The Game of The Year Is Upon Us. Hoosiers vs. Jayhawks Preview

Dec 5, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Indiana Hoosiers guard Trey Galloway (32) dribbles against
Dec 5, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Trey Galloway (32) dribbles against / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It's here. What many might consider the game of the year for the Hoosiers is this Saturday. The anticipation and excitement in Bloomington, Indiana, is top level for Saturday’s game vs the Kansas Jayhawks. After a game that can only be described as a disappointing performance, the Hoosiers look to bounce back at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. All-time vs. Kansas, the Hoosiers are 8-7 and 3-7 in the previous 10 matchups. 

After a rough performance vs. Auburn, we can draw a few takeaways from that game. First, there has been an apparent struggle to hit the 3-point shot. There was some promise when the Hoosiers hit their first four shots from deep last Saturday. After that, the story of the game was turnovers. Overall, IU had 12 turnovers compared to Auburn’s 3. Auburn also was electric from the 3-point line. The inability to guard the 3 was evident as the Tigers hit 14 shots from deep. Malik Reneau was incredible in the second half of that game as he fought for some tricky points again. 

As for Kansas, they are currently 9-1 and ranked second in the nation (per AP Poll). While they have played a tough schedule, the Jayhawks have squeezed out of some games with wins. Recent close games against Eastern Illinois and Mizzou have shown some promise for the Hoosiers to be able to pull one out. 

On paper, the Jayhawks do not look like the second-ranked team in the nation. Despite their 3-1 ranked record, the Jayhawks are 76th in offensive rating per college basketball reference. They are also ranked 31st in defensive rating. While these numbers are good, they may not be good enough to be the second best team in the country. 

The Jayhawks are led by senior center Hunter Dickinson, who leads the team in almost every category. Dickinson averages 19.4 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. Dickinson is going to be the first real test for Kel’el Ware, who has gotten off to a strong start defensively. Right behind Dickinson is Senior Guard Kevin McCullar, who averages 19.0 points per game.  

While this might seem like a mismatch on paper, in the opinion of some experts, the Hoosiers have a reasonable chance to win on Saturday. With the combination of Malik Reneau and Kel’el Ware, the Hoosiers hope they can bury the ball into the post and score that way. 

Saturday’s game vs. the Kansas Jayhawks is being live broadcasted on CBS at 12:30 EDT. For those that are making the trek to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Show up and Show out and Get Loud.