Up 23 at the half and never in danger the final 20 minutes, OSU was able to play less stressful minutes and even get some players off the floor.
Due back at the Sprint Center in less than 24 hours to face No. 1-seed Kansas, that’s a good thing.
“We’ve got a 2 o’clock turnaround,” said OSU guard Markel Brown. “I feel like we put ourselves in a good position to rest our bodies for that game. We got out and made some shots and were able to put some guys on the bench.
By the time (Thursday) comes, we’ll be ready to play.”
Brian Williams played 20 minutes off the bench, while Leyton Hammonds gave the Cowboys 18 and Christien Sager 10.
“That was a major deal to us,” said Marcus Smart, “because you don’t want your starting players to have to play that many minutes and turn around with less than 24 hours to play another key game.”
KANSAS PLAYING MINUS EMBIID
The Cowboys split their regular season series with Kansas, but it’ll be a different-looking Jayhawks squad they get here in Kansas City.
KU won’t have 7-footer Joel Embiid, who won’t play in the tournament due to a back injury that threatens keep him sidelined into the NCAA Tournament.
“You’re always going to miss a player like Embiid,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford. “He’s special. But they’ve got guys they can turn to and that can pick it up for them.”
Tarik Black, a bulky 6-8 forward, steps into a starting role with Embiid out. KU also has 6-8 Jamari Traylor and 6-10 Landen Lucas to rotate into the post.