I was kind of alarmed when Texas Tech coach Pat Knight called a timeout about a minute into the game and ripped John Roberson and Alan Voskuil for not closing out on shooters around the three-point line.
But then I relaxed because I realized that’s exactly what Frank Martin does – I’d just grown used to his act.
Wasn’t particularly impressed with the Red Raiders, but this was what Kansas State had to do Wednesday. In essence, it sent the right type of message to Kansas. When focused, Kansas State is dangerous. And when they, as Martin said afterwards, “don’t respect the game,” well, the Wildcats look vulnerable.
Suddenly, Saturday becomes simple – if K-State plays with energy and passion, the Wildcats win. If not, the Jayhawks prevail.
Don’t get into a talent discussion – the teams are more or less even in that department, and as far as athleticism goes, I’d give K-State the edge. KU will have the best player on the court, but the Wildcats will have the best collection of guards.
More of the same in the frontcourt. Yes, Cole Aldrich is good, but the dropoff is steep after that. Plus, do you realize Darren Kent is averaging 13.7 points and 8.0 rebounds in his last three games?
It’s odd – listening to assorted members of the media after the game, most fully expect K-State to win Saturday. There was no evidence of any KU mystique, and the Wildcats exhibited a quiet confidence in anticipation of the showdown.
You had to be encouraged by Dominique Sutton’s emergence as a viable offensive threat. With Sutton, when he’s aggressive on the offense, his confidence grows. And from an athletic standpoint, there are few ever on the court better. Last night, there were times when he simply blew by defenders, which was a case where he was simply assertive.
That Dominique Sutton needs to take up permanent residence in Manhattan. With that Dominique Sutton, the Wildcats are a dangerous team, especially with their ability to knock down three-pointers coupled with Luis Colon’s surprisingly good passing.
For the record, I like K-State Saturday. Double digits, too. Just haven’t been impressed with the Jayhawks. Well coached, a couple of nice players, but has home-court advantage ever meant more in a somewhat mediocre year of college basketball? Where was KU’s loss Monday? Where is KU playing Saturday?