Good teams easily dispatch bad teams. That’s why the Kansas State Wildcats beat the West Virginia Mountaineers so easily on Saturday with a 22 point rout. The Wildcats are starting to have the markings of a “good” team.
“It was a good win for us – a good all-around win,” coach Bruce Weber told K-State Sports. “It was good on both ends. I believe it was the best we shot all year and we have now shot the three-ball pretty well the last two games. Marcus [Foster] got in foul trouble early, Shane [Southwell] made some big plays, we moved the basketball and kind of made a run that broke their spirits before halftime. Then we had a good start to the second half, which kind of pinned them down, and at the end we just went with it.”
It’s been noted every game how impressive it is that this team turned around so quickly. But how they did it is not all that surprising. The Wildcats are an athletic team, and now that they have gelled they play fantastic defense (against teams not named the Jayhawks or Hoyas).
Since they are comfortable playing together, that puts less stress on certain players to produce. That helps those players actually produce more because they aren’t forcing things, like Shane Southwell and Thomas Gipson who had 20 points a piece against West Virginia.
“You want to be solid on both ends because the best teams do both,” said Weber. “We had so many new guys early that we had to decide what we were really going to emphasize. These guys would tell you that two-thirds of our practices were probably defense early. That is why I try to be patient with the younger guys’ shot selection. Our shot selection has gotten much better than what is was earlier in the year, but if you guard people it gives you a chance to win. We have got to improve by keeping our solid defense and getting better on offense. If we can do that, we can stay in the race. It is going to be a tough task.”
This Kansas State team also has three budding freshmen who are improving rapidly. Jevon Thomas had a spectacular game yesterday with eight assists and ZERO turnovers. While scoring isn’t Thomas’ game, it sure is Marcus Foster‘s. Foster had 15 points and went six-for-nine from the field. Wesley Iwundu shot 100% from the field, but had just six points. While Iwundu didn’t turn any heads in the box score, he did play well yesterday.
K-State put their foot on the pedal and beat a team that just isn’t very good. The win keeps the Wildcats in second place in the Big 12, just behind that school 81 miles to the east of Manhattan. K-State just needs to keep imposing their will on opponents, and Big 12 play will go well for them.