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Men’s preview: No. 8 Texas at No. 3 Kansas

Longhorns have their first true road game of the season with their highest ranking in Smart era

Feb 3, 2020; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Ochai Agbaji (30) loses control of the ball against Texas Longhorns forward Jericho Sims (20) and guard Andrew Jones (1) during the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

No. 8 Texas at No. 3 Kansas

When: 11 a.m. Saturday

Where: Allen Fieldhouse (capacity 16,300)

TV/radio: ESPN2/104.9 The Horn

About the series: Kansas leads the all-time series 35-9. In five previous seasons, Coach Shaka Smart’s Texas teams have beaten the Jayhawks only once, a 73-63 decision at the Erwin Center on Jan. 29, 2019.

About the Longhorns: Smart’s club was cruising right along, then got hit with some COVID-19 stoppages. The Big 12 opener against Baylor was postponed, and then a non-conference game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was cancelled. The Horns have played only once since Dec. 16. At least that was a victory over Oklahoma State where Brown scored a team-high 24 points and Jones added 22 more. Things haven’t gone well for Texas in “The Phog,” but the Horns have always been competitive. This will also be UT’s first true road game of the season. Coleman is tracking to become the first player in UT history to lead the program four straight years in assists. He currently ranks eighth in school history with 404 assists, just 11 shy of tying Isaiah Taylor (2014-16). 

About the Jayhawks: Self said Thursday he knew Kansas wasn’t likely to land Brown, the local product from Vandegrift. The coaches felt Brown was going to Texas all along. “Dad basically told us that he’s probably going to go to Texas all along,” Self said with a grin. But that doesn’t mean Self can’t admire the freshman’s energy. He’s also noticed how Brown was 12-for-25 shooting in the last two games. “I thought he loved to show off how athletic he was. I love guys with energy that love to jump, that love bounce, that love to show everybody every day that maybe they’ll see something they haven’t seen. I think he’s one of those types of athletes.” Self said he took the Jayhawks bowling this week just to get out of the dorms and have some kind of normalcy while they’re on an empty campus. 

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.