Kansas State looked much better than they were just a few weeks ago. Bruce Weber was not going to let Cade Cunningham beat the Wildcats. In their previous meeting in January, Cunningham had only five points on three shots from the field. Cunningham had two turnovers and a foul at the under-12 timeout of this game without a single shot. The difference early on in this game was that Oklahoma State was shooting just 33% from the field. They shot 56% in the first game in the Cowboys’ 16-point win.
Cade Cunningham is going to be the talk in any Oklahoma State game this season. I get it. The kid has a lot of talent. He might be great in the NBA. That’s what announcers keep telling us. But this is college basketball, and as great as Cunningham might be someday, he is viewed around here as somewhat of a disappointment simply because of that first game in Manhattan.
In the first 16 minutes of this game, Kansas State held Oklahoma State to just 35% shooting, including only 29% behind the arc, but still trailed 27-16. Antonio Gordon and Nijel Pack were a combined 4-for-15 early on.
Kansas State doesn’t have the talent right now to compete in some of these games, but the kids responded to Bruce Weber’s coaching during the game. It’s really confusing me about the state of the Kansas State program. They have one signed commitment for next year and another “hard” commitment. Sure, it’s a young team that should have many players back, but how much better will they be? And will Bruce Weber be coaching them?
After falling behind 41-21, the Wildcats went on an 11-0 run to cut the difference to nine. In the run, Kansas State finally hit their first two three-point shots to improve to 2-for-11 on the day. Kansas State played hard and played well at times, but they just don’t have enough shooters.
Kansas State eventually cut the deficit to 41-37 with a 16-0 run before Cade Cunningham hit a wide-open three-point shot and started a run of their own.
Kansas State started the final segment of the game down ten with 3:31 to play. Not much scoring happened, and the Wildcats continued a winless 2021. But the past couple of weeks have been an improvement. It’s frustrating for fans who are still watching this team that they haven’t been able to win, but they are so much better right now than just a few weeks ago.