NU Wildcats go on the road Saturday, and take a trip to Manhattan, Kansas to face the Wildcats of Kansas State. "> NU Wildcats go on the road Saturday, and take a trip to Manhattan, Kansas to face the Wildcats of Kansas State. ">

This one is another battle of the Wildcats

There are a lot of parallels as the <b><font color="#330033">NU Wildcats</font></b><font color="#000000"> go on the road Saturday, and take a trip to Manhattan, Kansas to face the </font><b><font color="#663366">Wildcats</font></b><font color="#000000"> of </font><b><font color="#663366">Kansas State</font><font color="#330033">.</font></b>

K-State is in their 3rd year of  coach Jim Wooldridge. They're starting to really get the hang of their new offensive style. they had a big improvement last year in their home record and they knocked off a couple of highly rated teams during the season.
The challenge? Improve their field goal percentage, improve the skill level of the players, improve shot selection.

Sounds familiar, right? About a year behind another Wildcat team we all know so well?

The Coach
Head Coach Jim Wooldridge is starting his 2nd year at the controls of the K-State Wildcats. He has a Chicago connection; he was an assistant at the Chicago Bulls for 2 years, where he coached the Triangle Offense. He's a close associate of former NU Head Coach Tex Winter and Lynn Nance, two more big proponents of the Triangle.

He's also used that offense at Louisiana Tech (1994-1998) where he had some winning teams. He's also coached at Central Missouri and Southwest Texas. He's had teams in the NCAA tournament, and he's won a few Div II titles to boot.

His favorite defense is the good old Man to Man.

He's known for turning down programs around, and for teams that improve play during the year. He's also good at developing players - two of his recent successes are former Bulls Elton Brand and Ron Artest.

Another strong point of his time with K-State has been late season success - they won 4 of 7 at the end of last year, and made it to the 2nd game of the Big 12 tourney where they scared Final 4 participant Oklahoma.

The Starters
K-State starts 3 forwards and 2 guards. 6-6 Senior Gilson DeJesus [#32], 6-8 Senior Matt Siebrandt [#34] and 6-9 Senior Pervis Pasco [#44] are up front.

6-2 Junior Frank Richards [#22] and 6-5 Junior Jarrett Hart [#30] are the guards. Richards plays the point.

The starters provided 59 of their 82 points against Michigan, a game they won 82-71. Pasco [KSU Photo-right] was both the leading scorer [14], and the leading rebounder [6].

The Rest of the Players
Coach Wooldridge has played 11 of his 13 roster players, but 7 have the bulk of the playing time. In addition to the starters, 6-4 Junior Guard Tim Ellis [#11/21.4 mins per game] and 6-8 Freshman Forward Marques Hayden [#23/22 mins] share the bulk of the off the bench time on the court.

6-6 Senior Forward Janerio Spurlock [#42], 6-11 Soph Fwd Travis Canby [#40], 6-8 Senior Fwd Quentin Buchanan [#3] and 6-0 Freshman Guard Schyler Thomas [#1] have also seen playing time for the Wildcats.

Senior Quentin Buchanan is K-State's only 3 year letterwinner.

The Big Gun
Right now has to be "super-sub" Junior Shooting Guard Tim Ellis - he's the leading scorer with 32 points/10.7 per game. On the boards its another sub - Frosh Forward Marques Hayden averaging 5 per game - he scored 20 in his first game.

Guard Frank Richards is the highest scoring starter right now with 28 pts and 11 rebounds.

But its hard to draw conclusions this early - 3 different players [Hayden, DeJesus and Pasco] have led the team in scoring and rebounds in the first 3 games

Treys: Its early in the season, but only 3 K-Staters have dropped in a 3. Forward Gilson DeJesus has the best percentage 8 for 10. Tim Ellis is 3-6 and Janerio Spurlock is 2-6. As a Team they only attempt 11 3's a game for a .394 average. Both DeJesus and Spurlock play the small forward position, so the threes come from up front.

Rebounds: Unlike the IUPUI Jaguars, these Wildcats hit the defensive boards harder - 66 of their 84 rebounds so far are on the defensive end.

Looks like a really good test for our Wildcats. The questions to be answered Saturday night include:
  • Will Center Aaron Jennings step up and take charge of the middle like he did against UNH, or was the the AJ of IUPUI the "real" Jennings.
  • Will Jason Burke get a few in the hole?
  • How well can we play without Winston Blake?
  • Does Davor Duvancic become a force up front, stepping up for Vukusic and Blake?
  • Can the other Frosh [Evan Seacat, Mohamed Hachad] step up, get involved, and put some more pressure outside?
  • Will Coach Bill Carmody involve more of his bench Saturday?
The backcourt of <

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