Kansas will look to continue their winning ways when they host the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday at 11:00a.m.
In their first meeting of the season, the Jayhawks will look to keep control of the Big 12, currently hoisting a one game lead at 7-2 over Texas Tech and Oklahoma halfway through the conference schedule.
On the visitor’s side, Oklahoma State is one game away from the conference’s bottom spot, tied in eighth place with Iowa State. Looking to make a late season run to get into NCAA tournament contention, a win in Allen Fieldhouse would certainly raise the stakes and help the Cowboys tremendously.
Allen Fieldhouse will continue to be a debacle for the visitors, but Oklahoma State is no stranger to the atmosphere, winning exactly five years ago, breaking a streak of 69 consecutive home wins for KU.
Oklahoma State: 13-9 (3-6)
The Oklahoma State Cowboys come into Allen Fieldhouse on a three game losing streak, last winning two Saturdays ago at home against instate rival Oklahoma 83-81.
Entering conference play 10-2, the Cowboys intrigued many with their only losses at the time being to ranked Texas A&M and Wichita State.
However, now 1-4 in their last five games, Oklahoma State looks to dig out of a whole in the deep Big 12, yet only trailing Kansas by four games.
Lead by their senior duo guards Jeffrey Carroll (15.8 ppg) and Kendall Smith (10.9 ppg), the Cowboys will lead on their guard’s leadership to manage a huge upset.
First year head coach Mike Boynton will make his first head coaching trip to Allen Fieldhouse, looking to add a resume headliner with a first time win in Lawrence.
Looking to get their first ranked road win of the season, Boynton and the Cowboys will need all they can get, focusing on troubling the Jayhawks instead of capitalizing on their own play, as they look to get in play at a tournament spot this coming March.
Kansas Jayhawks: 18-4 (7-2)
Perennial Big 12 champion Kansas Jayhawks host the Cowboys with grand expectations, 56-1 against unranked teams at home since losing to Marcus Smart and the Cowboys five years ago.
Senior guards Devonte’s Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailuk are both averaging 17 points a game, while Graham is among the nation’s top five with 7.5 assists per game.
Across the perimeter, sophomore center Udoke Azubuike leads the nation with a .764 field goal percentage, averaging 13.5 points per game alongside a 7.4 rebounding average.
The Jayhawks rank second in the Big 12 in assists and three pointers, and will likely conduct another high scoring affair, averaging 83.1 points per game.
A game lead in the Big 12, Hall of Fame Head Coach Bill Self has his eyes on a historic 14th straight conference title, and will look at his tremendous guard play to keep a shocker away from home, never losing three games in Allen Fieldhouse since taking over in 2003.
The Jayhawks have been shaky this season, and although I usually would expect their non-perfect play to continue, Saturday will be a different scenario. Against a Cowboys team that is 0-5 as the visitors this season, Kansas should continue their run for a 14th straight Big 12 title on Saturday, as Oklahoma State maintains its fall.
Kansas 84, Oklahoma State 71
Kansas Leaderboard Watch
Devonte’ Graham continues to cement as legacy as a Kansas Jayhawk, with a chance to continue elevating through the all-time leader boards at the University of Kansas. Currently 10th with 515 assists, third with 251 three point field goals, tied 10th with 175 assists, and 25th with 1,454 points, Graham can move higher in the latter two as he’s tied with Alonzo Jamison in steals and behind Adonis Jordan by six, as well as trailing Brandon Rush by 23 points.
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