Scouting Oklahoma State

News, notes and quotes on No. 1 KU's matchup with Oklahoma State today at 3 p.m. (CT) at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater. The game will be televised on CBS with Dick Enberg and Bob Wenzel calling the action.


Oklahoma State (19-8, 7-6 Big 12) returns three starters off last season's 23-12 team. After losing three straight, OSU has won three of its last four games. The Cowboys' three-game winning streak was snapped Wednesday with a 69-59 loss at No. 21 Texas. OSU scored just 24 points in the second half after scoring 35 the first half and trailing by two at halftime.

OSU, which boasts a 13-1 record at home this season, is averaging 74.6 points per game and allowing 67.4. The Cowboys are shooting 44.7 percent from the field, 35 percent from three-point range, and 71.7 percent at the free-throw line. OSU is limiting foes to 41.1 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc, while outrebounding opponents 36.8 to 34.4 per game. The Cowboys average 8.1 three-pointers made per game, including a league-leading 9.0 in Big 12 play.

Junior guard James Anderson leads the team and Big 12 in scoring at 22.5 points per game. He also paces OSU with 66 assists, 35 steals and is tied for team high with 17 blocks. Senior guard Obi Muonelo is another potent weapon who averages 13.3 points per game and leads the team with 65 threes. Sophomore guard Keiton Page is next in scoring (10.6 ppg), followed by junior forward Marshall Moses (9.3 ppg, team-high 8.8 rpg), junior forward Matt Pilgrim (7.7 ppg, 17 blocks), freshman forward Roger Franklin (3.0 ppg) and freshman guard Fred Gulley (1.6 ppg).

KU coach Bill Self has high praise for Anderson, a strong candidate for Big 12 Player of the Year.

"He's been as good as anybody in our league, period," Self said. "He'll be very, very tough to beat out for Player of the Year in our league. I don't think that award has been decided by any means yet and we have a couple of guys (Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich) fighting for it themselves, but what he's averaging and his team's done well, I think he's probably had as good of year as anybody thus far."


KU currently has 1,997 all-time victories, third place behind Kentucky and North Carolina. The Tar Heels have 1,998 all-time wins. Self was asked at his weekly press conference on Thursday about being one win behind UNC in the race for 2,000 victories.

"I would say that's something for fans to talk about," Self said. "I mean, who really cares about getting there (2,000) first. Does that mean you got a better program? It doesn't mean anything. But I think from our fans' perspective, I think it would probably mean something, just based on the history with ‘Carolina and with Kansas. But to me, that doesn't mean much at all."

North Carolina began the season with 1,984 victories, 14 victories ahead of Kansas and four behind Kentucky. (The Wildcats won their 2,000 all-time victory on Dec. 21.) But head coach Roy Williams' Tar Heels have struggled mightily this year, going just 14-14 and 3-10 in the ACC.

"Hopefully, we're going to get there (2,000 wins) at some point in our lives, I guess," the former KU head coach told the News and Observer on Tuesday. "But I would love to get it done here, down the stretch. There's no question that the easiest way to have that happen is work as hard as we can in practice, try to be more effective, and then try to take it from the practice floor to the court on game night. And then, hopefully, some good things will happen for us."

Williams commented on both Kansas and UNC on the brink of reaching 2,000 all-time victories.

"There's no question that I have the satisfaction of what we did for 15 years at Kansas, and I feel a very small, small part of it," Williams said. "... I do love that place, and love what happened there - but I'd just like to get one more [victory] right now before I feel like I'm going to croak or something."

Williams went 418-101 in 15 years as head coach at Kansas from 1988-2003.


Self, an OSU graduate and former Cowboys' assistant coach, doesn't see this game as any homecoming. He is completely focused on the contest as his Jayhawks (27-1, 13-0) can clinch an outright Big 12 championship with a victory.

"It's a business trip," Self said. "And we will not mix personal on this business trip. There will be some people that I'll love to see, but it will be when we're coming out of the locker room after the game. It is not a negative towards OSU, but I can't do both. I would think that anybody going back and playing their alma mater, it's probably a little bit different the first couple of times you do it, but after you do it a while ... I think it will be emotional, but I don't think it's going to be that big of a deal."


Self said Oklahoma State "has a lot to play for." I think they're in (NCAA's) right now, but I think this (an OSU victory today) would make for a definite ... They're not going to have any more (sleepless nights). I think everybody would be able to rest comfortably knowing that they had knocked us off and solidified their bid."

Of course, Self and the Jayhawks have a lot to play for as well. Kansas is aiming to lock down a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and rank as the top team overall in the Big Dance while playing close to home in the Midwest Regional at Oklahoma City for the first two rounds and then St. Louis for regional play.

Senior guard Sherron Collins would definitely like that.

"It would be better for us to stay in the Midwest Region," said the Chicago native. "It'd be close to my family. But other than that, I think it'd be better for our fans because it's closer for them to get to."


No Jayhawk player has won in Stillwater. KU lost the last game at Gallagher-Iba Arena, 61-60, on Feb. 23, 2008, but won the next 13 contests that season en route to capturing the national title.

"I think there is somewhat a sense of urgency," Collins said about he and his teammates winning their first game in Stillwater.


Kansas leads OSU 102-52 in the all-time series, which dates back to 1926. KU has a 33-30 edge in games played at Stillwater, including 31-30 at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Kansas has won four of the last five and eight of the last 11 games.

Self is 5-3 against OSU as head coach at Kansas. His Jayhawks lost in Stillwater his first year at Kansas in 2004, 80-60, yet rebounded two years later at Gallagher-Iba Arena in 2006 with a 64-49 victory. In addition to KU's defeat in 2008, Self's other loss to OSU came in his second year at KU on March 12, 2005 in the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, falling 78-75. The Jayhawks then fell to Bucknell in their next game in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Top Stories