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Courtside Players Club (12/1/23)


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9:00PM EST: Kansas -2 (3 Units)

Heavyweight battle between the (4) Huskies and (5) Jayhawks. If this were later in the year, we may be feeling a bit differently, but Kansas has the edge here. As good UConn is and was last year, this team lost two of the best CBB players in the nation last year to the NBA. Jordan Hawkins currently averages 13.5 points per game for the Pelicans while Sanogo is lighting up the G-League. Sanogo doesn't project much for the NBA as he doesn't have the height for it but he was 2023's NCAA Tournament player of the Year.

They have the players to reload, evident by their #4 ranking but it's too early in the season. They've also barely been tested as is. They have a nice Win over Texas on a back-to-back day but outside of that it's been Indiana and a bunch of nobodies. This is the new look Huskies first real test and road game and it's a huge one.

The biggest match-up will be Bigs Donovan Clingan and Hunter Dickinson. Clingan averaged 13 minutes per game for Connecticut last year while Dickinson spent the last 3 seasons as one of the best in the country at Michigan. He's come over to Kansas to play for Bill Self and he's thriving. He's averaging 21.7 points per game on 67% shooting. He's also shooting 61.5% from deep... He won't sustain that but he's a very good outside shooter. He shot 42.1% from beyond the arc last year.

We have him holding a clear edge over Clingan. They're both 7'2 with the weight advantage going to Clingan but Dickinson's a much better and more polished basketball player as of today. He's going to teach the youngster some valuable lessons tonight. Clingan's going to find it much harder to score with Dickinson guarding him, as he's generally overpowering other teams. The biggest advantage comes on the offensive side of the floor. Dickinson is going to score buckets and on everyone. His game is much better than Clingan's and he's also much quicker.

Dickinson can also stretch the floor. With his 3-point shooting he can drag UConn's rim protector out of the paint. Doing so gives the other 3 Kansas veterans the ability to attack the basket. Kevin McCullar Jr makes his 90th collegiate start and 120th appearance, KJ Adams makes his 44th and 81st, and Dajuan Harris 85th and 114th. This is a very experienced and veteran starting group that Kansas has. They don't have incredible depth, but they do a very good job staying out of foul trouble.

Speaking of fouls, Clingan's also a candidate to get in trouble here. He's never had to deal with a player of Dickinson's caliber for an entire game and he's not going to be able to just sit down low. He's going to have to do a lot of firsts tonight. If that happens, the Huskies are in serious trouble. Dickinson will end up with 30 shots taken.

Kansas has already played a bit of a gauntlet too. Beating (7) Tennessee, losing to (4) Marquette on a back-to-back, and beating (17) Kentucky. This game being at Home is also huge for the Jayhawks. The new look Connecticut team hasn't had to deal with this type of environment yet. Kansas went 15-1 at Home last year and hasn't lost a non-conference game there since they played Kentucky in January 2022. Allen Fieldhouse is going to be rocking, especially after Dan Hurley came out and said the Big East is the best conference in Basketball. True or not, he handed Bill Self and all of Kansas fandom some bulletin board material.


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