What can you really say about an exhibition game? Sure, it’s a good way to knock off the rust and slowly get back into the swing of basketball season but as far as finding things out about your team? Not so much.
Having said that, K-State steamrolled Division II Pittsburg State 85-72 to kick-off the 2016-17 season.
The Wildcats shot 44 percent on the night including 38 percent from beyond the arc. K-State had four players in double figures including 17 from sophomore guard Barry Brown, leading the way for K-State.
Freshman forward Xavier Sneed and redshirt freshman forward Isaiah Maurice also scored in double digits in their first performance as a Wildcat with 13 and 10 respectively.
The Wildcats came out the gate fairly well offensively and led by as much as 26 in the second half but the Gorillas capitalized off of K-State’s 10 second half turnovers and 35.3 second-half shooting percentage to keep the final score respectable.
K-State’s starters really seemed to clamp down on Pitt State early but ended up giving up six threes in the first half. The Wildcats got another strong defensive push early in the second half allowing some separation to be created.
12 second half fouls allowed Pitt State to shoot their way somewhat back into the game as they went 14-15 from the stripe.
Freshman forward Dante Williams and Sneed led K-State in blocks with two apiece while fellow freshman forward James Love III also recorded a block in his first game as a Wildcat.
Senior forward D.J. Johnson led the team in rebounds with 7 in just 16 minutes of play.
Player of the Game
Dean Wade may not have led the Wildcats in any category except for steals (3) but that was no fault of his. Wade was pulled early in the second half after K-State got out to a big lead.
In his 16 minutes on the court, Wade scored 14 points including going 4-5 from behind the arc. It was Wade’s outside shooting and defensive play that allowed K-State to get out to that 26 point lead which the Wildcats used to coast to the end of the game.
Quote of the Game
“I told them last night, “I don’t want to tell you your role. It’s better you figure it out on your own. Then you accept it, you execute with and take pride in it. And then we’ll have a pretty good group.””
-Head coach Bruce Weber
The Wildcats take on Washburn in their final exhibition match before the regular season starts in two weeks versus Western Illinois.