Keys to victory in Saturday night's showdown between Big 12 rivals
With Saturday's highly anticipated matchup between the Texas Longhorns and Kansas Jayhawks (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU) fast approaching, we asked former coaches Fran Fraschilla and Seth Greenberg to break it all down. Each provided a scouting report on the biggest keys for both sides of the ball, with Fraschilla taking the role of Jayhawks coach Bill Self and Greenberg the role of the Longhorns' Rick Barnes.
How Kansas can beat Texas (by Fran Fraschilla)
1. Deliver the first blow inside
I can guarantee that Bill Self will have the Jayhawks ready for this rematch with the Longhorns.
When the Jayhawks went to Austin on Feb. 1, they were riding a seven-game Big 12 winning streak. Texas, on the other hand, had opened conference play with consecutive losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, but was playing much better by the time Kansas came to town.
From the opening tip, the Longhorns dominated the game, especially in the paint, as they blocked 12 shots and held freshman center Joel Embiid to 3-of-9 shooting. In addition, they grabbed 19 offensive rebounds of the available 40 on their end of the court.
Look for Self to go at Texas' front line early and reestablish the Jayhawks' dominance in the paint. I expect them to attempt to get Cameron Ridley, Jonathan Holmes and Prince Ibeh in foul trouble in their high-low offense. Kansas' big men also will run the court hard to fatigue Ridley and Ibeh.
After the passive effort in the first meeting, the Jayhawks' big men will be challenged to control the paint. The motivation is certainly there.
To read a full scouting report for Saturday's Texas-Kansas game, sign up for Insider today.
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John Gasaway writes why Texas can overtake Kansas and win the Big 12 this season.