Entering today’s game the Kansas State Wildcats (16-10, 5-8) and the Texas Longhorns (10-16, 4-9) are basically even. The teams played their conference opener against each other in Manhattan, and both teams are 4-9 since that time, including a road loss in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, with the only difference in their conference records being the Wildcats’ win at Bramlage early in January.
Texas has won all four of its conference games in the echo-y halls of the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, and are 10-4 on the season at home. In Shaka Smart’s second year in Austin, the Longhorns look much like the Wildcats last season (and this season), being led by two freshmen, two sophomores, and senior Saquille Cleare. Luckily for the Cats, Texas is one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country, shooting under 30 percent on the season from behind the arc, and do not convert a lot at the free throw line, shooting under 65 percent on the season from the charity stripe.
The Wildcats under Weber have not fared well in Austin, with Weber only holding a 1-3 record in the Lone Star state capital, including last-year’s loss to Smart’s first Longhorn squad. Luckily for the poor-shooting Longhorns, the Wildcats are the worst team in the country at defending the 3-point shot, allowing Big 12 teams to shoot a blistering 45 percent from behind the arc, and are on pace to set the record for the worst 3-point defense by any Big 12 conference team in the Big 12 era. The lone bright spot on the Wildcat conference stat sheet is turnover margin, as the Cats committing 40 fewer turnovers than their Big 12 opponents.
Barry Brown finally returned strong with a 21-point performance against Iowa State on Wednesday, and Welsey Iwundu notched a 16-point, 13 rebound double-double. Dean Wade, 15 points, and Kamau Stokes, 13 points, joined the double-digit party, but with the Wildcats short bench the Cats really need five guys to hit double-figures to have a good chance of winning. D.J. Johnson returned, but still held down by an injury his 11 minutes were basically useless as the senior forward’s only stats logged were two missed field goals. The Cats will need a healthy D.J. to have a good shot at winning in Austin.
Today’s game is slated for an 1:01pm CT tip and will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network with Lowell Galindo (play-by-play) and Lance Blanks (analyst) on the call. Streaming may be available to you (depending on your location and provider/package) at WatchESPN.com. Audio, as always, is available on the K-State Sports Network (Sirius 81/XM 81 (Texas broadcast)) and streaming online at K-StateSports.com.
The #24/RV women’s basketball team will play at TCU at 3:00pm today looking for a split in their road series after falling to West Virginia on Wednesday. The game will be broadcast on FSN with Anne Marie Anderson (play-by-play) and Dan Hughes (analyst) on the call. In his third season at K-State, Jeff Mittie is currently 5-2 against his former school, but K-State has lost each of the last three in Fort Worth.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown
G: #25 Wesley Iwundu
F: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #32 Dean Wade
G: #1 Andrew Jones
G: #10 Eric Davis, Jr.
G: #12 Kerwin Roach, Jr.
F: #31 Jarrett Allen
F: #32 Shaquille Cleare