The Wildcats defeated TCU 79-68 on Tuesday at Bramlage Coliseum. The senior class of Rodney McGruder, Martavious Irving and Jordan Henriquez got to say goodbye. Now comes a Big 12 championship game of sorts.
Everything is on the line Saturday at Oklahoma State. If K-State wins, it wins its first conference title since 1977. If Kansas beats Baylor that evening, the Wildcats and Jayhawks will split the title. If Baylor beats Kansas, K-State can be the outright champion. If K-State and Kansas both lose, the title could be split three ways, depending on what Oklahoma State does tonight at Iowa State. No matter what happens, it will be an intense day of basketball.
Until then, let’s look back at K-State’s exciting win over TCU in another edition of Player Ratings:
Angel Rodriguez – 9: He had an impressive double-double of 21 points and 10 assists, but this was his best stat of the night: 38 minutes played. Rodriguez has struggled to stay on the court this season because of fouls and mistakes, but he was in total control against TCU. He lost three turnovers and committed three fouls while running the offense. The way Rodriguez has played throughout the conference season, he deserves consideration for first-team All-Big 12 honors.
Last game: 7.5. Average: 7.6.
Martavious Irving – 8: Will Spradling is the team’s starting shooting guard, but maybe Irving should take over that role. If he continues to play the way he has the last two games, while Spradling has sat with a bruised sternum, he deserves to be on the floor more than the 19 minutes he averages. The 36 minutes he played on Tuesday might be a little high, but he finished with 15 points and five assists. Whatever Spradling’s status is moving forward, K-State’s coaches should continue turning to Irving.
Last game: 7.75. Average: 6.3.
Rodney McGruder – 7: McGruder was once again off from the outside, missing 7 of 8 three-pointers, but he played well in every other area. He had 13 points, five assists and four rebounds, plus an emphatic dunk in the first half. He went out on senior day in style.
Last game: 8. Average: 8.1.
Shane Southwell – 7: It’s a shame he cooled off in the second half, because he was white-hot in the first half. Southwell went into the locker room with 15 points on six shots. He was stealing the show. Southwell didn’t score in the second half, but he had a nice all-around game.
Last game: 5.5. Average: 7.1.
Thomas Gipson – 6.5: He made back-to-back shots in the second half that helped K-State start to pull away from TCU and finished with 11 points. He also made every shot he took, going 5 for 5. But he only grabbed two rebounds and played 11 minutes.
Last game: 4.5. Average: 6.1.
Jordan Henriquez — 4: Two early fouls seemed to hurt his night. Henriquez was held scoreless in 18 minutes. He managed to grab five rebounds and send out an assist, but this was step back compared to his recent play.
Last game: 7. Average: 5.6.
D.J. Johnson — 3.5: The night would have been better had he finished his put-back dunk attempt.
Last game: 4. Average: N/A.
Nino Williams — 3: He was held scoreless in 6 minutes.
Last game: 3. Average: N/A.
Omari Lawrence – 3: His only stat was a block, but it was a mighty impressive block.
Last game: 3. Average: N/A.
Adrian Diaz – 3: He scored the final points of the night on a tip-in.
Last game: N/A. Average: N/A.