Kansas’ Christian Braun (2) dribbles the ball down the court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)
- Kansas is a 4.5-point favorite over Texas in a Big 12 game on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence
- Texas freshman forward Greg Brown has averaged 19.3 point over his last three games
- Kansas made 16 three-point field goals in beating West Virginia in its last game
No. 8 Texas will be going into hostile territory when it visits No. 3 Kansas at 12 pm ET Saturday in a matchup of top 10 teams in a Big 12 game at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.
Texas has lost in its last nine trips to Lawrence. Its previous win at the “The Phog” came in 2011.
However, the Longhorns are off to a fine start at 7-1 overall, 1-0 in the Big 12 and 4-4 against the spread. They have won three games in a row since taking their lone loss of the season against Villanova.
Kansas has won eight in a row since losing to top-ranked Gonzaga in its opener. Overall, the Jayhawks are 8-1 while having a 2-0 record inside the conference and a 5-4 mark ATS.
Texas vs Kansas Odds
|Texas||+168||+4.5 (-110)||Over 136.5 (-110)|
|Kansas||-200||-4.5 (-110)||Under 136.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Jan. 1 from FanDuel
Brown Heats Up
Freshman forward Greg Brown was considered one of the best high school players in the country last season. He has started living up to his billing as a highly sought recruit in recent games.
Brown is averaging 19.3 points over his last three games after scoring just 8.2 a game in his first five.
The Austin native had his best performance yet Dec. 20 when he scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds – both career highs – to lead Texas to a 77-74 victory over visiting Oklahoma State as a 6.5-point favorite.
Here are some of the more impressive highlights from 6-9 + 19 y/o Greg Brown’s 24 PTS (7/14 FG), 13 REBS + 3 BLKS in #Texas’ 77-74 win vs. #OklahomaState
An explosive athlete on the wing, Brown has started to put things together more in his past few games, via @DraftExpress pic.twitter.com/K7G31fb1FQ
— DraftExpressContent (@DXContent) December 24, 2020
Five of Brown’s rebounds came on offense as the Longhorns held an 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.
The Longhorns have not played since then but must be hoping Brown can carry that momentum through the holiday break and into the heart of conference play.
Overall, Brown is third on the team in scoring with a 12.5 average and is also averaging 7.5 rebounds.
Junior guard Andrew Jones scored 22 points against Oklahoma State to match his career high. Senior guard Matt Coleman III added 15 points to raise his team-leading scoring average to 13.9. Coleman is also Texas’ top assist man with a 4.5 average.
Must be cold in Norman because Matt Coleman III has ICE IN THEM VEINS.@texasmbb on a 5-game win streak 🤘🏾🤘🏾 pic.twitter.com/UlhrWDdPqA
— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) March 4, 2020
Junior guard Courtney Ramey (13.1) and Jones (11.6) join Brown and Coleman as double-digit scorers.
Kansas Foils Strategy
Kansas used the 3-point shot to beat West Virginia 79-65 at home in its last game Dec. 22.
West Virginia usually makes guarding the perimeter its primary defensive focus. However, the Mountaineers left the shooters open and dared Kansas to beat them from the outside.
The Jayhawks responded by making 16 of 37 attempts from beyond the arc for 43.2%
Sophomore guard Christian Braun drained six 3s on his way to 22 points.
Your @Big12Conference Player of the Week…
Gotta be @Ballin25Braun 💪
More ➝ https://t.co/owsiejF1WM pic.twitter.com/CnZEmAAuMv
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) December 28, 2020
Freshman forward Jalen Wilson had four 3s among his 17 points.
Senior guard Marcus Garrett added 15 points while junior guard Ochai Agbaji (11 points, 10 rebounds) and junior forward David McCormick (10 points, 11 rebounds) recorded double-doubles.
Agbaji leads Kansas’ balanced scoring attack at 14.8 points a game. He is shooting 44.4% from deep.
According to @DraftExpress #Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji appears to be finding some consistency as a junior, establishing himself as the #Jayhawks 2nd-leading scorer + its most versatile defender, all while hitting 42% 3PT%
New 2022 mock #nbadraft on ESPN >> https://t.co/rXeIo9Imga pic.twitter.com/sRMrn0nPoh
— DraftExpressContent (@DXContent) December 29, 2020
Wilson is averaging 14.6 points and 7.9 rebounds and shooting 38.1% on 3s. Braun is making 43.1% of his 3s while scoring 11.9 points and pulling down 5.9 rebounds a game.
Series All Kansas
Kansas has beaten Texas three straight times and won 13 of the last 14 meetings.
The Jayhawks took both games last season, notching a 66-57 road victory as 7.5-point favorites then winning 69-58 at home but failing to cover the 14.5-point spread.
Garrett shined in both games as he had a combined 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Coleman scored 20 points in the second game for Texas.
Both teams are reliant on their backcourts but Kansas is little deeper at the guard position and is coming off a hot shooting game. That will get the Jayhawks by Texas in this one.
Pick: Kansas -4.5 (-110)
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.