K-State won their first round game of the NIT Season Tipoff tournament by downing Lamar 79-55. The game’s outcome was never really in question as the Wildcats began the game on a 15-0 run and secured a 43-15 lead going into halftime. Point guard Angel Rodriguez, expected to step up this year after an up and down freshman campaign, led all scorers with 19 points while hitting 43 percent of his three point shots. 11 players saw at least ten minutes of action, while only two played for over half the game (Will Spradling had 25 minutes and Rodney McGruder received 28). One obvious deficiency in K-State’s game was free throw shooting, where the Wildcats only converted 53 percent from the charity stripe. Given the physicality of the team’s play, free throws should come by the bunches again this year and the ‘Cats can’t afford to miss so many opportunities.
Next on the schedule for the 3-0 Wildcats is Division II Alabama Huntsville, who won their first round game against North Texas by the score of 78-75 (North Texas’s coach is mum on whether his players will be riding in or pushing the bus after losing to a Division II basketball team). Should Kansas State win Tuesday’s game in Bramlage Coliseum, they will advance to the quarterfinals in Madison Square Garden against the South Division winner, which is expected to be #2 seed Virginia (also in the South are Delaware, Penn, and Fairfield). The quarterfinal games will take place on Wednesday, November 21 in NYC and will hopefully give families a distraction during the Thanksgiving holiday to put off arguing over Uncle Lester’s midlife crisis known as Tammy the coed. The tournament’s final will be held Friday, November 23 where live updates will be going up on jugofsnyder.com, tweeted straight from section 108, row 18 while the rest of the Jug’s family attempts to salvage a burnt turkey somewhere in north central Kansas.
Other notables in the NIT tournament are #1 seed Michigan, #4 Pitt, #5 Lehigh, and #6 Robert Morris. For those wondering, Kansas State was the #3 seed in the NIT Season Tipoff.