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Oklahoma Opponent Preview: Kansas State

How They Are Doing So Far:

Twice this season Kansas State has lost back-to-back games and those are their only four losses. Back in early December the Wildcats fell at Marquette and Tulsa. And to start Big 12 play they fell to Texas and Texas Tech. Many thought after those two conference defeats that Kansas State would quickly settle towards the middle of the Big 12 pecking order. However, the team rallied for very tight victories over West Virginia and Iowa State. They still may end up in the middle of the conference standings, but this is a talented team and they can make another big statement with a victory in Norman on Wednesday evening.

 

Last Time Out:

The last big statement made by Kansas State was on Saturday when they went to Hilton Coliseum and came away with a win. Not many can say that. It was just one week earlier that Kansas went to Iowa State and lost 77-60. By March this will be a huge resume building win for KSU. Barry Brown hit a layup with four seconds left to secure the 58-57 win. That was just two of Brown’s game high 23 points. Kamau Stokes added a dozen points and hit three three-pointers.

 

Who To Watch:

Barry Brown is leading Kansas State with 15.2 points per game. The senior guard has been inconsistent shooting the basketball, hitting just 28.3 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc, but he has been a consistent scoring threat for years. Brown has also been playing his best basketball recently. Two of his top three scoring games this season have come in the last two games. He scored 29 against West Virginia before dropping 23 against the Cyclones. When Brown is being aggressive and attacking the basket, even when his outside shot is not falling, this is a tough team to beat.

 

Who Else To Watch:

Dean Wade is the interior scoring threat. The 6-10 senior is just coming back after missing six games prior to the Iowa State contest. Against the Cyclones he scored just two points in 22 minutes of play, but before that Wade was a consistent double digit scorer and is averaging 12.4 points and 7.9 rebounds on the year. Wade is a smart and experienced player who has been seemingly starting for Kansas State forever. His presence was certainly missed in the losses to Texas and Texas Tech. If he is back to his old scoring ways against, Kansas State will stay close against Oklahoma.

 

Prediction:

With both Oklahoma and Kansas State sitting at 2-2 in Big 12 play, this is a big game if either team expects to compete with Kansas and Texas Tech for a conference title. Falling to 2-3 leaves a very tough climb back to the top in a conference loaded with good teams. The pace of this game could be key. If Kansas State can keep this a low scoring affair, they will be in a much better position to get the tough road victory.

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