Big 12 Basketball

Oklahoma State vs. Kansas Basketball: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Kansas

Here is everything you need to know about the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Kansas Jayhawks in our Oklahoma State vs. Kansas Big 12 men’s basketball preview.

Game Info

8 p.m. Central Time, Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas.

TV: ESPN

Records: Oklahoma State: 12-12 (5-7 in Big 12); Kansas: 20-4 (9-2 in Big 12).

Ranking: Oklahoma State: Not ranked; Kansas: No. 8 (Associated Press as of Feb. 7 poll).

Last game: Oklahoma State: def. West Virginia, 81-58 (Feb. 12); Kansas: def. Oklahoma, 71-69 (Feb. 12)

Previous meeting: Kansas 74, Oklahoma State 63 (Jan. 4).  

 

Key players

Oklahoma State

F Moussa Cisse: This is the player Oklahoma State hoped it was getting when he transferred from Memphis. He scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked a shot in the victory over the Mountaineers. More importantly, he was 8-of-12 from the floor. That’s the efficiency you want from your big man. It was his best production since the opener against UT Arlington.  

G Avery Anderson III: Anderson put his name in for the NBA Draft last summer, got his report card and came back. His overall skill set has improved, and he’s coming off an 18-point game against West Virginia. He’s drawing his fouls, too. He was 10-of-12 from the line on Saturday. That said, he would be well served to return to OSU for one more season.  

G Bryce Thompson: The transfer from Kansas to OSU is agreeing with the sophomore. He scored 13 points against WVU, along with four rebounds, two assists and a steal. If you’re looking to the future of this program, Thompson is a big part of what head coach Mike Boynton Jr. hopes to do next season.    

 

Kansas

F Jalen Wilson: Yes, Ochai Agbaji is the leading scorer for the Jayhawks. But Wilson is having an impressive stretch for Kansas. In his last nine games he’s hit double figures on seven occasions and has three double-doubles. Against Oklahoma he had a team-high 22 points and nine rebounds. He might be the best rebounding wing in the Big 12.  

G Christian Braun: All he does is make plays for Kansas. He scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds against Oklahoma. He put up a beautiful leaning floater late in the game to help Kansas maintain a two-possession edge. He made a savvy block on the shot of Oklahoma’s Elijah Harkless on a defensive breakdown. Kansas can’t do without this guy. 

F Zach Clemence: He won’t sneak up on Oklahoma State, not after Saturday’s game. He played just nine minutes, but he basically shut down Oklahoma’s Tanner Groves, hit a huge 3-pointer and used his body well under the glass. If he can give the Jayhawks that for 8-10 minutes per game, that improves their depth situation inside immensely.   

 

Key storylines

Oklahoma State

The Cowboys don’t have a postseason to play for, thanks to NCAA sanctions that were levied last season, appealed for a year and finally adjudicated by the NCAA before the season. In fact, these violations were discovered four years ago. But enough about the NCAA’s inability to penalize properly. Head coach Mike Boynton Jr. has done a great job of keeping his team motivated in a season where they shouldn’t have any motivation. The Cowboys have bounced back from a four-game losing streak to end January to win two of their last three games. 

Kansas

The Jayhawks are finding ways to win, and new players to help them win, including Clemence and guard Joseph Yesufu. It’s still unclear when guard Remy Martin will return, but the good news is the Kansas chemistry is rock solid on the floor. Ochai Agbaji has had a pair of pedestrian games (for him), but teams are basically face-guarding the conference’s leading scorer. That’s allowed players like Wilson, Braun and Dajuan Harris to play larger roles offensively, which helps Kansas as it moves toward March. Oddly, since head coach Bill Self admitted that his forward, David McCormack, wouldn’t be 100 percent this season, McCormack seems to be playing with a bit more freedom. He’s giving Kansas enough productivity to make it worth keeping him out there. 

Fun fact

Kansas leads the series with Oklahoma State, 120-60. The last time the two teams met, both David McCormack and Jalen Wilson had 15 rebounds for Kansas. 

Prediction

Kansas 77, Oklahoma State 70. Oklahoma State under coach Mike Boynton Jr. consistently gives Kansas fits. Both teams are playing on 48 hours’ notice and OSU obviously has nothing to lose. Expect a close game, with Kansas coming through down the stretch.  

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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