The Kansas Jayhawks arrived in Tulsa, Oklahoma coming off of a loss in the team’s first game of the Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks now shift their attention to their first round matchup with the UC Davis Aggies.
UC Davis reached the tournament by defeating UC Irvine in the Big West Conference Tournament Championship. The Aggies earned the right to play the Jayhawks after passing NC Central in a First Four matchup earlier this week.
On Thursday, the Jayhawks previewed their first round matchup and what they expect from the Aggies.
“They’re definitely going to be fired up to play,” Josh Jackson said. “We all watched the game the other day and after the game they just talked about how they weren’t satisfied yet and how they weren’t scared of anybody and I really respect that. I know we are going to get their best shot.”
Jackson also mentioned the Aggies’ half-court defense.
“They’re a really great half-court team,” Jackson said. “They set a lot ball-screens and they are really good at using those ball-screens.”
Head coach Bill Self touched on the same point after watching UC Davis’ First Four game in Dayton, Ohio.
“They guard and they guard right,” Self said. “Their ball-screen defense is super and certainly they can play though a big. Their 4 man, (Chima) Moneke, is a guy that can give anyone problems.”
Moneke averages 14.5 points per game while pulling down 9.5 rebounds. As for the Aggies defense, the teams allows 68.7 points per contest.
Standing at the opposing bench for UC Davis may be a familiar face to Kansas fans. Aggie head coach Jim Les coached Bradley University when it upset Kansas in the 2006 NCAA tournament.
“They’re athletic and I really like them,” Self said “I think that Jim [Les] has done a great job and they’ve got a good, sound team.”
This is only the Aggies’ second game in the NCAA tournament in program history and their first time playing in the Round of 64.