Four Takeaways from Kansas State’s Win over KansasPosted by KoryCarpenter on February 11th, 2014
It seems rare when a team that comes back to force overtime in the manner that Kansas did ends up losing the game, but that’s exactly what happened in Manhattan against Kansas State last night. The Wildcats held a nine-point lead with under two minutes remaining (sound familiar, Kansas fans?) but some Jayhawks’ layups, putbacks, and a pair of costly Kansas State turnovers sent the game to overtime. No matter. The Wildcats continued to dominate the paint and won for only the fourth time in the series’ last 52 games, 85-82. Here are four takeaways from last night’s action in Bramlage Coliseum.
- Kansas State is putting together a solid NCAA Tournament resume. After losing three out of five in the middle of January, the Wildcats now have back-to-back wins over top 15 teams. Their resume includes impressive victories over Gonzaga, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. Last night’s win puts them at 17-7 and just two games back of Kansas in the Big 12 standings.
- Marcus Foster is legit. The Wildcat freshman guard had 20 points on 5-of-10 shooting and added a pair of late free throws in overtime to ice the game with 22 seconds left. He came into the game averaging 14.7 PPG but has been especially hot lately, scoring over 20 points in four of his last five games. He’s averaged 27 PPG over the last two games in wins over #7 Kansas and #15 Texas.
- The Jayhawks are going nowhere without Joel Embiid. The 7’0” freshman center and rim-protector missed most of the game with ongoing back pain, and the results were not good for Kansas. The Wildcats seemed to score at will around the basket, finishing with 11 layups or dunks in the second half without Embiid to deter them. Perry Ellis is an undersized big man and forward Jamari Traylor sat out due to disciplinary reasons, making Embiid’s absence ever more noticeable. Kansas isn’t a typical Bill Self defensive team anyway, but without Embiid and his 7.8 RPG and 2.6 BPG, they couldn’t do anything to stop Kansas State in the paint. Bill Self said after the game that Embiid will miss some time and it’s unknown whether he will miss any more games (he can afford to miss Saturday’s game at home against TCU). However the situation is handled, we learned rather clearly that Kansas will need a healthy Embiid to advance very far in the NCAA Tournament.
- Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden failed to pick up the slack after losing Embiid. Wiggins played 38 of the possible 45 minutes, finishing with 16 points, but he missed eight of his 15 free throw attempts and was 4-of-12 from the field. Selden sat for longer than expected after struggling in the first half. He played 28 minutes in all, going 1-of-6 from the field with no rebounds, two turnovers, and two points. It was another bad game for a player who has been inconsistent this season. He averaged 20.5 PPG against Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and the first game against Kansas State. But he put up 6.6 PPG against Oklahoma State and two games against Baylor. Tonight was more of the bad Selden, and Bill Self is still waiting for all of his talent to play well at the same time.