Embiid's Jayhawks control the paint

John Rieger/USA TODAY Sports

Embiid tied a Big 12 freshman record with eight blocks in the game. Oklahoma State had three.

In a showdown that could feature three of the top five picks in the upcoming NBA Draft - Kansas's Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid against Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart - it was an Embiid block party that stole the show and controlled the paint in the Kansas Jayhawks win.

Embiid finished with eight blocks, breaking his own Kansas freshman record for blocks in a game and tying the Big 12 freshman record.

He rejected 26 percent of Oklahoma State's shots while he was on the floor. And he also tied a career high with nine defensive rebounds.

Kansas controls the paint

Embiid's presence on both ends contributed to a huge disparity in the paint: Kansas outscored Oklahoma State by 12 points in the paint despite taking fewer shots in the paint.

The Cowboys managed just 22 paint points on 26 shots, shooting less than 43 percent from the area.

For its part, Kansas shot 68 percent in the paint. Oklahoma State's defense wasn't much of a deterrent - while Embiid himself blocked eight shots for Kansas, the entire Oklahoma State team managed three.

Naadir Tharpe outshines Smart

On the offensive end for Kansas, Naadir Tharpe stole the show with his outside shooting.

Tharpe went 7-for-8 on shots outside the paint, finishing with a team-high 21 points.

His backcourt counterpart, projected top-five NBA draft pick Marcus Smart, finished at the opposite end of the spectrum. Smart missed all eight of his field goal attempts outside the paint.

Smart finished 3-for-14 from the field, a season-low 21.4 field goal percentage.

Historical notes

The Jayhaws won three straight regular-season games, all against ranked teams, for the first time since November 25-December 2, 1995. That year's team, which featured Raef LaFrentz, Paul Pierce and Jacque Vaughn, reeled off consecutive wins against No. 8 Utah, No. 15 Virginia and No. 23 UCLA.

After winning in Lawrence last year, Oklahoma State falls back to the wrong side of the coin. The Cowboys have lost 17 of their last 18 games at Allen Fieldhouse.