Kansas State Basketball: Positives Heading to Stillwater
The Kansas State Wildcats suffered their first home loss of the season on Saturday night. The loss snapped the team’s 10-game winning streak at Bramlage Coliseum.
Despite the outcome, Bruce Weber’s team was in the game until late in the second half. They only trailed top-ranked Bears by one at the half. There are positives to focus on going forward.
This Wildcat team can shoot the ball.
Kansas State shot 52.4 percent (11-of-21) from the field in the second half. The Wildcats have now shot over 50 percent in at least one half for 15 of 17 games this season. They also shot 86.7 percent from the free throw line.
Bruce Weber had 4 players score in double figures on Saturday.
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At least 4 players have now scored in double figures in 11 of 17 games this season.
Going into the game, the ‘Cats were the only Big 12 team to have all 5 starters averaging in double figures and the lone school with 5 double-digit scorers.
DJ Johnson took the game to the bigger Baylor Bears and was able to avoid foul trouble.
Johnson scored a team-high 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting.
It was his 5th career 20-point game, including his 3rd this season and the 11th time this season he’s scored in double figures.
Johnson’s points in the paint are critical to the team’s success.
At approximately the 14-minute mark of the 2nd half on Saturday, the ‘Cats finally executed well against the tough Baylor zone and Johnson scored.
If they had done more of that and if Dean Wade had been more aggressive, Saturday’s outcome might have been different.
Bruce Weber’s team is also good defensively. Few players could have stopped the Bear’s Manu Lecomte on Saturday.
Prior to Saturday’s loss, Kansas State ranked 13th nationally in scoring defense (61.5), 50th in FG percentage defense (39.9), 27th in steals (8.4) and 39th in turnovers forced (15.8)
The Wildcats were also 2nd in the Big 12 in scoring defense and 3rd in FG percentage defense and steals.
The ‘Cats need to focus on the things that led them to a great start to the basketball season as they head to Stillwater to face the Cowboys on Wednesday night.