After the KU basketball game: Where do we go from here?

Fighting hard, junior guard Barry Brown Jr. prepares for a play as the mens basketball team plays against KU in Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 29, 2018. The Jayhawks took the lead and the win over the Wildcats with a final score of 70-56. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

It was a night that Kansas State will want to forget fast.

Actually, the Wildcats must forget Monday night against Kansas fast because they are still in the thick on this Big 12 race. We must remember that we are only halfway through the conference slate and K-State still has so much to play for.

The chances of taking down the Jayhawks and ending their conference winning streak is probably out of reach, but this team needs to switch its focus. The Wildcats need to worry about staying in the top three of the Big 12 and earning their right into the NCAA Tournament.

I think this season will end very well for the Wildcats, and here’s why.

Junior Kamau Stokes should be coming back in the near future. He has been medically cleared, but head coach Bruce Weber is being cautionary with him.

I understand that, but think about how good this team has been without him in the lineup. Since his injury, K-State went 5-2, and those two losses both came to Kansas.

Freshman Cartier Diarra has been a huge spark for K-State and will be a great sixth man when Stokes comes back.

I also think the return of Stokes will take some defensive pressure off of juniors Barry Brown and Dean Wade.

Those two are of a couple of the best players in the Big 12, and other teams are starting to catch on to that. Stokes will be exactly what K-State needs when it comes to another weapon in the guard position.

Another reason for optimism is the Wildcats will be done with Kansas, Texas Tech and West Virginia University by next Saturday. That leaves them with mid-to-lower level opponents through the rest of the way.

Lastly, I see that this team looks hungry and wants to succeed this season. “They sure didn’t look like it last night,” everyone reading this article said just now, probably.

That’s true, and I can’t argue much about that other than the fact that the ball just wasn’t falling last night. K-State, along with any other team in the country, needs shots to fall in order to beat many teams.

I predict the Wildcats will finish strong, place high in the Big 12 and make a push into the NCAA Tournament.

Call me crazy, but I see a possible Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Tournament in this team.

Avery Osen is a graduate student in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to