Category Archives: Basketball

K-State Q&A: Marvin Clark, Daniel Sams, Marcus Foster, Shane Southwell, Senior Day and postseason projections

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another K-State Q&A.

Let’s go ahead and jump into your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.

I think Kansas State, Michigan State and Iowa State all have a good shot at landing Marvin Clark. They seem to be his top three. The three-star small forward from Kansas City, who is currently playing at Sunrise Christian Academy outside Wichita, visited all three and had good things to say after each stop. Clark was originally going to announce his decision on Saturday, but he told me today he will announce his decision “sometime next week.” So he wants to consider all his options. The Wildcats have recruited him the longest, and he has said staying close to home is a priority. He also rushed the floor at Bramlage Coliseum when K-State beat Kansas. None of that can hurt. But Michigan State is a big name, and Fred Hoiberg is a great coach. I’m not sure who to label as the favorite.
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Postgame Thoughts and Player Ratings: Oklahoma State 77, Kansas State 61

Three thoughts from Kansas State’s 77-61 loss at Oklahoma State on Monday:

1. Will Spradling has to play 30-plus minutes for K-State to win.
Spradling never appeared more important than he did against the Cowboys. For the second straight game, he picked up two early fouls and barely played in the first half. With the senior shooter and leader of Bruce Weber’s motion offense on the floor, K-State took a quick lead. With him on the bench, Oklahoma State roared to a 35-27 halftime advantage. The Wildcats lose much of their offensive flow without Spradling. He is the only player on the roster who does as much without the ball as he does with it. Spradling only played 23 minutes on Monday, and you can blame both Spradling and Weber for that. Spradling committed two needless fouls by challenging OSU guards more than he needed to. He has to play smarter. But Weber should also have enough trust in Spradling to play him while he is in foul trouble. With the game slipping away from K-State in the first, Weber would have been smart to risk playing Spradling for a few more minutes.
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Race for second heating up in the Big 12

As the Big 12 season enters its final week, the most fascinating race is for second.

Kansas State, Iowa State, Texas and Oklahoma are all tied with 10 conference victories. All four teams have two games remaining, and all four teams could finish second as easily as they could finish fifth.

A breakdown:

Kansas State
Remaining Games:
at Oklahoma State, vs. Baylor.
Why they could finish second: The Wildcats won their last road game and have already beaten Oklahoma State this season. Winning in Stillwater, though difficult, is hardly impossible. And they should be favored against Baylor at home, where they have won 15 straight. K-State also benefits from tie-breakers, by virtue of its victory over Kansas. Texas also beat the Jayhawks, but it is hurt by losing twice to Oklahoma. That could come in handy when its time to seed the Big 12 Tournament.
Why they could finish fifth: Oklahoma State has been on a roll since Marcus Smart returned from his three-game suspension, and K-State is 2-6 on the road. There’s a reason the Cowboys are favored by 8.5 points in Stillwater. Baylor has also been playing well since it downed K-State in Waco. Beating the Bears at Bramlage Coliseum isn’t a given. The Wildcats face arguably the toughest schedule of this four-team group.
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Postgame Thoughts and Player Ratings: Kansas State 80, Iowa State 73

Three thoughts from Kansas State’s 80-73 victory over Iowa State on Saturday:

1. Iowa State and Kansas State do not like each other.
A few years ago, Kansas State players went out of their way to let the public know they detested Missouri. They didn’t like the way the Tigers played or acted. So K-State made beating them a high priority. I’m not sure if their dislike for Iowa State has reached those levels, but it could be close. K-State and Iowa State played one of the most physical games I’ve seen in a long time. Their were hard plays, harder fouls, taunting and Marcus Foster took a shoe to the face. Melvin Ejim looked like he wanted to fight during a few dead balls, and Shane Southwell clapped in Ejim’s face when he was hit with a technical foul in the second half. K-State was the tougher, and more composed, team on Saturday. That’s a big reason why it won. But if these teams meet again in Kansas City, things could get even more physical.
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K-State Q&A: Have the Wildcats locked up a spot in the NCAA Tournament? Plus, Iowa State, running back options and baseball

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another K-State Q&A.

Let’s go ahead and jump into your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.

Yeah, K-State will be a part of March Madness. Ending the regular season with three losses, falling to the No. 7 seed in the Big 12 Tournament and losing to TCU in Kansas City would leave the Wildcats sweating on Selection Sunday, but I think they will make it. The bubble is very soft this year. No team that goes .500 in the Big 12 is missing the NCAA Tournament. They face a wide scenario of seeds, though. If they win out and hoist a trophy in Kansas City they could be looking at a 5 seed. Four straight losses could put them in the First Four. More realistically, they will win two or three more games and claim a seed in the 7-10 range. Right now, most online projections have them as a No. 9 seed.
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Wesley Iwundu tries to high-five teammates after free throws, even when they aren’t there

Wesley Iwundu has been a popular person on the Internet today.

A video of the Kansas State freshman forward giving high-fives to imaginary teammates (they were all on the other end of the court, because of a flagrant foul) following a made free throw has been making the rounds. You can check it out below.

Iwundu seems to be enjoying the attention. He promoted the video on his twitter account Wednesday. And why not? If you’re going to make a push for ESPN’s “Not Top 10″ Plays of the Week, this is a good (and funny) way to do it.

Postgame Thoughts and Player Ratings: Kansas State 60, Texas Tech 56

Three thoughts from Kansas State’s 60-56 victory at Texas Tech on Tuesday:

1. Wesley Iwundu may have smashed through the metaphorical freshman wall.
For much of the season, Welsey Iwundu was one of the most dependable players on K-State’s roster. He never gave the Wildcats 25 points or 15 rebounds, but he rarely made mistakes. He made shots when he was open, he grabbed boards when he could and he made smart passes. He was consistent. Then, his play dropped dramatically. He was so bad against Baylor and TCU that Bruce Weber barely played him and his teammates began privately criticizing his play. He didn’t look much better at Oklahoma. But his old form returned at Texas Tech. He made two clutch free throws after a flagrant foul and he knocked down an off-balance shot while being fouled to give K-State a late lead. And, surprise, the Wildcats won. They are a much better team when Iwundu plays well. Perhaps he is over his slump.
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Postgame Thoughts and Player Ratings: Oklahoma 86, Kansas State 73

Three thoughts from Kansas State’s 86-73 loss at Oklahoma on Saturday:

1. Bruce Weber’s road struggles are not isolated to this season.
As frustrating as a six-game losing streak in road games has to be for K-State, it is not new territory for Weber. K-State’s second-year coach lost six straight road games in his final season at Illinois and four straight road games in 2011. In between, he led K-State to a 7-3 road record last season. So it’s not as if he doesn’t know how to win on the road. But he has a 12-24 road record in his past four seasons. K-State doesn’t appear close to solving its road woes. Perhaps those numbers explain why.
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Kansas State beat Oklahoma with defense last month. Toughness could decide rematch

Ask Oklahoma forward Ryan Spangler what it will take for the Sooners to beat Kansas State on Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center, and he doesn’t hesitate with his answer.

“We can’t let them out-physical us,” Spangler said. “We have to be the tougher team.”

That wasn’t the case when K-State defeated Oklahoma 72-66 last month at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats were clearly the tougher team, particularly on defense.

The Sooners sport one of the nation’s top offenses. They average 83 points, with all five of their starters averaging double-figures. But they couldn’t get anything going in Manhattan, outside of Spangler, who had 21 points and 14 rebounds. Shane Southwell and Nino Williams held Cameron Clark to two points and Oklahoma made 33 percent of its shots.

“They do as good a job as anyone defensively,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “It’s hard to simulate, because they are so good at it. But you know what you are getting. They just line up and guard you like crazy. Executing against it is difficult.”
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K-State Q&A: Looking ahead to important road games, looking back on the Baylor loss, plus NCAA Tournament and Justin Edwards

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another K-State Q&A. Apologies for taking last week off, but it was 86 degrees in Texas leading up to the Baylor game. I chose to spend every second I could away from the computer.

Anyway, there’s a big week of basketball ahead. The Wildcats play at Oklahoma and Texas Tech and then return home to take on Iowa State. All three games could be considered toss-ups. They will certainly impact the seed K-State earns in the NCAA Tournament.

Let’s go ahead and jump into your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.

1. The expectation has to be 0-2, given K-State’s recent history. Though it has often looked dominant at home (winning 14 straight) it has played poorly on the road (losing every away game other than at bottom-feeder TCU). But the majority of its road losses have been close, so it’s also reasonable to assume K-State will break through and win a road game at some point. Oklahoma is 11-3 at home. Texas Tech is 10-5 at home. K-State could win in both venues, but both games will be difficult. Too difficult to expect victories given that K-State has lost five straight on the road.
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