OU faces tough road test against Simien, Jayhawks

Pictured Left: KU forward Wayne Simien shoots over Kevin Bookout during OU's 77-70 win last February in Norman. The Sooners have won three of the last four meetings against KU, but are 0-5 against the Jayhawks in Allen Fieldhouse under Kelvin Sampson. Tip-off for Sunday's showdown in Lawrence is set for 1 p.m. (AP Photo/Jerry Laizure)

THE MATCHUP
Oklahoma (16-8, 6-7) at No. 18 Kansas (17-7, 9-4).

THE SCENE
Allen Fieldhouse (16,300) Lawrence, Kan. The game will be televised nationally at 1 p.m. on CBS. Gus Johnson and Clark Kellogg will call the action. The Sooners are 0-5 against the Jayhawks in Allen Fieldhouse under Head Coach Kelvin Sampson.

ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
Kansas returns home to Allen Fieldhouse for Sunday's showdown with Oklahoma off the heels of an 82-67 loss to Texas Monday night in Austin. The Jayhawks are 11-1 at home this season with the lone loss coming in a 69-68 shocker against Richmond back on Jan. 22. Since then, the Jayhawks have won five straight (Colorado, Missouri, Texas Tech, Baylor and Iowa State) at home.

The Jayhawks, who were once ranked as high as No. 1 in November, are led by their junior trio of Wayne Simien, Keith Langford and Aaron Miles. Simien leads the Jayhawks in both scoring (16.8) and rebounding (9.3). Langford is the teams' second-leading scorer at 16.0 ppg and Miles leads leads the Big 12 in assists (7.3). Former Oklahoma City native and John Marshall High School star J.R. Giddens, who chose the Jayhawks over Oklahoma, averages 10.7 points per game as a true freshman and is KU's top sharpshooter hitting 2.2 three's per game.

Despite KU's home crowd advantage, the Jayhawks will be tough in one category that has caused the Sooners trouble for most of the season - defense. OU has already struggled to shoot well on the road this season against good defenses and they will be tested even moreso on Sunday against the Jayhawks, who are second in the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense (.392).

THE SERIES
Sunday's meeting marks the 192nd game between the Sooners and Jayhawks. Kansas holds a 128-63 all-time series edge and are 65-16 against the Sooners in Lawrence. The Jayhawks are the only Big 12 team to lead their head-to-head series against Oklahoma. However, the Sooners, who beat KU 77-70 last year in Norman, have won three of the last four meetings against KU.

THE COACHES
Kansas Head Coach Bill Self, who is in his first year in Lawrence, has a career record of 224-112 in 11 seasons with stints at Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas. OU Head Coach Kelvin Sampson is 230-89 in his 10th season in Norman. Sampson is 5-9 overall against the Jayhawks.

THE STARTERS
OKLAHOMA
F-32-Johnnie Gilbert (6-8, 265, Jr., 4.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.6 apg)
C-21-Jabahri Brown (6-10, 220, Sr., 7.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.6 apg)
G-1-Lawrence McKenzie (6-2, 170, Fr., 8.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.5 apg)
G-3-Drew Lavender (5-7, 155, Fr., 11.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.8 apg)
G-5-Jason Detrick (6-6, 215, Sr., 11.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.4 apg)

KANSAS
F-15-J.R. Giddens (6-5, 195, Fr., 10.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.0 apg)
F-44-David Padgett (6-11, 230, Fr., 7.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.3 apg)
C-23-Wayne Simien (6-9, 250, Jr., 16.8 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 0.9 apg)
G-5-Keith Langford (6-4, 210, Jr., 16.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.4 apg)
G-11-Aaron Miles (6-1, 175, Jr., 9.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 7.3 apg)


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