2008 NCAA Tournament Capsule: Kansas State
Kansas State Wildcats
Big 12 (20-11, 10-6)
Big Wins: 1/12 at Oklahoma (84-82), 1/19 Texas A&M (75-54), 1/30 Kansas (84-75)
Bad Losses: 11/22 vs George Mason (77-87), 2/2 at Missouri (74-77), 2/20 at Nebraska (64-71)
Last NCAA Appearance: 1996, First Round loss to New Mexico
Coach: Frank Martin (First NCAA appearance)
Clent Stewart, Senior, Guard, 7.0 ppg, 3.2 appg, 3.1 rpg
Blake Young, Senior, Guard, 6.1 ppg, 1.9 apg, 3.5 rpg
Andre Gilbert, Junior, Forward, 4.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Bill Walker, Freshman, Forward, 15.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Michael Beasley, Freshman, Forward, 26.5 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 1.7 bpg
Jacob Pullen, Freshman, Guard, 9.8 ppg, 3.2 apg
Dominique Sutton, Freshman, Guard, 3.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Fred Brown, Freshman, Guard, 4.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg
Ron Anderson, Freshman, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Darren Kent, Junior, Forward, 2.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Kansas State has a couple of the most dynamic forwards in the country. Michael Beasley shattered Carmelo Anthony’s record for double-doubles in a season and managed to pick up the Big XII record in that category as well. This is a freshman that ranks third in the nation in scoring and first in rebounding. Enjoy him while you can, because he will be in the NBA very soon. There is nothing that Beasley does not do well. He gets to the free-throw line an incredible 8.5 times per game. There is no other way to stop him, but unfortunately for his opponents, he makes over three-quarters of his attempts from the charity stripe.
Bill Walker is a freshman as well, but he did play a few games last year before getting hurt. Like Beasley, Walker can hit the outside shot, but the 6-6 forward will not put up such gaudy numbers. However, he has the ability and can take over a game if he needs to do so.
Why They Can Disappoint:
It hardly matters that the frontcourt is dominated by freshmen. They are good enough that it does not matter how much experience they have. However, the backcourt is pretty young too. Freshman Jacob Pullen is a part-time starter and every other perimeter player coming off the bench is also a freshman. That, along with the help of the freshmen frontcourt, has led to some turnover problems. KSU commits nearly 16 turnovers per game and they will have to keep that number within reason if they want to make a big run in March. The other major concern is the team’s overall shooting. The group does not shoot a lot of three pointers, so one would expect their shooting percentage to be better.
Who To Watch:
The leadership of Kansas State falls to the two seniors who see major minutes. Clent Stewart and Blake Young are not superb scorers, but they both can handle the ball and play solid defense. It would be beneficial if one or the other could become another consistent scoring threat, but this team might have enough scorers anyway. As long as the seniors can keep the game under control and limit the turnovers, Kansas State can have some tournament success.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.3 (20th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.1 (182, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.4 (155, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.0 (86, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (170, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.2 (262, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.9 (166, 7)
Rebound Margin: 8.3 (5, 1)
Assists Per Game: 16.0 (31, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.6 (246, 12)
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