Indiana basketball: Three Jayhawks to stall in Saturday’s showdown

Kevin McCullar Jr. #15 of the Kansas Jayhawks is helped to his feet by Gradey Dick #4 and Jalen Wilson #10 and Dajuan Harris Jr. #3. (Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)
Kevin McCullar Jr. #15 of the Kansas Jayhawks is helped to his feet by Gradey Dick #4 and Jalen Wilson #10 and Dajuan Harris Jr. #3. (Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images) /
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No. 14 Indiana basketball travels to Lawrence, Kansas, to go head-to-head with No. 8 Kansas on Saturday, and the Hoosiers need to stall multiple Jayhawks.

Since 1980, Indiana basketball is 2-6 (.250) in head-to-head matchups against Kansas, with two of their wins coming in the past three games. Since 1992, the Hoosiers have played against a top-10-ranked Jayhawks squad, with wins in two of those six games.

Bill Self’s program continues to build and hope for a repeat season after taking home the 2022 National Championship trophy, beating North Carolina in the title game. Could the Hoosiers start off the 2022-23 season with wins against both the champion and runner-up from last season’s NCAA Tournament?

What happened the last time the Hoosiers and Jayhawks met up? Check it out below:

Aside from the three key players listed later in the article, Bill Self has a good overall roster behind him with Dajuan Harris Jr. as the lead point guard that takes care of the ball and distributes well; KJ Adams Jr. as the hustle and muscle guy that the Jayhawks need; and others that make an impact on a nightly basis.

Here are my three key Jayhawks that the Hoosiers need to stall in order to take down No. 8 Kansas for the first time since beating then-ranked No. 3 Kansas on November 11, 2016:

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Three Jayhawks to stall for #14 Indiana basketball vs. #8 Kansas

Indiana basketball
Kansas redshirt senior Kevin McCullar Jr. (15) /

3. Kevin McCullar Jr. – Redshirt Senior Guard – #15

2022-23 stats: 9 GP, 30.0 MIN, 11.8 PPG, 7.2 REB, 2.1 AST, 2.4 STL, 2.6 TOV, 1.3 3PM, 36.4 3P%

Kevin McCullar Jr. transferred from Texas Tech to Kansas this offseason, which added a huge piece to the puzzle for Bill Self after losing the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Ochai Agbaji (drafted by the Cavaliers), Christian Braun (drafted by the Nuggets), David McCormack (graduated — playing overseas), and Remy Martin (graduated — playing overseas).

Against major conference teams thus far, McCullar Jr. is averaging 14.2 points and 2.0 made threes in 32.0 minutes, with the Jayhawks winning five of those six games (7 points in the loss to No. 22 Tennessee).

The Jayhawks are 6-0 when McCullar scores in double digits this season and Texas Tech was 12-4 (.750) when McCullar scored in double digits in 2021-22. It’s fair to say that McCullar is a huge difference-maker for whatever team he’s a part of.

As a guard, McCullar Jr. is a great rebounder and needs to be held off the glass. Miller Kopp will likely be responsible for keeping track of McCullar, and it will be a major task at hand for our senior forward. Need to out-hustle the guy that lives and breathes hustle plays.