Norman, OK – Fresh off their one point victory over then No. 20 Iowa State, Kansas State stormed into Norman, Oklahoma to take on the current No. 20 Sooners. They left with a familiar result, a 74-61 victory behind big nights from Barry Brown Jr. and Dean Wade.
Kansas State jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back, not once trailing in the contest. They were able to establish Wade’s presence early and it had a large impact throughout the course of the night. The 6-8 senior posted 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting. The Sooner offense struggled through most of the first half, turning the ball over ten times by the under-4 timeout. A lot of miscommunication on the offensive end, combined with a 52 percent FT shooting mark, did not bode well.
Christian James and Rashard Odomes were the lone bright spots for Oklahoma tonight, the two combining for 37 of the team’s 61 points. James had 20 points, seven rebounds and three assists. He had some difficulty creating space off the dribble, which appears to be a consistent issue this season. At 6-4 and 210 pounds he is strong and can hold his own physically, but the quickness is a concerning factor on both ends of the floor.
Odomes had arguably his best game of the season, scoring a season high 17 points in 25 minutes. The 6-6 senior shot 8-of-10 from the floor, but went 1-of-6 from the free throw line. He has a strong frame with which he likes to punish defenders; tonight he looked comfortable driving the lane off the dribble and used his physicality very well.
The best player on the floor tonight was Wildcat guard, Brown Jr. He’s 6-3 and 195 pounds, and really athletic. Tonight he showed off both his lateral quickness and straight line speed by attacking the lane in transition and getting jump shots in pick-and-roll. He scored 25 points on 11-of-19 from the floor including 3-of-4 from deep. He’s only a 28 percent three-point shooter on the season and will need to greatly improve that in order to play at the next level, but tonight the shot selection was good and he got them to fall. He has strong skills on defense as well, with a nose for the ball and high IQ that allows him to deny passes. Sometimes Brown can turn the ball over too much, but his mid-range game and defensive athleticism could see him sneak into the 2nd Round of the 2019 NBA Draft.
Up Next: Oklahoma travels to Austin, TX to take on the Longhorns. Kansas State hosts TCU.