The Kansas State Wildcats are set to play a very important road contest at Iowa State on Tuesday. Winning on the road is critical to success in college basketball. The Wildcats needs to build on their current success.
Playing in Ames is a different matter. The Wildcats lost both games to the Cyclones last season.
Saturday’s win moved Kansas State closer to the top of the Big 12 standings as they improve to 4-3 in the conference race. Iowa State is also 4-3 in the Big 12.
To win, Kansas State must continue to capitalized on the momentum from Saturday and play the tough defense that helped them stop the Mountaineers.
Bruce Weber’s Wildcats rank 18th nationally in steals (8.5), 23rd in turnovers forced (16.4)
The current steals per game average is on pace to be the 3rd-best average in school history and the highest since 1990-91.
I believe the Wildcats can force Iowa State into a lot of turnovers.
Kansas State posted double-digit steals for the 7th time this season with 12 against West Virginia.
Defense will be critical since the Cyclones are averaging 81.6 points on 45.8 percent shooting, including 36.5 percent from 3-point range. The Wildcats are only averaging 76.5 points per game.
In addition to his points in the paint and rebounding, D.J. Johnson needs to stay out of foul trouble and block some shots. His 31 blocked shots this season have already surpassed his total of 29 a year ago.
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Dean Wade needs to continue to be aggressive. He will get his points but he needs to continue to crash the glass.
I’m not worried about the play of Wesley Iwundu, Barry Brown or Kamau Stokes. They are playing good defense and helping the Wildcats maintain a balanced scoring attack.
It should be a great game and will probably go down to the final minute.