Tag Archives: K-State basketball 2011

Preview: Kansas State vs. George Washington

1 Dec

Who are the guys to watch in this game? It should not be difficult to keep track of the guys to watch for George Washington: two of the most interesting ones have alliterations – #3 Tony Taylor and #5 Bryan Bynes. Taylor, a senior point guard, leads the team in scoring (nearly 16 ppg), assists (nearly 5 per game) and steals (a little over 1 per game), according to the team’s website. As you can imagine, he is not on the bench much – only about 5 minutes each game. Oh, by the way, he’s shooting a scathing 63 percent (12 of 19) from beyond the arc. Bynes is one it will be interesting to watch because he and Kansas State’s Martavious Irving have been friends since they were little kids and played on the same high school team and AAU team. For the Wildcats, look for Jamar Samuels to have loosened up and be finishing on some of those looks he missed last game. Also, Will Spradling and Rodney McGruder should hit some outside shots early so they can keep defenders honest and have opportunities to slash to the rim as well. Maybe the most fun to watch will be Thomas Gipson, the beastly freshman who has been converting at the rim and earning and-ones like nobody’s business.

What will this game tell us about the Wildcats? Coach Frank Martin said the Colonels are all about controlling the tempo of the game – that’s their coach’s modus operandi, or “schtick,” as Martin says. To combat this, either the Wildcats will have to get steals and defensive rebounds and push a faster tempo, or they will have to play in a much more disciplined manner than they have been doing lately – actually running plays, setting picks and passing. Obviously, a faster tempo would probably be better for Kansas State.

How might this game impact Kansas State going forward? This is a team that’s 4-1. Eastern Maryland Shore, the only game so far the Wildcats have won by a significant margin, was 1-3 heading into Bramlage Coliseum. Kansas State has definitely been going through its growing pains even with nominally easier opponents, and now it hits a stretch of much more challenging ones: George Washington tonight, Virginia Tech on Dec. 4, and West Virginia in Wichita on Dec. 8. Tonight’s game could set the tone for this stretch. A strong performance is going to provide some confidence going into those, so win or lose, the Wildcats need that tonight.

When was the last time these teams played? These teams last met in December of 1940 in Washington D.C. In that game, George Washington defeated Kansas State 48-25.

Where is George Washington University? George Washington University is in Washington, D.C., along with Georgetown University and George Mason University, in case you were wondering.

Why is this particular game on the schedule? Martin said he wants to try to get his players back home to be able to play in front of their families and friends as much as possible. The team accomplished that by playing Loyola in Chicago – where Jacob Pullen is from – last season, and an encore of tomorrow night’s game in Washington D.C. would get Rodney McGruder back to his home.

Nice Numbers from Game 3

22 Nov

The Wildcats’ 92-50 blowout of Maryland Eastern Shore turned into a tale of two halves for both teams.

The Hawks (1-4) shot 41.7% from the floor, 50% from 3-pt range and 66.7% from the free throw line in the first half. In the second half, those numbers decreased to 32.1% from the floor, 31.8% from 3-pt range and 47.4 from the charity stripe.

For the Wildcats (3-0), the opposite occurred. Kansas State shot 37.9% from the floor, 35.7% from beyond the arc and 75% from the free throw line. In the second half, they stepped on the gas and shot 65.6% from the floor, 50% from 3-pt range and 81.8% from the line.

“The last five, six minutes of the first half, I thought we started to play more like we were capable of playing,” said coach Frank Martin. “They made a couple hard shots in the first half. They weren’t going to keep shooting the ball at that clip. They were controlling the tempo of the game because they were attacking us and we were just reeling. We weren’t where we needed to be.”

The Wildcats began the second half with a 28-6 run and continued to steamroll the Hawks with a separate stretch of 16 consecutive points.

“Towards the end of the half I think we started speeding the game up a little, and then we came out of the gate in the second half,” Martin said. “It was fun. I don’t think I called a play the first 10 minutes of the second half. We just played. We did what we do in practice. We went out there and attacked and played and shared the ball and, to our guys’ credit, when they had opportunities, they made shots.”

Though Martin, Jamar Samuels and Martavious Irving did not look particularly enthused after the win, numerically there was much to admire.

The Wildcats outrebounded the Hawks 44-28, and they committed only 9 turnovers compared to the opponents’ 18.

Thomas Gipson, Irving, Rodney McGruder, Will Spradling and Shane Southwell combined for 18 assists and just 2 turnovers. Gipson led the team in scoring (13) and rebounding (9). In Samuels’ first game back after a three-game suspension, he scored 12 points on 7-of-9 foul shooting but was just 2-of-8 from the floor with 3 rebounds. Both Irving and McGruder added 11 points and 4 assists each.

Also, Jeremy Jones made good on his 9 minutes of playing time and went 4-4 from the floor to score 8 points.


Wildcats open season with Charleston Southern

11 Nov

Checking out Charleston Southern Last season, the Buccaneers went 9-9 in the Big South Conference and won 16 games, the most the team it has had in 14 seasons. On the road, though, the team went 3-12.

While the Buccaneers graduated leading scorer Jamarco Warren, they return guard Kelvin Martin, a senior who last season snagged the Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year award. Overall, this year’s team is young. Of 17 names on the roster, 13 have “freshman” or “sophomore” behind them.

A team that plays with four guards and works to spread out defenses so it can drive on them or shoot three-pointers, Charleston Southern’s setup reminds Kansas State coach Frank Martin of a few Big 12 teams.

“A little bit like Nebraska,” he said. “I mean, Nebraska had Ryan Anderson at the 4, and they just spaced you and drove you, and they looked to shoot threes from four different spots. I guess Colorado, to a certain extent last year, who obviously gave us tons of problems.”

Going on the offensive Last season, Kansas State backed away from the box-and-one offense it had used to take advantage of size near the rim in favor of the pinch-post, which featured players’ athleticism and created favorable player mismatches. This season, the Wildcats plan to combine the two.

“We can take advantage of Thomas Gipson playing the low post, where he’s efficient, he’s very good; take advantage of Jamar in there, who’s gotten a lot better; and even Jordan because of his size, and now he’s gotten to the point where he can score in there,” Martin said. “But at the same time, the pinch post was very good to us. We’re trying to implement an offense where you kind of combine both. Sometimes we go straight into the pinch post, other times we want to utilize that size at the rim, that strength at the rim, so we’ll start with the offense that we’ve always had and try and flow it to the pinch post.”

Personnel updates This is the year of the major-minutes-players becoming the guys for the team. Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly were the go-to players for the past couple years, but now the Wildcats need others to step up. Among those will be forward Jordan Henriquez and guard Rodney McGruder. According to Martin, Henriquez has been coachable and grown in his game as a result. McGruder, on the other hand, recovered from a knee surgery and is doing better because of it. Of course, how they perform in actual games has yet to be seen … at least for a few hours.

Here’s what Martin had to say about Jordan:

“Up to now, he’s been as good as we can ask of him in preseason, and now the games count, so let’s see how he reacts to being a front-line player on a consistent basis during the course of the season. I think he’ll do well in it because he’s prepared himself for it, but that’s a little bit of an unknown.”

Here’s what he said about Rodney:

“Today he had a dunk in practice that he had no chance of ever having last year because his legs are under him. He shot the cover off the ball the whole preseason, and then in the exhibition game, he just missed some shots, but he took some good ones. He’s been better defensively because he’s not playing on one leg so he can go both ways. That’ll come. You guys will see Rodney as the year progresses and we start doing things to give him angles, get shots and make plays, you’ll see what I’m talking about.”