Jan 11, 2020 5:06 PM

Wildcat men take on Longhorns Saturday night

Posted Jan 11, 2020 5:06 PM
<b>K-State's&nbsp;Cartier Diarra.</b> Photo courtesy <a href="http://kstatesports.com">kstatesports.com</a>
K-State's Cartier Diarra. Photo courtesy kstatesports.com

The Kansas State University men's basketball team travels to Austin, Texas, to take on the Texas Longhorns this evening.

The game begins at 7:01 p.m. Saturday in the Frank Erwin Center. The game will be televised on the Longhorn Network. You can listen to the game online at TuneIn.com [free] and www.kstatesports.com/watch [free] or via satellite radio at XM 384 or Internet 974.

COACHES

Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)

Overall: 470-251/22nd season

At K-State: 157-96/8th season

vs. Texas: 9-6 (4-3 on the road)

Texas: Shaka Smart (Kenyon College ‘99)

Overall: 244-126/11th season

At Texas: 81-70/5th season

vs. Kansas State: 3-5 (1-3 at home)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

Kansas State (7-7)

G: #00 Mike McGuirl

G: #2 Cartier Diarra

G/F: #20 Xavier Sneed

F: #23 Montavious Murphy

F: #14 Makol Mawien

Texas (10-4)

G: #1 Andrew Jones

G: #2 Matt Coleman III

G: #13 Jase Febres

F: #20 Jericho Sims

F: #33 Kamaka Hepa

SERIES HISTORY

Overall: K-State leads 22-16

Current Streak: K-State, 1

In Austin: Tied 9-9

At Erwin Center: Texas leads 9-8

Last Meeting: W, 71-64 [2/12/19 in Austin]

Weber vs. Smart: Weber leads 5-3 [3-1 on the road]

OPENING TIP

Kansas State (7-7, 0-2 Big 12) hits the road for the second time in 3 Big 12 games on Saturday night, as the Wildcats travel to Austin, Texas to take on Texas (10-4, 0-2) at the Frank Erwin Center. Both squads are off to 0-2 starts in Big 12 play, as K-State has dropped games to Oklahoma (61-66) and TCU (57-59, while Texas has lost to Baylor (44-59) and Oklahoma (62-72). Saturday’s game will tip at 7 p.m., CT on the Longhorn Network with Lowell Galindo (play-by-play) and Lance Blanks (analyst).

K-State saw its string of heartbreaking losses continue on Tuesday night, as TCU center Kevin Samuel’s tip-in with 2 seconds left lifted the Horned Frogs to a 59-57 win in the Big 12 home opener at Bramlage Coliseum. The game-winning tip-in came 11 seconds after junior reserve David Sloan’s 3-pointer tied the game at 57-all that helped the Wildcats erase an 11-point second-half deficit. The setback spoiled an impressive second-half defensive performance by K-State, in which, the team held TCU to just 24 points on a 22.2 field goal percentage (6-of-27) after allowing 35 in the opening half on 43.8 percent (14-of-32) shooting, including 7 3-pointers. The loss was just the ninth in 94 games (85-9) under head coach Bruce Weber when holding an opponent under 60 points.

Senior Xavier Sneed continued his impressive play against TCU with his eighth double-digit scoring game in the last 9 games (15.8 ppg.) with a game-high 19 points against the Horned Frogs. The performance came on the heels of his 22-point effort against Oklahoma in the Big 12 opener, which was his third 20-point game of the season. He is one of just 3 Big 12 players to average 20 or more points in the first 2 league games, tying Oklahoma’s Kristian Doolittle for second at 20.5 points per game and trailing just TCU’s R.J. Nembhard (23.0 ppg.). Sneed has led the Wildcats in scoring in 8 of 14 games this season.

Texas enters Saturday’s game in much the same position as K-State with losses in 3 of its last 4 games, including consecutive losses to open Big 12 play (Baylor and Oklahoma). The Longhorns had won 9 of their first 10 games, including an impressive 70-66 victory at Purdue and a 60-50 win over archrival Texas A&M, before their recent slump, which began with a 70-48 loss at Providence. The team is one of the more balanced in the Big 12 with 4 of their regular 5 starters, averaging in double figures led by junior Matt Coleman III (12.1 ppg., sophomores Courtney Ramey (11.1 ppg.) and Andrew Jones (10.9 ppg.) and junior Jase Febres (10.2 ppg.).

This will be the 39th meeting between K-State and Texas with the Wildcats holding a 22-16 advantage, including a 17-16 edge in the Big 12 era and a 7-9 mark on the road. The Wildcats have won 5 of their last 6 matchups with the Longhorns, including 3 in a row at the Frank Erwin Center.

Despite hitting just 4 against TCU, the 3-point line has still become a focal point of the K-State offense, as the Wildcats rank fifth in the Big 12 in both 3-point field goals made (7.43) and 3-point field goal percentage (32.4). The team connected on double-digit 3-pointers in back-to-back games, including tying a season-high with 12 against Oklahoma. Although Sneed tied a season-high with 5 3-pointers, seven Wildcats had at least one trey, including two by Cartier Diarra and one each by Antonio Gordon, DaJuan Gordon, Makol Mawien, Mike McGuirl and Montavious Murphy.

NOTES ON TEXAS

Much like K-State, Texas has struggled of late, dropping 3 of its last 4 games, including its first 2 Big 12 games at Baylor (44-59) and at home to Oklahoma (62-72). The slump began with a 70-48 loss at Providence on Dec. 21 with its lone win in the 4-game stretch coming at home to High Point (89-58) on Dec. 30. The Longhorns allowed the Sooners to connect on 50 percent from the field in both halves, while hitting on 37.5 percent shooting. Reserve Courtney Ramey led four players in double figures with 14 points, while junior Jericho Sims had a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Texas is averaging 66.7 points on 43.5 percent shooting, including 32.3 percent from 3-point range, to go with 34.1 rebounds, 13.6 assists, 5.8 steals and 3.9 blocks per game, while allowing 61.5 points on 40.7 percent shooting, including 32.6 percent from 3-point range. The team is connecting on 64.6 percent from the free throw line.

Texas is averaging 53 points in Big 12 play on 36.2 percent shooting, including 24.4 percent from 3-point range, while allowing 65.5 points on 40 percent shooting, including 34.4 percent from 3-point range. The team is connecting on 50 percent from the free throw line.

One of the most balanced teams in the Big 12, the Longhorns are led by junior Matt Coleman III, who paces four players in double figures at 12.1 points on 44.9 percent shooting, including 44 percent from 3-point range, to go with team-bests in assists (4.4 apg.) and steals (1.6 spg.). Ramey averages 11.1 points on 42.1 percent shooting, while fellow junior guards Andrew Jones (10.9 ppg.) and Jase Febres (10.2 ppg.) average double digits. Febres ranks third in the Big 12 with a team-high 37 3-pointers, while Jones (27) and Coleman (22) each have 20 or more triples. Sims averages a near double-double with 9.4 points on 66.3 percent shooting with 8.4 rebounds.

Texas is led by fifth-year head coach Shaka Smart, who has posted an 81-70 (.536) record, which includes 2 trips to the NCAA Tournament and an NIT title in 2019. He is 244-126 (.660) in his 11th season as a head coach, which includes 163 victories during a stint at VCU (2009-15).

SERIES HISTORY

K-State and Texas will meet for the 39th time in their histories with the Wildcats holding a 22-16 advantage in a series that dates back to 1971. The Longhorns are 9-9 in games played at home. K-State holds a narrow 17-16 lead since the start of Big 12 play with Texas holding a 9-7 edge at home.

The two schools split their 2 meetings in 2019 with Texas winning 67-47 over K-State in the Big 12 opener on Jan. 2 in Manhattan before the Wildcats’ 71-64 win in Austin on Feb. 12. Jase Febres came off the bench to score a game-high 23 points on 8-of-10 field goals, including 7-of-9 from 3-point range, for the Longhorns in the first meeting before all five Wildcat starters scored in double figures in the rematch.

Sneed has averaged 7.5 points on 36.6 percent shooting in 6 career games with 4 starts against Texas, while junior Cartier Diarra has averaged 10.3 points on 46.2 percent shooting in 3 career games vs. the Longhorns.

Head coach Bruce Weber is 9-6 all-time against Texas, including a 4-3 mark on the road, while he is 5-3 against head coach Shaka Smart.

--kstatesports.com--