Kansas (16-1, 5-0) at Iowa State (11-5, 3-2)
When: Monday, January 16th 2017
Where: James H. Hilton Coliseum, Ames, IA
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: ESPN
The Kansas Jayhawks look to stay perfect in conference play when they visit the Iowa State Cyclones on Monday night in Ames, Iowa. Kansas had to rally from two halftime deficits last week to improve to 5-0 in Big 12 play. Kansas trailed by nine at the half in last Tuesday’s 11-point win at Oklahoma and was down 40-36 at the break to Oklahoma State before taking the lead with 14 minutes left en route to an 87-80 home victory. Senior point guard Frank Mason III (20.5 points, 5.5 assists per game) had 22 points, five rebounds and four assists and played terrific defense on Cowboys star guard Jawun Evans, who shot just 6-of-22. Guard Devonte’ Graham (13.5 points per game) also had a big game on Saturday with 17 of his season-high 21 points in the second half while holding Cowboys sharpshooter Phil Forte to just 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting. Freshman forward Josh Jackson (15.6 points, 6.7 rebounds) added 20 points and 11 rebounds but was just 10-of-17 from the free throw line and is shooting just 57% from there this season. Forward Landen Lucas (7.6 points, 7.6 rebounds) had 12 rebounds against Oklahoma State for his fifth double-digit rebounding effort in his last six games.
Iowa State split a pair of road contests last week by beating Oklahoma State 96-86, but falling at TCU on Saturday 84-77. Star guards Monte Morris and Deonte Burton combined for 14 points on 5-of-25 shooting in the loss at TCU – nearly 15 points fewer than their combined average. Guard Naz Mitrou-Long (team-high 15.7 points per game) led the way with 19 points and Matt Thomas (11.3 points) added 10, but TCU shot 56.9% from the floor and won the rebound battle 36-27. Freshman Guard Donovan Jackson (5.2 points) was a force off the bench with a season-high 16 points and was 4-of-5 from three-point land against the Horned Frogs. Morris (15.5 points, 5.8 assists per game) is averaging 17.4 points in conference games with 30 assists and just one turnover. He also had 21 points, nine assists and four rebounds in the Cyclones’ 85-72 win over the Jayhawks last season. Kansas leads the series 178-63, dating to 1908, and the schools split last season with each winning on its home floor.
Iowa State has the offense to keep up with Kansas and they usually play the Jayhawks tough in Ames. This is one of those lines that screams small road favorite, but I’m taking the home dog in this one.
Pick: Iowa State +2.5