Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - A pair of Big 12 Conference teams having very
different seasons get together on Wednesday night, as the Texas Longhorns come
calling on the 18th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats.
Texas has limped its way to a 9-10 overall record, and the team is coming off
its first conference win of the season after taking out visiting Texas Tech
last Saturday, 73-57. The win put the brakes on a five-game slide for the
Longhorns, whose only win of note came in mid-December against North Carolina.
Texas has yet to win a true road game this year (0-4), and has won just once
outside of Austin all told when you factor in its 1-4 mark in neutral-site
Kansas State had been cruising right along, staking claim to a 15-2 record
heading into last week's showdown with No. 3 Kansas. Unfortunately, the
Wildcats suffered a 59-55 loss to their intrastate rivals, and then were
stunned this past Saturday at Iowa State, dropping a 73-67 to the upstart
Cyclones. At 4-2, K-State is in a three-way tie for third place in the Big 12
along with Iowa State and Oklahoma. The Wildcats are an impressive 11-1 at
home this season.
Kansas State leads the all-time series with Texas, 13-10, and the Wildcats
have won four of the last six meetings.
Julien Lewis scored 18 points and Ioannis Papapetrou added 15 more, helping
Texas snap a five-game losing streak by knocking off Texas Tech at home over
the weekend. Other double-digit scorers for the Longhorns included Demarcus
Holland (11 points) and Sheldon McClellan (10 points), and the team as a whole
shot 46.3 percent from the field, although 12 of its 17 3-point attempts were
off the mark. As for the Red Raiders, they made good on only 37.0 percent of
their total shots, missing 13 of their 18 long-range launches. UT committed
nearly half the number of turnovers TTU did (10-19), and the 'Horns scored 38
points in the paint compared to 22 for the Red Raiders. Much of Texas' issues
this season can be attributed to the fact that three true freshmen and two
sophomores make up the staring five on most nights, and the team boasts only
two double-digit scorers in McClellan (14.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and Lewis (11.8 ppg,
3.4 rpg). Javan Felix average nearly six assist per outing, while Jonathan
Holmes serves as the team's leading rebounder with 7.1 rpg. Texas averages
just 64.4 ppg, but is one of the top defensive clubs in the Big 12, ranking
first in 3-point FG percentage defense (.251), while coming in second in both
FG percentage defense (.353) and rebounding (39.0 rpg).
Kansas State is also one of the best defensive teams in the conference,
ranking first in both scoring defense (58.2 ppg) and turnover margin (+2.3),
and second in 3-point FG percentage defense (.293). None of those impressive
figures carried any weight in the recent loss to Iowa State however, as the
Cyclones drained 11-of-22 3-point attempts, 48.1 percent of their total shots,
and committed only 10 turnovers. Conversely, the Wildcats made good on 7-of-19
long-range bombs and were guilty of 12 miscues. They did shoot 50.9 percent
from the field overall, but lost the rebounding battle (35-28) and were
outscored at the foul line (10-4). Will Spradling scored 15 points, Rodney
McGruder had 13 and Shane Southwell chipped in 11 for KSU, which averages 68.4
ppg while allowing just 58.2 ppg for the season. McGruder (15.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg)
is the only player netting double digits in the scoring column, but five
others average between 5.7 and 9.4 ppg.
The Sports Network