Friday, March 7, 2014
• WHEN/ WHERE: 3 p.m. Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.
• TV/RADI O: ESPNU; WHB (810 AM)
• ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (12-1): The Cowboys are off to one of the best starts in program history. Their only loss came on a neutral court to Memphis, but they have defeated Memphis, Purdue and Colorado. When Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash decided to return for another season together, Oklahoma State was immediately tabbed as conference contenders. Oklahoma State finished third in the Big 12 last season, behind K-State and Kansas. Smart is averaging 17.2 points, and is projected as a top five pick in the NBA Draft. Oklahoma State is trying to move on without starting forward Michael Cobbins, who tore his Achilles and has been ruled out for the season.
• ABOUT KANSAS STATE (10-3): The Wildcats enter Big 12 play on a hot streak. They have won eight straight, with recent victories coming over Mississippi, George Washington and Gonzaga. Another win could put them in the national polls. Freshman Jevon Thomas has made an instant impact as a reserve point guard. He has sent out 10 assists without committing a turnover in his first two games, all while playing strong defense. Shane Southwell played his best during conference play a year ago. Perhaps he is ready for another strong run after scoring a career-high 21 points against George Washington.
• BOTTOM LINE: Oklahoma State holds advantages over K-State at most positions, but with Cobbins out, Thomas Gipson should have room to work inside. If he has a big game, the Wildcats will have a shot at an upset.
| Kellis Robinett, firstname.lastname@example.org
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