Another day, another ugly win: KSU 72, Tulane 41

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

Bruce Weber's team isn't going to win a lot of bandwagon fans, but the 'Cats are clearly comfortable with their style of play.

Well, I'm sure glad that's over.

Kansas State didn't exactly light it up while its leading scorer missed a dunk and didn't score in the first half as Jevon Thomas slowly got himself acclimated. But things got a little better late, and Harlem native Shane Southwell regained his confidence in his home city.

The story of the 72-41 win, though, was Kansas State's dominance on the defensive end. Tulane shot 3-of-23 from the field and scored just 10 points in the opening half, leaving K-State with an insurmountable 18-point lead.

Tulane's guards couldn't find a way into the lane, partly because K-State could focus almost completely on them without worrying about the awful bigs. Their inability to do anything rendered the pick-and-roll virtually useless, and the Green Wave even made only 2 of their first 6 free throws, generally a strength.

Kansas State came into the game shooting worse than 28% from 3, but Tulane learned that doesn't mean you don't have to guard some of the Wildcats. Nigel Johnson hit a couple early 3s on his way to 13 points, and Shane Southwell (19% coming into the game) hit 5-of-9 since Tulane was kind enough to guard him as if he were Doug Gottlieb or Thomas Gipson.

Thomas did show just how good his on-ball defense is and came away with 3 steals, but he didn't really do much on offense until the final 10 minutes and only scored 2 points with a team-high 4 assists. That first step will be deadly even in the Big 12, but his speed wasn't enough to change the incredibly boring tempo of the Wildcats offense.

How slow was the pace of this game? At one point midway through the second half, Tulane brought the ball up so slowly against K-State's token man-to-man pressure they were whistled for a 10-second violation.

At the end of the day, though, the 'Cats cruised to their 7th straight win with only George Washington standing between them and a 10-3 record heading into conference play. Not bad for a team that opened with a home loss to Northern Colorado and relied heavily on 3 (now 4) talented but still growing freshman.

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