OU-Kansas State Hoops Preview

OU forward Andrew Fitzgerald

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooners Illustrated breaks down OU's contest against the Kansas State Wildcats Saturday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center.

Overview:

Head coach Lon Kruger faces off against his alma mater when his Sooners (10-5, 0-3 Big 12) take on the 18th ranked Wildcats. The Sooners have lost three in a row and four of their last five. The Wildcats, on the other hand, have dropped two of their first three conference games, including a 75-63 decision earlier in the week to Baylor. Kruger has faced his alma mater four previous times and gone 2-2 in those meetings.

Sooner Notes:

--During their recent five game slump, OU has struggled to 62.6 points per game after managing 78.7 points per contest over the first 10.

--OU has made just 13 3-pointers in the last four games.

--Guard Steven Pledger is averaging 20.6 points per game on 60.6 percent shooting during OU's 10 wins, but just 11.2 points per game on 30 percent shooting in five setbacks.

--OU ranks sixth nationally with 15.8 offensive rebounds per game.

--Speaking of rebounding, the Sooners have been out-boarded just twice in the first 15 outings.

Looking at the Wildcats:

--The Wildcats have opened conference play with three ranked opponents and beaten just one of them (No. 7 Baylor).

--Kansas State ranks second in the league in rebounds per game at 39.6, behind just OU.

--Guard Rodney McGruder leads the team with 14.3 points per contest.

--Forward Jamar Samuels and guard Will Spradling each add 11.1 points per game.

--Head coach Frank Martin is in his fifth year as head coach of the Wildcats, with a 107-46 overall record.

Projected Starters:

OU:

F Andrew Fitzgerald (6-8, 247, Jr., 12.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg)

F Romero Osby (6-8, 232, Jr., 10.9 ppg, 8.5 rbg)

G Sam Grooms (6-1, 203, Jr., 6.5 ppg, 5.1 apg)

G Steven Pledger (6-2, 205, Jr., 17.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg)

G Cameron Clark (6-6, 198, So., 8.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg)

Kansas State:

F Jordan Henriquez (6-11, 250, Jr., 7.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg)

F Jamar Samuels (6-7, 230, Sr., 11.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg)

G Martavious Irving (6-1, 210, Jr., 6.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg)

G Rodney McGruder (6-4, 205, Fr., 14.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg)

G Will Spradling (6-2, 180, So., 11.1 ppg, 2.9 apg)

Sooners Illustrated's Take:

The Sooners haven't shown much of anything since the end of non-conference play, and while they'll perform better, they'll still come up short in this one. Kruger would really like to beat his alma mater, but he just doesn't quite have enough fire power to do so yet. OU drops to 0-4 in conference play but will respond in the upcoming weeks. (Big 12 Prediction Record: 2-1)

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

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