It’s been a rough few games for Kansas State. Two road losses turned into a home defeat at the hands of Oklahoma earlier this week, sending the Wildcats to 14-7 overall and 4-4 in Big 12 play.
And while the loss to Iowa State a week and a half ago could be attributed to a lot of things, the last two losses have had a very similar flavor. Extremely slow starts, and lack of energy and focus through much of the game especially from key players. Against Houston it was Tylor Perry and David N’Guessan who combined for just 5 points, while Arthur Kaluma and Cam Carter combined to give the ball away 10 times (of K-State’s 18 total) by themselves (not including bad shots that were rebounded by the Cougars). Against Oklahoma, Perry burst back for 23 points, but no other Wildcat eclipsed the 10 point barrier with N’Guessan closest at 9 points — meanwhile Carter and Kaluma combined for 8 of K-State’s 14 turnovers but just 9 combined points.
Today’s opponent might be just what the Wildcats need to get refocused. Oklahoma State is just 9-12 on the season and 1-7 in Big 12 play, finally grabbing their first Big 12 win last weekend when the similarly-struggling Mountaineers visited Stillwater. However, the Pokes played K-State tough in Manhattan just two weeks ago, falling 66-70 in Manhattan. Last time out, the Cowboys got run out of the gym in Lawrence, as KU posted a 83-54 victory.
This is a game K-State should win, at least on paper. But unless this team is ready to buckle down, re-focus, and get back to doing the non-scoring things well, then this could easily go down as another ugly loss on the resume.
Regardless, the Big Monday matchup with KU in Bramlage looms just two days away. If the TangCats can’t get things back on track starting today, with the easiest game left on the schedule, it’s highly likely the Sunflower Showdown could get brutal.
Today’s matchup is scheduled for a 1:01pm CT tip at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater and will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Ted Emrich (play-by-play) and Bryndon Manzer (analyst) on the call. You’ll also be able to hear the game online at K-StateSports.com (and via the Varsity Network app), plus parts of the K-State Sports Radio Network and on SiriusXM 385 with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) calling the action over there.