K-State Drops Opener in Brazil, 81-67

Probably self-explanatory, but I'll do one of these each day after the game in question takes place.

All of my information comes from K-State Sports Information (full writeup is linked in the score below), and annoyingly, there is no box score, so this will be somewhat incomplete analysis. Bear with me.

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Sao Jose dos Campos 81, Kansas State 67
Associacao Esportiva San Jose — Sao Jose, Brazil
3 p.m. CST, Aug. 10, 2012

Who We Played:

Sao Jose dos Campos is regarded as one of the top professional teams in the National Brazilian Basketball League (NBB), finishing as the national runner-up early last month. It has been one of the top five teams in Brazil for the last five years, and one of the top three in Sao Paulo, with several players on the Brazilian national team.

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Starting Lineup:

  1. Will Spradling
  2. Martavious Irving
  3. Rodney McGruder
  4. Thomas Gipson
  5. Jordan Henriquez

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Top Performers:

  • Angel Rodriguez: 15 points, 4-of-9 shooting, 2-of-5 on 3-pointers, 6 assists (team high), 4 rebounds
  • Nino Williams: 11 points, 4-of-6 shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 steals
  • Jordan Henriquez: 8 points, 9 rebounds (team high), 5 defensive boards, 1 assist, 1 block
  • Rodney McGruder: 7 points, 5 rebounds
  • Will Spradling: at least 5 points, hit a 3-pointer

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What I Liked:

  • A fast start: We jumped out to a 12-2 lead and led 22-10 after the first quarter.
  • Distributed scoring: Eight different Wildcats scored in the first quarter.
  • Fighting back: We relinquished the lead for the first time early in the third quarter, but ripped off nine consecutive points to jump back in front, 47-42. Will Spradling scored five of those points in a row.
  • Free throws: Thirteen of 14? You kidding me? We should have run off Frank Martin years ago!
  • Hustle stats: Forty rebounds, 13 assists, 11 steals and four blocks sound pretty good for team-wide stats. It certainly would help if I could compare them to Sao Jose's, however.

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What I Didn't Like:

  • Another long run: Sao Jose closed out the third quarter on a 12-2 run. The run continued in the fourth quarter, with the opponent scoring 13 of the first 15 to put us away for good. Where was Rodney McGruder when we needed him most?
  • Bloody turnovers: Seventeen is simply too many. Hell, half that is simply too many.
  • Failing to close out the first half again: Just like the game in Austin, we blew a first-half lead in the last minutes and allowed the other team to gain momentum. Despite leading by more than 10 through much of the first half, we led just 33-32 at halftime. We only scored 11 points in the second quarter.
  • Tapping out: We did not get the score within 10 points at any point in the fourth quarter. I know we were playing grown men, but that's simply unacceptable.
  • Weak shooting: We were 24 of 66 from the field, or 36.4 percent, and just 6 of 22 from 3-point range, or 27.3 percent. Pretty chilly. The shooting woes from last season seem to be continuing.

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What Weber Said:

We knew today was going to be a difficult task. They were the national runner-up in the National Brazilian Basketball League, even though they were missing a few key players, so we knew it was going to be a tough first outing. I thought we got off to a great start, maybe caught them off guard a bit, and showed great energy.

However, like typical international basketball, they spread you out and shoot the ball well from 3-point range, which then opens up the middle for easy shots. This is all new for our team and a great learning experience.

I think Angel played well. In the last five practices, he has really started to develop into a true point guard and really get a good feel for the game.

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Who We Play Next:

K-State returns to action against Mogi Das Cruzes Club at 3 p.m. CST Saturday.

Mogi Das Cruzes is entering the National Brazilian Basketball League in 2012-13 after playing in the junior level.

For updates on the game, follow kstate_gameday on Twitter.

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