Oregon St. could use a big night by Devon Collier against perennial power Kansas tonight. - (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)
Oregon St. (4-1) vs. #10 Kansas (5-1) at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. / 7 PM CST (5 PM PST) / ESPN3 / KEJO 1240 AM / KPOJ 620 AM
Oregon St. takes on Kansas in the first meeting ever between the 2 schools, something of a surprise given the long and varied history of both programs. It's not a true home game for the Jayhawks, in that the game isn't in Lawrence, at the Phogg Allen Field House, but by moving into the Spirit Center, which is an NBA/NHL grade arena, it will actually accommodate even more Kansas fans for the Beavers to contend with.
Kasnas, which reached the NCAA Championship game last year, is again one of the top teams in the country. Monday night the Jayhawks beat visiting San Jose St. 70-57 behind a triple double by their 7' senior center Jeff Withey, who hung 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 blocked shots on the Spartans.
It was only the second "official" triple double in the history of the Jayhawks, though Wilt Chamberlain did have 2+ unofficial ones, dating back to days of less than complete stat and record keeping.
But there's much more to coach Bill Self's Kansas squad than just their big center, who leads the Jayhawks in scoring, with 14.2 points per game, and also on the boards, with 8.7 per contest.
Freshman guard Ben McLemore is second on the team behind Withey in scoring, with 13.8 points per game, and also is second in assists, with 2.7 per contest.
6'8" senior forward Kevin Young is second behind Withey in rebounding, averaging 6.6 per game. And there's 6'6" senior guard Travis Releford, who averages 12 points, 2.7 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game.
Kansas tends to play most of their starters well past the 30 minute mark, but has the depth to go 10 deep as needed.
It will be Oregon St.'s second game after losing center Angus Brandt for the season to a torn ACL, after a successful first effort in their 78-65 win over Montana St. Sunday afternoon, in the 3rd annual Nike N7 Initiative game, as Joe Burton had a double double, including a career high 21 points.
To keep pace with Kansas, the Beavers will also need big nights from Ahmad Starks, Devon Collier, and Eric Moreland; fortunately they have all either equaled or improved their career best scoring marks already this season too.
With Kansas' next game a week from tomorrow, against #19 Colorado, a Pac-12 foe of the Beavers, we should get a good gague on Oregon St.'s prospects for the season from this game, and contrasting it with how the Jayhawks and Buffs do.
Here's the place to discuss how the Beavers are doing, and drop comments about how the Pac-12 Football Conference Championship Game, which will go on simultaneously, between UCLA and Stanford, is going. The results there will go a long ways to determining if Oregon St. is bound for San Antonio or San Diego following Christmas.