It hasn't been smooth-sledding for Ski Jones during his college basketball career.
Jones, Kansas State's 6-foot-5 senior shooting guard from San Antonio, has had surgery on his left leg four times. His hopes of finally playing at 100 percent were dashed in the preseason, after he suffered an infection in his left knee, which required surgery.
Jones missed the Wildcats' opener -- a loss to Southern Mississippi -- but has since averaged 20.9 points in 13 games entering tonight's conference clash against Kansas.
Tipoff for the ESPN Big Monday game is 8:38 p.m., at Allen Fieldhouse.
"I'm a wreck right now. Hopefully this stuff will go away," Jones told the Wichita Eagle recently.
Jones, who hit five of 19 shots in Saturday's 71-61 home loss to Oklahoma State, has been favoring his left leg so much, he's developed tendinitis in his right hip, knee and ankle.
Despite the aches, Jones has been the offensive leader for the 11-3 Wildcats, who average a league-low 69.9 points on league-low 40.1 percent shooting.
"You can interpret stats any want you want, but they also don't lie," KU coach Roy Williams said. "You see how much he scores compared to everyone else, you have to try to stop his scoring or cut down his percentage."
Jones, who has hit 46 of 110 three-pointers , is a 42.6 percent shooter -- the only Wildcat who averages in double figures.
"He'll be the focus of our attack like Richard and Steve are probably the focus of theirs," Williams said. KU's Richard Scott averages 15.5 points and Steve Woodberry 15.4 to lead the Jayhawks.
KU's 47.6 percent shooting has been cause of concern, but it's nowhere near as low as KSU's.
Point guard Anthony Beane, who averages 8.9 points, is hitting 30.4 percent from the field, center Deryl Cunningham (9.0 average) 43.2 percent and reserve Brian Henson 26.7 percent.
"The biggest thing is we aren't finishing plays inside," KSU coach Dana Altman said. "If we start finishing some of our baskets from around the hole, our shooting percentage will go up."
Belvis Noland, a 6-4 transfer from Three Rivers CC in Missouri, provided a spark with a career-high 19 points on seven-of-13 shooting Saturday. "That's the way Belvis is capable of playing every game," Altman said.
KU will travel to Iowa State on Saturday; KSU will play host to Colorado.
@reefer:* For a halftime update and the final score, call the J-W Sports Connection, 865-5000, category 6000.