OU-Kansas State Hoops Preview

NORMAN, Okla. -- Sooners Illustrated breaks down the matchup between OU and Kansas State Saturday afternoon in Manhattan, Kan.


The Sooners (12-13, 4-7 Big 12) were on a roll, but now they're back in a bit of a funk, losers of four straight after racking up four consecutive victories. On the other hand, the Wildcats (17-9, 5-6 Big 12) are on a high after defeating No. 1 Kansas on Big Monday earlier in the week. The teams are in a fight to stay out of the bottom third of the conference rankings, and KSU's trying to keep its NCAA Tournament dreams alive, while OU's trying to even its record at .500 and pull towards a very unlikely NIT bid.

Sooner Notes:

--OU leads the all-time series 102-90 and is 9-3 in the last 12. But K-State has won three of the past four and is 35-54 overall in Manhattan.

--Bench production has increased slightly in the past few games, but still OU's starters have scored 488 of OU's 551 points, or 89 percent, in the last eight, four of which were victories.

--This game features a pair of guys that are tied for the lead for the most points in a conference with 38. The first of those is OU guard Steven Pledger, who netted 38 against Iowa State.

--Guard Cameron Clark is only averaging 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in the last four games.

Looking at the Wildcats:

--They are unranked after starting the year at No. 3 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Preseason Polls, but they've won three of four since falling to a 2-5 start in Big 12 play.

--The Wildcats are a poor shooting team in conference play, hitting just 42.1 percent to rank 10th.

--But they're in the top half of the league defensively, limiting teams to only 69.5 points per game.

--Guard Jacob Pullen, the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, leads the squad with 18.8 points per game and also has 3.2 boards, 3.8 assists and 1.6 steals to add to that. He's the other player in this contest that posted 38 points in a game, with his total the other night against Kansas.

--Head coach Frank Martin is in his fourth year with an 89-41 overall record at KSU.

Projected Starters:


F Andrew Fitzgerald (6-8, 231, So., 13.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg)

G Steven Pledger (6-4, 212, So, 12.2 ppg. 1.9 apg)

G Carl Blair (6-2, 209, So., 7.6 ppg, 4.5 apg)

G Cameron Clark (6-6, 189, Fr., 9.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg)

G Cade Davis (6-5, 209, Sr., 12.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg)


F Curtis Kelly (6-8, 239, Sr.,9.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg)

F Jamar Samuels (6-7, 220, Jr., 9.4 ppg. 5.6 apg)

G Jacob Pullen (6-0, 200, Sr., 18.8 ppg, 3.8 apg)

G Shane Southwell (6-6, 220, Fr., 1.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg)

G Rodney McGruder (6-4, 205, So., 10.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg)

Sooners Illustrated's Take:

The Sooners frankly have been pitiful on the road all year, and there's not much reason to believe that will change. OU has lost five of its seven true road games by double digits, winning only once away from home. That was an 82-76 overtime decision at Iowa State, and the only other time OU hasn't finished down by double digits in a true road game was an earlier loss at OSU, when it fell 81-75. KSU has its home court and momentum, so it will get the job done.

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