Last year, the Clones only mustered 51 points and were 2-14 shooting from 3. Curtis Stinson had only 7 points. In their previous match-up this season, the Cyclones started out well, leading by 12 at half. But, K-State rallied from 13 down with seven minutes left to pull within 1 with under a minute to play. A David Hoskins turnover and a couple of Curtis Stinson free-throws iced away the Cyclone W, 72-70.
It may have only been the first
game of conference play, but that game foreshadowed future results. K-State shot
58 percent in the game and 72 percent in the second half, missing only six shots
during the second time-frame. They also out-rebounded
Since then, K-State has been hot
and cold. They have reeled off a three game winning streak, including a win at
The Wildcats are led by 6'7 forward
Cartier Martin. He is scoring 18.5 points (4th in the Big XII) and
grabbing 7 boards. He can beat you in so many ways, shooting 45 percent from
distance, 81 percent from the line, and also off second chance opportunities. He
had 21 points and 9 rebounds in
The second leading scorer is Davis Hoskins, a 6'5 sophomore swing man. Hoskins is an odd breed. He has only 1 three point make on the season, yet averages 12.8 points. Think Stevie Johnson with better handle. He torched ISU in the first meeting, scoring 25 points (19 in the second half) on 10-13 shooting.
6'5 guard Lance Harris is the only other Cat to average in double-figures at 11.2. Lately, Harris has been coming off the bench, but playing starter minutes. Harris is really struggling with his stroke, shooting 25 percent from deep in conference play.
The starting back court of Clent Stewart (6'4) and Akeem Wright (6'6) aren't explosive offensively, but are quick and long enough to attack the basket. They each average around five points. Stewart had 19 points and made 5 treys in the loss at Baylor last week. So he, at the very least, has to be paid attention to.
Their center is Dramane Diarra. He is the classic big body, who is in there to rebound, block shots, and set screens. Diarra is putting up 4.4 points and 5 rebounds.
The rest of the bench for K-State is virtually a non-factor. Mario Taybron (6'2) has some explosiveness (4.9 PPG) but the rest of the bench doesn't even add up to five points.
K-State is athletic and will play
an aggressive man defense. They run the triangle offense, made famous by Tex
Winter and later Phil Jackson. But, unlike
ISU can't allow the same shooting percentage and rebounding total from the first meeting. K-State may be without their coach, but this is a better team than many give them credit for.
An ISU win, a
K-State is a 2.5 point favorite.