The Kansas State Wildcats Return Home To Face The Oklahoma Sooners


The Kansas State Wildcats (12-4, 2-1) will return home to face the Oklahoma Sooners (13-3, 2-1) in Manhattan. The Wildcats will be looking to bounce back from an abysmal display in the Sunflower Showdown against Kansas, but it won’t come easy against a very talented Sooners squad. After a string of good and improving performances, Kansas State pulled their normal switch-off for the Kansas game. It could quickly become a blown season if the Wildcats continue to play so far below their ability for any amount of time.

Jan 11, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas State Wildcats forward

Nino Williams

(11) shoots a layup as Kansas Jayhawks forward

Tarik Black

(25) defends during the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won 86 – 60. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Here is all the information you need to catch the game:

Who: Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12 Conference)

Oklahoma is led by Kansas State legend and former coach, Lon Kruger who is 35-28 in his first two seasons and the Sooners are coming off of an NCAA Tournament appearance last season. They lost three starters from last year, and have seven new players on the roster as well as solid returners to fill in. They’re coming off of a signature victory over #9 Iowa State and should be catching the eyes of voters. This matchup against the #25 Wildcats could be considered a trap game when you consider it comes between #9 Iowa State and a trip to #7 Baylor for the Sooners.

Keys to the Game:

1: Defense: Kansas State just could not get the stops they needed against the Jayhawks, and Oklahoma has the fifth best scoring offense in the nation at the moment. Granted, sometimes even when the defense was pretty solid Andrew Wiggins would knock down a shot but there were far too many times he was allowed to drive the lane for a layup without any sort of challenge. The Wildcats are much better than they showed on Saturday, but Oklahoma is full of scorers. Cameron Clark is a matchup nightmare at 6’7 and averages over 18 points per game, and freshman Jordan Woodard will be providing both points and assists. Five players average over 10 points per game for the Sooners.

2. Get inside: Kansas State is a terrible shooting team and yet they settle for outside shots far too often. They shot a stupefying 9.1% from behind the arc against KU, and cannot lose possessions against a team that can score as well as Oklahoma can and expect to come out on top. Thomas Gipson needs to be fed the ball inside, and the guards to get into the lane and draw fouls. Oklahoma is extremely talented but the five leading scorers on the team also play a huge majority of the minutes as well, and if they can be sidelined with foul trouble it will make this game much more manageable for the Wildcats.

3. Mental toughness: That was a terrible loss to Kansas, and one that K-State fans will be worried could haunt these young players for the rest of the careers leading the circle of playing far below our ability because of perception and mental blocks. While it does mean a lot to players and fans, the Sunflower Showdown is just one game (well, two in a season) and K-State can’t let it stick with them and affect any other games. This will be a huge test for the Wildcats to recover and improve themselves. Mental fortitude is one of the best indicators for a great college basketball team and to beat Oklahoma the young Wildcats will need to gain this trait immediately or they could go on a skid.

Where: Bramlage Coliseum

Manhattan, KS

When: 6:00 PM CT

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Television: ESPN2

Radio: K-State Sports Network