Tonight's game against the hated Wildcats begins in about an hour, let's see how much I can work out before gametime. But first, some of the other previews floating around the internet:
Kansas State's Tournament Profile
Bracketology - 12th Seed in South
We are the #3 seed in that bracket setting up a potential meeting.
Bracketography - 2nd Team Out (Basically #67)
We are the #3 seed in the South...again.
Bracket Project - 11th Seed in South
We are still a #3 seed, this time in the East.
They are a bubble team right now, but according to Andy Glockner in his article Drive to 65 they are listed as a team that "Should Be In". I agree with him, as long as they don't screw it up down the stretch they should be dancing in Huggins' first year at the helm.
Their Statistical Leaders
Points - Cartier Martin (15.5)
Rebounds - Akeem Wright (6.1)
Assists - Clent Stewart (2.6)
Steals - Blake Young (27)
Blocks - Jason Bennett (45)
Minutes - Cartier Martin (26.4)
3 Point % - Lance Harris (36.9%)
Free Throw % - Cartier Martin (80%)
For everything else statistical go here.
This could also be called the Pomeroy Section, as these are all his statistics. Here are Kansas State's KenPom pages:
RPI - 40th
SOS - 89th
Last 10 - 7-3
Offensive Efficiency - 110th
Offensive Efficiency (Adj.) - 88th
Defensive Efficiency - 33rd
Defensive Efficiency (Adj.) - 24th
Offensive Effective FG% - 235th
Defensive Effective FG% - 20th
Three Keys to the Game
1. Make Open 3 Pointers
They are listed as the 2nd best team in defensive 3 point FG% so when we have a wide open shot we need to knock them down. Our offense, like many in the country, goes outside in with dishouts so when the defense collapses on an SC drive Super Mario and company need to make those shots.
2. Stop Cartier Martin
I know that he doesn't start every game, but he is their scoring leader and absolutely lit up Texas on Saturday. He made 7 three pointers in that game and we can't let him do that or we could be in trouble.
3. Don't Let this Become a Rivalry
The big topic regarding this game is with Bobby Huggins leading Kansas State in the right direction, towards the NCAA's, that this will become a rivalry soon. As is often said in sports, a rivalry really isn't one unless both sides win on somewhat of a consistent basis, that is what makes the Duke-UNC and Michigan-Ohio State rivalries so exciting year in and year out.
Projected Starting Lineups:
KANSAS (19-4, 6-2)
F -- Sasha Kaun (6-11)
F -- Julian Wright (6-8)
G -- Brandon Rush (6-6)
G -- Russell Robinson (6-1)
G -- Mario Chalmers (6-1)
KANSAS STATE (17-6, 6-2)
F -- David Hoskins (6-5)
C -- Luis Colon (6-10)
G -- Lance Harris (6-5)
G -- Clent Stewart (6-4)
G -- Akeem Wright (6-6)
As you notice Cartier Martin isn't expected to start. Don't be fooled though, he is their leader in minutes per game and is their main scorer. Stopping him is still a huge key to the game.
RCT Prediction: Kansas 71 Kansas State 64
It will be a close game but I don't think the Wildcats are to our level just yet. Next year's contests and this one's later this year in the Little Apple will all be great games to watch, but this one will be a bigger blowout than evident by the score. We will always been 10-15 points up, with a run late in the game getting the deficit under 10 points.