Entries from blogs tagged with “Jayhawks”

Highlight reel: Jayhawks beat Oklahoma on the road

Check out the highlights, featuring lots of big shots from Devonté Graham, from the Kansas basketball team’s 76-72 victory at Oklahoma.

— See what people were saying about the KU-OU rematch during KUsports.com’s live coverage


More news and notes from KU’s win at Oklahoma

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Baseline view: Kansas holds strong to beat OU

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These guys again: Sooners enter KU rematch ready to fire

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger reacts to a play against TCU during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. Oklahoma won 95-72. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger reacts to a play against TCU during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. Oklahoma won 95-72. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

As Bill Self’s Jayhawks gear up for Kansas-Oklahoma: The Sequel, on Saturday at OU, they will have to turn much of their focus toward the 3-point line.

That’s not to say KU will rely on the long ball more than usual. It’s just coach Lon Kruger’s Sooners shoot it so well from deep that defending (or failing to defend) those bombs could determine which team leaves Lloyd Noble Center with a claim to first place in the Big 12.

No. 3 Oklahoma (20-3 overall, 8-3 Big 12) is the best 3-point shooting team in the nation (45.1%), just a few spots ahead of the 4th-most successful 3-point shooters, the Jayhawks (42.2%).

The Sooners already set a program record this season by draining 10 or more 3-pointers in 15 games. They lit up KU in the first meeting, connecting on 16 of 33 (48.5%). The Jayhawks fared pretty well, too, making 11 of 22 (50%) in their 109-106, triple-overtime victory at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 4.

OU’s 11.0 successful 3’s a game ranks 4th in the nation (KU’s 8.3 rank 68th), and when you look solely at the percentages being put up by Oklahoma’s five starters, they’re shooting 47% from beyond the arc.

Oh, and have a peek at the top 3-point shooters in Big 12 games this season (minimum of 1.5 made per game):

- 1st. Buddy Hield, OU: 51 of 107, 47.7%

- 2nd. Jordan Woodard, OU: 27 of 57, 47.4%

- 3rd. Isaiah Cousins, OU: 21 of 45, 46.7%

KU’s Devonté Graham comes in 4th at 45.2% (19 of 42), and Wayne Selden Jr. is just percentage points outside of the top 10, at 11th, with a mark of 33.9% (21 of 62).

Of course, many other factors will play into the outcome. Three turnovers in the final minute of the third overtime vs. Kansas prevented OU from winning the remarkable battle of (at the time) No. 1 versus No. 2. You might recall the Sooners took a 106-104 lead with just less than a minute remaining on a Woodard 3-pointer. But after that, things fell apart for OU:

- 0:45 mark: Khadeem Lattin turns the ball over after a defensive rebound

- 0:19 mark: Buddy Hield turns the ball over on a Frank Mason III steal

- 0:12 mark: another Hield turnover and Mason steal

Turnovers on the road — particularly late in games — will cost you wins. The Jayhawks (20-4, 8-3) surely realize that, as they head to Norman, Okla., with a 2-3 record in Big 12 road games and a -1.73 turnover margin in conference games (worst in the league).

Kansas will need to control the boards, as well, at OU to increase its chances of snapping Oklahoma’s 19-game home winning streak. The Sooners have out-rebounded their opponents in 15 of their 23 games this season and are 15-0 when they win the battle of the boards. KU earned a 60-55 edge in the 55-minute battle at Allen Fieldhouse.

With all of those things in mind, now is as good a time as any to reacquaint yourself with the Sooners. Here are the players the Jayhawks will have to keep in check in order to register their best road win of the season.

OKLAHOMA STARTERS

No. 24 — G Buddy Hield | 6-4, 214, sr.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) defends against a three from Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) during the second half, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) defends against a three from Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) during the second half, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

*- Jan. 4 at KU: 46 points, 13/23 FGs, 8/15 3s, 12/14 FTs, 8 rebounds (2 offensive), 7 assists, 5 turnovers in 54 minutes *

  • OU isn’t joking when it pushes its favorite hashtag: #BuddyBuckets. Hield is the marquee player in college basketball for a reason. The senior guard averages 25.7 points per game and has drained 96 of his 192 3-pointers this year (50%). That’s right. He’s shooting 50% from 3 on the season.

  • Hield has scored 30 or more points 8 times this season, an attainable feat when you make 4.2 3-pointers a game.

  • The reigning Big 12 Player of the Year will reach 300 career 3-pointers if (when) he makes 2 against KU.

  • His 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left on Big Monday this week secured OU’s home win over Texas. Hield scored Oklahoma’s final 12 points.

  • Last year in Norman, Hield tipped in a missed shot in the final seconds for a 75-73 win over Kansas.

  • Currently the only player in the nation shooting at least 50% from the field (51.8%), 50% from 3 and 90% from the free-throw line (90.2%)…

  • … And one last thing. No college basketball player in the last 20 years has gone 50/50/90 and scored at least 20.0 points a game.

No. 10 — G Jordan Woodard | 6-0, 187, jr.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) tries to steal the ball from Oklahoma guard Jordan Woodard (10) during the second half, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. Also pictured are Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) and Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24).

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) tries to steal the ball from Oklahoma guard Jordan Woodard (10) during the second half, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. Also pictured are Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) and Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24). by Nick Krug

- Jan. 4 at KU: 27 points, 9/20 FGs, 6/9 3s, 3/4 FTs, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 block, 2 steals, 5 fouls in 50 minutes

  • Most teams in the country would love to have Woodard as their top guard. The junior just happens to be OU’s second-best. Woodard averages 13.3 points and 3.9 assists, and has connected on 52 of his 107 3-point attempts (48.6%).

  • Woodard can fill it up, just not to the extreme that Hield does. He has seven 20-point games in his career, including one in the triple-OT loss at KU.

  • Much like Hield, Woodard makes foes pay when they send him to the foul line: 59 of 69, 85.5%.

  • The most actively aggressive perimeter defender for OU, Woodard averages 1.8 steals a game.

  • Maybe — but just maybe — Woodard is cooling off on 3-pointers. In OU’s last 4 games, he has hit just 3 of 17 (17.6%). Then again, that could also mean he’s about to explode.

No. 11 — G Isaiah Cousins | 6-4, 200, sr.

Oklahoma guard Isaiah Cousins (11) shoots between Texas Tech guard Toddrick Gotcher, left, and Oklahoma's Dante Buford, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Oklahoma won 91-67. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma guard Isaiah Cousins (11) shoots between Texas Tech guard Toddrick Gotcher, left, and Oklahoma's Dante Buford, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Oklahoma won 91-67. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

- Jan. 4 at KU: 4 points, 2/14 FGs, 0/3 3s, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 1 block, 1 steal in 39 minutes

  • Talk about an embarrassment of riches. The second or third player you think of when you talk about the Sooners, Cousins averages 13.6 points and 4.6 assists and has hit 44 of his 94 attempts from 3-point range (46.8%).

  • Cousins has scored in double figures in 8 of the last 9 games for OU and has three double-doubles on the season.

  • Set a career high with 10 assists against Villanova (now ranked No. 1 in the nation) in December.

  • With the Sooners in trouble on the road in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, Cousins nailed a jumper in the final seconds of a 77-75 win at LSU.

  • Put up 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists vs. Texas earlier this week.

  • Over the last 7 games, Cousins is averaging 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.6 steals, while shooting 57.5% from the floor and an eye-popping 64.3% (18 of 28) from long range.

No. 00 — F Ryan Spangler | 6-8, 234, sr.

Oklahoma forward Ryan Spangler (00) grimaces after picking up a foul during the second half, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Oklahoma forward Ryan Spangler (00) grimaces after picking up a foul during the second half, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

- Jan. 4 at KU: 14 points, 6/11 FGs, 2/4 3s, 18 rebounds (3 offensive), 0 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 4 fouls in 51 minutes

  • For the love of all things 3, even OU’s rugged interior forward Ryan Spangler ventures outside occasionally. The senior averages 11.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and has hit 22 of his 62 tries from downtown (35.5%).

  • As you might expect from a veteran bruiser, Spangler is even better inside the arc: 66.1% on 2-point shots. As a result, he has shot at least 50% from the field in 36 of his last 43 games.

  • Nearly averaging a double-double, Spangler has 10 on the season and 27 in his career, including one at KU last month.

  • Spangler has 42 double-digit rebound games in his career.

  • The big man averages 2.5 offensive boards a game and, per hoop-math.com, has 18 put-backs on the season.

No. 12 — F Khadeem Lattin | 6-9, 208, soph.

Kansas State guard Justin Edwards (14) shoots in front of Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (12) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. Oklahoma won 86-76. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Kansas State guard Justin Edwards (14) shoots in front of Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (12) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. Oklahoma won 86-76. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

- Jan. 4 at KU: 10 points, 5/9 FGs, 0/1 FTs, 14 rebounds (5 offensive), 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 6 blocks, 1 steal in 46 minutes

  • Sophomore forward Khadeem Lattin’s numbers (6.0 points, 5.9 rebounds) might not blow anyone away, but his presence inside has proven crucial in OU’s outstanding season.

  • The athletic big man gave KU issues around the rim and that showed up not only with his 6 blocked shots and 5 offensive rebounds, but also in his plus/minus for the triple-OT affair. Lattin registered a +5, best on the team in OU’s 3-point loss.

  • In Big 12 play, no one blocks shots as well as Lattin. The 6-foot-9 rim protector denies 3.4 attempts a game. On the year, he has blocked 6 or more shots 4 times, including against KU.

  • Lattin averages 2.2 offensive boards a game, and has 18 put-backs, including a game-winning tip vs. West Virginia.

  • Went scoreless and block-less in 16 minutes vs. Texas earlier this week. In fact, Lattin didn’t block a shot two days before that, in a loss at K-State, either. Have teams figured out how to avoid him? Or is he due for a big day against KU? It’s hard to imagine him failing to swat away at least a couple with the national spotlight of this rematch.

OKLAHOMA BENCH

No. 2 — G Dinjiyl Walker | 6-1, 203, sr.

None by Sooner News Daily

- Jan. 4 at KU: 3 points, 1/5 FGs, 0/1 3s, 1/1 FTs, 4 rebounds (2 offensive), 0 assists, 1 turnover in 16 minutes off the bench

  • Senior OU guard Dinjiyl Walker is the best 3-point shooter off the bench. Walker averages 3.7 points in 13.3 minutes a game and has hit 19 of 53 from deep (35.8%).

  • In Big 12 play, Walker has been more accurate on 3’s: 9 of 22 (40.9%).

*No. 21 — F Dante Buford | 6-7, 221, RS-fr.

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) tips a rebound out over Oklahoma forward Dante Buford (21) during the first half, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. Also pictured are Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) and guard Jordan Woodard, right.

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) tips a rebound out over Oklahoma forward Dante Buford (21) during the first half, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. Also pictured are Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) and guard Jordan Woodard, right. by Nick Krug

- Jan. 4 at KU: 1 point, 0/4 FGs, 0/1 3s, 1/2 FTs, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 0 turnovers, 2 blocks in 10 minutes off the bench

  • A reserve freshman forward, Dante Buford averages 3.6 points and 1.8 rebounds in 11.5 minutes.

  • Buford’s biggest game to date came at Iowa State, when he scored 14 points. Wouldn’t you know it with this team, it was the 3-ball that got him to that total. Buford went 4-for-4 from long distance at Hilton Coliseum, but OU lost 82-77.

  • In the rest of OU’s games combined, though, Buford is 5 of 19 on 3-pointers (26.3%).

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Devonté Graham seeking out more 3-pointers

Kansas sophomore guard Devonté Graham recalls how Oklahoma seemed to hit lots of defended shots in the first meeting between the Jayhawks and Sooners.

As for Graham, who has made 40 of 94 from 3-point range this season, the point guard says he is actively looking more for long-range openings in his second season.

KU coach Bill Self “gets on all of us if you pass up an open shot” in practice, Graham adds.

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Perry Ellis finding offensive balance

The past three games, Kansas senior forward Perry Ellis has been nearly unstoppable offensively, converting on 26 of his 34 field-goal attempts. Ellis says he has found a nice balance between asserting himself and being patient with the ball in his hands.

Ellis also gets into his improved perimeter shooting this season — the senior enters Saturday’s rematch with Oklahoma having made 19 of 40 from 3-point range. In the offseason, Ellis explains, KU coach Bill Self advised him to practice NBA-distance 3-pointers.

“It helped just stretch my range,” Ellis says. “… At first it wasn’t real comfortable shooting those shots, you know. Then gradually it started getting better and better, and it worked out.”

The senior also recalls the great practice KU had prior to the first OU game and talks about what the Jayhawks expect out of the rematch.

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KU Sports Extra: Feel the Bern

Tom Keegan and Matt Tait are fired up about the Saturday rematch between Kansas and Oklahoma. They break down Round 2 of Jayhawks-Sooners, and Tom tries (kind of) to not get too political with his analysis.

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Highlight reel: Jayhawks beat West Virginia in rematch

Check out the highlights from the Jayhawks’ home victory over West Virginia on Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

— See what people were saying about No. 6 KU vs. No. 10 WVU during KUsports.com’s live coverage


More news and notes from KU’s home win over West Virginia


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Baseline view: Kansas beats West Virginia at Allen Fieldhouse

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These guys again: First-place WVU bringing assertive style to Allen Fieldhouse

West Virginia coach Bobby Huggins talks to West Virginia guard Jaysean Paige (5), during a break in action in the 
Mountaineers 76-63 win over Kansas in Morgantown, W.V. Tuesday.

West Virginia coach Bobby Huggins talks to West Virginia guard Jaysean Paige (5), during a break in action in the Mountaineers 76-63 win over Kansas in Morgantown, W.V. Tuesday. by Mike Yoder

The Big 12’s first-place team plays Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse. And, no (as you’re surely aware), it’s not Kansas.

The No. 6-ranked Jayhawks are a game back of 10th-ranked West Virginia, coached by the often grouchy and always entertaining Bob Huggins. The Mountaineers (19-4 overall, 8-2 Big 12) already defeated KU in January, when WVU’s guards blew by the Jayhawks on their way to layups and free throws and Kansas had far too many turnovers (22) to win a road game against a top-10 caliber opponent.

Even though the Jayhawks (19-4, 7-3) shot 42% from the floor and made 10 of 20 from 3-point range in Morgantown, it was hardly enough to make up for WVU’s 18 points off turnovers. Plus, West Virginia outscored Kansas 16-9 in second-chance points and 32-18 in points in the paint.

The Mountaineers’ unique style — pressure defense, teamed with an offense revolving around determined drives and relentless attacking on the offensive glass — travels pretty well. In Huggins’ eight-plus seasons coaching his alma mater, 94 of his 194 victories have come away from WVU Coliseum.

This season, Huggins and company are 5-2 in true road games. Their losses came at Oklahoma, 70-68, and at Florida in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, 88-71. WVU won at Virginia Tech, Kansas State, TCU, Texas Tech and Iowa State.

Headed into the KU-WVU rematch in Lawrence, here’s a look at some of the Mountaineers’ most impressive statistical credentials:

- WVU forces opponents to turn the ball over on 25.6% of their possessions — No. 1 in the nation

- WVU ranks No. 1 in the country in both steals (10.3) and forced turnovers (18.96) per game

- WVU has had at least 7 steals in 21 of its 23 games, and has forced 14 or more turnovers in all but 2 games

- WVU averages 22.3 points off turnovers and 17.5 second-chance points per game

With all of those things in mind, here are the Mountaineers KU will have to find a way to keep in check in order to pull even with WVU atop the Big 12 standings — for now.

WEST VIRGINIA STARTERS

No. 41 — F Devin Williams | 6-9, 255, jr.

West Virginia’s Devin Williams (41) beats Kansas State’s D.J. Johnson to a rebound during WVU’s 87-83, double-overtime victory over the Wildcats on Jan. 2 in Manhattan. The No. 17 (but likely to rise) Mountaineers will host top-ranked Kansas on Tuesday in a battle of Big 12 co-leaders.

West Virginia’s Devin Williams (41) beats Kansas State’s D.J. Johnson to a rebound during WVU’s 87-83, double-overtime victory over the Wildcats on Jan. 2 in Manhattan. The No. 17 (but likely to rise) Mountaineers will host top-ranked Kansas on Tuesday in a battle of Big 12 co-leaders.

- Jan. 12 vs. KU: 17 points, 4/11 FGs, 9/12 FTs, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 1 block, 2 steals in 29 minutes

  • The Big 12’s leader in double-doubles, junior Devin Williams averages 13.3 points and 8.8 rebounds this season.

  • Destroyed Iowa State inside, with 17 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.

  • A huge body to deal with on the boards, Williams averages 3.3 offensive rebounds a game and leads WVU with 40 put-backs on the season, per hoop-math.com.

  • It’s not just the WVU guards who benefit when they get to the paint. Williams gets the ball with the defense out of position when that happens, too. That means defenders have to foul him as they try to recover. Williams leads WVU with 6.2 free-throw attempts a game and shoots 72% at the line.

  • Williams makes 48.3% of his field-goal attempts, and is better off staying around the rim, where he hits 61.8%. Only 29.5% of his 2-point jumpers have found the bottom of the net this season.

No. 2 — G Jevon Carter | 6-2, 195, soph.

West Virginia guard Jevon Carter (2) left, reaches in to steal the ball from a fast-breaking Wayne Selden Jr., (1)  in a game between the Jayhawks and the Mountaineers at the WVU Colliseum in Morgantown, W.V. Tuesday.

West Virginia guard Jevon Carter (2) left, reaches in to steal the ball from a fast-breaking Wayne Selden Jr., (1) in a game between the Jayhawks and the Mountaineers at the WVU Colliseum in Morgantown, W.V. Tuesday. by Mike Yoder

- Jan. 12 vs. KU: 10 points, 3/6 FGs, 2/2 3s, 2/4 FTs, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 steal in 34 minutes

  • The best 3-point shooter in Huggins’ starting unit, sophomore Jevon Carter (10.2 points) has made 30 of 93 (32.2%) from deep this season.

  • Carter’s last trip to Allen Fieldhouse didn’t go so well — and likely prevented WVU from pulling off an overtime road victory: 0-for-10 FGs and 0-for-6 from 3-point range.

  • The second-year guard facilitates, too, with 3.5 assists per game and a better than 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

  • One of 4 Mountaineers with 30-plus steals on the season, Carter averages 1.8 takeaways a game.

No. 4 — G Daxter Miles Jr. | 6-3, 195, soph.

None by Big 12 Conference

- Jan. 12 vs. KU: 3 points, 1/4 FGs, 0/3 3s, 1/2 FTs, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 2 steals in 22 minutes

  • This is one WVU player KU probably wants taking 3-pointers — contested 3-pointers at least. Sophomore Daxter Miles Jr. (10.8 ppg) has only connected on 26 of his 91 attempts from beyond the arc (28.6%) this year.

  • Another 30-plus steals defender who anticipates and takes away possessions, Miles averages 1.6 steals a game.

  • When Miles takes the ball to the rim, he is one of WVU’s top finishers, converting 67.2% of the time.

  • Coming off a season-high 20-point night against Baylor.

  • Unlike Carter, Miles enjoyed playing in the fieldhouse last year, and scored a team-best 23 points by hitting 5 of 9 from 3-point range. So, yeah, don’t leave him wide open out there.

No. 23 — F Esa Ahmad | 6-8, 225, fr.

None by SB Nation CBB

- Jan. 12 vs. KU: 2 points, 1/2 FGs, 0/1 FTs, 1 rebound, 1 turnover in 11 minutes

  • Still learning the ins and outs of college hoops, freshman Esa Ahmad averages 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds for WVU.

  • But he has his moments, like producing a Vine-worthy slam at Iowa State and making 4 of his 5 shots at Hilton Coliseum.

  • Ahmad really does a nice job of getting to the foul line in limited minutes (19.0 a game) but has made just 26 of 52 free throws.

  • With his leaping ability, Ahmad is tied for the team lead with 11 blocked shots.

No. 11 — F Nathan Adrian | 6-9, 240, jr.

None by Keenan Cummings

- Jan. 12 vs. KU: 3 points, 1/3 FGs, 1/2 3s, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal in 15 minutes off the bench

  • Junior Nathan Adrian has only started 4 games this season and averages just 17.1 minutes. So he comes in putting up a modest 4.0 points and 3.0 rebounds.

  • In his last 4 games, Adrian has made 6 of 8 from 3-point land.

  • On the year, Adrian has hit 12 of 30 from deep: 40%.

  • Came away with season-highs — 11 points and 9 rebounds — in WVU’s win over Baylor.

WEST VIRGINIA BENCH

No. 5 — G Jaysean Paige | 6-2, 210, sr.

West Virginia guard Jaysean Paige drives past Iowa State forward Abdel Nader, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

West Virginia guard Jaysean Paige drives past Iowa State forward Abdel Nader, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

- Jan. 12 vs. KU: 26 points, 6/13 FGs, 0/2 3s, 14/17 FTs, 4 rebounds (3 offensive), 1 turnover, 5 steals in 29 minutes off the bench

  • It’s hard to come up with a more talented bench scorer in the nation than senior Jaysean Paige. You might as well consider him a starter, because Paige averages 17.6 points per game and 1.7 steals in Big 12 play.

  • Paige’s ability to knock down more 3-pointers this season has made him a lethal driver. His 33 3-pointers lead the team and he shoots 37.5% on the season.

  • Against KU at WVU, all 6 successful field goals for Paige come on layups, as he routinely found his way to the paint off the dribble.

  • It’s his finishing around the rim that brings his season field-goal percentage to 49.8%. Paige has converted 62 times on 94 attempts at the rim.

  • He also gets to the foul line plenty with his attack-mode offense, and shoots 73.6% — 67 of 91.

  • The reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, Paige has scored 15 or more points in 8 of his 10 league games this season.

  • His 5 steals vs. Kansas last month marked a career high, as did his 26 points.

No. 1 — Jonathan Holton | 6-7, 220, sr.

None by SI College Hoops

- Jan. 12 vs. KU: 2 points, 1/7 FGs, 0/3 3s, 8 rebounds (4 offensive), 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 block in 26 minutes as a starter

  • Huggins said Monday senior Jonathan Holton “probably won’t” play at KU, due to a suspension for a team rules violation.

  • If that’s the case, WVU will really miss Holton (9.7 points, 7.5 rebounds) and his team-best 81 offensive rebounds, as well as his 36 put-backs.

  • For WVU, perhaps the worst part of playing without Holton is the Mountaineers won’t have their point man at the top of their full-court press.

No. 12 — G Tarik Phillip | 6-3, 200, jr.

None by Gazette-Mail Sports

- Jan. 12 vs. KU: 7 points, 1/9 FGs, 0/1 3s, 5/7 FTs, 1 rebound, 1 turnover, 1 block, 1 steal in 23 minutes off the bench

  • Another decent threat to have off the bench, junior Tarik Phillip (8.3 points, 2.7 rebounds) is shooting 35.4% on 3-pointers — 17 of 48.

  • With 38 steals, Phillip averages 1.7 swipes an outing.

  • Phillip can create off the bench, with 2.9 assists a game, but also is prone to giving the ball away, with nearly 2.0 turnovers a game.

  • Scored 8 points in the final 58 seconds of WVU’s win at Texas Tech.

No. 45 — F Elijah Macon | 6-9, 235, soph.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III, drives beneath West Virginia forward Elijah Macon (45) and is fouled by West Virginia guard Jaysean Paige (5), right, in the Jayhawks 74-63 loss to the Mountaineers at the WVU Colliseum in Morgantown, W.V. Tuesday.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III, drives beneath West Virginia forward Elijah Macon (45) and is fouled by West Virginia guard Jaysean Paige (5), right, in the Jayhawks 74-63 loss to the Mountaineers at the WVU Colliseum in Morgantown, W.V. Tuesday. by Mike Yoder

- Jan. 12 vs. KU: 4 points, 1/2 FGs, 2/4 FTs, 3 rebounds (2 offensive), 1 turnover in 11 minutes off the bench

  • A rebounder and finisher inside, sophomore Elijah Macon averages 5.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 14.0 minutes.

  • Making 55.3% from the floor, best on the team, Macon is awful at foul line (43.5%).

  • At the rim, Macon converts 67.1% of the time.

  • Tied with Ahmad for the team lead in blocks: 11.

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With 6 teams still alive, let’s talk Big 12 title race

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) goes up for a bucket against Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24), forward Dante Buford (21) and forward Ryan Spangler (00) during the first half, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34) goes up for a bucket against Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24), forward Dante Buford (21) and forward Ryan Spangler (00) during the first half, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

With the Kansas University men's basketball team facing a monster week — Tuesday night vs. West Virginia at Allen Fieldhouse and Saturday afternoon at Oklahoma — KUsports.com's Tom Keegan & Matt Tait decided to do a little rapid fire edition of KU Sports Extra to break down the Big 12 hoops race.

With KU gunning for consecutive Big 12 title No. 12, six teams sit at the top of the conference standings with just two games separating first-place West Virginia from sixth-place Baylor.

Kansas, of course, is right in the thick of things at 7-3 and even though there are still eight games to play, this week sort of has that make-or-break feel for Kansas.

Here's what Keegan & Tait had to say about this year's wild chase for the Big 12 title.

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Bill Self: KU embarking on biggest week of season

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self says No. 10-ranked West Virginia, which visits Allen Fieldhouse Tuesday night, hasn’t changed drastically since defeating KU in January, and might have already pulled off one of the better Big 12 victories of the season — winning at Iowa State.

That game is just the first part of a massive week for the No. 6-ranked Jayhawks, who play at No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday.

“It’s probably the biggest week we’ve had in a while, and certainly the biggest week we’ve had this year,” Self says.

Now in his 13th season at Kansas, Self thinks the Big 12 this season is “the most competitive it’s been since I’ve been here.” While it has been difficult to win the league 11 straight seasons, Self says this year “is taking it to another level.”

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Highlight reel: Jayhawks defeat TCU on the road

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Baseline view: Kansas beats TCU in Fort Worth

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These guys again: KU visiting last-place TCU

TCU head coach Trent Johnson argues a with an official over a foul called against the Horned Frogs during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse

TCU head coach Trent Johnson argues a with an official over a foul called against the Horned Frogs during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse by Nick Krug

In its first rematch of the season, Kansas gets the only Big 12 team headed into the weekend with a losing record: TCU.

Of course, the Jayhawks haven’t exactly looked stellar in road games this season — see KU’s current 3-game road losing streak and 2-3 record inside opposing arenas — so they can’t even take the Horned Frogs (10-12 overall, 1-8 Big 12) lightly. Kansas (18-4, 6-3) needs all the wins it can get while chasing Oklahoma and West Virginia, who are tied for first in the conference standings, at 7-2.

In Big 12 home games, TCU has:

- lost to West Virginia, 95-87

- defeated Texas, 58-57

- lost to Texas Tech, 76-69

- lost to Iowa State, 73-60

Clearly, Trent Johnson’s guys are struggling. Still, last season the Horned Frogs played within 3 points of KU in Fort Worth, Texas, then lost by 5 to Kansas at the Big 12 Tournament. Johnson’s teams have a way of muddying up games against the Jayhawks to make them competitive.

In 6 of TCU’s losses this year, the Frogs have either led or trailed by single digits in the final six minutes. They pulled that off in a 70-63 loss at Allen Fieldhouse last month by closing the game on an 11-1 run in the final two minutes.

With all of that in mind, get reacquainted with the Horned Frogs No. 7 KU will have to keep in check in order to end its road losing streak.

TCU STARTERS

No. 3 — G Malique Trent | 6-2, 185, soph.

TCU guard Malique Trent (3) goes to the basket over Oklahoma center Akolda Manyang (30) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

TCU guard Malique Trent (3) goes to the basket over Oklahoma center Akolda Manyang (30) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

— Jan. 16 at KU: Did not play

  • TCU’s leading scorer, sophomore Malique Trent (11.5 points per game) didn’t play against Kansas in the first meeting, as he sat out for disciplinary reasons. That could mean trouble for the Jayhawks, who haven’t faced him and now will see a likely motivated guard playing in his home arena.

  • Trent, who missed 3 Big 12 games, is averaging 9.5 points and shooting 38.2% in conference action. He has only hit 2 of his 17 attempts from 3-point range (11.8%) vs. league foes.

  • Scored 14 of his team-high 15 points in the second half this past Saturday, when TCU defeated Tennessee (and former Texas coach Rick Barnes) in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Tennessee would beat Kentucky a few days later.

  • Ranks 5th in the Big 12, with 1.79 steals a game, and has 34 thefts on the season.

  • A juco transfer, Trent swiped 5 steals against Iowa State.

No. 1 — G Chauncey Collins | 6-0, 180, soph.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) reaches for an attempted steal from TCU guard Chauncey Collins (1) during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) reaches for an attempted steal from TCU guard Chauncey Collins (1) during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

— Jan. 16 at KU: 11 points, 3/8 FGs, 3/5 3-pointers, 2/3 FTs, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers in 32 minutes

  • The Frogs’ leading scorer in Big 12 games, sophomore Chauncey Collins (12.1 ppg in league), has proven to be a threat from 3-point range, making 22 of 54 (40.7%) against the rest of the conference, while playing a team-high 32.6 minutes a game.

  • Collins has made 3 or more 3-pointers on 5 occasions in Big 12 play.

  • Against top-25 league opponents, Collins averages 13.0 points and 3.0 assists, while shooting 46% from 3-point range. Scored a career-high 20 points vs. West Virginia.

  • Collins is TCU’s best free-throw shooter (79.7%) and leads the team with 41 made 3-pointers this season.

  • In his last 3 games, Collins has been held to single-digit scoring totals by Texas, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

No. 11 — G Brandon Parrish | 6-6, 210, jr.

Iowa State's Georges Niang, left, and Abdel Nader (2) defend as TCU guard Brandon Parrish (11) looks for an opportunity to the basket during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. Iowa State won 73-60. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Iowa State's Georges Niang, left, and Abdel Nader (2) defend as TCU guard Brandon Parrish (11) looks for an opportunity to the basket during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. Iowa State won 73-60. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

— Jan. 16 at KU: 11 points, 4/9 FGs, 3/6 3s, 3 rebounds, 1 turnover in 29 minutes

  • The only Horned Frog to start all 9 Big 12 games for Johnson, junior Brandon Parrish averages only 6.7 points in conference, while shooting 38.3% from the field and 12 of 31 from 3-point land (38.7%).

  • On the season, Parrish leads TCU in 3-point percentage: 31 of 69, for 44.9%.

  • Led TCU in scoring (15 points) in the Frogs’ only Big 12 victory of the season so far, at home vs. Texas.

  • In the final 5 minutes of games, Parrish has shot 9-for-18 from the floor.

No. 33 — F Chris Washburn | 6-8, 240, jr.

None by Carlos A. Mendez

— Jan. 16 at KU: 8 points, 2/8 FGs, 0/1 3s, 4/5 FTs, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 block in 23 minutes (4 fouls)

  • Averaging 8.3 points in Big 12 games, junior Chris Washburn has been the most turnover-prone Frog vs. league opponents, with 2.6 giveaways a game.

  • A returning starter and a captain, Washburn missed the first 11 games of the season with a hand injury. Last season, he ranked 7th in the Big 12 in blocks and 8th in steals. Through 11 games (8 starts) this season, Washburn has just 7 blocks and 17 steals.

  • Scored 15 points and had 4 steals in a loss to Oklahoma after putting up 14 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in a win over Tennessee.

No. 23 — F Devonta Abron | 6-8, 260, sr.

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) pulls an offensive rebound away from TCU forward Devonta Abron (23), forward Vladimir Brodziansky (10) and guard Michael Williams (2) during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo (13) pulls an offensive rebound away from TCU forward Devonta Abron (23), forward Vladimir Brodziansky (10) and guard Michael Williams (2) during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

— Jan. 16 at KU: 0 points, 0/2 FGs, 1 rebound, 1 steal in 5 minutes off the bench

  • With only 1 Big 12 start so far this season, senior Devonta Abron comes in averaging just 2.8 points in 8.3 minutes in conference.

  • Has started the past 2 games for TCU, averaging 5.0 points and 4.5 rebounds, while taking just 5 total field goals in 13.0 minutes a game.

  • The Frogs’ only senior, Abron is shooting 48% from the floor on the season, the second-best mark on the team.

TCU BENCH

No. 10 — F Vladimir Brodziansky | 6-10, 215, soph.

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) grabs a rebound over TCU forward Vladimir Brodziansky (10) during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. At right is Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34).

Kansas forward Landen Lucas (33) grabs a rebound over TCU forward Vladimir Brodziansky (10) during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse. At right is Kansas forward Perry Ellis (34). by Nick Krug

— Jan. 16 at KU: 8 points, 3/11 FGs, 1/2 3s, 1/2 FTs, 12 rebounds (6 offensive), 1 steal in 26 minutes off the bench

  • A dangerous offensive weapon for TCU off the bench, sophomore Vlad Brodziansky almost had a double-double at KU and averages 8.3 points and 4.6 rebounds in Big 12 play.

  • Led TCU with 17 points and 8 boards against OU, hitting 8 of his 11 field goals.

  • A transfer from Pratt Community College in Kansas, the Slovakia native has scored in double-figures 13 times in his first season at TCU.

  • Brodziansky is shooting 14 of 23 from the field in the final 5 minutes of games.

  • His 42 offensive rebounds lead the team, as do his 21 blocked shots and 11 dunks.

  • The big man doesn’t mind stepping outside, but he has hit on just 9 of 26 3-pointers (34.6%).

  • Brodziansky leads the team in field-goal percentage: 54.5%.

No. 32 — F Karviar Shepherd | 6-10, 230, jr.

None by TCU Basketball

— Jan. 16 at KU: 4 points, 2/4 FGs, 0/1 3s, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover, 1 steal in 23 minutes (4 fouls) as a starter

  • Formerly a starter, junior big man Karviar Shepherd’s role has changed of late, coming off the bench in the past 3 games. He has shot just 29% from the floor while averaging 6.6 points and 4.0 rebounds in the Big 12.

  • Shepherd has made just 38.8% of his shot attempts this season, but leads the team with 6.0 rebounds a game.

  • Had only 2 points and 3 rebounds against Oklahoma, which came after one of his best games in a month — 13 points and 6 rebounds vs. Tennessee.

  • Tied a season high with 3 blocks vs. Texas.

No. 2 — G Michael Williams | 6-2, 195, jr.

— Jan. 16 at KU: 13 points, 6/9 FGs, 1/1 FTs, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover in 36 minutes as a starter

  • Like Shepherd, junior Michael Williams has both started and played a substitute role for TCU. He averages 4.9 points vs. Big 12 competition and a team-best 2.7 assists a game.

  • Scored his season-high 13 points against Kansas.

  • Dished 5 or more assists in 7 games this year, including 8 at Baylor.

  • Has hit just 11 of his 45 attempts from 3-point range (24.4%) this season.

No. 15 — F J.D. Miller | 6-8, 235, fr.

— Jan. 16 at KU: 6 points, 3/12 FGs, 0/1 3s, 4 rebounds, 1 turnover, 1 steal in 25 minutes off the bench

  • A high-volume shot-taker, freshman J.D. Miller mostly has been off in Big 12 play, averaging 5.7 points on 32.8% shooting.

  • Had a career-high 12 rebounds against Washington and blocked 5 shots vs. SE Louisiana.

  • Second on the team, with 6 dunks this season.

  • Shooting just 36.3% from the floor (41 of 113) in his first year of college hoops.

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KU Sports Extra: Bad signs and good signings

Tom Keegan and Matt Tait examine an eventful week for Kansas athletics, which included basketball coach Bill Self calling out junior Brannen Greene for his antics and Kansas football coach David Beaty bringing in his second recruiting class.

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Highlight reel: Kansas defeats rival Kansas State

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Baseline view: Kansas beats K-State

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Get to know competitive K-State before Sunflower Showdown

Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber gets heated during the first half, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber gets heated during the first half, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 at Bramlage Coliseum. by Nick Krug

Not many people around the Big 12 expected much out of Bruce Weber’s Wildcats this season. The league’s coaches picked Kansas State to finish tied for eighth (with TCU) in the preseason poll.

Almost midway through the conference schedule, K-State (13-8 overall, 2-6 Big 12) isn’t blowing people away. The Wildcats enter Wednesday night’s Sunflower Showdown at Allen Fieldhouse tied for seventh place, with Texas Tech.

While it wouldn’t be accurate to characterize a team four games below .500 in the league as good, a close look at the Wildcats’ results reveals it’s not really fair to say they’re bad, either.

K-State losses, with current kenpom.com ranking of opponent:

- Nov. 24: No. 4 North Carolina, 80-70, at Sprint Center

- Dec. 12: No. 8 Texas A&M, 78-68, in Wichita

- Jan. 2: No. 10 West Virginia, 87-83 2OT

- Jan. 5: at No. 27 Texas, 60-57

- Jan. 9: at No. 1 Oklahoma, 86-76

- Jan. 16: No. 14 Iowa State, 76-63

- Jan. 20: at No. 29 Baylor, 79-72 2OT

- Jan. 26: at No. 10 West Virginia, 70-55

Outside of the 13-point home loss to Iowa State and the 15-point loss in Morgantown, W. Va., K-State (ranked No. 44 in the nation by college hoops math wizard Ken Pomeroy) has played within 10 points or better of some legitimate competition. If the season ended today, every team that beat the Wildcats would easily qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

It is much more difficult to find an impressive victory on Kansas State’s résumé at this point — No. 56 Texas Tech, No. 64 Oklahoma State and No. 80 Georgia qualify as the best three. But it is clear Weber’s players are no pushovers.

Meet the Wildcats the Kansas Jayhawks (17-4, 5-3) will have to shut down in order to keep pace with the rest of the Big 12 in the standings.

KANSAS STATE STARTERS

No. 25 — G/F Wesley Iwundu | 6-7, 210, jr.

Kansas State's Wesley Iwundu gets a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas State's Wesley Iwundu gets a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • One of the more recognizable Wildcats on a relatively young team, junior Wesley Iwundu leads K-State in scoring (12.2 points per game) and has put up double figures 16 times this season.

  • Iwundu is also one of the team’s better passers (3.0 assists), rebounders (4.9) and defenders (1.0 steals).

  • Averaging 10.9 points in Big 12 games and shooting 45.6%, Iwundu’s 17 points vs. Texas Tech marked his most ever in a league contest.

  • At Baylor, Iwundu came within 3 assists of pulling off a triple-double: 10 points, 10 boards, 7 assists in 45 minutes.

  • Iwundu leads K-State with 79 field goals at the rim, per hoop-math.com. He converts 68.1% of his looks on layups/dunks.

  • Has only hit 2 of 16 attempts from 3-point range (12.5%).

  • Iwundu takes more free throws than any of his teammates, but only shoots 66.3% at the line.

No. 14 — G Justin Edwards | 6-4, 200, sr.

Kansas State guard Justin Edwards (14) shoots in front of Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (12) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. Oklahoma won 86-76. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Kansas State guard Justin Edwards (14) shoots in front of Oklahoma forward Khadeem Lattin (12) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. Oklahoma won 86-76. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

  • Senior Justin Edwards’ 1.9 steals a game lead K-State, and he also contributes 11.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and a team-leading 3.05 assists (1 more dish on the season than Iwundu).

  • In 7 Big 12 games, Edwards has swiped 2 or more steals. He left Oklahoma with 5 takeaways.

  • A better 3-point shooter than fellow vet Iwundu, Edwards isn’t that great, either. Has made 19 from deep on 67 tries (28.4%).

  • Although he plays on the perimeter, Edwards makes a point to get the ball to the paint, and ranks 2nd among Wildcats in field goals at the rim (57). He scores on 60.6% of his layups/dunks.

  • Posted his first career double-double, with 13 points and 10 boards at Texas.

  • K-State tracks hustle plays on its “Play Hard Chart,” which rewards Wildcats for defections, blocks, steals, dives, loose balls, offensive rebounds and charges. Edwards leads the team with 179 play-hard points.

  • Edwards’ 49 offensive boards rank second on the team.

No. 32 — F Dean Wade | 6-10, 225, fr.

None by K-State Athletics

  • A first-year big man from St. John, Kansas, Dean Wade has acclimated well to college basketball, and averages 10.1 points and 5.9 rebounds for K-State.

  • The 6-10 freshman leads the Wildcats with 52 offensive boards, which he has turned into a team-leading 23 put-backs.

  • Wade is K-State’s best finisher at the rim, making 75.4% of his attempts…

  • … But he can be coaxed into taking 2-point jumpers (13 of 59, 22%) or 3-pointers (14 of 52, 26.9%).

  • Wade is the only true freshman to rank among the top 20 in Big 12 rebounding, as well as the only one in the league to start every game this season.

  • Hit the game-winning jumper with 4.3 seconds left at Georgia, when he scored 16 of his team-high 17 points in the second half.

No. 3 — G Kamau Stokes | 6-0, 170, fr.

None by Bring On The Cats

  • Listed as questionable for the game at KU, freshman guard Kamau Stokes (9.4 points per game) also has caught on quickly at K-State.

  • The Wildcats need Stokes to help stretch opposing defenses. The young, small guard leads the team with 35 made 3-pointers and shoots 34% from deep.

  • Stokes scored a career-high 24 points against UNC and made 6 of 8 from 3-point range.

  • Hit 3 of 6 from deep and scored 20 points at Baylor.

No. 41 — F Stephen Hurt | 6-11, 265, sr.

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander (2) battles to get off a shot against Kansas State forward Stephen Hurt (41) during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander (2) battles to get off a shot against Kansas State forward Stephen Hurt (41) during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

  • The largest man on K-State’s roster, senior Stephen Hurt averages 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 20.0 minutes.

  • However, Hurt doesn’t block many shots (6 this season), get many offensive rebounds (18 in 420 minutes) or shoot a good percentage for a big man (40.3%).

  • Hurt only shoots 53.6% at the rim and has made more 2-point jumpers (23) than layups/dunks (15) this season.

  • Hurt’s numbers have dipped in Big 12 play: 5.6 points, 3.3 rebounds.

  • Hurt will take 3-pointers, but like some of his teammates, he isn’t that dependable: 10 of 36 (27.8%).

KANSAS STATE BENCH

No. 5 — G Barry Brown | 6-3, 195, fr.

None by Big 12 Conference

  • Looking exclusively at Big 12 games, freshman backup Barry Brown leads K-State in scoring, at 11.5 points per game.

  • Since the start of league play, the young guard is shooting 40.2% and logging 25.8 minutes.

  • If Stokes can’t go, look for Brown to step up in the shooting department. With 26 3-pointers this season, he ranks second on the team. Brown has made 34.2% from deep, which leads K-State.

  • Brown’s 23 steals rank 2nd on the team.

No. 4 — F D.J. Johnson | 6-9, 250, jr.

None by K-State Athletics

  • A Wildcat to watch out for on the offensive glass, junior D.J. Johnson averages 2.2 offensive rebounds a game and 4.7 overall in just 18.9 minutes.

  • Johnson’s 22 put-backs rank 2nd on the team and he’s an effective scorer at the rim: 73% shooting on layup/dunk attempts.

  • In K-State’s win over Ole Miss in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, Johnson became the sixth different player to lead the team in scoring this season, with 14 points, and also led the Wildcats with 7 boards.

  • Johnson broke his foot against Kentucky in the 2014 NCAA Tournament and missed the 2014-15 season.

  • Averaging 7.2 points in his comeback year, Johnson’s numbers have improved in his past 7 games: 9.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 63.9% shooting in 21.7 minutes.

  • The team’s best rim protector, Johnson has 16 blocked shots. Nine of those have come in Big 12 play.

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Devonté Graham discusses KU’s zone defense

Kansas sophomore guard Devonté Graham says the Jayhawks have enough time to recover physically and mentally from their overtime victory against Kentucky before returning to Big 12 play to take on Kansas State Wednesday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Plus, Graham explains why the Jayhawks told coach Bill Self during the UK game they didn’t want to play a 2-3 zone defense in the half court.

“I wouldn’t say we’re that comfortable. We’re not used to playing zone,” Graham says. “… We’re used to just matching up with our man.”

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Baseline view: Kansas beats Kentucky, 90-84

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