Kansas meets WVU in Big 12 semis
West Virginia (14-19, 6-14) vs. Kansas (24-8, 13-6)
Big 12 Conference Tourney Semifinals, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri; Friday, 8 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: A spot in the Big 12 championship game is up for grabs as West Virginia and Kansas are set to do battle. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last played on Feb. 16, when the Jayhawks outshot West Virginia 52.8 percent to 33.9 percent and hit five more 3-pointers en route to a 78-53 victory.
FRESHMAN FOUR: Kansas has relied heavily on its freshmen this year. Dedric Lawson, Devon Dotson, Lagerald Vick and Ochai Agbaji have combined to account for 61 percent of the team’s scoring this year and 52 percent of all Jayhawks points over the last five games.
DOMINANT DEDRIC: Lawson has connected on 36.4 percent of the 77 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 4 of 10 over the last three games. He’s also made 80.2 percent of his free throws this season.
THREAT FROM DISTANCE: West Virginia’s Lamont West has attempted 173 3-pointers and connected on 32.4 percent of them, and is 9 for 22 over his last three games.
ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Mountaineers have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Jayhawks. Kansas has 33 assists on 76 field goals (43.4 percent) across its previous three games while West Virginia has assists on 45 of 82 field goals (54.9 percent) during its past three games.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: The stout Kansas defense has held opposing offenses to a field goal percentage of 40.5 percent, the 27th-lowest mark in Division I. West Virginia has allowed opponents to shoot 45.3 percent through 33 games (ranking the Mountaineers 269th).