Kansas-Oklahoma State basketball preview
02/28/2014 8:19 PM
02/28/2014 8:19 PM
8 p.m. Saturday at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.
ESPN; KCSP (610 AM)
•ABOUT KANSAS (22-6, 13-2 Big 12):
After clinching a share of the Big 12 title Monday, Kansas can clinch the championship outright with another win. KU has won six of seven against Oklahoma State, including a classic double-overtime victory in Stillwater last season. Junior guard Naadir Tharpe, who had the game-winning shot in that game, broke out of a two-for-19 shooting slump with 19 points against Oklahoma on Monday. KU freshman Andrew Wiggins, who was selected a finalist for the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year award this week, has 457 points this season, the fourth-most by a freshman in KU history. He is 27 points shy of surpassing Xavier Henry for third place. This game will be Bill Self’s 700th game as a Division I head coach. For the moment, Self’s 529 career wins rank eighth for coaches in their first 700 games. KU alum Adolph Rupp won 593 of his first 700, while former KU coach Roy Williams won 566.
•ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (18-10, 6-9 Big 12):
It’s been a turbulent season for Oklahoma State, which suffered a seven-game losing streak and lost star guard Marcus Smart to a three-game suspension after he shoved a fan during a loss at Texas Tech. The Cowboys were preseason co-favorites with Kansas, but at 6-9 in the Big 12, a home victory over KU could be crucial for their NCAA Tournament hopes. Smart is averaging 16.5 points, 8.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds in two games since returning from his suspension, while Oklahoma State defeated Texas Tech and TCU. “He can impact the game and not score,” said KU coach Bill Self, who tried to recruit Smart to Kansas. “He's one of the few guys out there that can control it.” Smart finished just three of 14 from the floor in Oklahoma State’s 80-78 loss to KU at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 18. The Cowboys also feature three-point specialist Phil Forte III, the son of former KU football player Phil Forte Sr. Forte had seven threes at Allen Fieldhouse this season.
ESPN’s “College GameDay” crew will be in Stillwater, and the joint should be jumping. Oklahoma State desperately needs another marquee victory, while KU can clinch an outright conference title and further its case for a No. 1 seed.