Texas Southern Tigers at Kansas Jayhawks College Basketball 2022 Preview and Predictions

Texas Southern Tigers at Kansas Jayhawks look to face off in a battle of test for the Tigers. Who will come out with the victory?

The Kansas Jayhawks will look to rebound from their loss in the Battle for Atlantis finals when they host the Texas Southern Tigers. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 PM EST tip-off from Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, KS. The broadcast will be handled by ESPN Plus, with the Jayhawks favored by roughly 23 points at home. 

Kansas put any concerns about their potential offensive shortcomings to rest in the Bahamas by making a run to the finals before falling to Tennessee. The Jayhawks averaged 74.5 points in the first two rounds of the event before falling to the best team in the nation according to adjusted defensive efficiency metrics. Freshman Gradey Dick showed off his shooting prowess in those three games going 11-24 from deep while the team established themselves as a defensive force.

Texas Southern enters the contest with a putrid 1-6 record on the young season. Despite the overall record, the Tigers can take solace in the fact that they have played a gauntlet of a schedule so far. Johnny Jones has played seven teams currently ranked inside the KenPom top 135 with their lone victory coming over an Arizona State team that ranks 59th currently. 

This meeting will mark the sixth time these two programs have meet going back to 1949-50. The most recent tangle came in last season’s NCAA Tournament when the Jayhawks blew the Tigers off the court by a count of 83-56. Kansas led 47-19 at halftime and never looked back. Five Jayhawks scored in double figures while holding the Tigers to just 0.75 points per possession. 

Texas Southern Tigers Overview

The 1-6 start to the season shouldn’t be too concerning for Texas Southern fans as the Tigers are playing a schedule that will prepare them for the hostilities that await them during conference play. Coach Jones has built this program into the best in the Southwestern Athletic Conference with two consecutive conference tournament titles as well as two consecutive “first four” victories. 

The Tigers are led this season by sophomore forward Devon Barnes, who is experiencing a tremendous bump across the board. After averaging just 2.1 points and 1.4 rebounds during his freshman campaign, Barnes is leading the team in scoring at 14.1 points per game, along with 4.1 rebounds. He has already made nearly as many triples on the season (5) as he attempted all season last year (7) and is shooting 38.5% compared to 0%. 

Coach Jones also returns last season’s leading scorer John Walker III who was an All-Tournament team selection last season for his performance during the SWAC postseason tournament. This season, Walker has regressed slightly but is still second on the team in scoring at 12.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest. He is shooting roughly 37% from distance but just a 47.6% from the charity stripe after shooting 67% for his career. 

Despite playing a heck of a schedule, the Tigers are 3-4 against the spread and only underperforming the number by -0.6 points per game this season. In their five true road games they are just -0.5 point per contest. Despite horrific metrics all over the board, this team knows how to play and should again be one of the best teams in their conference.

Kansas Jayhawks Overview

Coming into the season, there were alot of question marks surrounding the Jayhawks on the offensive side of the ball. Kansas lost a ton of production and experience from their National Championship team including perimeter stud Ochai Agbaji and big man David McCormack. 

Bill Self’s team has answered a lot of those questions early this season as freshman Gradey Dick has established himself as one of the deadliest shooters in the country. Forward Jalen Wilson has also more than doubled his offensive output, averaging nearly 23 points per game this season and doing so fairly efficiently. 

The paint is being held down by a committee as KJ Adams and Ernest Udeh are trying to replace McCormack’s productivity. Texas Tech transfer Kevin McCullar is also putting up career-high rebounding numbers to help fill the void. 

Shockingly enough, the Jayhawks are just 1-6 against the spread on the season. Kansas is underperforming the number by -5.9 points per game which is second worst in the Big XII to only Texas Christian. The Jayhawks have gone over the total in four of their seven games this season. 

Texas Southern at Kansas Prediction

Despite Kansas’s poor performance against the number this season, the first instinct may be to play the Jayhawks to cover. What is interesting is that Kansas is just 24-25 against the spread at home since 2019, with an average margin of victory of +14.2 points per game. Over that same span, Texas Southern is 25-29 against the spread on the road and is neither underperforming or outperforming the number as they sit at 0.0 as an average result.

Under total of around 137 is the bet here, along with a Jayhawks’ cover. Texas Southern is not a good three point shooting team, and the athleticism of Kansas should keep the Tigers’ shooting and rebounding in check. The Jayhawks will come out hungry after losing in the Bahamas and playing at home for the first time in over a week. Look for Kansas to put the clamps on the Tigers and this game to get ugly in the first half.

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