PREPARING FOR WICHITA STATE
Kansas State and Wichita State will revive their rivalry after a nearly two-decade drought. K-State won that last meeting in 2003, and they hope to do the same thing on Sunday in INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita.
Tyson Etienne is the lead guard for the Shockers, and he has the attention of Wildcats’ head coach Bruce Weber. He can be a handful to guard, and Kansas State is considering rotating fresh bodies to guard him throughout the contest.
Wichita State is really known for their defense this year. They aren’t the prettiest offensive team, but grind out wins on the defensive end. Comparable to how Weber has found success in Manhattan.
IMPORTANCE OF SUNDAY’S GAME
“Play a full 40 minutes” was repeatedly mentioned by Weber on Friday when he spoke to the media in advance of the tough two contests coming up on the slate with both the Shockers and Marquette.
It’ll take the full 40 minutes against Wichita State in order to claw out a victory and he has emphasized that in the week of practice leading up to the game. It’s also not something they did in either of the two games in Kansas City.
How much have they learned? How much have they improved?
Sunday’s game is very important for the perception of this season. The two losses in Kansas City last week have stunted a lot of excitement amongst the fanbase, but a decent showing in Wichita could change the tune for some.
Weber and his staff won’t be able to breathe a sigh of relief even if they are victorious in Wichita. Marquette comes to Manhattan on Wednesday, and there is some familiarity because of how they’ve played the last few years and the Golden Eagles are led by former Texas coach Shaka Smart.
Smart’s team in Milwaukee is comparable to those he had at VCU, which is where he established himself and became a household name. They turn up the defensive pressure on the ball as soon as the ball is inbounded and from anywhere on the court.
They do a good job of keeping the ball moving on offense and finding open shooters. Weber knows that they love to hoist them from beyond the arc at a high clip.