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SLATE: Wildcats reflect on passing of Kobe Bryant

Ayoka Lee wins seventh weekly Big 12 Freshman award.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at Alabama
What do you call this Cartier Diarra wrestling move? Oh, yeah: A foul.
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

We’re early this morning. Quit acting all shocked about it.

As further details of the Kobe Bryant tragedy trickle out, The Mercury published two articles about how the event affected K-State’s basketball teams. Greg Woods focused on women’s player Chrissy Carr and her father, Wildcat assistant Chris Carr, who played against Bryant in the NBA and was runner-up to him in the 1997 NBA Dunk contest. Ryan Black took the broader view, surveying personal and social media reactions of several members of the K-State basketball family.

Men’s Basketball

Freshman DaJuan Gordon started Saturday’s game at Alabama in place of redshirt junior Cartier Diarra and gave the Wildcats an early spark in the game. At the Star, Kellis Robinett surmises the move may be more than a temporary attempt to shake things up. Kellis also talked with the Cats about how they tuned out the distractions and focused on the game in a tough SEC road environment after the brawl at Kansas.

Despite the Crimson Tide’s win against K-State, Alabama head coach Nate Oats was frustrated about a number of things in his team’s performance, most notably, the 22 offensive rebounds it surrendered to the Cats. (Joey Blackwell, SI) The concern is not unfounded.

In its weekly rundown of big midweek games in college basketball, ESPN noted that Oklahoma lacks a “true quality road win.” While Wednesday’s game in Manhattan might not qualify for that category, the article notes, neither can the Sooners “afford to suffer a stain on their resume.” DISRESP!— Oh. Never mind.

Women’s Basketball

Ayoka Lee won her seventh Big 12 Freshman of the Week award after posting averages of 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in games against Texas Christian and Oklahoma. She became the first player in K-State history to post a 20-20 performance on Saturday, Scoring 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting and pulling down a school-record 20 rebounds against the Sooners.

Lee’s partner in the paint, senior Peyton Williams, no longer has to be chided to shoot the ball, and she is working on getting the offensive aggression level just right.

Lee, Williams and their teammates will try to even their 8-9 (2-4 Big 12) record in Lawrence Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. against Kansas (12-6, 1-6 Big 12). Here’s hoping no fights break out in this one.

It’s snowy in western Kansas. Be careful out there.