K-State freshman guard Marcus Foster is no stranger to leading his team in scoring this season. On Saturday, Foster became just the third true freshman in school history to eclipse the 30-point mark; his scoring led the Wildcats to a 74-57 upset of the No. 15 Texas Longhorns in Bramlage Coliseum.
Foster started the game hot and never looked back. After K-State allowed a basket on the Longhorn’s first possession, Foster scored eight straight points. After his run, he continued to play well in the first half, scoring 17 points before the break. Texas’ entire roster couldn’t manage to outscore Foster until there were just 24 seconds left in the first period. Foster also had three assists in the first half, which matched Texas’ team total.
"I just relaxed, stayed in my shots, and got myself going at first," Foster said. "Just one of them days. We always talk about being on the magic level, and tonight I was on the magic level."
Foster’s production did not just stop in the first half. He tacked on 17 more points in the second half. Foster was dominant, but it was not just his production that led K-State to victory. Players like senior guard Will Spradling, freshman forward Wesley Iwundu and junior forward Nino Williams were threats that made Texas take some focus off of Foster. Without them, the Longhorns could have double teamed Foster, which would have limited him.
It wasn’t just the point total, but the efficiency that Foster had that made him so impressive. Foster shot 13-of-16 from the field, including making five-of-eight from behind the arc. It’s all but impossible to stop a player when they shoot 81 percent from the field.
"Going back watching film, I feel like I take a lot of questionable shots," Foster said. "I just wanted to limit the questionable shots and take good shots."
As K-State moves forward, this is the type of efficiency that will help them win games against good teams. Foster is obviously not going to score 34 points every time he takes the floor, but shooting a high percentage will improve K-State’s chance of winning.
"He’s shot 16 shots before, but he hasn’t made them like that," K-State head coach Bruce Weber said. "He got those first couple down, he really wants to get out of the game right away. He gets so overwhelmed, he loses his breath, I think he just gets so excited. He even told Coach Fraizer the other day ‘against Texas, ‘You’ll probably have to get me out before the two minute mark.’"
The last time a K-State freshman scored more than 30 points was in 2008 when a player by the name of Michael Beasley did it. With Kansas coming to town tonight, it may take a similar performance from the stellar freshman for the Wildcats to get a big win.