Coming off a 27-point win over Milwaukee, Kansas men's basketball squares off with UMKC at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, Saturday at 4 p.m. The Kangaroos have lost two in a row with their most recent loss on the road at McNeese State, 82-73. The Jayhawks are 7-0 all-time against UMKC dating back to 1992.
UMKC Kangaroos: 5-6, WAC (0-0)
Senior forward Javan White - ★ ★ ★ ★
Entering the games as the lone UMKC player averaging more than 10 points per game, White is off to a great start to his senior year. On top of points, the Ames, Iowa, native is also the Kangaroos’ leading rebounder, averaging 7.5 per game. Early in the year, he took off against the Bacone Warriors, recording 24 points and 15 rebounds.
Junior guard Marvin Nesbitt Jr. - ★ ★ ★
Nesbitt has been one of UMKC’s best players as of late. In the last three games, he’s averaging more than 12 points per game and shooting a combined 58.3%. In the Kangaroos’ last game versus McNeese, he finished as the team’s second-leading scorer with 14 points and two steals on the defensive end.
Junior guard Brandon McKissic - ★ ★
UMKC’s current leader in three-point percentage out of the players who’ve shot more than one, McKissic started off the year great but hasn’t done much since. In the last seven games, he’s only scored in double figures once. If the Kangaroos want to compete with the Jayhawks, McKissic will have to step up.
Kansas Jayhawks: 8-1, Big 12 (0-0)
Sophomore guard Devon Dotson - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Leading Kansas in minutes (35.3), points (19.8), assists (5.0) and steals (2.1), Dotson has been the top performer for the Jayhawks through nine games. The second-year guard out of Charlotte, North Carolina, has reached double-digits in scoring in every game this year with a career-high of 31 points against Dayton. In the victory over Milwaukee, Dotson contributed 22 points and nine assists in 34 minutes of action.
Sophomore guard Ochai Agbaji - ★ ★ ★ ★
After falling into a shooting slump — going 5-for-19 from three-point range from Nov. 15 to Nov. 26 — Agbaji has averaged 21 points his last two games. During that span, the sophomore has knocked down 9-of-14 three-pointers. Tuesday against Milwaukee, Agbaji turned in a season-high 22 points and collected eight rebounds.
Junior forward Silvio De Sousa - ★ ★ ★
Through nine games, the 6-foot-9 big man is still trying to find his role off the Kansas bench. Averaging nine minutes per game as a reserve, De Sousa has put up just 3.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. However, since the Maui Invitational, the product of Luanda, Angola, has totaled six points and nine rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
Beat Writer Predictions:
Jakob Katzenberg: Kansas 92, UMKC 60
Jack Johnson: Kansas 96 , UMKC 55