Iowa State vs Kansas men’s basketball: Five players to watch


The Big 12 rivalry between Kansas and Iowa State on Wednesday night has so many stars that it couldn’t be simplified into three players. Here’s a football-sized five players to watch for both squads.

Jan 18, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid (21) dunks the ball against in Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Marcus Smart (33) the first half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

#21 Joel Embiid (KU freshman center, 7-0, 250 lbs.)

Conversation started moving from Andrew Wiggins to Embiid as a hot NBA prospect since his incredible performance against Oklahoma State with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and eight blocks to boost Kansas back into the Big 12’s top spot. There’s been a little slowdown since then with 10 rebounds and four blocks in his last two games combined, but his size is an incredible threat to Iowa State. If any man can overcome the size difference and win a battle on the boards against Embiid with effort, it’s…

#22 Dustin Hogue (ISU junior forward, 6-6, 215 lbs.)

Almost everybody shot horribly from the field for Iowa State in their first loss against Kansas. Hogue made up for his 3-for-10 field goal shooting by nailing 7-of-8 free throws and grabbing nine boards. It seems hard to believe that it’s been since the win over Iowa that Hogue has had a double-double; he’s had close calls including just being one rebound away in the first meeting against the Jayhawks.

#1 Wayne Selden Jr. (KU freshman guard, 6-5, 230 lbs.)

The freshman has dipped since two breakout performances opening Big 12 play. Selden had 24 points against Oklahoma and 20 points against Kansas State, shooting at 61.5 percent from the field and went 8-of-17 from 3-point range in both games combined. Since then, it took him until a blowout against TCU to reach a double-digit point total, and he’s made just three 3-pointers in 16 attempts. Selden did have a season-high six assists against the Cyclones while turning it over just once; he had a negative assist-to-turnover ratio in his next two games.

Jan 13, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid (21) defends the shot against Iowa State Cyclones forward Georges Niang (31) during the second half at James H. Hilton Coliseum. Kansas beat Iowa State 77-70. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

#31 Georges Niang (ISU sophomore forward, 6-7, 240 lbs.)

Niang had an uncharacteristic day shooting 20 percent from the field (4-of-20) in the first meeting against Kansas. In three of his other last four games, he’s hit 50 percent or better from the field. He’s also out of his 3-point cold streak; Niang is 8-of-13 from the perimeter in his last two games compared to 1-of-18 to start Big 12 play.

#34 Perry Ellis (KU sophomore forward, 6-8, 225 lbs.)

Ellis was dominant in his 18-point performance against Baylor, shooting 6-of-8 from the field and getting to the free throw line, hitting 6-of-7 attempts. In comparison, he had 14 points combined and missed all five free throw attempts in the two previous games against Oklahoma State and Iowa State. Ellis also had 14 boards in their last game against TCU, a season-high in rebounding.