SCOUTING OKLAHOMA STATE
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
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
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."
GOING FOR 2,000
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
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."
"A LOT TO PLAY FOR"
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
"A SENSE OF URGENCY"
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.
Scouting Oklahoma State
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