The Kansas State Wildcats may have played two games away from Bramlage, but the Wildcats will get their first taste of a true road game today as they head east to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores in a 1:30pm tilt from Vandy’s Memorial Gym.
If you’ve never seen a game at Memorial Gym, you’ll be in for a surprise. The floor is raised high, like a stage, and the benches are at end of the courts instead of along the side. It can be a bit of an unnerving place to play at if it’s your first time playing there. The Wildcats fared well in their only other appearance at Memorial Gym, 40 years ago, when the Wildcats knocked off the Commodores 69-55 on Dec. 5, 1977.
The Cats will need a much more inspired performance than they saw in the 77-68 victory over Oral Roberts. Vanderbilt may be 3-4, but they have played one of the tougher schedules in the country to this point and are currently #65 in the KenPom ratings, making them the second-highest rated team the Wildcats have faced this season.
Dean Wade was the only Wildcat who looked truly alive last Wednesday night, as the junor forward notched just his second career double-double with a career-best 25 points and 11 rebounds. The 25/10+ line from Wade was the first for a Wildcat since Jamar Samuels accomplished the feat with 27 points and 10 rebounds against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament back on March 11, 2010. Junior guard Kamau Stokes was also mostly there Wednesday night, adding 12 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals in the victory. The Wildcats will need another solid outing from Wade, as well as the return of his teammates from the funk they experienced during the ORU game.
Leading the Commodores will be a slightly familiar face. Baylor coach Scott Drew’s brother, Bryce, is the head coach at Vanderbilt, though it will be the first time that the younger Drew has faced Bruce Weber or the Wildcats. Weber is 6-6 in meetings against the Drew family, going 1-0 against Homer Drew, Scott and Bryce’s dad, while at Illinois, and has gone 5-6 versus Baylor.
The Wildcats men’s basketball squad will be looking to avoid the fate that befell the football team when they visited Nashville back in September. A performance like the one last Wednesday against ORU would definitely result in a similar outcome for the Cats.
There are a bunch of options for viewing, but they all come off the SEC Network broadcast. You can watch the game on SEC Network Plus, SECSports.com/Watch, and ESPN3 with Kevin Ingram (play-by-play) and Shan Foster (analyst) on the call. Be sure and check out Jon Morse’s full How To Watch post for more details.
The game can be heard over-the-air on the K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) on the call (you can also listen online for free at TuneIn.com or at KStateSports.com). There is no K-State option for satellite radio available tonight.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (6-1)
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown Jr.
G: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #32 Dean Wade
F: #14 Makol Mawien
G: #0 Saben Lee
G: #13 Riley LaChance
F: #2 Joe Toye
F: #11 Jeff Roberson
C: #12 Djery Baptiste