Tag Archives: Thomas Gipson

Time to go on the offensive

16 Mar

I wrote in my last post that defense would be more essential than offense for the Wildcats to defeat Southern Miss on Thursday afternoon. Season statistics indicated that would be the case, and game statistics confirmed the trend yesterday; the Golden Eagles shot just 36.7 percent from the floor, and of course the Wildcats came away with another win.

While Kansas State probably cannot take all the credit for that Southern Miss statistic, it certainly shows you my point: as goes the Wildcats’ defense, so go the Wildcats.

The Wildcats are 16-4 this season when their defense holds opponents between 50 and 69 points. Similarly, they are 21-6 when opponents make less than 50 percent of their shots.

Still, Kansas State will need more offensive variety to defeat Syracuse on Saturday at 11:15 a.m. Three players scored in double figures on Thursday, and no one else scored more than five points.

Rodney McGruder carried the team with his 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting, while Jordan Henriquez scored 15 points, blocked 6 shots and snagged 9 rebounds. Angel Rodriguez contributed 13 points and four assists, though he also had three turnovers. Those three guys were the only ones who scored more than five points.

Jamar Samuels scored just one point. Point guard Will Spradling cashed in on just one basket and only attempted four the whole game. Martavious Irving scored four points, and Thomas Gipson had five.

In fairness, Samuels did have eight rebounds and three assists, so while he did not ever get a field goal, he did contribute in other ways. It is disappointing to see a senior not make more of an impact on the scoreboard, though, so it will be interesting to see what he does in this next game against Syracuse.

Looking at the stat sheet, there is not much redemption for Spradling. He never turned the ball over, but in 37 minutes he only had one assist. Then again, everyone knows how hard he works, and his fundamentals are solid, and he is a smart defender. Obviously, coach Frank Martin would not have Spradling – or anyone else – on the floor unless he believed it would benefit the team, and since Martin is a coach and I am not, I will defer to his judgment for now.

All that said, my guess is that you must have at least four guys in double figures to beat Syracuse. I haven’t seen the Orange play much this season, but the team is a No. 1 seed for a reason. I don’t think it will be beaten by three players scoring 10-plus and a few other guys scoring five or fewer points. Even if the Wildcats end with three players in double figures and three more with seven, eight or nine points, they might be okay.

McGruder and Henriquez have been the most consistent recently from a scoring perspective, but it will take more than those two to put away Syracuse.

Overtime again for the Wildcats: Bramlage edition

11 Dec

Another nonconference opponent that Big 12 teams are expected to beat, another win that was much too close for comfort. The Wildcats triumphed 79-68 on Sunday afternoon, but North Florida did not make it easy, scoring a bucket at the end of regulation to send it into overtime at 60-60.

Kansas State coach Frank Martin said the selfishness and lethargy he sees from his team worries him more than the small margin of victory.
“I’m not concerned with the final score; that’s irrelevant to me,” Martin said. “I’m concerned on how we do our jobs _ guys being on the same page, how you go out and play.”

275-pound freshman force Thomas Gipson led the team with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Jamar Samuels, Will Spradling and Rodney McGruder also scored in double figures. For the Ospreys, Jimmy Williams and Parker Smith scored 13 each, while Jeron Granberry got 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.

Kansas State had led the entire game when Williams scored back-to-back fast break baskets to put North Florida up 40-37 with 12:37 left to play. A few minutes and consecutive three-pointers by Granberry later, it was 49-40 Ospreys.

The Wildcats would not regain the lead until under three minutes remained, when they pulled ahead 57-55 on free throws from Samuels.

When Spradling drilled a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left in regulation, it looked like it would ice the game 60-58. Williams made sure it did not, scoring a 2-point basket to send it to overtime, where the Wildcats eventually won by double-digits.

Kansas State got off to a 12-4 start but let the Ospreys back into the game. Spradling said the Wildcats cannot do that down the road.

“When we get up like that, we need to just bury teams,” Spradling said. “Once we get leads, we like to relax and let teams back in the game. We can’t be doing that, especially when Big 12 comes, because if we do, we’re going to be the team getting buried.”

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.


A Look at Next Year’s Roster: The New Guys

12 May

Six players have signed on for the 2011-2012 version of the Kansas State Wildcats. Since it seems a little bogus to evaluate players despite not having seen them play, we’ll stick to a brief rundown of each recruit.

Omari Lawrence (Bronx, N.Y./St. John’s) The team’s only Division I transfer comes to Kansas State as a high school star who struggled during his first year in college. The roster at St. John’s included two of his childhood friends from his hometown Bronx. In an article by NYDailyNews.com, Lawrence said that while he will miss his friends, he just needs to get away and get a fresh start. A 6’4″ 220-pound guard, Lawrence will compete for a meaningful role on the Wildcat roster, and if he works hard his odds may be pretty decent, especially since two would-be contenders for guard spots, Nick Russell and Juevol Myles, recently announced they would be transferring.

Jeremy Jones (Chicago, Ill./Seward County [Kan.] Community College) Kansas State will be Jones’ third stop in his college career. He played his freshman season at Western Texas College, averaging 13.4 points per game, and his second at Seward County Community College, where he averaged 18.6 per game and 4.5 assists per game. He’ll be yet another option at guard for the Wildcats, but at 6’2″ and 165 pounds, he may need to bulk up a little to be able to withstand the physicality of Big 12 play. Obviously that’s a matter the coaches and trainer will figure out, and I’m sure they will do so every so competently.

James Watson (Atoka, Okla./Cowley [Kan.] College) Watson will be one of the Wildcats’ options to fill the holes in the frontcourt. The 6’8″ 225-pound forward spent two seasons at Washington State, redshirting the first and playing the second, before transferring to Cowley College and putting up 10.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Right now the only true forwards on Kansas State’s squad are Jamar Samuels, Jordan Henriquez-Roberts, Victor Ojeleye and Nino Williams. The latter two have not seen much playing time. It will be interesting to see how much of a post presence the Wildcats will have this season, as that will play a part in whether Kansas State reverts to its big-man-dominated box-and-one system or its more recent pinch-post offense, which requires more movement.

Angel Rodriguez (Miami, Fla./Krop) Floridahoops.com ranked the 5’1″ 165-pound guard as the fourth-best in the state. He was averaging 23 points per game and 6 assists per game before his team’s season was abruptly terminated because one player (a 19-year-old from the Bahamas) was ineligible. His coach was Shakey Rodriguez (no relation), who is well-known in Florida high school basketball and who mentored Kansas State coach Frank Martin.

Thomas Gipson (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill) Another forward option for Kansas State will be the 6’7″ 240-pound Gipson. ESPN’s evaluation calls him a “space-eater” who knows how to score over taller and more athletic forwards and has good footwork on both sides of the basket.

Adrian Diaz (Miami, Fla./Hialeah-Miami Lakes) The 7’0″ 205-pound Diaz was the first recruit in Kansas State’s 2011 class, signing with the Wildcats in August of 2010 before even visiting the campus, according to ESPN. One evaluation of Diaz mentioned his strengths as being able to run the floor well and having a solid shot out to 15 feet.