Kansas Jayhawks vs. Brigham Young Cougars Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 27th 2024


No. 7 Kansas will host BYU on Tuesday night in Lawrence with leading scorer Kevin McCullar Jr. sidelined again with a bone bruise. McCullar will miss his fifth game in the last eight. The Jayhawks (21-6, 9-5 Big 12) easily defeated Texas on Saturday night without McCullar, but head coach Bill Self voiced a cautionary tale in the postgame press conference. “My concern is will he play again this year,” Self said. “It’s not a day-to-day deal. It’s a week-to-week deal. He obviously won’t go on Tuesday. I’m not going to put him out there because he’s missed so much time, even though you can look at games and number of games missed, but that’s not the story. The story is he played against (Oklahoma) and (before that) had two days of a little bit of practice and then played. “He wasn’t effective and didn’t feel good at all. He’s going to practice for a good week before we put him out there so that he can go and not re-injure it worse. I’d like to have him for the postseason where he’s in rhythm and our team has a chance to be the best it can be going into the second week of March.” The problem for Kansas when McCullar isn’t playing is a lack of depth. When his leading scorer is available, Self’s bench is just two deep. Without him, the Jayhawks are using players with little experience in big games. Nicolas Timberlake started and stepped up in place of McCullar against the Longhorns, matching his season high with 13 points. The Jayhawks need more nights like that from Timberlake. BYU (19-8, 7-7) struggled Saturday against Kansas State. The Cougars allowed Arthur Kaluma to score a career-high 28 points. Ironically, his previous high of 27 also came against BYU when Kaluma played for Creighton. “Arthur Kaluma was a pro,” head coach Mark Pope said in his opening comments in the postgame. “He’s a really talented player. He was great getting to the free-throw line, and he shot the ball great from the 3-point line. He’s really physical and explosive. He can extend the play with Euro-steps. He’s a terrific player.” Like a lot of teams in the Big 12, BYU struggles on the road. The loss at Kansas State dropped the Cougars to 2-6 on the road this season. Interestingly, BYU flew home to Provo, Utah, after Saturday’s game and will fly back to the Sunflower State on Monday for the game against Kansas. The Cougars depend heavily on the 3-point shot. The Cougars attempt the second-most 3-pointers in Division I at 32.4 per game. Against the Wildcats, BYU hit just 6 of 31 deep shots (19.4 percent). They were able to stay close against K-State because of a 19-6 advantage on the offensive glass. “That’s a major point of emphasis for us all year long,” Pope said. “It helps us when we don’t shoot the ball well. We offensive rebound really well. But that’s a double-edged sword for us.” –Field Level Media

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