Kansas-Oklahoma basketball preview
01/07/2014 11:27 AM
01/08/2014 10:02 AM
6 Wednesday at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.• TV/RADIO:
ESPN2; KCSP (610 AM)• ABOUT KANSAS (9-4, 0-0 Big 12) :
The Jayhawks begin their quest for a 10th straight Big 12 title on the road. After its offense trended upward for most of the last month, Kansas took a step back Sunday in its loss to San Diego State, shooting 29.8 percent from the floor. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis had just four points on one-of-eight shooting, and his production has become crucial. In Kansas’ nine victories, Ellis is averaging 15.7 points per game; in KU’s four losses, he’s scoring just 7.2 points per game. … On defense, Kansas has kept its opponents under 40-percent shooting every season since Bill Self arrived at KU. This year, opponents are shooting 40.7 percent. … Andrew Wiggins’ 15.8 points per game leads all Big 12 freshmen in scoring. The Jayhawks lost at Oklahoma last season, falling 72-66 in the final game of a three-game losing streak in conference play.• ABOUT OKLAHOMA (12-2, 1-0 Big 12):
The Sooners began the Big 12 season with an 88-85 victory at Texas on Saturday. Oklahoma made 13 of 28 from three-point range and 21 of 26 from the free-throw line. … In his third season at Oklahoma, Lon Kruger is guiding an offense that averages 87.3 points per game, the nation’s fifth-highest scoring attack. Leading scorer Cameron Clark is shooting 47 percent (18 for 38) from three-point range, while sophomore Buddy Hield is hitting 36 percent (27 for 74). … Oklahoma lives and dies with its jump shots. The Sooners’ defensive efficiency ranks 178th in the country, according to KenPom.com. … The Sooners are 7-1 at home, with their only loss coming against Louisiana Tech on Dec. 30. Last season, Oklahoma reached the NCAA Tournament, losing to San Diego State in its opening game.• BOTTOM LINE:
Kansas has won 22 straight conference openers, with its last loss coming at Oklahoma on Jan. 8, 1991. With an upcoming stretch that includes four straight games against ranked opponents — K-State, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Baylor — the Jayhawks need to find a way to escape Norman with a victory.
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