A Kansas State reprieve

First things first about Kansas State’s basketball team. Lose those uniforms. Go to the biggest dumpster you can find just outside Bramlage Coliseum and toss those things.

I’ve seen a lot of basketball uniforms in my life and the ones K-State wore during it’s Big Monday game against Baylor are the worst. It’s not even close. What where those things?

They were some sort of gray with a really bad fabric on the back that made it appear that each Kansas State player was sweating profusely through their jersey. The purple trim was difficult to see. I hoped to put up a picture here but can’t find on online so soon after the game. Consider if a public service that I’m not posting a photo.

As for the game, the Wildcats got a win they desperately needed. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t artistic. But it was a 69-61win over a dangerous Baylor team that never got its star player, guard LaceDarius Dunn, out of the gate. Dunn, a dangerously streaky shooter who has made both K-State and Kansas pay over the years, was just 4 of 17 from the field and hit only three three-pointers.

Give a lot of credit to Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen, who drew the defensive assignment on Dunn. Pullen made it very difficult for Dunn to find credible shots and even though the Baylor senior took a lot of shots, more than a few were ill-advised.

Pullen also scored 17 points, tying freshman Will Spradling for team high honors. But Pullen, despite his 18 ppg average, is really struggling offensively. He was just 4 of 13 from the floor against Baylor and is shooting just 38.8 percent (33 of 85) in six Big 12 games.

Sometimes, Pullen tries to do too much. Monday night, he got a lot of help from Spradling, whose 17 points were a career high, and from sophomore Rodney McGruder, who recovered from an awful performance at Texas A&M on Saturday, in which he didn’t score, to score 12 points.

The Wildcats were shaky. They could have led by 20 at halftime, but let Baylor stay too close. And when the Bears rallied to within one point in the second half it was difficult to not start thinking the worst.

But Kansas State hit a flurry of three-pointers to stretch its lead and was never in serious danger down the stretch. The Wildcats are still a precarious 2-4 in the Big 12 with a road game coming up at Kansas on Saturday.

The most optimistic outlook for K-State is that they somehow figure out a way to go 10-6 in the Big 12, with losses at Kansas and Texas. But that would require the Wildcats to win road games against Iowa State, Nebraska and Colorado and to beat Kansas and Missouri at home.

Obviously, Kansas State isn’t out of the woods, but a loss to Baylor could have had major negative repercussions. At least now K-State can go to Lawrence feeling a little better about itself against a Jayhawks team that hasn’t exactly been dominant on their home floor and lost its 69-game Allen Fieldhouse winning streak Saturday against Texas.