THE DATE: Tuesday, November 21, 2023
THE TIME: 9:30pm Central
THE LOCATION: SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
ISN’T THIS THE MAUI INVITATIONAL? Yes, but wildfires in August caused significant damage to the Island of Maui. The Lahaina Civic Center, the traditional home of the Maui Invitational, was apparently not harmed, but the damage everywhere else was extensive. As such, this year’s event was moved to the home arena of the University of Hawaii.
THE OUTREACH: There’s a Hoops for ‘Ohana online auction going on, including a Marquette fan pack for a 2023-24 home game. Proceeds from the auction will go to wildfire relief and recovery efforts. You can just straight up donate to the Maui Strong Fund if you want as well.
THE TELEVISION: ESPN, with Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas, and Angel Gray on the call.
THE STREAMING: WatchESPN.com
THE LIVE STATS: Stat Broadcast
THE LINE: Marquette +4.5 from our friends at Draft Kings.
THE PROJECTION: KenPom.com gives Kansas a 61% chance of victory, with a predicted score of 80-77.
THE EXCITEMENT LEVEL: KenPom.com gives this game a Thrill Score of 83.9, making it the most potentially exciting game out of the 49 Division 1 games scheduled for the day.
THE FULL MAUI INVITATIONAL SCHEDULE (all times Central)
1:30pm: Syracuse vs #11 Gonzaga
4pm: UCLA vs Chaminade
7pm: #7 Tennessee vs #2 Purdue
9:30pm: #4 Marquette vs #1 Kansas
MARQUETTE PROJECTED LINEUP
- Tyler Kolek (13.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 5.8 apg, 1.0 spg)
- Stevie Mitchell (4.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.0 spg)
- Kam Jones (17.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.5 spg)
- David Joplin (10.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.3 spg)
- Oso Ighodaro (13.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.5 spg, 1.3 bpg)
KANSAS PROJECTED LINEUP
- Dajuan Harris (8.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 8.0 apg)
- Elmarko Jackson (7.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 4.8 apg)
- Johnny Furphy (6.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg)
- Kevin McCullar (17.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 7.3 apg, 1.5 spg, 1.0 bpg)
- Hunter Dickinson (24.3 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.8 spg)
What To Watch For: I’m not doing a full preview for this game because of the timing of last night’s game and the quick turnaround from there. However, it’s only fair to take a little bit of a peek at the Jayhawks and try to figure out how Marquette matches up with them.
The first thing that jumped out at me was just from typing out KU’s stats for their starters. The scoring is heavily tilted towards Kevin McCullar and Hunter Dickinson, but that doesn’t mean that it’s Big Meaty Men Slapping Meat time. While both men are north of 6’6” tall, they combine to average seven three-point attempts per game. Dickinson in particularly is dangerous at 6-for-8 on the year from downtown. He shot 42% for Michigan last year, so while 83% is unlikely to continue all season, he’s absolutely a long range threat. McCullar is shooting it a lot more than Dickinson from the outside, but for what it’s worth, the one time Texas Tech Red Raider is a career 30% shooter.
In addition to those two from the starting lineup last night against Chaminade, 6’7” KJ Adams is averaging 12.5 points per game, and he’s only attempted one three pointer all season. Adams didn’t start but did play 26 minutes against the Silver Swords, so consider him a sixth starter, if that makes sense.
The next thing that jumped out at me comes right from the stat lines again. Go back and look at how many assists Kansas averages out of that five man group. At 77.1%, the Jayhawks are the #1 assist rate team in the country according to KenPom.com. McCullar and Dajuan Harris are both in the top 100 in the country in individual assist rate, and none of that takes into account the 29 assists on 32 makes (!!) that the team had against Chaminade.
Would you like some good news? Kansas is a crummy offensive rebounding team, or at least they have been so far this season. It’s a little small sample size-y, but they’re currently ranked #226 in the country in offensive rebounding rate after finishing at #179 with a better rate last season. Traditionally, Bill Self’s Kansas teams have been monsters on the offensive glass, usually finishing in the top 100 per KenPom.com. It’s still early, of course, and with Dickinson personally grabbing nearly 20% of the missed shots while he’s on the court, the Jayhawks are probably never going to be bad at it. Still, when that’s a flaw for Kansas’ offense and for Marquette’s defense, that’s a slight bit of good news relative to finding a way to slow down one of the best offenses in the country.