Who Will Step Up for Kansas State Basketball?

Kansas State basketball officially finished their season activities this week. As expected, the team presented senior Wesley Iwundu with three awards at the annual banquet.

At Monday night’s Kansas State basketball banquet senior guard Wesley Iwundu took home the team MVP honors for the second straight year.

The All Big 12 Third Team selection also earned the top offensive player honor.

Bruce Weber’s Wildcats surprised a lot of fans in March.

The team suffered through that terrible month of February.

The 3-straight losses at Bramlage following by a 30-point thrashing in Norman made the month a nightmare.

Due in part to Iwundu’s leadership, the February nightmare ended.

On March 1, the ‘Cats beat that other purple team in Fort Worth. The one-point victory including 16 points and 10 rebounds from Iwundu helped turn the season around. The team’s 21 wins were the most since 2012.

At the banquet, the team also named Iwundu and senior forward D.J. Johnson the most improved players.

They deserved the recognition for many reasons.

Mar 1, 2017; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Kansas State Wildcats forward Dean Wade (32) and forward Isaiah Maurice (10) react to the 75-74 victory, as TCU Horned Frogs guard Kenrich Williams (34) walks off the court following the game at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

One reason for the February nightmare. Johnson’s ankle injury. With Johnson on the bench, the Wildcats were not the same team.

Without Iwundu and Johnson, the team doesn’t reach the big dance for the first time since 2014.

That first-four NCAA tournament game saw Kansas State beat a good team from the tough Atlantic Coast Conference.

Iwundu’s 24 points against Wake Forest were the difference in the victory.

One reason Bruce Weber needs to worry about next season. Two players who helped him keep his job are out of eligibility.

Coach Weber needs to find some help for next season. Who will step up? Is Kamau Stokes ready for the added responsibility?

Can Xavier Sneed have a super sophomore campaign? Will Dean Wade play with the aggressive, passion we’ve occasionally seen?

Is Isaiah Maurice ready to become a starter?

Kansas State basketball has two huge holes to fill.

 

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