Trudging Right Along: K-State 64, South Dakota 62

USA TODAY Sports

A lackluster effort wasn't quite enough to produce another embarrassing home loss, but it was far too close for comfort.

The good news is Kansas State did not lose to South Dakota, a team picked to finish 7th out of 8 teams in the Summit League.

They sure as hell tried, though, right down to the part where four different players combined to miss 6 of 7 free throws in the final minute, including 2 front ends of 1-and-1s. That's a total team effort.

In the end, though, despite shooting 50 percent from the field, it was South Dakota who ended up losing the game, 64-62. Even though I was just watching on Wyattvision, I'm guessing it took quite an awful effort on their part to commit 18 turnovers.

In his postgame interview on the radio, Shane Southwell talked about the difficulties of facing South Dakota's defense because it was so tightly packed-in and "lackadaisical," conducing the Wildcat offense to "relax." Well, Shane, that's what happens when you have only one guy on your team capable of making a jump shot with any consistency.

Luckily, Marcus Foster got hot again with 4 threes in the first half and finished with 18 points on a Marshall Henderson-like 6-of-20 shooting night. But it would be hard to blame him for shooting so much on a night when everyone else was so terrible.

Starters Will Spradling and Wesley Iwundu did virtually nothing, and K-State reverted back to the Frank Martin days at times with its best offense coming on the offensive glass. In fact, it was the efforts of Thomas Gipson and yes, Southwell, inside that helped K-State survive and avoid a second embarrassing home loss.

Freshman point guard Jevon Thomas has to be all but assured a starting spot at this point when he joins the team on Dec. 21 against Gonzaga, but you can bet he'll be watching nervously like the rest of us for one more game.

Then again, Troy actually lost by 7 to the Central Arkansas team Kansas State obliterated 87-54 in its only convincing win of the year, so maybe we've got nothing to worry about. I have to admit, I'm still nervous.

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