Kansas State traveled to Fort Worth on Wednesday night to square off against the TCU Horned Frogs and as expected they emerged with a win. The 67-54 final score is a bit misleading as the Wildcats were up 38-25 at the end of the first half and put it on cruise control. Bruce Weber went deep into his bench as 14 members of his team saw action and only two KSU players were on the court for more than 30 minutes.
No one expected that the Horned Frogs would stand in the way of K-State running their streak to seven in a row. It’s been obvious for a while this season that TCU’s program is not on par with the others in the Big 12. That’s understandable since they’ve never put much of a priority on hoops and football has been driving the bus in Fort Worth. They are almost dead last in all of Division I in scoring (344th/347) and it’s looking more and more like they will go without a win against a Big 12 opponent this year. They have already lost by nine at home against Texas Tech after all, and there don’t look to be many better chances the rest of the way. The Horned Frogs will get better on the court in coming years as they continue to adapt to the conference but this is not the year. If they are looking for moral victories, they did play the Wildcats to a 29-29 tie in the second half – though again much of that was against the Cats reserves.
For Kansas State the game was essentially a tune up for the tough three game stretch that is now staring them in the face, but we will get to that in a bit.
It’s becoming an increasingly regular refrain, but Rodney McGruder once again led the way with 21 points on 9-15 shooting in 32 minutes of action. He was 3-6 from beyond the arc in the game bumping up his total to 14-29 in his last four games. That’s significant considering he was 8-37 in his previous 12 games. No one else on the roster broke double digits but Martavious Irving and Adrian Diaz came off the bench to score eight apiece in 18 and 17 minutes respectively. The biggest surprise of the night was without question Jordan Henriquez who pulled down ten rebounds and scored eight points in 24 minutes. He also fouled out which is far from a surprise, but it’s good to see that he’s starting to produce more and more of late. Collectively they shot 48.2% and hit on 9-17 three point attempts.
Senior forward Adrick McKinney came off the bench to score 18 points and grab nine rebounds in 25 minutes for the Horned Frogs. He was the bright spot for a TCU team that made just 18 of 48 attempts in the game. Were it not for the 24 free throw attempts that K-State handed them by way of 21 personal fouls the final score would have looked even more lopsided than it did. Sophomore Kyan Anderson got to ten points on 4-11 shooting and accounted for two of the team’s three pointers. They were collectively 3-10 in that area.
TCU (9-8, 0-4) has the pleasure of hosting Iowa State (12-4, 2-1) on Saturday. In Division I, the Cyclones rank 7th in scoring, 9th in rebounding and 11th in assists and can be a devastating team when they’re hitting from the outside.
With their breather behind them, #16 Kansas State (14-2, 3-0) will host Oklahoma (12-3, 3-0) tomorrow afternoon at Fred Bramlage Coliseum. It’s the first of a three game gauntlet that also includes #4 Kansas and a road trip to Ames to tangle with the Cyclones. While the Sooners are still unranked, they are 13th in the nation in both RPI and strength of schedule. Senior forward Romero Osby leads the team in both scoring (13.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg) and is the main player to watch for Oklahoma.