Getting to know: Oklahoma State basketball
It is time to get back to Big 12 basketball.
After a brief hiatus from conference play with the Big 12/SEC Challenge, No. 3 Kansas will travel to Oklahoma State for its first league game since defeating Kansas State in the Sunflower Showdown. It is also the first and last conference tilt without sophomore David McCormack, who was suspended along with Silvio De Sousa for their involvement in the brawl with K-State.
The Cowboys haven’t fared well in Big 12 play this season, losing to all six of their league foes. OSU did defeat Texas A&M, 73-62, on the road last time out, but this is a team that has struggled to get in the win column as of late. OSU is 10-9 on the year, including 0-6 in league action.
Even with a depleted roster, KenPom expects Kansas (16-3, 5-1 Big 12) to take care of business tonight in this Big Monday matchup. KenPom gives the Jayhawks an 82% chance of victory, with a projected margin of 72-62. KU is a seven-point favorite as of Monday afternoon on FanDuel’s Sportsbook.
The Kansas-Oklahoma State contest will be the first of four Big Monday games for the Jayhawks this season. Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97, Kansas is 69-18 all-time on ESPN Big Monday, which includes a 29-17 clip on the road.
KU leads the series with Oklahoma State, 116-59, with the series tied in Gallagher-Iba Arena at 35-35.
Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m.
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BREAKING DOWN OKLAHOMA STATE
No. 21 — G Lindy Waters III | 6-6, 210, sr.
It has felt like Waters has been with the OSU basketball team for a long time, and that is because he’s made an impact for the duration of his career.
His versatility on the floor has him with some good company, too. Waters is just the 16th OSU player to reach 1,000-points, 200-assists and 100-steals. Marcus Smart and Markel Brown in 2014 were the last to join this exclusive list.
For the season, Waters is averaging 12.0 points per game to go along with 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per contest. He is currently in the top-20 in both scoring and rebounding in the Big 12 during his senior campaign.
No. 12 — F Cameron McGriff | 6-7, 220, sr.
As a senior captain, McGriff has been a key producer for the Cowboys this year.
McGriff is averaging 9.9 points per outing, while adding in 6.4 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game this season. He ranks 10th in the Big 12 in rebounds per contest. McGriff is 25th all-time with 119 career games played at OSU.
In addition, McGriff is just the eighth player in school history with at least 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 55 blocks. Last season, McGriff was one of just two Big 12 players to average 12.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in 2018-19.
No. 13 — G Isaac Likekele | 6-4, 215, so.
ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla referred to Likekele as a "linebacker at point guard” when calling an OSU game.
At 6-4, 215 pounds with a 6-10 wingspan, Likekele sets the tone on both ends of the floor. Over the last three games, he is averaging 13.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.7 steals per game.
In fact, Likekele is one of just two Big 12 players averaging at least 4.2 assists, 2.1 steals and 4.7 rebounds per game on the season.
MEET THE COACH
The Cowboys are coached by Mike Boyton, who is 43-44 in his third season at OSU and third as a head coach.
ONE THING OKLAHOMA STATE IS GOOD AT
Oklahoma State has swatted a decent number of shots so far this season. OSU’s block rate of 12.5% ranks 41st in the country, according to KenPom. Opposing teams are shooting 47% on 2-point attempts against OSU.
ONE THING OKLAHOMA STATE IS BAD AT
The Cowboys are not good at scoring from deep on the offensive end. Oklahoma State is shooting 31% from 3-point range, which actually ranks 276th in all of college basketball.
I’m still mad at myself for not taking the points against Tennessee. I didn’t think UT had an answer for Udoka Azubuike, which proved to be true since he had a +19 point differential. But I didn’t give enough credit to the fact KU would be in serious trouble with him in foul trouble, especially since he had done a good job of avoiding that before last weekend.
That being said, this is number is much lower than KenPom’s projection and that might be the market overreacting to that UT game. It also might be related to KU’s recent struggles at Oklahoma State. Whatever the reason, the number is a touch too low and I’m happily laying the points.
Prediction: Kansas 73, Oklahoma State 62
This year’s record ATS: 9-9