Postgame Thoughts and Player Ratings: Iowa State 81, Kansas State 75

Three thoughts from Kansas State’s 81-75 loss at Iowa State on Saturday at Hilton Coliseum:

1. The Wildcats need to handle double-teams better on both ends of the court.
Thomas Gipson had an unusually quiet day, scoring four points and grabbing seven rebounds in 28 minutes. His struggles were tied directly to the way he handled double-teams. Iowa State players descended on him every time he touched the ball down low, and he didn’t react fast enough to the extra pressure. He missed five of seven shots, and often held onto the ball too long when teammates were open. Gipson is used to double-teams, but he struggled against them at Iowa State. The Wildcats also failed to effectively double-team Iowa State forwards on defense. Georges Niang and Melvin Ejim faced two, and sometimes three, K-State defenders in the paint. Yet, they combined for 38 points and 13 rebounds.
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Cats ready for first trip to Ames since 2007

The last time Kansas State traveled to Jack Trice Stadium, Iowa State handed the Wildcats a 31-20 loss in Ron Prince’s second year as head coach.

The Wildcats have since reeled off four straight wins over the Cyclones, but they came by an average of 5.75 points and none of them were played in Ames. K-State defeated Iowa State at home in 2008 and 2011. In between, the Farmageddon series briefly moved to Arrowhead Stadium.

So Saturday’s game will be a new experience for K-State players. None of them have played at Jack Trice Stadium before. Next week will bring a new stadium, too, when the Wildcats play their first game at West Virginia since 1931.

Question is: Will that have an impact on the games?

“I would like to think that’s not the case,” K-State football coach Bill Snyder said. “As we’ve said so many times, it’s keeping it all between the white lines. If you do that it all looks the same no matter where you happen to be. Grass is grass.”
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Sunday Rewind: K-State 30, Iowa State 23

Overall Assessment:
Coming into Saturday’s game against Iowa State, the Kansas State football team wanted to win the final game of the regular season for several reasons. Players viewed a 10-win season as a great accomplishment, and wanted to put themselves within reach of a BCS bowl.

But they also wanted to send the seniors out on top. After beating the Cyclones 30-23, it sounded like players were motivated by that more than anything else.

“We just wanted to win the game for them,” sophomore linebacker Tre Walker said. “It wasn’t about Iowa State. It wasn’t about getting a three-way tie for the Big 12 championship. We just wanted to win it for them because we love them so much.”

Throughout the week, seniors and upperclassmen were allowed to give speeches to the rest of the team. Some of the most emotional came on Friday night at the team hotel.

Senior cornerback David Garrett said he was the first to speak to the whole team on Wednesday, and that after hearing everyone’s take on the season he thought the team was fired up to play.

“Our team, we care a about each other a lot,” Garrett said. “We are always together. Everything we do, even if it has nothing to do with football we do it together. Us stepping up like that and showing that we care and expressing ourselves, it gets to people and makes us go hard.”

Well, K-State’s seniors went out in style. They finished the season 10-2 and finished second to only Oklahoma State in the final Big 12 standings. Now it will wait to find out if it makes a BCS bowl.

If the Cowboys play in the BCS title game, the Wildcats could head to the Fiesta Bowl. If Alabama heads to the BCS title game, K-State may go to the Sugar Bowl. Or maybe K-State will end up in the Cotton Bowl. It will definitely be one of those three. We’ll know for sure in a few hours.

Here’s a look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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Looking ahead to gameday: Iowa State

Editor’s note: In preparation of the upcoming football season, K-Stated will look ahead to all 12 games on the Wildcats’ 2011 schedule. We start at the end with Iowa State. Next up, at Texas

As fun as Farmageddon was to watch at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas State won two exciting games over Iowa State by close scores of 24-23 and 27-20) the former Big 12 North rivals are moving their annual meeting back to campus.

That’s bad news for anyone hoping for K-State/Iowa State to turn into the next Red River Rivalry. But, hey, at least it won’t become the next Baylor/Texas Tech, where neither fan base seems interested in driving to a neutral site for the game.

Overall, the switch back to Manhattan and Ames should be a positive for the matchup. The move away from a pro stadium will mean full – or at least near full — crowds watching from the stands, and the unusual scheduling date of December 3 gives the game a sense of added importance.

These are two similar teams that were picked to finish in about the same spot of the final Big 12 standings. Paul Rhoads looks like a real up-and-comer. Bill Snyder is the most established coach in the conference. The Cyclones and Wildcats have played each other tough for the past five seasons, and there’s no reason to think this year will be any different.
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Postgame: K-State 27, Iowa State 20

ISUThomas

Kansas State defeated Iowa State 27-20 on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium. Daniel Thomas did most of the leg work by running for 181 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries, and the Wildcats are hoping to parlay their 3-0 start into a promising season.

Here’s a look at everything that transpired — good, bad and interesting — between the Wildcats and Cyclones:

FIVE THINGS THAT WENT WELL
1. Thomas deserves first mention. Before the game started, K-State coach Bill Snyder told the senior running back to be ready to carry the load. He did.

The Wildcats went to him a career-high 34 times, and he delivered from start to finish. It wasn’t the easiest of experiences, but Thomas said he felt strong afterward. Read More »

Gameday Preview: K-State vs. Iowa State

Farmageddon_lineup

Do a Google Images search on the term “Farmageddon” and very little comes up about Kansas State and Iowa State. Instead you get all kinds of unintentionally hilarious cartoon drawings of farmers and farm animals like the ones featured here.

Too bad, because the Wildcats and Cyclones lived up to their end of the bargain in their first neutral-site game at Arrowhead Stadium last year. The two teams played a fantastic game that wasn’t decided until the final moments when Emmanuel Lamur blocked an extra point.

K-State won 24-23, and the 40,851 in attendance left speaking highly of their experiences. But unless something drastic changes in the minds of John Currie and Bill Snyder following Saturday’s rematch, the series is headed back to Manhattan and Ames in the future.

It’s the right move to make, but that doesn’t mean the Wildcats and Cyclones can’t put on another great show in Kansas City.
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This week’s player to watch: A.J. Klein

Iowa St Football Media Day

An unlikely player as emerged as the Big 12′s leading tackler two games into the season: A.J. Klein.

The Iowa State sophomore linebacker has 26 tackles so far, and is one of the Cyclones top up-and-coming players.

Klein, a 6-foot-1, 240-pounder, first showed his talents last season, when he made it on the field for all 13 of Iowa State’s games as a true freshman. He only recorded 17 tackles, but the groundwork for a strong career was established.
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Postgame: Iowa State 85, K-State 82

For 28 games this season, the Kansas State basketball team cruised to 24 wins and soared up the national rankings.

After a shocking 85-82 overtime loss to Iowa State on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum, combined with a 17-point loss at Kansas earlier in the week, the Wildcats are now headed in the other direction.

How far? Maybe just a spot or two in the polls. Maybe out of the top 10. It all depends on the voters.

What will that mean for K-State’s NCAA Tournament seeding? A No. 1 seed appears out of the question, but it all depends on how the Wildcats play at the Big 12 Tournament. Win a game or two in Kansas City, and they are likely looking at a No. 2 seed. Lose a third straight game and a No. 3 seed may be in the cards.

All that is certain is that K-State needs to perform better in the postseason than it did against the Cyclones if it wants to make a run through March.
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Postgame: K-State 79, Iowa State 75

After scoring a season-high 30 points during Kansas State’s 79-75 win over Iowa State on Saturday, it’s safe to say Denis Clemente has found his shooting touch.

For the second consecutive game he made half the shots he attempted and scored more than 20 points. He is heating up, and teammates say they don’t see him cooling off anytime soon. Neither does his coach.

Following Saturday’s win, Frank Martin compared Clemente to a baseball player who had watched the majority of his well hit line drives wind up in the gloves of outfielders this season. But now that he’s reached first base with a grounder or two his confidence is up, and he’s back to slugging home runs.

Pretty good analogy considering baseball was Clemente’s first love growing up in Puerto Rico.

“When you’re a good player, and you start feeling better, that’s all it takes,” said Frank Martin. “It’s kind of turning that way for him right now.”
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Scouting the Iowa State Cyclones

With No. 10 Kansas State coming to town Saturday, the Iowa State basketball team will be wearing pink on its shoes and uniforms in an effort to promote the awareness for breast cancer.

But the feminine color may spread all across Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones are encouraging fans to mix in a few pink shirts with the arena’s traditional cardinal and gold attire.

Sounds like a good idea. Not only will the smattering of pink support a good cause, it could give Iowa State a boost of energy as it tries to pick up its first win over a ranked opponent since 2006 when it beat No. 25 Colorado.

Will the introduction of a new color really help the Cyclones? Probably not, but they could use a change.
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