• WHEN/ WHERE:
About 8:40 p.m. Friday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis
• TV/RADI O:
CBS (Chs. 5, 13); WHB (810 AM)
• ABOUT KANSAS STATE (20-12) :
Will Spradling likes the K-State offense against the young Kentucky defense. “They haven’t really seen a style of offense like ours,” Spradling said. “They don’t have many teams that run motion in the SEC. If we run it right, we can create problems for them.” Freshman Nigel Johnson came off the bench and scored a career-high 17 points on nine shots against Iowa State. Does he have an encore ready for Friday? “That game definitely helped me,” he said. “It taught me how to be more aggressive on offense. I’m going to try and stay aggressive and do what I can to help us win.”
• ABOUT KENTUCKY (24-10):
Every member of Kentucky’s starting five is 6-6 or taller. Guards Andrew Harrison, James Young and Aaron Harrison — all 6-6 — bring length to the perimeter. Julius Randle (6-9) and Dakari Johnson (7-foot) protect the rim. Oh, and Willie Cauley-Stein, another 7-footer, plays big minutes off the bench. Kansas State’s tallest player is D.J. Johnson, a 6-foot-9 reserve power forward. The next two tallest players are Shane Southwell and Thomas Gipson, both 6-7. After that, no one is taller than 6-5.
• BOTTOM LINE: The last time K-State faced a tall, physical defender in the backcourt, Marcus Foster struggled mightily against Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, scoring nine points on 16 shots. But K-State has a distinct advantage over Kentucky in depth, using a 10-man rotation in most games. Either way, this looks to be a tossup.