"We held him to 42"

Bill Self is very candid when talking about KU's last matchup with Iowa State and star Cyclones' forward Craig Brackins.

"I thought we did a pretty good job the first time. We held him to 42," the KU coach cracked on his weekly Hawk Talk radio show.

The 6-10 sophomore had a career game with 42 points, but had little help as the Jayhawks beat ISU, 82-67, in Ames on Jan. 24.

Kansas and Iowa State will battle again Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.

KU held ISU to just 34.5 percent shooting in their last meeting, including 23.1 percent beyond the arc (6 of 26). Brackins shot 11 of 19 from the field and 17 of 21 at the charity stripe. ISU's second-leading scorer that day was junior forward Jamie Vanderbeken with just eight points.

"We did a good job guarding them with the exception of Brackins," Bill Self said. "He was terrific. He make hard shots. We actually defended him better than what I thought during the game. We got to do a better job on him and still get to the other guys."

KU (20-5, 9-1 Big 12) enters the game winning nine of its last 10 games, including last Saturday's 84-75 victory at K-State, where the Jayhawks rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit. ISU (13-12, 2-8), meanwhile, is reeling after losing seven of its last eight games. The Cyclones (2-7 on road) are coming off an 86-67 loss at Oklahoma State on Saturday.

ISU, which led 15-5 early, was outscored 12-0 by the Cowboys to open the second half. The Cyclones, who shot just 33.3 percent from the field, were led by Brackins with 27 points and freshman guard Lucca Staiger with 14.

"We did not respond defensively at the start of the second half," ISU head coach Greg McDermott said. "OSU really set the tone by putting its shoulder down and getting to the basket. At the same time we had four wide open shots from three-point range and we could not knock them down."

The Cyclones hope to get back on track versus KU, while the Jayhawks need a win to keep pace with the conference-leading Oklahoma Sooners (11-0 in Big 12).

Iowa State only averages 65.2 points per game, while allowing 63.8. ISU Is led by Brackins at 19.7 points (No. 2 in Big 12) and 9.1 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Diante Garrett averages 9.9 points with a team-high 136 assists and 23 steals. Staiger is next in scoring at 8.4 ppg (team-best 60 three-point field goals), followed by senior guard Bryan Peterson (6.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Vanderbeken (5.3 ppg), freshman center Justin Hamilton (4.7 ppg), freshman guard Wes Eikmeier (3.1 ppg) and senior guard Sean Haluska (2.5 ppg).

ISU won't be shy about shooting the three ball, averaging 21.6 three-point attempts per game on 34.4 percent shooting beyond the arc.

"Everybody shoots the three,"Self said.

The Cyclones have five players shooting at least 52 treys with Staiger (60-152), Peterson (36-102) and the 6-11 Vanderbeken (23-58) their leading three-point bombers.

After losing a heartbreaker at Missouri (62-60) on Feb. 9, Kansas is looking to continue the momentum following its inspiring victory over the Wildcats.

Cole Aldrich led KU with 21 points, while Sherron Collins added 19, Marcus Morris 15 and Brady Morningstar 12.

"That may be as good a road win since I have been here given the youth and circumstances," Self said. "Other than a few turnovers late, I thought we showed a lot of courage."

After playing five of seven games away from Allen Fieldhouse, KU hopes to end the Big 12 race strong playing four of six in the Phog, where they boast a nation-leading 37-game home-winning streak.

Self knows KU can't ... and won't overlook the Cyclones.

"I'm excited to get back home and play," Self said. "We need to make the most of our home court. ... You can't take anything for granted. Colorado (9-15, 1-9) comes in here, (it was a) one possession game at one time. Colorado goes to Oklahoma, one possession game. Texas goes to Colorado after Iowa State just killed Colorado, it's an overtime game.

"It's a crazy league. Anybody can have anybody if you're just not right."

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