No. 8/7 Kansas to Host No. 4/4 Oklahoma State in Men's Basketball

Feb. 24, 2005

Preseason Big 12 favorites No. 8/7 Kansas and No. 4/4 Oklahoma State square off in a CBS nationally televised game at 3 p.m. on Sunday. With identical 20-4, 10-3 Big 12 records, the winner takes over sole possession of the conference race with two games remaining. KU looks to rebound from a three-game losing streak. The Jayhawks fell at No. 22/23 Oklahoma 71-63 on Monday. Oklahoma State also fell in its mid-week game 74-67 at Nebraska Tuesday. Big 12 regular-season title hopes are on the line for both teams as all eight of the previous league champions have had three or fewer losses in winning the title.

About Kansas
Kansas has lost three straight games by eight points or less with two of those setbacks in overtime. The losing streak is the longest for KU since the 1993-94 season. Named to the Midseason Wooden Award watch list, senior Wayne Simien leads KU and the Big 12 in scoring at 18.6 points per game, including 19.6 ppg in Big 12 play. The Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year has recorded five double-doubles in his last six games and has a conference-leading 12 double-doubles this season. Also named to the Midseason Wooden Award watch list is senior Keith Langford who is averaging 15.3 ppg overall and 16.1 in Big 12 play. Langford has averaged 19 points in his last six games. Sophomore J.R. Giddens is next in scoring at 10.6 ppg and has made three or more three-point field goals in three of his last five games. He has made multiple three-pointers in nine of his last 13 games. Senior Aaron Miles has crushed every KU and Big 12 assists record and is averaging a league-best 7.5 assists per game. Last week his 7.4 average was sixth in the nation. His 917 assists are 11th all-time in NCAA Division I history. Junior Christian Moody is another starter who is averaging 6.1 ppg and is second on the team with five rpg. Moody has pulled down six or more rebounds 10 times this season and has averaged six rebounds in his last five games. Moody has missed the last two games due to injury. Freshman Sasha Kaun (3.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg) has started in Moody’s place.

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
Kansas coach Bill Self recorded his 250th career win at Kansas State on Feb. 9. His win against Colorado on Feb. 12 marked Self’s seventh straight 20-win season as a head coach and his eighth overall. He is 44-13 in his second season at KU and 251-118 in his 12th season overall. Last year, KU posted a 24-9 record and finished tied for second in the Big 12 race at 12-4. KU advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year, falling to Georgia Tech in overtime, 79-71. Self’s 24 victories tied Dick Harp for the most wins by a KU coach in his debut season at Kansas. Prior to KU, Self led Illinois to two Big Ten titles and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Before Illinois, he guided Tulsa to two WAC championships in 1999 and 2000 and was The Sporting News National Coach of the Year in 2000. A four-time Naismith Coach of the Year Award finalist, Self began his coaching career at KU in 1985-86 and was an assistant at his alma mater – Oklahoma State – from 1986 until 1993. His first head coaching stint was at Oral Roberts where he guided the Golden Eagles to the NIT in 1996-97, their first postseason appearance since 1983-84. Self is 1-4 against Oklahoma State.

About Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State is looking to bounce back from a 74-67 loss at Nebraska on Tuesday. The Cowboys have won six of their last seven games and are ranked No. 4 nationally. In its six-game winning streak prior to Tuesday, OSU won by an average of 17.3 points. The defending Big 12 champs, who advanced to the Final Four last season, are led by a slew of seniors. Guard John Lucas heads the list with an 18.0 scoring average. He also leads the team with 4.7 assists per game and in three-point field goals made at three per contest. Forward Joey Graham is just behind Lucas in scoring with a 17.8 average and is second on the team in rebounding at 6.7 boards per contest. Senior Ivan McFarlin is next in scoring with a 12 point average and he leads the team in rebounding at 7.5 per outing and blocked shots at 1.2 per game. Oklahoma State is coached by Eddie Sutton who is the second winningest coach in school history with a 345-132 record in his 15th season at OSU. Overall, Sutton is in his 35th season as a head coach with a 775-296 record.

Oklahoma State Head Coach Eddie Sutton
Oklahoma State head coach Eddie Sutton is in his 15th season at OSU with a 345-132 record. Overall Sutton is 775-296 in his 35th season as a head coach. Sutton led two OSU teams to the Final Four in 1995 and 2004. In 2001-02, he became just the 14th coach in NCAA history to win 700 career games. He was the 1998 and 2004 Big 12 Coach of the Year and has earned national coach of the year accolades at four different years – Arkansas (1977, 1978), Kentucky (1986) and OSU (1995). Sutton is 10-19 against Kansas.

Series History
Kansas leads the all-time series with Oklahoma State, 97-50… Last meeting saw the Cowboys defeat the Jayhawks, 80-60, on Feb. 9, 2004 in Stillwater, Okla… KU coach Bill Self is 1-4 against the Cowboys, and OSU head coach Eddie Sutton is 10-19 versus the Jayhawks… Kansas is 1,007-461 all-time against schools in the Big 12 Conference… KU is 53-10 against OSU in Lawrence, and 38-8 versus the Cowboys in Allen Fieldhouse… The Jayhawks won the first-ever meeting with Oklahoma State, 38-18, on Feb. 11, 1926 in Lawrence.

Kansas Celebrating 50 Years of Allen Fieldhouse
Named in honor of the late Dr. F.C. “Phog” Allen, the Jayhawks’ head coach for 39 years, Allen Fieldhouse is labeled by many as one of the best places in America to watch a college basketball game. The Fieldhouse was dedicated on March 1, 1955, as the Jayhawks defeated Kansas State, 77-66, before an overflow throng of 17,228. This season, Allen Fieldhouse will celebrate its 50th year of existence. Ceremonies for the anniversary of the Fieldhouse are being planned around the March 2 game against Kansas State — the first opponent for KU in the facility.

Did You Know?
With Nevada entering the week No. 25 in the Associated Press Poll, KU has now faced nine teams that have been ranked some time during the 2004-05 season. Six of those are currently ranked.

Up Next
Kansas concludes its home portion of the season when it plays host to Kansas State on Wednesday, March 2, at 8 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse. KU has won 29 straight against K-State dating back to the 1993-94 season. The game will mark the 50th Anniversary of Allen Fieldhouse. The first game in the fieldhouse was March 1, 1955, a KU 77-67 victory over the Wildcats.