West Virginia, Oklahoma to tussle in Morgantown
A look at the upcoming week around the Big 12:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 7 Oklahoma at No. 6 West Virginia on Saturday. With sensational freshman Trae Young leading the nation with 29.4 points and 10.6 assists per game, the Sooners (12-1, 2-0 Big 12) have already won more games than last season. The Mountaineers (13-1, 2-0) haven’t lost since a drubbing at the hands of Texas A&M in the opener, and they’re the very early favorites to win the league after starting with road wins at Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
LOOKING AHEAD: After losing at Allen Fieldhouse to No. 18 Texas Tech by double digits, 10th-ranked Kansas travels to No. 16 TCU on Saturday. The Horned Frogs held off Baylor 81-78 in overtime on Tuesday. Tech, which hosts Kansas State on Saturday, leads the league with a scoring margin of 23.1 points per game. The Red Raiders (13-1, 2-0), the only team other than Oklahoma and West Virginia to win their first two Big 12 games, are home Saturday against Kansas State (11-3, 1-1) before playing both the Sooners and Mountaineers next week.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Redshirt freshman forward Cameron Lard might be the silver lining in what’s shaping up to be a rough season for Iowa State. Lard had 23 points and 16 rebounds off the bench in a loss to Texas, and coach Steve Prohm hinted after the game that Lard will likely be a focal point of Iowa State’s offense in the near future. Lard is eighth in the Big 12 in rebounds (7.0), seventh in blocked shots (1.7) and second in field goal percentage (.659) – despite averaging less than 20 minutes a game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Young has scored at least 20 points in 12 straight games, the first Oklahoma player to do that. He has eight double-doubles this season, and on Wednesday night was only one rebound short of a triple-double. … Texas Tech is allowing only 58.2 points a game, and that’s not just a tempo thing. The Red Raiders are letting opponents convert only 36 percent of their shots, the lowest mark in the league. … The Big 12 players other than Young averaging double-doubles are Texas freshman Mohamed Bamba (11.7 ppg and Big 12-leading 10.7 rpg) and Baylor senior Jo Lual-Acuil (16.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg). … Kansas is shooting a conference-high 51.7 percent from the field and 44.2 percent from 3-point range. West Virginia is averaging 15 offensive rebounds, and its press is helping it lead the Big 12 with a turnover margin of plus-8.4.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: Texas Tech fired coach Candi Whitaker on Monday. The Red Raiders started 6-7 this season and were thrashed by Oklahoma and Baylor by more than 40 points to open league play. The Lady Bears are the Big 12’s highest-ranked team at No. 6, followed by Texas at No. 8. The Lady Bears have won their first three conference games by an average of more than 39 points.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Luke Meredith
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