Setting the stage: OU at KSU

The Sooners are back in the top 25 for the first time in more than four years, but it won't be easy to stay there with a battle at Kansas State.

With OU firmly entrenched in its Big 12 conference play, is going to preview each of the Sooners conference games.

No. 25 Oklahoma (13-3, 2-1) at Kansas State (12-4, 2-1)

When: 6 p.m. CST

Last game: The Sooners earned their biggest win of the year with an 87-82 victory against previously undefeated Iowa State. Kansas State saw its 10-game winning streak snapped emphatically in an 86-60 loss at Kansas.

What to watch for: All about bringing the effort for Lon Kruger's team. After such a tough start to conference play, conventional wisdom would dictate eventually the team is going to have an off night and come out flat. So far effort has not been a thing to worry about with the Sooners.

With OU's heavy reliance on 3-point field goals, it will be interesting to see how the Sooners respond if their shots are not going in. Sophomore Buddy Hield and senior Cameron Clark make a lot of their living from downtown and keep teams honest with their outside shot.

Sophomore Ryan Spangler is coming off his best game at OU and will try to back that up with another solid outing. Freshman guard Jordan Woodard has been sensational in getting into the lane and finding his teammates but eventually he will also have to hit some shots.

Scouting the Wildcats: KSU appeared like it would be a middle of the pack conference team, but a 2-3 start had a lot of people writing off Bruce Weber's club. The Wildcats responded with 10 wins in a row, including marquee wins against Gonzaga and Oklahoma State.

The scoring load is on freshman guard Marcus Foster. A big-time OU target coming out of high school, Foster has delivered and then some for the Wildcats. He leads the team at 13.7 points per game and is also grabbing four rebounds per game but is coming off a dreadful 3-of-12 shooting day and seven points vs. the Jayhawks.

In the post, OU will have to contend with junior Thomas Gipson. He leads the team with 6.3 rebounds per game and is second at 11.8 points per contest.

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