Another Big 12 road game. Another ugly win for Kansas State.
The Wildcats beat Texas Tech 68-59 on Tuesday at United Spirit Arena, doing enough to improve to 7-2 in conference play. They now have the opportunity to move up in the standings with upcoming games against Iowa State and Kansas, the only two teams to beat K-State in league play.
K-State will need to play better and with more energy in those games than it did in Lubbock, but the Wildcats seem confident they will rise to the occasion. Plenty of teams head to Texas Tech and play uninspired in front of a tiny crowd. They should be fired up for its next two games.
For now let’s look back at last night with another edition (sorry I posted it later than usual, I’ve been busy traveling home and keeping up with National Signing Day) of player ratings:
Rodney McGruder – 9: The senior wing made sure K-State held off Texas Tech by doing a little bit of everything. His main contribution came on the offensive end, as he scored 18 points. But he also snared nine rebounds – four on the offensive end – in 34 minutes. He avoided foul trouble and played much better than he has recently.
Last game: 7. Average: 8.
Martavious Irving – 7.5: K-State’s sixth man was once again effective. He scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds while playing solid defense. One thing that is interesting about Irving: He almost always makes his first three-pointer. He’s confident from behind the arc.
Last game: 7. Average: 6.6.
Thomas Gipson – 7.5: The sophomore forward couldn’t sustain his red-hot start (he made his first four shots) but he still had a quality game, finishing with 12 points and five rebounds. He needs to be more careful with the ball, though. He committed three poor turnovers.
Last game: 6. Average: 6.1
Angel Rodriguez – 7: Right when it looked like Rodriguez was on his way to a huge game, sinking back-to-back threes in the first half to give K-State a 26-13 lead, he became overconfident and started taking foolish shots. Though he scored 13 points and played strong defense, he only made 3 of 9 shots and lost two turnovers.
Last game: 6.5. Average: 7.2.
Will Spradling – 7: It seems like Spradling has found his niche lately. Though nine points and four rebounds won’t wow anyone, he didn’t make any mistakes and was active throughout.
Last game: 7. Average: 6.6.
Shane Southwell – 6.5: Bruce Weber complained that K-State took too many ill-advised shots on Tuesday, and Southwell led the way in that category. He made just 2 of 10 shots, and put up three-pointers early in possessions. He did do well elsewhere, though. His four assists and seven rebounds were very important.
Last game: 6.5. Average: 7.5.
Jordan Henriquez – 2: K-State didn’t get much production out of Henriquez last night. He has to find a way to become more involved, especially against smaller lineups.
Last game: 6.5. Average: 6.1.