Before every KU men’s basketball game, The Star’s Jesse Newell previews the Jayhawks’ upcoming opponent with a scouting report and prediction.
Tuesday’s game: No. 7 Kentucky vs. No. 4 Kansas, 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, United Center, Chicago (ESPN)
Opponent’s record: 2-0
KenPom (Ken Pomeroy) Ranking: 5
Point spread: KU by 4 1/2.
All statistics from KenPom.com, Hoop-Math.com and Synergy Sports Technology. KenPom stats also only include Division I competition.
▪ Rim protection: Kentucky is the fifth-tallest team according to KenPom’s numbers, and unsurprisingly, that’s helped out the team’s defense on the back end. The Wildcats rank 28th in block rate and also have swatted 23 percent of opponents’ shots at the rim.
▪ Transition offense: Both KU coach Bill Self and guard Devonté Graham spoke of Kentucky’s athleticism, and that is something that typically plays well in the open court. The Wildcats rank in the 71st percentile, according to Synergy, in transition situations, and one would think that number will only improve as the…