Harvard at No. 4 Kansas
▪ WHEN/WHERE: 2:15 today at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence
▪ TV/RADIO: ESPN2; KCSP (610 AM)
▪ ABOUT KANSAS (5-1): Here’s a fun fact: Kansas and Harvard are meeting for the first time ever on Saturday. The Jayhawks are 14-0 all-time against the Ivy League, and they will try to make it 15-0 against the Crimson. The Jayhawks have won four straight since losing to Michigan State at the Champions Classic and the upcoming schedule is friendly. After Harvard, the Jayhawks will play Holy Cross on Wednesday before facing Oregon State at the Sprint Center on Saturday, Dec. 12. From a statistical standpoint, the Jayhawks have been solid during the last three weeks. They are playing faster, ranking 16th in the country in adjusted tempo and they have been lights out from three-point range. The offense has hummed; the defense has been stingy. The one area that could use improvement? Offensive rebounding. The one person that could help? Freshman forward Cheick Diallo, who will play his second game Saturday after scoring 13 points and grabbing six boards in 16 minutes against Loyola (Md.) on Tuesday.
▪ ABOUT HARVARD (2-5): Led by former Duke guard Tommy Amaker, who is in his ninth season as Harvard’s head coach, the Crimson have started the season slowly, including an 80-71 loss to Northeastern on Wednesday. The only victories thus far have come against Bryant and MIT. One reason for the slow start: An offense that ranks just 291st in offensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. The Crimson play slow, ranking 281st in the country in tempo. They shoot 37 percent from three-point range, but they have been one of the nation’s worst free-throw shooting teams. They have also been turnover prone, which could fit right into the hands of Kansas guards Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham. If the Jayhawks can force some turnovers and keep the tempo high, they should be poised for another blowout.