K-State men’s basketball ready to get back on track against TCU

Senior forward D.J. Johnson dribbles the ball down the court during the K-State game against West Virginia in Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 21, 2017. (File Photo by Nathan Jones | The Collegian)

The Kansas State men’s basketball team has been very up-and-down in their last nine games. The Wildcats have been on the downward trend lately after two straight losses and will look to reverse the trend tonight when they take on TCU in Bramlage Coliseum.

After taking down Oklahoma State and upsetting West Virginia, the Wildcats looked like they were hitting their stride. But K-State came out flat in the first half in both games last week and could never recover; they subsequently lost both games. Sophomore guard Barry Brown said the team needs to come out with a better mindset.

“I think it’s just emotion and having a good mindset,” Brown said. “You just gotta know and play every game like it’s your last game, like it’s the one game thats going to decide whether you go to the tournament or not. If we come out with that attitude and some good emotions and some good fight, we’ll come out like we’re supposed to.”

Several players have experienced injuries recently. Senior forward D.J. Johnson and sophomore forward Dean Wade have both dealt with injuries in the last few weeks and have been limited in practice.

“It’s pretty tough with them not being able to practice like they should or like they used to be able to,” Brown said.

To offset the injuries down low, the Wildcats will need to depend on their guard play against TCU, but that may not be a bad thing. Brown has scored in double figures in five straight games and senior forward Wesley Iwundu has scored in double figures in four straight.

TCU started the season better than most expected but has struggled recently, dropping four straight games. They sit at 14-7 and 3-5 in Big 12 play and are currently seventh in the Big 12 standings.

The Horned Frogs will lean on junior forward Vladimir Brodziansky. He leads the team in scoring with 14 points but can also defend the paint well — he averages 2.3 blocks a game.

This is an especially huge game for K-State because of the tough schedule that lies ahead. After TCU, the Wildcats take on No. 2 Baylor, No. 3 Kansas and No. 6 West Virginia in a row, so getting a win tonight will be huge.

“Every game is important for us really, especially this time of year,” freshman guard Xavier Sneed said. “But it’s a really important key for us to get this win.”

The Wildcats and Horned Frogs tip off at 6:30 p.m. inside Bramlage Coliseum. The game can be seen on ESPNews.

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