Kansas Jayhawks vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys Pick & Prediction JANUARY 30th 2024

Kansas has lost three Big 12 games, and the conference season isn’t even halfway over.

In a typical KU season, the Jayhawks don’t drop three league games over the course of the entire Big 12 schedule.

No. 8 Kansas (16-4, 4-3 Big 12) shoots to get its season back on track when it welcomes 2022 last-place conference finisher Oklahoma State (9-11, 1-6) on Tuesday in Lawrence, Kan.

The Jayhawks are just 3-3 over their past six games and lost two of their last three, including Saturday’s 79-75 road game against No. 23 Iowa State.

The Cyclones made 14 of 30 3-point attempts and that is becoming a troubling trend. Exactly seven days earlier, West Virginia was 12 of 21 from behind the arc while producing a 91-85 home win over Kansas.

“I think we just got to do a better job of guarding the 3-point line,” Jayhawks star center Hunter Dickinson said after the Iowa State loss. “I think you saw that in the West Virginia game as well. I think those two losses, you can chalk up to just us not guarding the 3-point line. When you see a team hot, we got to make some adjustments.”

In addition to Iowa State and West Virginia, Kansas also lost 65-60 at UCF on Jan. 10 in Big 12 play.

Jayhawks coach Bill Self expects his club to become more consistent in coming weeks. It certainly isn’t one of those seasons in which Kansas has a cakewalk through the Big 12 slate.

“We’ve shown this year we can beat anybody,” Self said. “Connecticut, Tennessee, Kentucky, we can beat anybody. We’ve also shown this year anybody can get us for the most part.”

Dickinson had 20 points and 15 rebounds against Iowa State for his Big 12-leading 11th double-double of the season. He is second on the squad with an 18.9 scoring average to go with a team-leading 11.3 rebounds per game.

Kevin McCullar Jr. leads Kansas with a 19.8 scoring average.

There are two major things in the Jayhawks’ favor entering the game with Oklahoma State.

Kansas is 10-0 at home this season and the Cowboys are 0-4 in true road games.

Also, the Jayhawks repeatedly have enjoyed success against the Cowboys, winning six straight and 11 of the past 12 meetings.

One of those wins came Jan. 16 when Kansas rolled to a 90-66 victory over Oklahoma State in Stillwater. The Jayhawks shot 62.1 percent from the field, never trailed and led by as many as 28 points. Dickinson scored 21 points.

Oklahoma State halted a six-game losing streak on Saturday when it notched a 70-66 home victory over West Virginia.

Brandon Garrison matched his career best of 20 points and Javon Small added 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists to pace the Cowboys.

The victory also provided a jolt of enthusiasm for Oklahoma State.

“You can just feel the hunger in the locker room,” Cowboys guard Bryce Thompson said. “Just seeing the progress we’re making. We haven’t won, but I feel like we’re a better team than the one that first started league play. We’re giving ourselves a chance to finish out these games. Now, it’s just a matter of finishing strong. Then, from there, we can make some stuff happen.”

Three of the Cowboys’ first six Big 12 games were decided by five points or less. The other three were lost by an average of 21.7 points.

Small leads Oklahoma State in scoring (13.9) and 3-point baskets (41). Thompson (12.2) and Eric Dailey Jr. (10.1) also average in double digits.

–Field Level Media

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