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Previewing OSU’s Basketball Schedule: Conference Part 2

Hello Jayhawks, Cyclones, and Wildcats!

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Kansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

OSU’s season tips-off in 2 DAYS! To help stoke the fire we’ve been breaking down the Cowboys’ schedule. After OSU faces West Virginia, Texas, and Baylor, Brad Underwood leads the Cowboys against Iowa State, Kansas, and Kansas State.

Let’s get right to it.

Iowa State Cyclones

After losing 2 time All-Big 12 First Team player Georges Niang, along with Abdel Nader and Jameel McKay all to graduation, the #24 Cyclones are likely looking to Monte Morris to lead this team in their pursuit of their 7th conference title.

Player to Watch:
This season, the Cyclones are bringing in four transfers, three of which are eligible to play immediately. I’m keeping my eye on Darrell Bowie, a 6’7” forward graduate transfer from Northern Illinois. In the 2014-15 season, Bowie averaged 9.8 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, and 1.2 assists per game. He was averaging about 13 points and 7 rebounds per game, but injured his shoulder, which hurt his numbers a bit. After sitting out the 2015-16 season with a medical redshirt, Bowie is ready to help step up and try to help the Cyclones fill the gaps left by their three graduating forwards.

Game Outlook:
Iowa State lucks out by coming to Gallagher-Iba Arena the week before school is back in session. In the preseason rankings, the Cyclones were picked to finish 4th in the conference, which I am going to guess is a pretty safe bet. The Cyclones do have a good backcourt duo in Monte Morris and Matt Thomas, but it’s hard for me to say that they will have a great year this season, following the departure of the key players of Niang, Nader, and McKay.

Quote From the Enemy: (source)

Kansas Jayhawks

In Bill Self’s 14th season as head coach, Kansas was the unanimous pick to win their 13th straight conference title. The No. 3 ranked Jayhawks look to continue their basketball dominance (we all know how good they are in football), hoping to pick up where they left off last season - making it to the Elite Eight before losing a close battle to eventual National Champion Villanova. Kansas’s core stays largely intact, but they did lose their top two scorers.

Somebody finally caught on that Perry Ellis (16.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.3 apg) used up his four years of eligibility about 40 years ago, and Wayne Selden Jr. (13.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.6 rpg) also is no longer there, but this Kansas squad is still primed and ready to win the entire thing.

Player to Watch:
I believe all eyes are on incoming freshman Josh Jackson. The number two ranked recruit in ESPN’s 2016 Top 100 is widely believed to be the latest one-and-done to come through Lawrence, Kansas. In his senior campaign, Jackson, a SF from Michigan, averaged 26.9 ppg, 13.1 rpg, and 6.3 apg. Jackson is a projected top 10 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and is already drawing comparisons to former Kansas SF Andrew Wiggins. Jackson is the next big thing to come out of Kansas, and the McDonald’s All-American wants to win a championship while he is there.

Game Outlook:
Oklahoma State looks to defeat Kansas at home for the third straight season. After losing their top two scorers from last year, Kansas’s scoring title is up for grabs. They are the Alpha Dog of the Big 12, and many people are saying that it is their title to lose. I wouldn’t disagree with this, but that doesn’t mean they can’t lose a few games here and there, right? I had a lot of fun doing this last year, and would love to do it for a fourth straight time come February...

Quote From the Enemy: (source)

Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State basketball is the equivalent to Iowa State football. Not the worst in the conference, but still pretty bad. The Wildcats lost their top scorer and rebounder after last year, but retained the next four highest scorers. The team from last year is still mostly there, which is good for a team to not have to come into a season with all new guys.

Player to Watch:
I’m keeping my eye on senior forward Wesley Iwundu. Iwundu (11.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.7 apg) was the second leading scorer on the team last year, and also led the team in assists per game. Iwundu is a bright spot on an otherwise bad team. The Wildcats will look to lean on Iwundu as a leader this season.

Game Outlook:
While Kansas State should not be a problem for Brad Underwood and Co., Oklahoma State knows a few things about winning games they probably shouldn’t. (Right Kansas?) This should be a nice matchup for OSU coming out of Christmas break, and then again just before OSU starts postseason play.

Quote From the Enemy: (source)

Recap: The Pokes have a tougher stretch of games here over the end of Christmas break, bringing Iowa State to Stillwater, then traveling to Lawrence, then starting spring semester back at home vs the Wildcats.

Be on the lookout for the final part of our season preview, where we take a look at the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the TCU Horned Frogs, and that “other school” here in Pokelahoma.

We also will take a look at the record we think Brad Underwood will lead his team to in his freshman season at Oklahoma State. Stay tuned!