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PREVIEW: KU looks for payback vs. OU

Coming off of their big win versus West Virginia, Kansas will hope to extend their win streak to three this Monday. Last time these two teams met, KU had a lead, but failed to close out the game due to poor free throw shooting down the stretch.

If KU wants to get through Oklahoma, they will have to contain Freshman Guard Trae Young. Young has been lighting up college basketball all year and is leading the nation in both points (29.0 PPG) and assists (9.2 APG). The point guard was sensational in the previous matchup, as he finished with 26 points and nine assists. It will be interesting to see how Bill Self chooses to defend Young this time around after seeing how well he distributed the ball last time around.

Devonte Graham (4) defends Trae Young (11) at the top of the key in KU’s first meeting with Oklahoma.

Oklahoma has been struggling as of late. After losing to Texas on Saturday, the Sooners are now on a five-game losing streak. In this losing streak, Trae Young has struggled to hit shots, evident by his lack luster 19.6 three-point percentage. At one point during the stretch, Young missed 21 consecutive three-point shots.

Kansas is led by the talented backcourt of Devonte’ Graham (17.4 PPG, 7.2 APG), Svi Mykhailiuk (14.3 PPG), and Malik Newman (12.0 PPG, 5.1 RPG). Last time the two teams met Mykailiuk and Newman combined for 44 points in the loss in Norman.

To complement their terrific backcourt the Jayhawks also have a powerful force on the low block in Udoka Azubuike (14.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG). In Norman, Bill Self was forced to sit Udoka more than he wanted to due to foul trouble. While he was on the court, however, it was clear that the Sooners didn’t have anyone to match up with him, but his free throw shooting ultimately helped OU emerge victorious, putting him to the line five times, where Azubuike missed every attempt.

If KU wants to take control of the Big 12, a win tomorrow in Allen Fieldhouse is crucial. The game tips off at 8pm C.S.T. The game will be available to watch on ESPN, or you can tune in on 90.7fm KJHK with Nick Lewis and Marco Marquez on the call, with pregame beginning at 7pm.

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featured image pieces courtesy of SBnation.com