ANALYSIS: Men’s basketball team looks to be back on track for the season

Kansas State senior forward Dean Wade shoots the ball, scoring two points for the Wildcats. K-State beat Texas Christian University 65-55 last Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, at Bramlage Coliseum. (Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

On Jan. 5, it felt like the sky was falling in Manhattan.

The men’s basketball team was 0-2 in Big 12 Conference play after two dismal performances against Texas and Texas Tech. Senior forward Dean Wade and senior guard Kamau Stokes were out with injuries, and it seemed uncertain when they would be back.

Four consecutive wins later, Kansas State seems to be hitting its stride at a good time, sitting in a tie for first in the Big 12. With Wade and Stokes back, this seems to be a different team than the one that played those first two games of conference play.

Head coach Bruce Weber was very confident in his team before the season started, and after the 65-55 win over Texas Christian on Saturday, he said this was more of what he expected this year from his team.

“We had two of those wins and it makes a difference,” Weber told K-State Sports. “You have to get emotionally ready, you cannot just anticipate that your going to make shots because you play at home. You have to go out their and have that edge to execute. We did a great job of executing in the first half especially early. “

If K-State can continue to play like this for the rest of the season, this will be a team to be reckoned with, and one that could win the Big 12 Championship.

The Wildcats can’t go back to who they were in December: a team that looked uninspired and lackadaisical.

This four-game winning streak hasn’t come easy for the Wildcats, however. They had to come back by 21 points against a struggling West Virginia team, and although they played well at Iowa State, they easily could have lost that game.

These past two games against Oklahoma and TCU are the team I think the fanbase was waiting to see this whole season.

Senior guard Barry Brown has been shooting well, and he continues to play great defense. Junior forward Xavier Sneed showed the world his offensive skills on Saturday, and the bench is learning what its role is on this team.

This is a big if, but I think it is worth saying that if K-State can go unbeaten at home and just go .500 on the road, a Big 12 title is a real possibility, and it seems like that is a big goal for this team.