University of Kansas

Kansas-Florida basketball preview

Updated: 2013-12-10T00:13:45Z

Kansas City Star

• WHEN/WHERE: 6 p.m. Tuesday at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla.

• TV/RADI O: ESPN; KCSP (610 AM)

• ABOUT KANSAS (6-2) : After losing at the buzzer at Colorado, the Jayhawks head to Florida looking for their first true road victory of the season. Kansas is expected to start three freshmen and a sophomore for the second straight game after freshman point guard Frank Mason replaced junior Naadir Tharpe in the starting lineup at Colorado. Mason had 11 points on three-of-nine shooting, but he continues to struggle from the outside, shooting just 15.8 percent from three-point range. Senior forward Tarik Black, selected the preseason Big 12 newcomer of the year, is also looking for more production. Black is averaging just 3.5 points while being limited to 11.5 minutes per game because of foul issues. In 89 minutes this season, Black has 23 fouls.

• ABOUT FLORIDA (6-2): Just like Kansas, the Gators also lost on a buzzer-beater in their last game, falling 65-64 at Connecticut on a jumper from Huskies guard Shabazz Napier. That was Dec. 2, and Florida, which has also lost at Wisconsin, had a full week to rest and get healthy. Senior floor general Scottie Wilbekin, who injured his ankle against Connecticut, and freshman guard Kasey Hill (ankle) should both be back against KU. Florida is just 1-3 all-time against Kansas, with the only victory coming on Nov. 29, 2002, in the preseason NIT in New York. The most recent matchup came on Nov. 25, 2006, in Las Vegas, when Julian Wright and Brandon Rush helped KU knock off the defending national champions.

• BOTTOM LINE: The last time KU had three losses before Dec. 10: 2005-06, when the Jayhawks started 3-4. That was the freshman year of Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush and Julian Wright. No matter how it worked out, coach Bill Self would like to avoid those early growing pains.

 

P No. Kansas Ht. Yr. PPG
F 25 Tarik Black 6-9 Sr. 3.5
F 34 Perry Ellis 6-8 So. 14.5
G 22 Andrew Wiggins 6-8 Fr. 15.3
G 1 Wayne Selden 6-5 Fr. 9.1
G 10 Frank Mason 5-11 Fr. 9.1
P No. Florida Ht. Yr. PPG
F 15 Will Yeguete 6-8 Sr. 5.1
F 24 Casey Prather 6-6 Sr. 19.1
C 4 Patric Young 6-9 Sr. 10.3
G 5 Scottie Wilbekin 6-2 Sr. 11.3
G 20 Michael Frazier II 6-5 So. 13.5

| Rustin Dodd, rdodd@kcstar.com

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