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Iowa State at Kansas State preview, and my Big 12 player of the week (it was a hard one to pick).
Top Matchup in the Big 12 This Week
Iowa State (16-6) at #13 Kansas State (17-4) | (Saturday, Feb 9th) Iowa State had a hard one against Oklahoma State that they loss last week then got back on track and beat Baylor and Oklahoma back-to-back. They are playing some really nice ball, and their stats show for it. ISU ranks #11 in points per game, #16 in rebounds per game, and #14 in assists per game. ISU is the definition of a complete team. They have four guys that average double figures in scoring, and two others that average above 9 ppg. I cannot say enough good things about the Cyclones, as I do think they are one of the most fundamental teams that I watch play in the Big 12. This weekend they will go up against Kansas State, who is taking on our Red Raiders today. If you get a chance to watch the game you will see a very controlled KSU team that likes to play the slow-tempo pace with us. I expect us to do well against the #13 team in the nation and wouldn’t be surprised if it is closer than most expect. But, back to this weekend with ISU & KSU. KSU is #152 in ppg, #73 in rpg, and #23 in apg. ISU and KSU play two totally different styles. Rodney McGruder is the star of the Wildcats with 14.5 ppg and 5.2 rpg. Last time KSU played Iowa State, McGruder played all 40 minutes of the game and finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Cyclones. I think that this game will be another great matchup between the two, but this time I get the feeling that the Wildcats are not going to forget the loss they suffered to ISU a few games ago. The Cyclones will have to go onto K-State’s home court and play some fantastic basketball to knock off KSU and get the upset again. I don’t think ISU will do it twice this season, so I’m going with Kansas State as the winner in this matchup. Predicted Winner - Kansas State
Big 12 Player of the Week
Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State)| I really thought when I saw that Isaiah Austin of Baylor had 19 points and 20 rebounds in a loss to Oklahoma that he would be my player of the week. Then Baylor loss to ISU (as I predicted last week) and Austin had 9 points with 10 rebounds, and I thought even though he had two losses this week he was still the best player last week until I saw OSU. Not so much, as I caught that Marcus Smart and Oklahoma State knocked off the #2 Kansas Jayhawks on KU's own court and had 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 steals. This is to go along with earlier in the week a 21 point, 6 rebound, 7 assist, and 4 steals night against Iowa State in a win. Smart is my Big 12 player of the week. It’s amazing that both Austin & Smart are only freshman. I’m don’t think either will be back next season, as we will probably see both as Lottery picks in the NBA draft after this year.