Loyola (Md.) at No. 4 Kansas
▪ WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m. Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence
▪ TV/RADIO: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel; KCSP (610 AM)
▪ ABOUT KANSAS (4-1): After winning the Maui Invitational over Vanderbilt last Wednesday, the Jayhawks celebrated Thanksgiving in Hawaii before returning to Lawrence on Friday. Kansas had the weekend to shake off any jet lag and will now hunker down for a long stretch of home games, beginning Tuesday with Loyola. From a big-picture sense, the Jayhawks’ nonconference schedule appears a little easier this season, and this could be the softest stretch. After facing Loyola, KU will play host to Harvard on Saturday before facing Holy Cross on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Advanced computer rankings have all three opponents ranked outside the top 180 nationally. After five games, Kansas ranks among the best nationally in limiting turnovers. The Jayhawks are averaging just 14.4 turnovers per 100 possessions, which ranks 27th nationally, and sophomore guard Devonte’ Graham has just four turnovers. Kansas is also shooting 45 percent from three-point range, which ranks sixth in the country. The Jayhawks might be due for some regression in the shooting department, and to this point, their offensive rebounding numbers are down compared with a usual Bill Self team. But the Jayhawks’ backcourt of Graham and Frank Mason appears to be controlling the tempo, limiting turnovers and creating offense off the dribble.
▪ ABOUT LOYOLA (1-5): Loyola coach G.G. Smith will be a familiar name to Kansas fans. His father, Tubby, is the head coach at Texas Tech after previous stints at Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota. The younger Smith is in his third season at Loyola, and the program finished 11-19 last season. The Greyhounds were picked to finish seventh in the Patriot League, and their only victory has come against Maryland-Baltimore County. They have suffered losses to Siena, Stony Brook, LIU-Brooklyn and St. Bonaventure. The Greyhounds could struggle to contain Kansas’ offense; their defense efficiency ranks 292nd in the country, according to KenPom.com. Loyola is allowing opponents to shoot 38.9 percent from three-point range and 52.8 percent from inside the arc.