Iowa State Preview

Not so fast Wildcats, Kansas isn't coming to town just yet. That day will be Monday, but before that, on Saturday, the K-State men's basketball team still has a little housekeeping to attend to in the form of Iowa State.

"Where we're sitting right now, especially off a loss to Nebraska, there's no overlooking this team," junior Clent Stewart said. "We know we have to take care of Iowa State. After Saturday we can worry about Kansas."

The Cyclones (13-12, 4-7 Big 12 Conference) come to Manhattan on a high note after defeating Oklahoma 58-51 last Saturday in Ames, Iowa.

The Wildcats (18-8, 7-4), on the other hand, are coming into the game having lost two of their last three games.

The most recent loss came at Nebraska on Tuesday, where the Wildcats gave up the fourth-highest scoring total in Big 12 Conference history to Aleks Maric, 41.

The Wildcat players aren't too happy about the way they've been playing lately.

"We're not only angry, we're furious," senior Cartier Martin said. "I think there's going to be a lot of angry guys coming out on that court Saturday, looking to take it out on somebody."

That anger will be used to try and get back on track Saturday evening when the Cyclones come to town.

K-State has already defeated Iowa State once this season, a 69-60 victory in Ames. The Wildcats held the Cyclones to just 36 percent from the field.

Junior Mike Taylor led Iowa State with 21 points, which all came in the last eight minutes of the game. Junior big man Jiri Hubalek had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the contest.

Hubalek's success against K-State last time could become a problem this time based on what happened against the Cornhuskers.

One of the biggest reasons why Nebraska's Maric was able to have such a huge game is because K-State coach Bob Huggins never switched to a zone defense. He played man-to-man, which caused numerous one-on-one battles inside between Maric and smaller, less talented Wildcat defenders.

The reason Huggins never switched to zone is because he was afraid of Nebraska's 3-point shooters taking control of the game.

Even though Maric had a huge night, Huggins shouldn't have as much of a problem Saturday, because Hubalek has nowhere near the talent Maric has. Add to the fact that the Cyclones are the worst 3-point shooting team in the Big 12, and Iowa State has only two road wins all season, and you should have a formula for success.

"We can't have a bomb here against Iowa State," Stewart said. "If we get out early with a lead I think we'll be fine. But if we lag around and allow them to stay in the game, we might have a problem."

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