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Cayman Islands Classic Championship: K-State vs LSU

Bet you didn’t think you’d be worrying about the Cats boosting their strength of schedule eight months ago.

Good thing there’s LSU pics from this season because most of the guys from last year left...
Good thing there’s LSU pics from this season because most of the guys from last year left...
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations to those of you who survived last night’s affair, complete with blown nine-point lead in the final minutes, Markquis Nowell making a buzzer-beating game-tying shot to send the game to overtime, and then Kansas State rolling over Nevada as their starters fouled out one by one to capture a 96-87 win.

Now, the Wildcats face their biggest test of the young season: a power five team with a pulse. K-State (5-0) takes on the LSU Tigers (also 5-0) tonight at 6:30 CT at John Gray Gym in George Town, on Grand Cayman Island.

The game will, again, air on FloHoops, and that’s all we’re going to say about that ahem. You can listen in via WyattVision, of course, and/or follow live stats.

LSU is led by Matt McMahon, late of Murray State where he went 154-67 over six years — with 31 of those losses coming in his first two years as he underwent a bit of a rebuild following Steve Prohm’s departure for Iowa State. McMahon’s Racers earned three tickets to the dance in his last four years and won first-round games twice; his tenure there was capped off last year with a 31-win season. Thus it was that LSU turned to McMahon in the wake of Will Wade’s unceremonious ouster last March and a mass exodus of Tigers in response — one member of which is Wildcat sophomore center Jerrell Colbert. Seven Tigers transferred, and three declared for the draft.

So how did McMahon reload? He brought players with him. Three members of Murray State’s 31-win team from 2021-22 transferred to LSU, including two of LSU’s top three scorers on the young season, forward KJ Williams (17.4 PPG, 7 RPG) and point guard Justice Hill (10.8 PPG, 4.6 APG). The third head of the Tiger attack is shooting guard Adam Miller (17.4 PPG), who transferred over from Illinois a year ago.

While this game will be an important win for the Wildcats should they prevail, it may be even more significant for LSU. While K-State has beaten a Power Five team already and also dispatched a solid tournament contender last night in Nevada, the Tigers haven’t played anyone of note, and this will be their first meeting with a Power Five squad this season. The two teams have one common opponent: the Wildcats beat Kansas City by 16, while LSU beat them by 15.

So it’s anyone’s guess tonight.

Hey, are you on Discord? We are now, too! Feel free to join us! (Make sure you click the reaction button on the rules notice though, or you won’t see anything.) We’ll have a game thread there as well!