So far, Kansas State has somehow cleared most of the hurdles in its way. A small lapse against Maryland aside, the Wildcats were perfect against the non-conference schedule. But to really make a mark this season, Kansas State would need to win the conference opener.
The Wildcats did just that. Kansas State beat Texas 65-62 yesterday. Texas held an early 11-4 lead, but Kansas State stormed back with a stellar defensive effort that sparked a 15-0 run in the first half (Greg Woods, Manhattan Mercury). The Wildcats controlled Texas in the second half before having to hold on for a 65-62 victory.
Jon Morse has the official BotC recap: K-State 65, Texas 62.
Dean Wade and Wesley Iwundu were the men of the hour last night. Wade led the team in scoring with 18 points off 7-of-10 shooting including two three-pointers. Iwundu matched his season-high of 16 points, while Kamau Stokes had 15 points along with six assists (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle).
Importantly, the Wildcats were nearly perfect from the free-throw line in the final minute of the game, hitting seven in a row before a miss by Barry Brown. Stokes was nails in the final seconds though, draining a pair of free throws to ice the game.
A close win over an average Texas team may be nothing to write home about, but opening the conference slate with a win is impressive enough, and Kansas State will need the confidence for its next game, taking on #3 Kansas at Allen Field House on Tuesday (Kevin Haskin, Topeka Capital-Journal).
It’s not often that we agree with Clay Travis around here, but we can’t find fault with this statement: Bill Snyder is a coaching legend. (Never mind that Travis apparently doesn’t know that “without peril” and “without parallel” are very different things).
You’ve probably already read Spencer Hall’s take on our Hall of Fame head coach, but if not, here you go: Kansas State won (again).
Finally, here’s some food for thought as you prepare to put 2016 to bed. Jesse Ertz has been praised for his “deceptive speed” over the course of the season, and yesterday, he used that description to stir the pot a bit on Twitter.
Probably because I'm tall and white https://t.co/CHR3Q8sNT9— Jesse Ertz (@JSisco16) December 30, 2016
Credit to Ertz for having a good sense of humor about this, but as the mothership’s brief piece notes:
[H]is rushing numbers compare favorably to QBs like Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly, Virginia Tech’s Jerod Evans, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Nebraska’s Tommy Armstrong Jr., Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, and Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs, meaning there’s more than enough reason to comfortably describe him as a dual-threat athlete of a QB.
For what it’s worth, another Kansas State player once described as “deceptively fast” was even more direct in addressing the issue. Asked if his success was partly due to racial bias, Jordy Nelson said “Honestly, I think it is.”
Happy New Year’s Eve, BotC Family!