The Jayhawks own the NCAA’s longest win streak at 18 games following a win at West Virginia that didn’t come as easy as it was appearing in the first half. Kansas will host Oklahoma State this Saturday, February 2. Tip will be at 3 P.M. in Allen Fieldhouse and the game will be televised on the Big 12 Television Network. Kansas takes not only their 18 game winning streak, but also their 33-game home-court winning streak, the second-longest in the nation, into the OSU game.
Oklahoma State is 14-5 on the season, 4-3 in Big 12 play after its 78-76 come-from-behind win against Iowa State Wednesday. The Cowboys are coached by Travis Ford who is 94-60 in his fifth season at OSU and 284-206 in his 16th season overall. Oklahoma State is 11-1 at home, 0-4 in road games and 3-0 on neutral courts in 2012-13. OSU averages 71.1 points and gives up 59.2 for a +11.8 scoring margin. OSU has a +3.6 rebound margin, leads the Big 12 Conference in free throw percentage at 75.1 percent and is second in the league in turnover margin (+2.6). The Cowboys also force 15.3 turnovers per game.
Kansas leads the overall series with Oklahoma State 106-53. Kansas is 58-10 against Oklahoma State in games played in Lawrence, including a 43-8 record in Allen Fieldhouse.
But, don’t let the lackluster record at Allen Fieldhouse fool you. Oklahoma State has freshman Marcus Smart on their roster that many project as OSU’s first one-and-done player to go into the NBA draft after one college basketball season. Smart has been known to make his presence felt in big games against ranked opponents. Kansas will be no different. Whether Smart’s motivation is to get a win for his team or display his talent set for NBA scouts, rest assured either will provide ample motivation for Smart to beat Kansas and have a good game.
Kansas has their issues with Iowa State, who OSU just handled this past week. OSU scores higher than KU allows per game and looks to be another challenge for the KU defense to hold to sub-40 percent shooting if they want to win this game. If OSU is left to run offense as they have in the past, it should be interesting to see if Kansas can get their low scoring, high shot percentage offense off to a good start, or keeping up in a shootout. Kansas also needs to return to their superior free throw shooting ways. The pound-it-in-the-paint Bill Self offense will produce free throw attempts if nothing else. Withey, McLemore and Johnson need to make those give-me points.
Kansas will play at TCU on Wednesday, February 6 at 8 P.M. on ESPNU and at Oklahoma on Saturday, February 9, at 3 P.M. on either ESPN or ESPN2.
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