All hail the new streak. Fine, probably not going to have anything as epic as the 24 game streak, but it's still fun to think about. I'm just glad we could help our friends at Kansas State avoid the tough decision of whether or not to storm the court.
This game was down then up and back again. Game flow tells the tale but in the end we took control late and rode our inside game and thankfully solid free throw shooting to a victory. Chippy game by both teams and one that feels good to win.
More Stats, Charts and Breakdown after the jump...
Keys to the game...well to be honest it's kind of a mixed bag. Turnovers continue to be the biggest challenge and most of that probably still has a lot to do with our youngsters adjusting to the raised level of competition. That said it was better. I'm a little surprised that we failed to capitalize on our inside advantages as much as I expected allowing K-State to take the advantage in rebounding. Fortunately we shot well and got to the line very effectively today which made all the difference.
Great to see the impact from Marcus Morris in this one. After struggling early he was instrumental in our run to end the first half and continued to play well throughout the second. It seems that when one of the Morris' play well we see a much better performance from Cole as well which is apparent from the player impact chart.
As far as team stats this one was night and day with the loss on Monday at Missouri. While we're far from perfect in taking care of the ball we did play within our normal range with regards to turnovers. Shooting wise though, we were great and did an pretty solid job at holding K-State down in the same area.
Individually, the standby's of Cole and Sherron took care of business, although I would still say Sherron's play left a little to be desired. Brady Morningstar certainly deserves mention as his three point shooting kept us within striking distance in the first half.
The bench went a little deeper today for a variety of reasons, but we still saw 6 get the majority of the minutes just like in the MU game. In my mind we've got to go deeper or we're going to tire out, especially in a tournament setting. Little will probably not see only 9 minutes very often but the real question is who is our other big man that's going to fill in the rotation. I just don't think we can rely on Cole to play 36-38 minutes every night and remain as effective as he can be. Obviously it didn't hurt him to much today in a 20+ point effort but against Missouri we saw a tired Cole truly wear down. On a side note, I guess that alleged voicemail left by Cole might just have been him. He did guarantee 20 points and 10 boards. He was close and he definitely took it to the Wildcats.