Kansas St.-TCU Preview
Bruce Weber is pleased with how his team took care of business in its first Big 12 road game. A visit to conference newcomer TCU could produce similar feelings for the first-year Kansas State coach.
The 16th-ranked Wildcats will try to extend their winning streak to seven Wednesday night when they play a Horned Frogs team still searching for its first victory in the conference.
Playing its second true road game of the season - it defeated George Washington 65-62 on Dec. 8 - Kansas State (13-2, 2-0) beat West Virginia 65-64 on Saturday behind 17 points apiece from Shane Southwell and Rodney McGruder.
Kansas State, off to its best Big 12 start since opening 5-0 in 2007-08, has won four straight league road games.
"The good teams are able to go in, keep their poise and play at the same level," Weber said.
The Wildcats last won seven in a row overall Feb. 2-27, 2010.
Before heading back to Manhattan to face Oklahoma on Saturday and No. 4 Kansas on Tuesday, the Wildcats will play at TCU for the second time, having won 75-65 at Fort Worth on Dec. 19, 1969. The Horned Frogs (9-7, 0-3) won the last meeting 72-71 in the first round of the 1999 NIT.
TCU fell 51-40 at Baylor on Saturday in its latest attempt to earn its first Big 12 victory. Freshman guard Charles Hill Jr. had season highs of 12 points and eight rebounds in his first start, but TCU needs more production from top scorers Kyan Anderson and Garlon Green.
Anderson had eight points and shot 3 of 11 to make him 7 for 33 in his last three games. Green, a senior averaging 11.3 points, went scoreless for the first time since his freshman season.
"It was disappointing that Garlon was never able to play the game and get into a rhythm having to sit the first half with two fouls," said coach Trent Johnson, whose team led by one at halftime. "He is key to what we do offensively and he never really got into a rhythm."
The Frogs could be in for a long conference season as they're shooting 34.9 percent in Big 12 play - lowest in the league. TCU's field-goal percentage defense mark of 46.7 is also the worst in conference action.
In contrast, Kansas State has the best shooting percentage in league games at 47.7 after hitting 25 of 49 attempts Saturday.
McGruder, scoring 14.9 points per game, is averaging 22.5 in conference play, while five other Wildcats are averaging at least 7.0 points overall to power a balanced attack.
"(McGruder is a) handful, but they have six or seven guys that can really play," Johnson said.
TCU, which fell 62-53 to visiting Texas Tech in its first Big 12 game, could surpass last season's home loss total in conference play Wednesday. The Frogs went 6-1 against visiting MWC teams in 2011-12.