Who’s hungry for college basketball?
Here’s today’s installment of “The Breakfast Buffet”, a daily column that can be found here every single morning getting you caught up to date on everything that’s happened from the day/night before and everything that’s going to happen in the next 24 hours.
Things To Sample
Kansas will have an opportunity to regain some momentum
Losing five games in seven attempts isn’t something that Bill Self is very familiar with, but that’s the predicament that Kansas finds itself in entering tonight’s game in Lawrence against Oklahoma State. This could be the start of the Jayhawks’ getting their mojo back. After tonight’s game against the Cowboys, Kansas will play three straight games against Iowa State and Kansas State — the two worst teams in the Big 12 — before finishing the regular season against Texas Tech, Texas, and Baylor. This team has a real chance to finish strong after a rocky stretch.
Gonzaga’s trip to BYU
The Bulldogs are going to have to play significantly better tonight in Provo than they did last week at Pacific. Gonzaga’s 18-point win last Thursday over the Tigers was a bit of an aberration, especially when you consider the fact that they trailed by one at halftime and looked both bored and disinterested for large portions of the game. BYU has separated itself as the second-best team in the WCC and is again on track to be an NCAA Tournament team under Mark Pope. Can the Cougars be more competitive against the Bulldogs than they were on Jan. 7th when they fell to Gonzaga by 17 in Spokane? We’ll find out tonight.
Iowa badly misses CJ Fredrick
Fran McCaffery’s squad is now 13-3 this season with Fredrick in the lineup and 0-3 when he is not following Sunday’s two-point loss at Indiana. The 6-3 sophomore has been sidelined the past few weeks due to a lower leg injury and even though he only averages 8.7 points, Fredrick’s game is about much more than just his offense. A capable ball mover and overall stabilizer, Fredrick currently has a total of 37 assists to just four turnovers this season and is also shooting 50 percent from three-point range. His presence alone helps create less double teams from opponents on Luka Garza in the low post and also gives Iowa another long distance shooter to help space the floor alongside both Jordan Bohannon and Joe Wieskamp. Iowa has now lost four of its last five games.
On The Side
- West Virginia is averaging 79 points in the eight games since Oscar Tshiebwe left the program and transferred to Kentucky. The Mountaineers only averaged 74.6 points in the 10 games they played this season with Tshiebwe in the lineup.
- Cuonzo Martin used 10 different players in Missouri’s rotation during Saturday’s win over Alabama. Nine were in at least their third season of college basketball. Think experience matters?
- Keep an eye on UConn freshman Andre Jackson. The 6-6 forward made his first appearance since Dec. 20th in Saturday’s loss to Seton Hall and showed flashes of why he was a consensus top-50 recruit. Jackson tallied seven points and four rebounds in 20 minutes of work against the Pirates and fully illustrated why he could be a tremendous small-ball four-man for the Huskies. He missed the previous six weeks due to a wrist injury.
- Cleveland State is thriving under second-year coach Dennis Gates. The Vikings have already won more league games this season — 14 — than any other year in program history. Gates was an assistant under Leonard Hamilton at Florida State before taking his current post.
- There may be more comfort and familiarity when teams play home games this season versus on the road, but there’s no such thing as a true “home court advantage” during COVID-19. Every game is essentially the equivalent of a preseason scrimmage, give or take a few fans when there are exceptions.
- UNC Greensboro at Furman
- Miami at North Carolina
- Ohio State at Maryland
- Oklahoma State at Kansas
- Gonzaga at BYU
- The Breakfast Buffet: Oscar Tshiebwe, Xavier/Creighton, Keyontae Johnson/Florida
- Midseason All-Americans for the 2022-23 season
- The Breakfast Buffet: Xavier begins its massive week at UConn, Jahvon Quinerly, Bryce Hopkins
- The Breakfast Buffet: Kansas State gets a crack at Hilton Coliseum, North Carolina/Syracuse, Trayce Jackson-Davis
- Episode 378 — Xavier’s Sean Miller