It’s still the beginning of December, but Kansas State’s list of accomplishments thus far into the season isn’t half bad.
The Wildcats are first and foremost a spotless 8-0 on the year, with both a Paradise Jam title and a win over then-ranked Auburn under their belts. K-State also handed head coach Jeff Mittie his 500th career win in the Wildcats’ win over Omaha on Saturday.
Next up on the to-do list? Program win No. 900. K-State gets a shot at accomplishing the feat 7 p.m. Wednesday night at home against UT-Arlington.
The Wildcats have been rolling of late, as if the 8-0 record suggested otherwise. They secured the Paradise Jam championship in the U.S. Virgin Islands with wins over NC State, LSU and UTEP from Nov. 24-26, and they gave their head coach a shiny 900th-win accolade Saturday.
So K-State stands at 8-0, but its name is absent from both the AP and Coaches Poll rankings.
But it’s of no concern to Mittie & Co.
“We want to be ranked, but we don’t control that,” Mittie said after the Auburn win on Thursday. “What we do control is playing good basketball, and we do control getting better tomorrow.”
It seems as if they’ve done that.
In terms of individual performances, K-State is led in scoring by senior guard Kindred Wesemann, who posts about 16 points a game. Senior forward Breanna Lewis isn’t far behind with 15 per game, and sophomore guard Kayla Goth posts roughly 11 points per game.
It’s been a winning formula for the Wildcats so far, but it doesn’t stop there. K-State is outrebounding opponents by an average of 11 so far, led by Lewis’ 9 rebounds per contest. Three other Wildcats all average upwards of five boards per game — after all, rebounding is how they’ve beaten several teams this season, including Lamar, when Lewis pulled down 14 rebounds.
On the UT-Arlington side of things, the Mavericks lost their first game of the season Saturday against Stephen F. Austin after a flawless 5-0 start.
Three Mavericks average double-figure points, paced by center Rebekah VanDijk’s 17, and followed closely by guard Christina Denver’s 16.5 points a game. Guard Cierra Johnson posts 11.5 points per contest. VanDijk posted 20 points in Saturday’s loss, while Denvers logged 14.
K-State will again have the size advantage Wednesday night, and as long as Lewis stays out of foul trouble — she’ll likely guard VanDijk, who stands 6-5 — the Wildcats should have enough size to muscle their way inside for points. That’s the way they’ve won many a game this season.
The K-State/UT Arlington game will tip at 7 p.m. CT on FCS Pacific and K-StateHD.TV.