Kansas vs Oregon State: Tipoff Vitals

Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Kansas vs Oregon State: Tipoff Vitals

In KU's last game the Jayhawks stopped the San Jose State Spartan's late game upset rally and won 70-57. Up next the Jayhawks play their 2nd Pac 12 opponent in Oregon State at the Sprint Center tonight. Oregon State comes into the game with a 4-1 record and the 12th best rebounding average in the nation at 44.2. The Beavers rotation features a frontcourt full of scoring and rebounding explosiveness and that group will look to get Oregon State its first win over a ranked opponent since 2011. It will be a tough game as the Jayhawks are 2-0 at the Sprint Center, Kansas' home away from home this season.

When: Friday, November 30th, 8:00 PM ET

Where: Kansas City, Missouri

Watch: ESPN 3

Oregon State:

Key Injuries:

No Injuries To Report

Strength: Frontcourt

The Oregon State frontcourt is imperative to the Beavers offensive success as the top 4 big men provide 70% of the teams rebounding presence. The Beavers backcourt is led by F Devon Collier (13.8 PPG-7 RPG) and is followed by F-C Joe Burton (11.6 PPG-5.4 RPG), C Angus Brandt (11.3 PPG-8.5 RPG) and F Eric Moreland (8.4 PPG-10.4 RPG). This team is similar to Washington State in the fact that most of their scoring is taken inside, as the Beavers scored 53% of their points in the paint in their last 3 games, though this team isn't dependent on one man and has two other player who averages double digit points.

Weakness: Floor Defense

Oregon State defends well on the perimeter, with 33% opponent field goal percentage, but overall the defense could be better. The Beavers have allowed opponents to shoot 51.7% from inside the arc, a weakness KU can take advantage of as the Jayhawks offense is built to take advantage of this area.

Kansas:

Key Injuries:

G Elijah Johnson (Probable- Knee)

Strength: Backcourt

Jeff Withey may the Jayhawks highest scorer, but besides him it's all backcourt. The Jayhawks next 3 highest scorers are all guards in G Ben McLemore (13.8 PPG-6.2 RPG), G Travis Releford (12 PPG-2.7 APG) and G Elijah Johnson (10.7 PPG-4.2 APG). Besides scoring and assist making, the starting backcourt also contributes 47% of the teams steals and helps Withey's block party effort with and additional 2.2 per contest.

Weakness: Forwards

I was tempted to put the frontcourt as a weakness of the Jayhawks, but Withey contributes too much to be stuck with a "weak frontcourt" label, so instead it is logical to say that the forwards are what are keeping the frontcourt back. F Perry Ellis is the highest scoring forward with 6.8 PPG and 4.2 RPG and receives little help from fellow forwards Kevin Young (3.6 PPG-6.6 RPG) and Jamari Traylor (3.2 PPG-2.7 RPG-1.3 BPG). On the bright side the forwards are providing a lot of rebounds and some athleticism defensively.

Player Trending Up: G Travis Releford

Travis Releford has really heated up since getting to a slow start. Before the CBE Classic Releford was averaging 6.3 points and 3.6 redounds and assists, but after the Classic Releford has averaged 17.7 points and 2 rebounds and has made 7 of 12 three point jumpers to round out to 12 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 2.7 APG.

Player Trending Down: F Kevin Young

Kevin Young must be rehabilitating pretty slowly because his producing on the court has been equality as drab. Young has added a rebounding presence of 6.6 to the starting 5 though has averaged 3.6 points and 1 assist to dilute his plus side.

Prognosis:

Most of the battles in this game will happen inside as neither team has shown consistent success beyond the arc this season. KU is shooting 30 % and OSU shooting 31%. The Jayhawks should win this game, though it may be closer than some may imagine as KU has had a hard time finishing games recently, letting Saint Louis and San Jose State spark short lived comebacks.

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