|6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 PM GMT10:00 PM 北京时间7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST, Feb 25, 2019
Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kansas Attendance: 16,300
No. 16 Kansas State looks to complete sweep of No. 15 Kansas
The message Bruce Weber delivered before Kansas State's most recent pregame shootaround proved convincing.
The Kansas State coach, however, may need to craft a game plan Monday that's just as effective as the No. 16 Wildcats attempt to maintain their slim advantage atop the Big 12 with a visit to No. 15 Kansas.
"I didn't think they had great emotion," Weber said of his squad prior to an 85-46 dismantling of Oklahoma State on Saturday. "I just said, 'We've been through this before.' We didn't get the right emotion and mental preparation for some games and let them slip. I said, 'It would be a shame if that happened.' But we jumped on them and did a great job defensively."
The job only gets more difficult. Yes, Kansas (20-7, 9-5 Big 12) is coming off the most decisive conference defeat ever under coach Bill Self, a 91-62 meltdown Saturday at Texas Tech. That, however, may only mean the Jayhawks, who fell two games behind in the Big 12, are extra motivated to face their in-state rivals.
"Sometimes a loss can be a blessing in disguise," said Kansas junior forward Dedric Lawson, "and hopefully this is one."
Kansas still hopes to claw into position for a 15th consecutive Big 12 championship. Kansas State (21-6, 11-3) has not won in Lawrence since 2006. Another sellout will gather inside deafening Allen Fieldhouse, where the Jayhawks have won 18 straight and are undefeated this season.
That could be why Self did not make too much of his team's lackluster performance at Texas Tech. Sure, he conceded the Jayhawks were "very poor at everything we did," but he was quick not to fault their effort and instead credit the Red Raiders, who remained in second place, one game behind Kansas State.
"Did I sense frustration? Absolutely. But no, no (loss of resiliency). Not at all," Self said. "We just weren't very good. They were better. They were great; we were awful."
Something a short turnaround can fix? Well, someone other than Lawson must step up after he was the Jayhawks' only scorer in double figures (14 points) at Texas Tech.
The 6-9 Memphis transfer leads the Big 12 in scoring and rebounding with averages of 19.0 points and 10.1 rebounds. He has 16 double-doubles.
Kansas State, which beat Kansas 74-67 in Manhattan on Feb. 5, counters with the Big 12's most experienced lineup. Three seniors and two juniors start for the Wildcats. Senior guard Barry Brown, like
Lawson a Big 12 player of the year candidate, averages a team-high 15.7 points and leads the Big 12 in steals with a 2.0 average.
"It's going to be a little bit more of an assignment with the (Kansas) rivalry," Brown said. "We're the team on the road and we've won a good number of games especially in-conference on the road."
Indeed, Kansas State is 6-1 in conference road games, losing only at Texas Tech. Yet the series is lopsided against Kansas, a blueblood program that has defeated Kansas State 196 times, the most wins against an opponent in Division I history.
"It's a bucket list game but we don't really dwell on it or talk about it," added Kansas State senior forward Dean Wade. "We just need to stay locked in."
--Field Level Media
Updated February 25, 2019