No. 4 Kansas at Texas
• WHEN/WHERE: 1 p.m. Saturday at the Erwin Center in Austin, Texas
• TV/RADIO: CBS (Chs. 5, 13); KCSP (610 AM)
• ABOUT KANSAS (15-1, 3-0 Big 12): Freshman guard Ben McLemore’s ankle is healthy, and that may be the most important thing as the Jayhawks return to the floor after a four-day break. … The Jayhawks’ victory over Baylor on Monday capped a stretch of four games in nine days, and KU should be a little more well-rested in its second Big 12 road game. … Kansas, which has won 14 straight, ranks first in the country in field-goal percentage defense; opponents are shooting just 34.2 percent. But Texas is right there, limiting opponents to 34.3 percent. … KU coach Bill Self said the Longhorns have been better at defending the three — something he’d like his team to focus on. … Self would also like some more offensive flow; KU has failed to hit 70 points in two of their last three games.
• ABOUT TEXAS (8-8, 0-3 Big 12): The Longhorns are off to an 0-3 start in conference play and are just 8-8 overall, the worst start to a season since coach Rick Barnes’ first year in Austin in 1998-99. … What’s gone wrong? Well, it hasn’t helped that Texas is missing guard Myck Kabongo, who is serving a 23-game NCAA suspension, or that J’Covan Brown unwisely declared for the NBA Draft last year. … The defections and suspensions have contributed to some colossally bad offense. The Longhorns average 64.1 points per game, the 254th worst mark in the nation. And Texas’ leading scorer Sheldon McClellan played just one minute on Monday in a loss to Iowa State, with Barnes sending a message to his struggling team. … Texas’s defense is stellar, though, and the Longhorns scored a double-digit victory over North Carolina earlier this year.
• BOTTOM LINE: In most years, a road game at Texas would be cause for concern. This year, in a new-look Big 12, the Longhorns appear destined for the bottom half of the league. The Jayhawks can’t afford to look ahead to K-State, but if they defend with purpose, Texas will be lucky to score 60.
| Rustin Dodd, email@example.com