4 Things🫣 It's Hunter and Dajuan Time

All eyes on Dickinson and Harris

  • 🤞 KU-Gonzaga: 4 Things

  • 💰 Quick Betting Market Breakdown

  • 📝 Mike’s Quick Links: Bill Self postgame presser

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EVERYTHING IN THIS NEWSLETTER IS BASED UPON WHAT I AM HEARING FROM PEOPLE I TRUST. PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE THIS FOR FACT OR FOR ACTUAL JOURNALISM, WHICH HAS VERIFICATION STANDARDS THAT I HAVE NOT ADHERED TO. I DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY OF THE CONTENT.

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KU-Gonzaga: Hunter Dickinson and Dajuan Harris’ Moment

Let’s go! One down, five to go. The Jayhawks are playing with nothing to lose from here on out.

The Game: Kansas-Gonzaga, 2:15pm CT. CBS.

Here are trends you can watch for on Saturday.

1) KU’s Three-Point Quality vs. Quantity

  • Gonzaga doesn’t present an elite three-point defense. Instead, it relies on protecting the paint(sound familiar?). Kansas may have an opportunity here.

    • Kansas is 12-2 when shooting 34% from three or better. The two losses weren’t all that bad, coming against Iowa State and Marquette.

      • The Jayhawks don’t necessarily win more games when it shoots a ton of threes.

      • They’re one of the worst teams in the country (bottom 3%) on contested jumpers. BUT they’re on of best teams on open jumpers (top 94%).

      • The focus is on quality looks, not quantity.

2) Kansas MUST Crash the Boards

  • Gonzaga plays two bigs, which can provide an advantage for KU... if it doesn’t lose on the boards.

  • Kansas is 16-3 when winning the rebound margin this year, compared to 5-7 when losing on the boards…

  • Gonzaga uses its size to win games inside. It ranks No. 14 team in the country at total rebounding %… It also plays against smaller, less athletic teams. Still, the Zags are formidable inside.

  • I don’t even think KU has to win the rebounding margin. It has to keep it close.

    • Crazy note: Since 2002, only five of the 84 Final Four teams have had negative overall “shot volume.” (via this great Will Warren substack).

      • Take more shots, win more games.

3) Play Aggressive, Get Fouled

  • Gonzaga is somehow less deep than KU 😂. Its bench literally players fewer minutes per game than KU’s does.. vs. an easy conference schedule. Mark Few just loves blowing teams out — and he must really not love his bench.

  • For example, Gonzaga is 17-3 when it fouls less than its opponent. Its 7-4 when it fouls more.

  • I love KU’s chances if it can get the Zags and their rim protector Graham Ike in foul trouble. You can watch Dickinson talk about the matchup here.

    • If Gonzaga’s bench is effective, however, the Jayhawks are in serious trouble.

4) Hunter Dickinson and Dajuan Harris vs. The Pick-and-Roll Zags

Gonzaga runs a ton of pick-and-roll through PG Ryan Nembhard. Defending this action is the key to stopping the Zags.

The good news for KU is that Dajuan Harris is an elite pick-and-roll defender who can use his length to agitate the downhill action. KJ Adams has also been excellent in recovering to defend the “roll man” this year.

The bad news is that Dickinson’s lateral quickness is a liability on the perimeter. KU has gotten exposed this way. I was watching ESPN’s pre-game coverage a week or so and Tom Crean was directly calling out Dickinson’s pick-and-roll defense.

After I saw the segment, I worked with stats expert @JGTrends to examine KU’s pick-and-roll defense with and without Dickinson. (Give him a follow here!)

It turns out… KU’s defense is actually a little better with Dickinson on the court than without. The difference is negligible.

I think the surprising result represents this year’s KU team pretty well. The guys playing the most minutes have gotten criticized… but they’re still KU’s best option.

And we’re going to need them Saturday more than ever.

Coming this Weekend 🤫

VIP Subscribers are gonna get Transfer Portal thoughts and fun coaching carousel chatter this weekend. Yeah, I’m on Tang Watch 👀

You can upgrade here for the exclusive intel and VIP Scoops Texts to get the latest info as it develops. You’ll also support my work in doing so. Thank you!

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Opening Line: Kansas is a 3.5-point underdog.

Current Line: Kansas is a 4.5-point underdog (as of 6:30pm CT).

Betting Splits: 30% of the bets are on Kansas. Just 12% of the money is on Kansas (via VSiN).

Analysis: No one believes in us — but you can be sure Vegas will be rooting for us.

Running it Back! The Underdog Fantasy Squad Ride

Thursday’s 6x play hit! Hope you rode along. I’m back at it again with our sponsor, Underdog Fantasy.

We’ve got another 6xer here.

  • Dajuan Harris has made at least one three in eight of his 11 Tourney games.

  • Gonzaga’s Anton Watson is a 6’8” wing playing in his fifth college hoops season. He’ll likely be matched up with Johnny Furphy. I’m thinking Watson hits the glass hard.

  • And for that same reason, I’ll take the lower on Furphy’s points + rebs + assists.

Reminder: You’ll receive a 100% deposit match up to $100 if you use Promo Code “SCOOP” to sign up!

🏀 Again, win or lose, I will be sharing Transfer Portal thoughts and coaching carousel chatter for VIP subscribers later this weekend. You can upgrade here.

🏀 We raised $5,050 for the ScoopsMadness NIL Bracket Challenge. Thanks to everyone who participated. This is INCREDIBLE! There are currently five folks tied for first with brackets in the 98.4%. KU fans know ball!

🏀🎥 Watch Bill Self’s postgame press conference from the Samford win.

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