January 30, 2007

Hardwood Analysis: Missouri at K-State

Much has changed since the first time Kansas State and Missouri met two weeks ago. The Wildcats visited Columbia losers of three straight and 0-2 in Big 12 Conference play but surprised the Tigers on their home floor. Now K-State, winners of five straight, is in the thick of the conference race and will look to complete a season sweep of a suddenly hot Missouri team Wednesday night.

Hardwood Analysis: Missouri (13-6, 2-4) vs. Kansas State (15-6, 4-2)
Wednesday, Jan. 31
Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, Kan.

The dish: Missouri point guard Stefhon Hannah struggled in his first outing against Kansas State, but the Tiger point guard has got going since and is the reigning Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Week heading into Wednesday night's matchup. Hannah averaged 14.5 points and 4.5 assists in the Tigers' last two games, wins over Colorado and Texas Tech, to earn his third Rookie of the Week honor this season. The Tigers don't get a ton of offensive production out of the rest of its backcourt, although Jason Horton did score 13 points in the last meeting between these teams. Matt Lawrence, a 6-foot-7 wing player, does most of his damage from the outside; Lawrence shoots 48.6 percent from 3-point range. K-State's guards have played better as of late, and the Wildcats got particularly good effort out of its point guards in its 61-45 in over Nebraska. Clent Stewart, Blake Young and Jermaine Maybank combined to score 28 points with just two turnovers against the Cornhuskers and will need to do a good job of protecting the basketball against the Tigers' pressing defense. Hannah is the headliner here, but K-State has enough options and depth in the backcourt to make this battle close.

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