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Basketball Preview: We’re Talking Kansas State Pt. 2

KSU will look to Wade through stormy waters as a Cyclone approaches Manhattan

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Last Time Out

They say close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades and although Prohm has himself a ringer in Cameron Lard, the Cyclones were unable to explode from long range and this one went in the books as another loss. All losses supposedly count the same, but when this Kansas win is vacated in just a matter of weeks will we still be saying the same? I’d bet my car that we won’t.

A number of Iowa State’s biggest weaknesses were on full display in the 83-77 loss to Bill Self’s Jayhawks. Unable to guard a small lineup, the Cyclones were taken advantage of both inside and outside the perimeter.

The loss to Kansas effectively extinguished Iowa State’s NCAA tournament hopes barring a magical run in Kansas City this March.

About Kansas State

The last time these two teams met players got buckets with ease in the first half. In the second half the Wildcats continued to get buckets with ease while the Cyclones suffered from rim job after rim job. The result was a 91-75 loss that snapped Iowa State’s nine game winning streak.

While most Kansas State fans would be happy to see Bruce Weber commit a fireable offense soon, the ole ball coach has his team on pace for another NCAA tournament appearance. The K-State faithful might be stuck with the man for awhile.

By far the goofiest coach in the league, Weber has these Wildcats moving at a glacial pace en route to an adjusted tempo ranking as the 306th fastest in the country. The little kittens have still scratched and clawed their way to seven wins in conference somehow and they have their slow but efficient offense to thank.

Dean Wade, the focal point of Bruce Weber’s “shut up and dribble” offense, has continued to carve up opposing defenses since going off for a career high (who hasn’t) 34 points in Ames in the conference opener. Unlike Iowa State’s last few opponents, the Wildcats are fairly balanced when it comes to where their points will come from on the court. Just over 31% of their points come from behind the arc while 49.5% of their total comes from inside the arc. Both numbers are within a percentage point of the national average.

Players to Watch

We’ve mentioned Wade already and he has been incredible in his third season for the Wildcats. Iowa State will have to find the versatile big man in the pick and pop game this time out if they have any hopes of pulling off the upset. Wade went 13-16 from the floor against Steve Prohm’s crew just weeks ago.

Barry Brown has the ability to carry this offense when Bruce Weber needs him to. He has already scored over 30 points twice this conference season while getting to the free throw line 130 times in 26 games. It begs the question “what can’t Brown do for you?”.

Iowa State will need to find a way to guard Brown without fouling and allowing him to add double digits to his team’s total from the charity stripe.

What to Expect

Is Iowa State capable of earning their first road win of the season? Sure. Is it likely? No. Iowa State does not match up well this season with the ‘Cats. Hamstrung with a lineup that is forced to have two bigs on the floor at the same time, Prohm will need to get creative in stopping Kansas State’s pick and pop scheme that torched them earlier this year.

Iowa State should be able to get more out of their guards in this one as it would be nearly impossible to get much less than the back-court provided against Kansas just a couple days ago. Jackson managed a mere two points in the Big 12 opener against Kansas State. Iowa State will obviously need more out of him than that if they have a chance of competing.

Iowa State has peaked down the stretch in Prohm’s first two seasons at the helm. With just five conference games left, now would be as good of time as any for his team to start playing their best basketball.

Lard and Wigginton will show everyone why they will be a force to be reckoned with next season, but the ‘Clones don’t get enough production out of the rest of the squad.

Kansas State- 81 Iowa State- 73

Pick Three

  1. Donovan Jackson scores more points than he did last time against Kansas State
  2. Jeff Beverly scores less points than he did last time against Kansas State
  3. Dean Wade connects on at least five three point baskets

Game Notes

Game Time: Saturday, February 16th, 12 PM

Line: Kansas State (-7.5) O/U (144)