When the Kansas State Wildcats enter the Octagon of Doom Saturday early evening to take on the Iowa State Cyclones, they will be playing for a few things besides an always-coveted Big 12 conference victory.
First, the Wildcats can potentially earn sole possession of first place in the Big 12. Currently, K-State is tied with their in-state rival No. 5 Kansas at 7-2 in conference play. If the Jayhawks are unable to beat the Oklahoma Sooners on the road Saturday night, the Wildcats would be alone atop one of the toughest conferences in the nation.
Next, if Kansas State can slow down the Cyclones and move to 8-2 in the Big 12, they will also have a very good shot and moving into the Top 10 of the AP Poll as well. Several teams in the Top 10 this week have already fallen and been upset and K-State can definitely take advantage.
In order to secure a victory, head coach Bruce Weber will need a big game out of his standout senior, Rodney McGruder. The Washington, D.C. native is averaging 14.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game this season for the Wildcats and is the main focal point of their offensive attack. He’ll have to outwork Iowa State’s Will Clyburn in the scoring department to give his team an edge as well.
Clyburn, another impressive senior in the conference, is leading the Cyclones in scoring, at 15.2 points per game, and is also the team’s second-leading rebounder at 7.5 boards per game too. But, the Cyclones also have five other players on their roster that score at least 9.3 points per game as well. So, K-State will have their hands full defensively if they hope to win and receive all the benefits that could come from this victory.