First off, I’m not a big fan of College Station.
Regardless, it was a successful business trip for Kansas State, which seems to be surprising the college basketball world with this five-game winning streak.
Not going to say I anticipated all of this, but I’m not shocked, either. The truth is, most of the league’s teams are very similar this year. There is one good, borderline (but not really) great team in Oklahoma. There is another team that has minimized its deficiencies and maximized its home-court advantage in Kansas.
And then there is everyone else. As I wrote before, and was mocked by one of you in particular, I was not surprised to see K-State win in College Station. The Aggies aren’t especially talented, and really, who in the conference is?
OU has the league’s best player (Blake Griffin) and its best freshman (Willie Warren). KU has the league’s best guard (Sherron Collins). Any coincidence those teams are undefeated in Big 12 play?
What does this have to do with K-State, you might be wondering. What I’m suggesting is, if the Wildcats handle the rest of their business at home and manage to steal one road game, I think a top-four finish in the conference is possible, and that would also mean an NCAA Tournament berth would be in the offing.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, no?
This team has been a joy to watch, especially Saturday. It never came undone, and what I love the most is that because everyone knows their roles and plays them so well, it’s almost become stars for doing so.
Denis Clemente is terrific, as valuable as anyone on the team. Jacob Pullen is maddeningly inconsistent, almost the opposite of Fred Brown, who is lethal from three-point range. And so it is with K-State – when one guy, say Pullen, isn’t effective, the other two guards usually pick up the slack.
It’s the same in the frontcourt. How about Darren Kent’s game against A&M’s big men? I thought the Aggies would have a clear advantage Saturday, but DK worked and was aggressive, off-setting a mediocre statistical afternoon from Luis Colon.
Some fans are still in denial, wondering when the wheels will undoubtedly fall off. All I know is, the past three weeks have shown the Wildcats how to win, and they’ve adhered to the script for five consecutive games. There’s no reason to veer off course Wednesday against Texas Tech, and then comes the rematch with KU at Bramlage Coliseum…
Got predictions? Let’s start KU week off the right way. Whoever is closest with winner and score and, in case of tiebreaker (how? I’m not sure), let’s throw in number of points for Fred Brown, wins a Michael Beasley Miami Heat bobblehead I picked up when I was in Miami a couple of weeks ago working on a story.