When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa
Who: Iowa State
Series: Jayhawks lead 47-32 overall and trail 21-16 at Hilton.
Won’t back down: With tough games night in and night out the rest of the way, it’s possible the Jayhawks will be underdogs until the end of the season. Rather than look at that as a negative, first-year coach Brandon Schneider has spun it into a positive and used it as a rallying cry for his young team. “Our big thing (is), just don’t be timid in anything we do, don’t second-guess yourself,” Schneider said. “Even though you’re that team that’s not supposed to win doesn’t mean you have to back down or be timid. You still have to be aggressive.”
Double trouble: Iowa State junior Seanna Johnson is one of just two Big 12 players averaging a double-double (17.4 points and 10.3 rebounds), and she has topped the 20-point mark in scoring five times this season. The most recent came during a 75-54 loss to No. 4 Texas on Wednesday, when Johnson scored 23 points but could not top the Longhorns by herself. Iowa State’s loss to Texas snapped the Cyclones’ eight-game winning streak. The bulk of the Iowa State offense runs through Johnson, who leads ISU in field-goal attempts, field goals made, free-throw attempts and free throws made.
Streaking: Sophomore forward Chayla Cheadle enters tonight on the heels of her second strong outing in a row. A starter to open the season, Cheadle came off the bench for games 3-6, was back in the starting lineup for three games after that, back on the bench for four games after that and returned to the starting lineup Wednesday night against Baylor. She led the Jayhawks in scoring (12) and rebounding (5) in the 18-point loss to the Bears and is averaging 11 points and six rebounds since KU began playing Big 12 foes. “So far, since we’ve started conference play, my confidence has kind of been lifted,” Cheadle said. “I’ve been in and out of the lineup and just try to do whatever I can to help the team.”
Slumping: Sophomore point guard Lauren Aldridge. Three games ago, KU’s leading scorer was averaging 14.1 points per game and coming off of a stretch of five straight games in double figures. But that average is down to 11.4 points per game now after Aldridge struggled to a four-point night in the nonconference finale and has been shut out of both Big 12 games so far. Wednesday night, in an 18-point loss to Baylor, Aldridge played just eight minutes in the first half because of foul trouble and never got going on the offensive end. Aldridge has made just one of 22 shots during her three-game slump.
(5-9 overall, 0-3 Big 12)
G — Lauren Aldridge, 5-7, so.
G — Asia Robertson, 5-7, fr.
G — Kylee Kopatich, 5-10, fr.
G — Chayla Cheadle, 6-0, so.
F — Caelynn Manning-Allen, 6-4, jr.
(10-4 overall, 2-1 Big 12)
G — Jadda Buckley, 5-8, so.
G — Seanna Johnson, 5-10, jr.
G — Nicole Blaskowsky, 5-7, sr.
G — Bridget Carleton, 6-1, fr.
C — Bryanna Fernstrom, 6-5, so.