Kansas State Men's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Kansas State Wildcats
Big 12 (27-7, 14-4)

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Bruce Weber was unemployed for about a day after being fired from Illinois when Kansas State scooped him up.  Former coach Frank Martin bolted to South Carolina in a curious move.  Martin had success in Manhattan, and Weber picked up right where Martin left off.  The cupboard was not bare when Weber arrived.  Rodney McGruder, Angel Rodriguez, and Will Spradling lead the way.  They represent one of the more talented rosters in the conference.  Weber has proven he can win at big programs in big conferences.  Kansas State is hoping he can deliver a Final Four.

Big Wins: 12/22 Florida (67-61), 1/5 Oklahoma State (73-67), 2/2 at Oklahoma (52-50)
Bad Losses: 1/22 Kansas (55-59), 1/26 at Iowa State (67-73), 3/9 at Oklahoma State (70-76)
Coach: Bruce Weber (1 season at Kansas State)

Why They Can Surprise:
Talent, experience, and depth will go a long way for the Wildcats in the tournament.  McGruder leads the team as the points leader at 15.7 per game but also as one of the four seniors on the roster guiding the young guns.  He is joined in the backcourt by some other talented guards in Rodriguez and Spradling.  Both average over seven points per game, and Rodriguez leads the team in assists.  The Wildcats frontcourt is stout with Jordan Henriquez and Thomas Gipson as solid role players.  All of these notable players benefit from the fact that Weber plays an incredibly deep bench.  Ten of his players average double-digit minutes for the season.  Lots of contributors mean less worry when foul trouble hits.  Obviously, you want your best players in the game, but at least there are players with game experience that can take over.  Defensively, they are one of the best teams in the country at holding opponents at about 60 points per game.  Also, all players that are not freshmen have experience in the NCAA tournament.  Kansas State has been to the dance the last three years.  Seniors like McGruder and Henriquez have gotten as far as the Elite Eight back in 2010.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Kansas State has the ability to go to a Final Four, but in all likelihood they are going to need to score more points.  They score less than 70 points per game, which is not stellar nationally.  Part of that is due to the fact that McGruder is the only player to average over 12 points per game.  They distribute the ball to a lot of different guys, but other players will need to put the ball in the basket come tournament time if they intend to go very far.  The Wildcats are also not winning based on long-range shooting.  They make a lot of threes per game, but they take a lot of shots to get there.  They only shoot 36.6 percent from beyond the arc.  Worse than that is their free-throw percentage.  Games are won and lost with foul shooting and K State is one of the worst in the country from the stripe.  They could see tournament hopes evaporate if they do not shoot better than 69 percent from the line.

Probable Starters:
Angel Rodriguez, Sophomore, Guard, 11.7 ppg, 5.3 apg
Rodney McGruder, Senior, Guard, 15.7 ppg, 2.0 apg, 5.4 rpg
Shane Southwell, Junior, Guard, 8.1 ppg, 2.6 apg
Will Spradling, Junior, Guard, 7.5 ppg, 2.4 apg
Jordan Henriquez, Senior, Forward, 4.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.8 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Martavious Irving, Senior, Guard, 5.2 ppg, 2.1 apg
Thomas Gipson, Sophomore, Forward, 7.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg
D.J. Johnson, Freshman, Forward, 2.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Nino Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 4.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Omari Lawrence, Junior, Guard, 2.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.8 (113th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.5 (40, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.1 (127, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.3 (150, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.8 (106, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.6 (62, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.1 (182, 6)
Rebound Margin: 3.7 (70, 3)
Assists Per Game: 16.5 (11, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.7 (51, 1)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Southern Mississippi
2012    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Syracuse
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Utah State
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Wisconsin
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over North Texas
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 win over BYU
2010    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Xavier
2010    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Butler
2009    NIT        First Round win over Illinois State
2009    NIT        Second Round loss to San Diego State
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over USC
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Wisconsin
2007    NIT        First Round win over Vermont
2007    NIT        Second Round loss to DePaul

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules