Know Your Opponent: Texas Showdown

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K-State men's basketball played the University of Kansas Jayhawks on January 31, 2023.KU beat K-State 90-78 at Allen Fieldhouse. (Avery Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

No 7. K-State 18-4 (6-3)

The Wildcats dropped to a 6-3 conference record after losses to No. 8 Kansas and No. 13 Iowa State. The team looks to bounce back in their matchup against Texas after both losses featured poor rebounding and unnecessary turnovers. K-State’s best advantage against Texas is size. Forward David N’Guessan has returned from injury, adding help in the interior. Center Abayomi Iyiola and forwards Ismael Massoud and Nae’Qwan Tomlin add to this advantage as the Wildcats attempt to stay undefeated at home.

No 10. Texas 18-4 (7-2) 

Texas is coming off a huge victory against No. 11 Baylor, winning 76-71. Texas runs an explosive offense, averaging a conference-high 79.9 points per game. After the firing of head coach Chris Beard, assistant head coach Rodney Terry has helped keep the team on track. The Longhorns sit atop the Big 12 with a 7-2 record in conference play. Guard Marcus Carr recorded 27 points in the first matchup against K-State and will be their best offensive weapon.

 

Matchup to Watch: K-State vs. Texas Guards

Post play will have a big impact in this matchup. Both K-State and Texas have had trouble with rebounding during the season. Though each team works to improve their weaknesses, the true battle dictating the game will still be determined by the strength at the guard position.

Guarding the exterior will be a priority for K-State. Carr is one of the most dangerous scorers in the Big 12 averaging 16.9 points per game. Alongside him is guard Sir’Jabari Rice, completing a dangerous scoring duo that will be a major focus for the Wildcat defense. Texas lacks a true center with its largest starting player standing 6-foot-9, meaning K-State will have a significant size advantage. If K-State can limit the Longhorns’ premiere shooters at the guard position and follow through on fundamentals such as cleaning up their turnovers and controlling the backboard, they could solidify the win. Limiting Texas’s biggest strength gives K-State a great chance to bounce back atop the Big 12.

 

Key Players

K-State:

Forward Ismael Massoud

Guard Markquis Nowell

Texas:

Guard Marcus Carr

Guard Tyrese Hunter

 

Prediction: K-State 78-72

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