By Jeff Kubiszyn @JeffKubiszyn on March 17, 2014
The Kansas State Wildcats earned a No. 9 seed despite losing their last three games. The Wildcats finished fifth in the Big 12, a conference that has seven schools in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas State has relied on Marcus Foster and Thomas Gipson to carry the team offensively. Who else will step up and provide a spark should the Wildcats find themselves in a bind?
Wesley Iwundu has been inconsistent this season. The freshman guard strung together three straight games of double-digit scoring. He then followed this up with one and three point games. Iwundu will need to play with more consistency and take advantage of his 6-foot-7 frame against smaller players.
Will Spradling has provided Kansas State with solid guard play this season. The senior is not flashy, nor will he light up the scoreboard. He will match up against an opponent’s point guard and try to use his experience to disrupt the offensive flow.
Shane Southwell is a nightmare for opponents. Too tall for smaller guards and too quick for most forwards, Southwell can exploit a mismatch to get easy points. He has struggled late in the season with a foot injury. Kansas State needs a healthy Southwell, especially against a talented Kentucky team.
No one works harder around the basket than Thomas Gipson. The junior leads the team in rebounds and is the team’s second-leading scorer. Gipson has scored in double figures in nine of the last 11 games. Teams will have a hard time moving the 265-pound forward from the post once he gains position. Gipson provides the Wildcats with an inside presence all teams need at this point in the season.
Kansas State fans are grateful for Marcus Foster. Foster was not as highly-decorated coming out of high school as some of the other freshmen in the 2013 class. What he has done at Kansas State is nothing short of impressive. He plays fearless and with reckless abandon. Foster is one of those payers who can put a team on his shoulders. Foster should become a household name in the tournament.
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