After a strong start consisting of a few quality wins, the Oklahoma Sooners open Big 12 play against the Kansas State Wildcats at the LNC. Unfortunately, per OU Athletics, the home squad will be without Tanner Groves, Jacob Groves and Bijan Cortes due to health and safety protocols.
.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) December 30, 2021
Conference play up next pic.twitter.com/PeVopLEIm3
Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Kansas State (8-3): Saturday, 7 p.m. CT at the Lloyd Noble Center (Norman, OK)
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Commentary: Mike Corey and King McClure
Radio: Sooner Sports Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM The Franchise in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Varsity Radio App) with Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry announcing
Line: Oklahoma -8 (as of 6 p.m. CT Saturday)
About Kansas State
- The Wildcats are 8-3 on the season, suffering losses to Arkansas, Illinois and Marquette — all big single digits. K-State has won its last three contests, including a 67-58 win at Nebraska on Dec. 19. Their most recent scheduled contest — Dec 29 vs. North Florida — was cancelled due to COVID absences in the UNF program.
- K-State sits at No. 66 in KenPom’s team efficiency rankings, sitting at No. 131 in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 38 in adjusted defensive efficiency. As usual, Kansas State operates at a slow pace, ranking No. 236 nationally in adjusted tempo.
- The Wildcats are led in scoring by Nigel Pack, who is averaging 14.9 PPG while connecting on nearly 44 percent of his three-point attempts.
One Big Thing
OU will be without the services of Tanner Groves, Jacob Groves and Bijan Cortes this evening due to health and safety protocols. Tanner, the elder Groves brother, leads the Sooners in scoring and rebounding at 14.2 and 6.0. respectively. The younger Groves has averaged 3.5 PPG in 13.3 minutes per outing, while Cortes has averaged 1.6 PPG and 1.3 AP in 9.6 MPG. The latter has served as the primary backup to Jordan Goldwire at PG as of late, so we’ll likely see a bit of true freshman Alston Mason this evening.
Ins site of the absences, OU’s defensive intensity should win the day on its home court. This will likely be an ugly won, but a win in Big 12 play can’t be taken for granted.
Oklahoma 66, Kansas State 60