LEXINGTON, Kentucky — The 2022-23 regular season of Kansas men’s basketball continues Saturday with a non-conference matchup on the road against Kentucky.
The No. 9 Jayhawks (16-4, 5-3 in the Big 12 Conference) are coming up after a road loss to No. 17 Baylor. The Wildcats (14-6, 5-3 in the Southeastern Conference) are coming off a win on the road against Vanderbilt. Last season, Kansas lost to Kentucky at home.
Will Coach Bill Self’s Jayhawks team end their three-game losing streak? Will head coach John Calipari’s Wildcats team extend the four-game hitting streak he’s put together? The two sides are facing off in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
Follow the updates from Rupp Arena:
INTERMEDIATE: Kansas 41, Kentucky 34
Kansas leads 34-29 against Kentucky with 3:48 left in the first half
Kansas’ top two options with its big names, KJ Adams Jr. and Zuby Ejiofor, each fouled two in the first half. Ernest Udeh Jr. is gaining a few halftime minutes here for it. But the Jayhawks still found a way to hold on to the lead and lead by five points with just under four minutes left in the first half.
MJ Rice recently landed a few minutes in the lineup with Gradey Dick, Dajuan Harris Jr., Jalen Wilson and Udeh. Rice hasn’t played much this season, or as of late, but he still has a lot of promise for what he can mean to this team. He was a widely heralded recruit arriving just like Dick.
Kansas leads 24-22 against Kentucky with 7:58 left in the first half
The Jayhawks hold a slim lead with just under eight minutes left in the first half. Both teams are shooting the ball very well, each 58.8% from the field. They’d probably have more points if they weren’t as sloppy with the ball as they have been so far.
KJ Adams Jr. just picked up his second foul for Kansas, leading up to this break. So, that will be something to watch as the half progresses. Adams was clearly frustrated at the meeting and Zuby Ejiofor will now have some playing time.
Kentucky leads 20-18 against Kansas with 11:04 left in the first half
Kansas actually took a short lead, 16-15, after Dajuan Harris Jr.’s second three-pointer of the game. But now the Jayhawks are trailing again. They are two points down into this break with around 11 minutes left before the break.
Jalen Wilson still leads Kansas with eight points. He and his teammates are trying to break into the Kentucky defense and try to create from there. So far the Jayhawks are shooting 8 of 14 from the field and 2 or 4 from behind the arc.
Kentucky leads 9-4 against Kansas with 15:49 left in the first half
The Jayhawks are down by five points just over four minutes into the game and could very well be down by more. The Wildcats missed some opportunities at the free throw line. The mob is involved and that only helps Kentucky.
Kansas’ four points all came from Jalen Wilson, which probably doesn’t surprise many people. Gradey Dick has already fouled early, so that will be something to keep an eye on going forward. And while KJ Adams Jr. still hasn’t let Oscar Tshiebwe score for Kentucky, the Wildcats really don’t need him to do much on offense other than attract attention.
The game has begun
Here are tonight’s appetizers
No surprises as Kansas continues to warm up
Kyle Cuffe Jr. is also not available for Kansas
It doesn’t look like Cam Martin will be playing for Kansas
Kansas players are starting to warm up
It’s match day
Jordan Guskey covers University of Kansas athletics at the Topeka Capital-Journal. He is the National Sports Media Association Sportswriter of the Year for the state of Kansas for 2022. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.