Well we knew it was going to be a long, strange year, but somehow it’s still been surprising. Before the start of the season, being 5-7 at the end of the first week of January would have seemed reasonable. But it’s more about how the Wildcats made it to 5-7.
A loss to Fort Hays State in game 5 of the season seemed to spell doom for the season. But a week later, a road win in Ames re-sparked hope in the WeberCats before another embarassing loss, this one a blow-out against Baylor, tried really hard to snuff that spark back out.
Through four Big 12 conference games, the Wildcats are 1-3, and the last two have been decently close for a young team. For example, despite having to play 5-on-6 for much of the game, K-State was still within striking distance of a Top 25 Texas Tech team in Lubbock until near the end of the game. No moral victories here, but at least it feels like some progress is being made.
But there’s still a long way to go, and since there is still so much youth, and this team is still coached by Bruce Weber, there’s no telling if/when that progress could stall this season. We’ve seen better WeberCats teams go through lulls during the season, so it’s reasonable to expect that the same could happen to this bunch.
But another young team is in town today, despite the Cowboys having the projected #1 NBA Draft pick leading the team. And he’s looked every bit the part, leading Oklahoma State to a 7-3 record, with the three losses coming by a combined seven points, and two to ranked teams. The Cowboys are definitely primed to have a season like K-State did in 2007-08, when the Wildcats had their own top draft pick on the roster. They talent is there, but it’s still young and could still slip up if the Wildcats are ready.
So, expect K-State to hit four-straight losses in conference play, but if more of the Cats can play to their potential than not, just maybe they can pull off the upset.
We’ve got an late afternoon/early evening game today in Bramlage Coliseum, with a 5:05pm CT start that can be seen on ESPN2 with Rich Hollenberg (play-by-play) and Chris Spatola (analyst) on the call. You might be able to stream the game via WatchESPN if the game isn’t blocked in your area.
If you don’t get ESPN2, or can’t access the stream, you can listen to Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) call the game on much of the K-State Sports Radio Network, and also available online via the TuneIn App and at K-StateSports.com, and satellite radio on XM 84.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State Wildcats (5-7)
G: #24 Nijel Pack
G: #00 Mike McGuirl
G: #2 Selton Miguel
G: #3 DaJuan Gordon
F: #21 Davion Bradford
Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-3)
G: #0 Avery Anderson III
G: #14 Bryce Williams
G: #13 Isaac Likekele
G: #2 Cade Cunningham
F: #22 Kalib Boone