February 19, 2007

Hardwood Analysis: Kansas at K-State

Monday's renewal of the Sunflower Showdown will be the most anticipated Kansas State vs. Kansas game since, well, the meeting in Lawrence two weeks ago. KU continued its dominance of the series in Allen Fieldhouse, but K-State's rapid ride to prominence has Wildcat fans looking forward to every K-State/KU matchup, and with legitimate hopes that K-State's losing streak in Bramlage is ready to fade to black.

Hardwood Analysis: Kansas (23-4, 10-2) vs. Kansas State (19-8, 8-4)
Monday, Feb. 19
Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, Kan.

The dish: It's becoming more and more apparent that Kansas' best guard isn't one of its starters, and that's taking nothing away from Mario Chalmers or Russell Robinson. Freshman reserve Sherron Collins still averages just less than 10 points (9.6) per game on the season but has truly come on in conference play, scoring in double figures in 10 of the Jayhawks' last 12 outings. Collins is one of KU's most consistent outside shooters but also has a strong build that helps him get to the basket and finish. Chalmers and Robinson present plenty of problems as well; Chalmers actually serves as KU's third leading scorer (11.2), and both rank towards the top of the league standings in steals. K-State's guards have shown flashes of solid play many times throughout the year, but the consistency hasn't been there at times. The Wildcats will need junior Clent Stewart to handle the pressure sure to be applied by Chalmers, Robinson and Collins as well as knock down open shots. Senior Lance Harris could be the x-factor. If Harris is hot, K-State will have the third scorer it needs. If not, it may be tough to keep up with a KU offense that has scored at least 92 points in three of its last four games, a streak that includes 97 against the Wildcats in Lawrence. Jermaine Maybank can't be expected to score 26 points again, but K-State would certainly welcome a solid contribution from the senior coming off the bench.

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