It is no secret the Kansas State men’s basketball team is struggling down the home stretch of the season. The Wildcats lost their third game in a row Wednesday night against Iowa State and have lost six of their last seven.
K-State will try to reverse that losing trend Saturday when they head to Austin, Texas, to take on the Texas Longhorns.
The Wildcats (16-10, 5-8) are coming off a tough loss at home to Iowa State in which the Cyclones led from start to finish. Senior guard Wesley Iwundu said the Wildcats just need to shift their focus to the next game.
“It’s all about how we respond to the next game, we’ve got to put this one past us,” Iwundu said. “We didn’t get it, so now we have to go get the next one. We’ve just got to man up and make a run and get some wins, that’s it.”
K-State will try to move on to this next game against Texas while still dealing with a few key injuries. Senior forward D.J. Johnson missed the West Virginia game and played only 11 minutes against Iowa State because of an ankle injury. Sophomore guard Kamau Stokes injured his foot in practice and needed a procedure to play against the Cyclones. He did end up playing for 35 minutes.
The Wildcats might be able to lean on sophomore guard Barry Brown against the Longhorns. Brown has struggled recently, but might have put an end to his slump against Iowa State; Brown led the Cats in scoring with 21 points.
“I thought he attacked the hoop,” head coach Bruce Weber said. “Like I said earlier, he only had one three. He was more patient and got to the basket. You go 9-of-14, which is a pretty good outing.”
Brown and the Wildcats will take on a Texas team that has struggled all season. The Longhorns (10-16, 4-9) are currently in ninth place in the Big 12 and are coming off a loss to last-place Oklahoma.
One positive for the Longhorns heading into the game is their recent success at home. Texas has won three straight at home, including wins over Iowa State and Texas Tech.
Brown said that despite going on the road, the Wildcats should be able to win if they play their game.
“If we put two halves of K-State basketball together, we should definitely come out with the win, but it’s gonna be tough,” Brown said. “They’re a good team, and they’re at home, but we’ve got to do it.”
The Wildcats and Longhorns will tip off at 1 p.m. in the Frank Erwin Center. The game can be seen on the Longhorn Network.