It looked as if the Wildcats would cruise to their first victory of the basketball season against the Roos from Kansas City last night, as they opened on a 17-0 run. But swarming KC defense and sloppy play by the Cats let the visitors back into the game, and K-State ultimately held on for a four-point, 62-58, win.
As Luke Thomson notes in the recap, it would have been nice to pull away, especially given that KC is not expected to be a good team this year. But it’s a start, and with such a young and inexperienced roster, each game must be treated as a building block. Nijel Pack noted the importance of the win as a confidence builder and, he hopes, the first victory in a winning streak.
Ryan Black at the Mercury points out that in spite of the close margin (which came on a three-pointer in the last second), K-State led the game throughout. Though Pack has been a steady influence in all three games, DaJuan Gordon emerged as a leader Monday night, scoring 14 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.
Saturday’s contest against UNLV will tip off at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast only by Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Yes, you should rage about this.
The football squad will wrap up its regular season by hosting the Texas Longhorns at 11:00 a.m. Saturday. The game will be on Fox, with Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt doing the talking.
In his weekly K-State Q&A Kellis Robinett notes that the Cats have compiled a 4-4 Big 12 record despite losing starting quarterback Skylar Thompson and playing stretches without key contributors Malik Knowles, Justin Hughes, Elijah Sullivan, Josh Rivas, Ben Adler and Briley Moore during their current four-game losing streak. Of course, every team has had to work around absences this year. But in his “Five things to Know” column, Robinett expresses optimism that the defense may be near full strength for the finale.
The Capital-Journal reports that when Coach Chris Klieman offered a scholarship to Topeka Hayden’s Desmond Purnell, he committed to the Wildcats on the spot. Purnell, who was recently named Topeka’s best offensive player, expects to play in the K-State defensive secondary.
Nothing on the Wildcat sports calendar until Thursday, when Jeff Mittie and the women take on Kentucky. Until then, rest up and stay safe.