Who: Kansas State Wildcats (15-6 Overall, 5-3 Big 12) vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (12-9 Overall, 4-4 Big 12)
Where: WVU Coliseum; Morgantown, West Virginia
When: Saturday 12:30pm
TV: Big 12 Network
With the help of senior Will Spradling putting up 17 points on Tuesday night, Kansas State managed to hold off the Texas Tech Red Raiders 66-58 to get back on the winning trail. Nino Williams continues to play well for K-State, adding 13 points off the bench.
Now, the important question for Bruce Weber and his K-State team: Can they carry out that same play on the road?
Kansas State is back on the road Saturday afternoon to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. The ‘Cats over the last three road games have been very inconsistent. The first half of games against Kansas, Texas, and Iowa State have not been so good. If the Wildcats are going to win in Morgantown on Saturday, they will need to bring the intensity from the start.
Keys 2 Watch 4
For what ever reason, the Wildcats seem to wait until the second half of the these last few road games to get going. K-State cannot afford do fall in that same trap here against the Mountaineers. The ‘Cats started off on good footing at home in their last meeting and never looked back. To stay in the top part of the Big 12 standings, Kansas State, as a whole unit, will need to start playing from the opening tip-off instead of waiting until being down by double-digits.
K-State will have to slow down Juwan Staten on Saturday if the ‘Cats are going to be successful. Staten had 16 points and 11 rebounds in the first meeting between the two teams. The Wildcats held the Mountaineers to just 32-percent in the game back in Bramlage Coliseum and will need that same defense to show up in this game.
The Opponent: West Virginia
West Virginia Mountaineers, coached by former K-State head coach Bob Huggins, are coming off a dramatic two point win over the Baylor Bears where Juwan Staten put in the game winning layup. West Virginia is coming into Saturday’s contest sitting at 12-9 overall, and sixth place in the Big 12. Other than Staten, Mountaineers had other guards end up double-digit points in the game against Baylor, Eron Harris and Terry Henderson. They scored 12 and 11 points respectively.
X-Factor: Shane Southwell
Shane Southwell’s play will be need to be great for K-State to be successful this weekend. Southwell has struggle recently, especially in the Wildcats last road game at Iowa State. Head Coach Bruce Weber said afterwards he needed better play from Southwell and Thomas Gipson. Southwell posted 20 points on West Virginia in Bramlage in the first meeting, but his forte is defense. K-State will need him to be aggressive across the board for them to have a chance.