The Kansas State Wildcats entered Lubbock, Tx. tonight in second place in the Big 12. They came to play the Texas Tech Red Raiders who haven’t had a great conference season. Instead of looking ahead to their rematch against the Kansas Jayhawks on this Monday night they took care of business tonight.
The Wildcats didn’t play their best tonight, tossing up some wild shots and giving up some easy baskets. Coach Bruce Webber thought the same.
“I thought for the first time in a long time we took some questionable shots, which was disappointing to me,” Webber said. “We were on our toes, not in the places we needed to be, gave them a couple of easy baskets.” Thanks in part to mighty Rodney McGruder who proved once again that he can play great on both sides of the ball, the Wildcats came out with a win. McGruder led the Wildcats with 18 points and 9 rebounds and clearly looked like a leader stepping up for this team when they weren’t at their best.
The Wildcats main weapon all season has been their rebounding. They do a fantastic job crashing the boards on both sides of the glass. Thanks to these rebounding muscles they have shown why they are a team to be reckoned with. They were tough on the defensive side of the glass by grabbing 23 rebounds. McGruder put it this way, “Coach has been stressing that day in and day out, practice and our past games, since we’ve been emphasizing that we’ve really been trying to attack the boards hard.”
When Kansas State took some unquestionable shots, it gave some life into the Red Raiders, who at one point closed the gap to three points, thanks to Ty Nurse and Jay Crockett. That was a wake-up call to McGruder, Will Spalding and Martavious Irving who sprung into action to seal the win.
These Wildcats should not be overlooked in the Big 12 conference and in the NCAA tournament which is right around the corner. Mighty McGruder and the rest of the Wildcats have a great opportunity this Monday night to go into Lawrence, Ks and upset the Jayhawks. Look for this team to get back to their own game and be ready to play a tough game on the road for first place in the Big 12.
The Wildcats also need to be prepared for their game this Saturday against Iowa State at home, who are looking like a very legit team that could win the Big 12 this season. It is always hard to play on the road in the Big 12 but it get’s a little easier when the seats are half full.