As good as Will Spradling, Nick Russell and Martavious Irving looked while handling increased minutes during an 80-70 victory over Missouri on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum, it was Curtis Kelly who contributed the most behind leading scorer Jacob Pullen.
The senior forward, who has been notoriously up-and-down this season, came through with 15 big points and six rebounds. He made seven of nine shots from the field and also notched himself two assists and two blocks in 29 minutes.
What he did best, though, was play through double teams. Tigers defenders swarmed him every time he touched the ball in the post, and he continually spun around them and made shots.
His good play came when the Wildcats needed him most. The question now is: Can he sustain that high level of production?
Kelly was stellar during last year’s NCAA Tournament, but he has been everything but consistent as a senior.
“He played with unbelievable energy,” K-State coach Frank Martin said. “He played with energy. That’s his whole thing. He played with energy and focus. Those are Curt’s two biggest challenges. He loses focus because of a mistake. I thought he was real good with that today.