Monday, the Kansas State Wildcats jumped from No. 13 to No. 10 in the Associated Press’ weekly Top 25 NCAA Men’s Basketball poll. And, folks, the Wildcats’ first appearance in the AP’s Top 10 this season is nothing but well deserved.
First, K-State is now riding a four-game winning streak, in which they’re beating teams by an average of 9 points per game, and are handling their Big 12 conference foes with relative ease. The Wildcats (19-4, 8-2) are also alone in first place in the Big 12—which is considered the fifth best conference in the nation based on RPI.
On the season, Kansas State hasn’t played a beautifully entertaining brand of basketball, however they’ve played gritty defense and are extremely poised under new head coach Bruce Weber. The Wildcats are yielding just 58.3 points per game this season, which is good for tops in the Big 12 and 20th in the nation. They also rank 34th in the nation in three-point shooting defense as well.
With that, K-State clearly has a tenacious defense, but they also run a controlled and well-balanced offensive attack as well. Five players on the Wildcats roster score at least 7.8 points per game. Their offense is spearheaded by standout senior Rodney McGruder, who is averaging 15.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game this season. But, for those who’ve watched McGruder this season—and you can tonight at 9p.m. on ESPN when the Wildcats take on Kansas—it’s evident that the Washington, D.C. native can erupt for 30 points on any given night.
Tonight, the nation will have a chance to see just how dynamic this Kansas State team can be when they visit Allen Fieldhouse. They should be able to prove their worthiness of their AP ranking. And, the game should be an instant classic.