Before we get to the player ratings from last night’s Sunflower Showdown, which Kansas won 59-55 and lived up to the pregame hype, I would like to take a moment to compliment Wichita Eagle photographer Travis Heying for the above photo. What a great shot. It shows how physical things can get inside during a basketball game, and how easy it can be to overlook in real time.
I mean, Thomas Gipson has Jeff Withey in a chokehold. Don’t see that very often.
Anyway, K-State played well in a losing effort against Kansas. Had the Wildcats made a few more shots or attacked the rim more effectively they easily could have won. But they don’t have any time to dwell on the loss. Up next is a road trip to Iowa State, which is 13-4 and has won all its Big 12 games outside of Allen Fieldhouse.
Overcoming Hilton Magic is never easy. K-State will need to play well if it wants to keep pace in the conference race. Now, onto the player ratings:
Shane Southwell — 9.5: You couldn’t ask for more out of Southwell, even though the junior guard said he should have made an additional three three-pointers. He played one of his best games at K-State, scoring 19 points, grabbing seven rebounds and giving the Wildcats much-needed life from the outside. Southwell made five three-pointers, leading Bill Self to suggest he might be the most improved player in the Big 12.
Last game: 8. Average: 7.8.
Angel Rodriguez — 8: The sophomore point guard gave K-State an incredible boost in the first half, scoring 12 points and attacking the Jayhawks’ front line. If only he could have continued that play in the second half instead of being held scoreless. Still, he played a quality game. His good plays were up (eight assists and five rebounds) and his bad plays were down (two turnovers and one foul).
Last game: 7.5. Average: 7.1.