One night after a thrilling first round win over UCLA, BYU will face a much steeper test when they take on #4 Kansas in the Maui Invitational Semifinals. Vegas released its line for the game and currently has BYU as an 11-point underdog. The line will probably be somewhere between 10-12 points when the game tips off tonight.
Kansas is coming off an easy 30-point win over Division II Chaminade Monday night. BYU’s undersized frontcourt will face arguably its toughest test of the season when they go up against Kansas’ bigs. The Jayhawks are led in the front court by 7 foot, 270 pounds senior Udoka Azubuike. Azubuike has been hampered by injuries during his career, but he is healthy now and is a load inside. The Jayhawks other big is 6-foot-10 sophomore David McCormack. McCormack isn’t the force that Azubuike is, but he pulled down 13 boards in Kansas’ game versus Duke a couple weeks ago.
In the backcourt, Kansas is led by sophomore guard Devon Dotson. Dotson is the Jayhawks leading scorer at 18.8 ppg and is the leader of the team. Another guard to watch is Iowa grad transfer Isaiah Moss, who is averaging 13 points on the season and shooting a scorching 56% from deep.
TJ Haws has struggled this season, but he came alive in the second half versus UCLA and pushed BYU out in front. If TJ can get back to last year’s form of shooting well from deep and pushing the tempo on offense, BYU should be able to be competitive in this game.
Overall, this may be BYU’s toughest test of the season. Even if BYU loses, it will be a great learning experience for the team and boost their strength schedule.
Details to watch the game can be found here.