We had ourselves a good old-fashioned bench-clearing today.
Last game of 2011, against the Howard Bison, saw even the walk-ons logging several minutes at the end of the game. The result was never in question after the first two minutes; K-State showed no evidence of a jet-lagged hangover, raining 3s from just about everywhere and everyone, forcing TOs, making assists, and dominating the glass at both ends of the floor.
The Bison were, quite simply, not on the same plane as the Cats.Leading 50-18 at half, subs played most of the minutes in the second stanza, which led to some prolonged averageness, sloppy play, and what almost appeared as apathy. The spread was stretched to as many as 47 before the lackadaisical play set in, but the lead never dwindled below 30.
On a brighter note for Howard, freshman Glen Andrews netted 25 points, albeit in the face of solid D, or on shots that I would argue he wouldn't normally make. And, they tried hard in the second half, keeping the overall scoring pace relatively even.
Overall, I probably would have like to have seen a little more capable opponent with the next several games coming up, but this game did get the team a chance to rest Martavious Irving (sat with an injured ankle), reinforce some shot-making ability, and get some kids some playing time.
Good things to take away:
- Shooting. We finished the game 51% from the floor, including 48% 3PFG (13-27). Lots of good ball movement like we've seen recently, and seeing Jeremy Jones, Angel Rodriguez, Shane Southwell, Will Spradling, and Rodney McGruder step up and knock down jumpers.
- PT. always good to see walk-ons play. Shawn Meyer and Brian Rohleder both logged some minutes, with Rohleder even putting 2 PTS, 3 REB, and 1 AST in his 3 minutes, and Meyer logging 2 PTS as well. Of course, if your walk-ons are playing that much, you obviously did something right.
- Even attack. Five players in double figures scoring: Rod, Jamar, Will, Angel, and Jones (who, hereforth, shall be "The Microwave"). Eight players with at least 3 REB each. 20 AST on 29 FGM.
Things to improve on:
- Focus. Expecting solid 40 minutes from the team in a game like this is probably too much to ask of anyone. But we did have a major lull in the second half, allowing 28 points to Howard, only scoring 32 ourselves, as well as letting Andrews get to 25 (admittedly, on 33 FGA).
- FT shooting. Made it to the line 26 times, but only converted 11. That sucks, regardless of the opponent.
- Aggressiveness. When we're playing an overmatched five, I'd like to see us be more aggressive on taking the ball to the rim. Nearly half of our FGA were 3PFG (27 of 57). A touch too unbalanced for my liking.
Typically, I would grade each individual player's performance. Frankly, I don't know how much value there would be on this game. Too many minutes spread around (good thing), everybody played relatively at or beyond expectations (good thing), and the lapse in the second half affected few of the starters, mostly bench players (completely expected).
We'll grade this course on a pass/fail basis...everyone gets a passing grade today.
With that, HAPPY NEW YEAR, we'll see ya on the flip side at the Flaw On The Kaw later this week!