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Men’s Basketball Preview: We’re Talkin’ Kansas

Otzelbasketbergerball Heads to Allen Fieldhouse

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Oklahoma Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Cyclone’s Last Time Out

What appeared to be a winnable game in Norman, turned into one that slipped away in a hurry. A scoring drought, something that might be a reoccurring theme with this team, came at the wrong time. The Sooners pulled away late and made a lockdown defense look subpar in the final few minutes.

On the bright side, Tyrese Hunter had arguably his best game of the season. Hunter finished with 20 points and was 2-3 from 3-pt land. Izaiah Brockington scored 20 points too, but it wouldn’t end up being enough. Big 12 road games are going to be EXTREMELY tough to come by this season, and Oklahoma was no different.

Jayhawk’s Last Time Out

Remember the ‘Big 12 road games are going to be EXTREMELY tough to come by this season’ line? Just ask the Jayhawks. They lost to that same team we saw in Hilton. An undermanned Texas Tech team without their two leading scorers. It wasn’t quite as ugly, but the Jayhawks struggled to score at time against a stout Red Raider defense. Ochai Agbaji led all scorers with 24 points and was a very nice 6-9 from behind the arc.

Player to Watch

Listen. I hope I’m wrong, and I’m not proud of what I’m about to say. The infamous tradition of the guy at the bottom of the depth chart having his career game against us is bound to strike again. Who’s the guy at the bottom of that depth chart this game? Jalen Coleman-Lands. Oh lordy.

To explain how old he is, when he was on ESPN’s top 100 recruit list, (Coleman-Lands originally committed to Illinois) Iowa State fans were much more disgruntled about a different Kansas recruit. Cheick Diallo. It’s safe to say not many class of 2015 recruits are lacing them up anymore (I was 16 at the time) but sure as shit, JCL is gonna light it up against the Cyclones. I HOPE I’M WRONG.

Pick 3

  1. Tristan Enaruna and Jalen Coleman-Lands guard each other at some point and break the matrix inside of the transfer portal.
  2. Iowa State goes 5 minutes without scoring a field goal
  3. I start randomly barking at the TV in support of the Iowa State defense

What Will Happen?

Road games are tough, Allen Fieldhouse is tougher. It happens, but it takes some dumb luck, a very small margin of error, and the ghost of Donovon Jackson hauling his huge nuts down the court after a corner 3.

Oddly, Kansas isn’t a terrible matchup for us. The story of the game will play out when Kansas is on offense. They shoot a lot of 3’s and make a lot of 3’s. It’ll be interesting if Bill Self will try to dive into the paint which seems to be the squishy part of the Otzelberger defense. I expect Iowa State to oversell on the perimeter and hope for awkward mid-range, floater, jump pass turnovers.

On the other side of the ball, it’s an unremarkable Kansas defense against a... struggling Iowa State offense. If Kansas doesn’t let us dribble hand off at the top of the key, it might be a long 40 minutes in Lawrence. I’m optimistic, defense travels, and God forgot to put the quit in this Iowa State team. That being said, away games don’t get tougher than Allen Fieldhouse, I have Kansas winning an ugly one.

Iowa State- 53

Kansas- 58