Preseason Preview: Kansas State


(Photo by Ryan Messier/Paint Touches)

The first official practices of the 18-19 college basketball season are in the books and Paint Touches is celebrating by counting down every Marquette opponent from worst to first. Each preview will contain a look at how the opponent did last season, who they lose, who they gain, reasonable expectations for their season, and our own prediction of how their matchup(s) with Marquette will go. This series will start with the most under of underdogs and progress all the way up to most unbeatable of opponents. We will be releasing one a day ending the day before Marquette’s exhibition with Carroll. That’s right, when this series ends, Marquette basketball will finally be here.

Team: Kansas State Wildcats
17-18 Record: 25-12 (10-8 Big 12)
Postseason?: Earned a 9 seed in the NCAAs where they rode a fortunate draw all the way to the Elite Eight, before losing to everyone’s favorite Cinderella, Loyola.
17-18 KenPom: 42
Date: December 01, 2018
Location: Fiserv Forum
Coach: Bruce Weber (7th Season)
Projected KenPom Range: 10-30
Projected Conference Finish: 3/10 in the Big 12

Departures from 17-18
Amaad Wainright: 2nd Man off the Bench: 13.1 mpg, 2.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg 0.5 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.1 bpg, 0.5 tpg, .447 FG%, .308 3P% (Transferred to NAIA LSU-Shreveport)
Brian Patrick: 4th Man off the Bench: 7.8 mpg, 1.6 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.2 spg, 0.0 bpg, 0.2 tpg, .319 FG%, .250 3P% (Transferred to Purdue Fort Wayne)
Mawdo Sallah: 5th Man off the Bench: 7.7 mpg, 1.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.1 spg, 0.3 bpg, 0.4 tpg, .536 FG%, .000 3P% (Grad transferred to Radford)
Mason Schoen: Benchwarmer: Appeared in 13 games (Graduated)
Kade Kinnamon: Benchwarmer: Appeared in 11 game (Graduated)
7% of scoring, 12% of rebounding, 7% of assists, 10% of steals, 11% of blocks, 9% of 3PM

Mike McGuirl: Backup SG, returns after missing 25 games due to redshirt/injury
Austin Trice: JUCO PF, ranked #56 by
Shaun Neal-Williams: 3-star PG, ranked #225 by 247 Composite
Nigel Shadd: Backup PF, returns after missing 22 games due to injury
Patrick Muldoon: Transfer Walk-on PF from Eastern Illinois

Probable Starters:
PG: Kamau Stokes: 6’0” 170 lb SR: 27.0 mpg, 9.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.0 bpg, 1.9 tpg, .368 FG%, .315 3P%
SG: Barry Brown: 6’3” 195 lb SR: 34.7 mpg, 15.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.8 spg, 0.1 bpg, 2.6 tpg, .448 FG%, .318 3P%
SF: Cartier Diarra: 6’4” 190 lb RSSO: 23.8 mpg, 7.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg, 1.9 tpg, .469 FG%, .405 3P%
PF: Xavier Sneed: 6’5” 220 lb JR: 31.4 mpg, 11.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.3 bpg, 1.1 tpg, .417 FG%, .344 3P%
C: Dean Wade: 6’10” 228 lb SR: 32.8 mpg, 16.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.5 spg, 0.8 bpg, 1.4 tpg, .550 FG%, .440 3P%

Probable Bench:
Makol Mawien: 6’9” 245 lb RSJR PF
Mike McGuirl: 6’2” 195 lb SO SG
Austin Trice: 6’7” 235 lb JR PF
Shaun Neal-Williams: 6’3” 170 lb FR PG
Levi Stockard: 6’8” 240 lb SO PF

Probable Benchwarmers:
Nigel Shadd: 6’9” 250 lb RSFR PF
James Love III: 6’11” 240 lb RSSO PF
Patrick Muldoon: 6’7” 210 lb RSJR PF
Pierson McAtee: 6’6” 200 lb RSJR SF

• Earning a 9 seed would have felt like an average season for the Kanas State Wildcats, but some tough play and some favorable draws led them to an Elite Eight appearance, making it one of the more memorable seasons in school history. It was only the second time in 20 years that K State had made it to the second weekend. From that team, Coach Bruce Weber is returning everyone of importance with only a few bench players departing due to transfer. How well K State is projected to be becomes a matter of perspective. Do you look at this as an Elite Eight team that returns everybody? Or a 9 seed that got lucky that returns everybody? Regardless, the Wildcats will be a senior laden team with postseason experience and that alone makes them an intimidating opponent for anyone.
• Kansas State is helmed by a pair of senior point guards that excel playing off each other. Barry Brown tested the NBA waters before deciding to come back this season. He is a crafty scoring guard with a knack for getting to the free throw line. His 162 free throw attempts were top 5 in the Big 12. On the other end, Brown was feared by all ballhandlers. He’s a pitbull type defender and averaged 1.8 steals per game which was second to only the handsy Jevon Carter in the Big 12. Kamau Stokes is much more a traditional pass first PG. His 3.4 assists led the Wildcats and were crucial in setting up Brown. When Stokes did choose to score it was often as a shooter though not a particularly accurate one. In fact, neither of the Wildcat guards were great outside shooters, with both averaging around 31% and making about 40 each.
• K-State may have had an easy path to the Elite Eight but they also did it without the help of their best player. Dean Wade is a sharpshooting mobile big man who led the Wildcats in both scoring and rebounding. Wade has been starting since he arrived in Manhattan but didn’t blossom into a star until this past season. Wade has the ability to score at all three levels. He can spot up from range, face the basket and drive, or work down defending big men in the post. He was stymied a few times in non-conference play but was mostly dominate in the Big 12. He scored double digits in every conference game and grabbed five or more rebounds in all but four. Wade is a nightmare matchup for defenses and can pull opposing big men out to the perimeter to clear room for Brown and Stokes. ranks Wade as the 2nd most valuable player in all of Division 1, behind only Indiana’s Juwan Morgan…who Marquette also must face.
• While K-State has one of the best big men around, their depth in frontcourt is dangerously shallow. Backing up Wade is human pogo stick Makol Mawien. Mawien was a standout at New Mexico Junior College before becoming a Wildcat. Even at the JUCO level, he wasn’t much of a scorer or rebounder but he was known as a dominant shot blocker. He brought some of that with him to campus as he led the team in blocks with 1.1 a game. He provides a physical presence to either pair with or change up from Wade’s more finesse style. Coach Weber added another JUCO big man this season. Austin Trice averaged a double double for Wabash Valley before becoming Wildcat. He doesn’t have the height that Wade and Mawien do, but he has a nice wide frame and a motor to match. Beyond those two, the Wildcats do have a trio of scholarship big men who struggled to find meaningful minutes last season. Unless one of the three takes a big step forward, it could mean three players trying to cover the two forward positions.
• That lack of forward depth forces the Wildcats to play a four-guard lineup a lot of the time. Xavier Sneed is the guard that gets to try and manage the PF position in those lineups. At 6’5” 220 lbs, Sneed is usually significantly smaller than his assignment. He more than makes up for that in speed and strength. The rising junior excels at denying entry passes and poking the ball out from unsuspecting forwards. At 1.6 steals per game, he was second only to Brown. Offensively, Stokes is their most prolific three-point shooter. He made 65 shots from range which was 23 more than any other player on the roster.
• Three-point shooting in general is a weakness for K-State. Their five starters can all hit from deep but no one on their bench has shown any three-point ability. Of those starters only one hit more than 45 three pointers last season and three of them weren’t particularly accurate. As a result, the Wildcats ranked 2nd to last in the Big 12 for both 3PM and 3P%. They make up for it with their aggressive defense. The Wildcats were second only to Press Virginia in the Big 12 in steals per game. They use their aggression on defense to create transition opportunities where their athletes can truly shine.

• Most services will tell you that Kansas State is supposed to be a better team than Marquette next season. Looking at the rosters, I think K-State is perhaps a tad overrated by most and Marquette is a tad underrated. These two look like pretty evenly matched squads on paper. I think the addition of Chartouny proves to be a godsend against Kansas State’s press and Ed Morrow overwhelms the much smaller Sneed. Kansas State’s offense shreds Marquette’s defense pretty good but the Golden Eagle threes are flying. It’s a back and fourth match but a Sam Hauser three in the final 30 seconds seals it for the home team, giving Marquette what would likely be their biggest win of the season so far.

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Categories: Analysis, Home, Offseason, Previews

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic


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