#15 Kansas vs. Florida Atlantic
Tip off: 9 PM EST, From Pittsburgh
Spread: KAN -19
Betting Odds taken from Bookmaker
The #14th Jayhawks have gotten off to a rough start. After losing only 3 games all of last season, they have already dropped 2 this year – one to the #2 ranked Kentucky Wildcats, and the other to #6 ranked Duke. Of course, Kansas has been victim of a rough schedule, and tonight’s game against Florida Atlantic should be a welcome change from the first 5 games, all of which except the game against Towson, were against top shelf programs.
As mentioned, Kansas lost only 3 of 38 games last season and they went 14-2 in Big 12 play. They were victim to VCU’s cinderella run and lost by 10 to them in the Elite Eight.
The big story for Kansas last year was their balanced attack, in terms of defense and offense. They had the #2 rated defense in the Big 12, while also having the #1 ranked offense. That creates a lot of wins, and a lot of blowouts, and the Jayhawks had no problem disposing of most opponents last year in the Big 12, posting 1.16 points per possession, while giving up only 0.99.
They rolled through the Big 12 tournament and won it, then reeled off 3 more wins in the NCAA tournament. It appeared as though they were headed to the Final Four. Behind the Morris brothers, Kansas had the interior power to batter opponents on the interior. Their only three lossses last season came at the hands of Kansas State, Texas, and of course, VCU.
They really have no rivals in the Big 12 and are far and away the favorites to win this conference once again.
6’3″ senior point guard Tyshawn Taylor is pushing his campaign to be the best point guard in the nation. While many thought he would never make the jump to being an elite player, he is putting up 16.0 points per agme this season, with 3.8 assists per game while having nailed 6 of his 10 three point attempts. He looked great in the loss to Kentucky, when he posted 22 points, while attempting 17 free throws. His shooting night was absolutely dreadful, but getting to the line that much is an accomplishment in itself.
6’9″ junior forward Thomas Robinson has also stepped it up in a major way. Playing over twice as many minutes as last season, he is posting a team-high tying 16.0 points per game to go with an outstanding 12.0 boards per contest. He has posted a double double in every Jayhawk game and is shooting 48.5% from the floor, a figure which will undoubtedly climb, since he did shoot 60.1% from the floor last season. Robinson is known for having a lot of exciting dunks and has been compared to a mini Dwight Howard by many who are acquainted with his strong powerful ascents toward the rim.
Last season could be constituted as a real success for the Florida Atlantic Owls. They posted a 21-11 record, and had the best season they have had since they made the leap to Division I. The 21 wins are the most in the decade of D1 play for the program and they beat teams like Mississippi State and South Florida, and they even hung with the Florida Gators in a game in late November last season.
The one thing that was very disappointing is that they lost in the first round of the conference tournament after winning 13 of 16 games in conference play.
The Owls are good at taking care of the basketball and they also block a lot of shots. Or at least two of them do: Kore White (2.1 blocks per game) and Kevin Penn (2.4 blocks per game). Both White and Penn play less than 27 minutes a game, and White is a big contributor offensively as well as the 6’8″ junior contributes 10.4 points per game as well. White began the season by scoring in double figures in the first three Owls’ games but has scored only 7 in each of the last two contests, against South Florida and Hofstra, though he did pull down 10 rebounds in the 2 point victory over Hofstra.
Florida Atlantic is now 3-4 with victories over Georgia State, George Mason, and Hofstra. Kansas will be their first test against a ranked opponent.
If you like this analysis and feel as though you have a good idea for a wager, we suggeset backing up a bet at Bookmaker, where these lines were drawn from. They offer 5% back on lost bets and offer a great cashout system. We also highly suggest considering a paid pick program for the 2011-2012 NCAA season. Our handicappers are red hot and lining peoples’ pockets once again this season!