Oregon St. (6-1) at #2 Kansas (7-1) / Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO / 7 PM CST (5 PM PST) / ESPN2 / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon State faces by far their toughest test of the preseason tonight, when the Beavers visit Kansas City to take on the 2nd ranked Kansas Jayhawks. It's not quite a true home game for Kansas, as it's a short bus ride from campus, not on campus in the Allen Fieldhouse, but some students will make the trip, and most Kansas fans actually have a shorter drive than to Lawrence.
It's only the second meeting ever between the programs, both of which have quite a bit of hoops history. Thst's kind of surprising, given that former Oregon State coach Ralph Miller played both football and basketball at Kansas, and quite a few big names came through the Far West Classic over the years. And its the 118th year of Kansas hoops, and 115th year for Oregon State.
Bur it wasn't until Craig Robinson took the Beavers to Kansas City on Nov. 30 2012 (that game was also played downtown instead of on the Kansas campus) that the teams met. The Jayhawks took the 84-78 win that day, holding off several rallies after the Beavers had fallen behind by big margins.
Both teams are off to a 1-loss start to the season, but while Oregon State's sole loss, 63-57 to visiting Valparasio, wan't a big surprise, Kansas' 79-73 loss to Michigan State was, at least a little, given that the Spartans were only ranked #13 at the time. Now that they are #1, it doesn't look so bad.
Oregon State has had a week off for finals since their last outing, a 66-62 home win over Nevada last Saturday. Gary Payton II led the way for the Beavers, with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and a couple of steals, which moved him past his onlooking father for the school record of 38 consecutive games with a steal. Malcolm Duvivier added 11, but it was freshman Stephen Thompson, Jr., who also had 11, but 7 in the final minuets of the game, which put the contest away.
Kansas' last game was Wednesday night, when the Jayhawks rolled past Holy Cross, winning 92-59. Kansas got off to a 50 point first half start, and it was over in a hurry.
The Jayhawks had 6 players in double figures, led by Wayne Selden, with 15. He leads 4 starters who average in double figures, with 15.9 PPG, with Perry Ellis, Frank Mason III, and Devonte' Graham also regularly in double digits, and averaging between 25 & 30 minutes per game. The balanced attack is supported by a variety of players off the bench who can put up double digits as well, if they even get into the game.
The depth is deep (15 players have appeared in multiple games), and the shooting is superb (Kansas averages 52% from the field, and over 47% from 3 point range.
Oregon State will need all their offense firing, and their best defensive effort of the year, but in any event, this game will provide a real measure of where the Beavers are at.