After a poor performance and a tough road loss at the hands of the Iowa State Cyclones, the Oklahoma Sooners are back in Norman where they will be presented with both a stiff challenge and a golden opportunity in the form of a matchup with the No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks.
.@BradyManek was clutch in OU’s last two home games against the Jayhawks. How can he and the #Sooners take down KU in the LNC for the third straight year?@JessicaCoody breaks down Tuesday’s matchup.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) January 14, 2020
Preview: https://t.co/OulRlzt5Px pic.twitter.com/yvxmdGcZv1
Additionally, Top Daug is making his triumphant return to the LNC!
Oklahoma (11-4, 2-1) vs. Kansas (12-3, 2-1): 8 p.m. CT at Lloyd Noble Center (Norman, Okla.)
Commentary: Jon Sciambi and Jay Bilas
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Sooner Radio Network (107.7 FM The Franchise in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Tune In Radio App) with Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry announcing
Line: Kansas -6.5 (as of 4:45 p.m. CT)
- According to a report from the Lawrence Journal-World’s Matt Tait, KU starting point guard Devon Dotson will not play tonight. Dotson, who leads the Big 12 in PPG at 18.0, will likely be replaced in the starting lineup by senior Isaiah Moss. The backcourt’s coring load will be picked up by Ochai Agbaji and Marcus Garrett, who are currently averaging 11.2 and 9.0 PPG, respectively.
BREAKING: Source tells me that #KUbball point guard Devon Dotson will not play tonight at Oklahoma. Dotson did not go in KU's shoot-around today. Big development in what has become a big game. Isaiah Moss likely to be in the starting lineup for KU tonight.— Matt Tait (@mctait) January 14, 2020
- The Jayhawks are currently No. 5 in the NCAA NET Rankings, which is the tool used to seed teams in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas is also No. 2 in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted efficiency ratings, sitting at No. 11 offensively and No. 3 defensively.
- Prior to Saturday’s decisive home defeat at the hands of Baylor, KU’s only losses were a 68-66 loss to Duke and a 56-55 loss to Villanova.
- Dealing with Udoka: Seven-foot senior center Udoka Azubuike has been a towering presence in Big 12 play for a minute, and he’ll be going up against an OU frontcourt that often struggles to match up against players of his ilk. Because of this, we might see a bit more of Kur Kuath than usual tonight, but we could also see a bit of the “Hack-a-Buike” method, which was successfully utilized against him in OU’s 2018 Norman win.
- Offensive offense: An unfortunate trend that has developed during the Lon Kruger era has been the offensive lulls that show up in the middle of games. This season, most of those issues have come in the first half. Almost like clockwork, Oklahoma’s ball movement becomes practically non-existent for several minute stretches, with numerous ill-advised shot attempts or turnovers compounding the problem. All of that allows opponents to build absurd runs that destroy all momentum. Fortunately for OU, the second half has largely been a different story, with last week’s beatdown in Ames somewhat of an anomaly. That being said, against an elite team like Kansas, any sort of offensive disappearance will almost surely lead to the first home defeat of the season.
- Austin Reaves: Ever since the Wichita State transfer exploded for 18 points in the second half of the Kansas State game, he’s been a bit of an afterthought on the court for Oklahoma. Against Texas and Iowa State, he scored a combined 22 points despite going 0 for 7 from three point land and turning the ball over seven times. He’ll need to maintain his aggression with the ball in his hands while returning to form from a scoring standpoint if the Sooners want to match KU’s unrelenting depth for 40 minutes.
Kansas 70, Oklahoma 69