Yes, way too early.
However, that seed of optimism was certainly planted into a few heads during K-State's complete dominance of Delaware State (3-1) Wednesday evening in Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats continued their undefeated season (4-0) with a 78-30 victory.
It's still difficult to predict the level success for Coach Deb Patterson's team so early into the 2005-06 season. The level of competition just doesn't match that of a Texas or a Baylor, but it is impressive how the entire K-State roster contributed to the win.
"It tells me our players are very true to the system," Patterson said. "At the same time they're making good basketball decisions and that's really unusual when you're playing eleven."
In the first half Patterson's two lines played very even on both offense and defense. The starters knocked down 8 of 18 attempts, while the bench came in and went 5 for 10. It's tough to keep things close when a team shoots nearly 50-percent from the field.
And the uphill climb gets even steeper when the Wildcat defense holds you to just four field goals. The Lady Hornets turned the ball over ten times and forced up a lot of shots. They trailed by 23 in the first 20 minutes and shot only 16-percent.
Defense was a point of emphasis in practice for K-State after nearly losing a 19 point lead in Wyoming two days before.
"I think it's important for every group that steps out onto the court to stay connected as one and do everything correctly," junior Claire Coggins said.
"I think the starters did a good job, I think the group off the bench did a good job. Not one group let the score go down like we did in Wyoming."
The first nine minutes of the second half were rather sloppy with the Cats turning the ball over six times. But in hindsight it looks like they were just setting everybody up for what was to come.
It was "Showtime" basketball.
McIntyre subbed in with 16 minutes left in the game and it didn't take long for her to get the Wildcats back on track and make one or two big plays.
The 5-5 junior from Sapulpa, Oklahoma passed the ball up court to freshman Shalee Lehning, who stopped with her back to the basket and hit a streaking McIntyre with a no-look pass.
"I love playing with Shalee, she plays like me," said McIntyre, who finished with eleven points, three rebounds and five assists. "She's gritty; I know exactly what she's going to do. She knows exactly what I'm going to do."
Sophomore Kimberly Dietz also turned in an impressive night leading all scores with 18 points. Freshman Marlies Gipson scored in double figures as well with 11 and five rebounds.
Kansas State will host the Commerce Bank Wildcat Classic this weekend taking on Texas-Pan American at 5 p.m. on Friday.