders are regrouping under first-year coach Chris Walker after former coach Billy Gillispie resigned in the offseason in the wake of player mistreatment allegations. … After opening league play with a 62-53 victory at TCU, Texas Tech suffered a 82-48 beating to Baylor at home. … It’s an odd time for Texas Tech, whose top scorer (junior Jaye Crockett) comes off the bench. The Red Raiders’ bench also features transfer guard Daylen Robinson, a Kansas City native and DiRenna Award winner at Northeast High School.
• BOTTOM LINE: The bottom of the Big 12 — TCU and Texas Tech — is weaker than it’s been in years. It’s never smart to take a Big 12 road win for granted. But KU will have a substantial talent advantage. Self expects the Red Raiders to play faster than they did under Gillispie. But that will likely fall right into KU’s hands.
| Rustin Dodd, firstname.lastname@example.org