A native Iowan, Raef LaFrentz pays attention to Iowa State basketball.
And, like everybody else in Big Eight country, LaFrentz, Kansas' 6-foot-11 sophomore forward from Monona, Iowa, has been amazed by ISU, 16-4 overall and 5-1 in the Big Eight.
"I can't figure them out. They were supposed to be on the bottom this year. Now they are close to the top," LaFrentz said.
The Cyclones, picked to finish last in the Big Eight preseason media poll, will visit Kansas on Wednesday for a 7:05 p.m. tipoff. KU is 18-1 overall, 6-0 in the league.
The Cyclones, who have just two players who have competed in Allen Fieldhouse -- Joe Modderman and Jacy Holloway -- beat the Jayhawks in two of three meetings during LaFrentz's freshman season.
LaFrentz scored five points on in KU's 69-65 loss in Ames and followed that with 12 points in the Jayhawks' 91-71 win at Allen Fieldhouse. LaFrentz tallied four points in the Jayhawks' 80-72 loss to ISU in the semifinals of the Big Eight Tournament.
"I look forward to playing them anywhere, but I'm really looking forward to going there -- Feb. 17," LaFrentz said. "I want to set the record straight. Last year, I was not too happy after that game."
LaFrentz scored a career-high 24 points with eight rebounds in Sunday's 72-62 win over Kansas State at Allen Fieldhouse.
"Raef may have been as active yesterday as he has been in a long time. He is really doing some good things," KU coach Roy Williams said. "Yesterday he missed two or three shots and put his own rebound right back in."
LaFrentz is hitting 54.8 percent of his shots and 55.9 percent in Big Eight games. He's also a 62 percent free thrower -- 69.7 percent in the Big Eight -- after Sunday's 10-for-13 performance.
"I feel I'm a good free-throw shooter. I will never say I'm not. I haven't figured out how to keep the stroke going," LaFrentz said. "I wish I was a 100 percent free-throw shooter, but nobody's perfect.
"It's a matter you have to buckle down and hit them. I just want to be consistent. I don't want those ups and downs," LaFrentz said of his overall play.
He has scored in double figures in nine straight games.
NU tickets available: Several hundred general admission tickets for the Kansas-Nebraska game on Feb. 19 will go on sale today. A few tickets also remain for Wednesday's Iowa State game and the Feb. 14 clash with Colorado. All tickets are $20 with a limit of four per individual.