Ahead of Kansas’ Sweet 16 game against Purdue, most of the focus is on the matchups between the Jayhawks’ big men and the Boilermakers’ 6’9″ Caleb Swanigan and 7’2″ Isaac Haas.
But what about the rest of the players on the court?
In Purdue’s Round of 32 game against Iowa State, the Boilermakers attempted 26 3-pointers — with the guards making 4-of-16 from long range — on their way to win 80-76. Kansas guard Josh Jackson says the game at the 3-point line will be huge in order for KU to move on.
“We’ve got some pretty good shooters and so do they,” Jackson said. “I think the thing we got to do is just try and turn the shooters into drivers, run them off the 3-point line a little bit, and of course guard the post as best as we can.”
Kansas coach Bill Self says guarding the Boilermaker big men too heavily allows Purdue to produce more outside shots.
“You worry just about taking away the low post and packing it in so much, then obviously that opens up stuff that they want to do just as much throw it in, and that’s shoot the open threes,” Self said.
The Jayhawks and Boilermakers post 3-point field goal percentages that are nearly identical. KU shoots 40.6 percent from three, while Purdue’s shoots 40.4 percent.
“We don’t want to turn this into a horse contest,” Jackson said. “I think we just want to come out and play the best defense that we can possibly play.”
The Sweet 16 tipoff time will be a bit later than what KU fans are used to, starting at 8:40 at the Sprint Center.