Posted on 12. Feb, 2009 by in NCAA Basketball.

 

ksu-ttu-final-scoreboard
The Kansas State Wildcats entered Bramlage Coliseum Wednesday night riding a five game Big 12 Conference winning streak, after dropping their first four to start the 2008-09 campaign. By doing this, the Wildcats became just the second school in Big 12 history to rally from 0-4 start to get back to at least .500 in league play. But KSU does not want to talk about the past nine games, and hang onto what could have been with a better start. They are playing and living in the moment using their momentum to jump on the Texas Tech Red Raiders early in front of a crowd of 9,941.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Wildcats moved to 17-7 overall with an 85-73 victory dropping the Red Raiders to 12-12 and 2-7 in the Big 12 Conference. KSU began this three-game home stand by racing out to a 30-6 lead in the game first 13 minutes.

Texas Tech Head Coach Pat Knight did not like what he saw early, calling a 30 second time out during the Red Raiders second offensive possession. “I saw it coming,” Knight said. “I told them ‘here we go gentlemen. They are going to have us down 20 before we even know it.’”

Knight’s words of wisdom did not seem to have much effect as Kansas State was leading 12-2 at the games first media timeout. The lead would expand throughout the half and the Wildcats were up 35-10 with 3:43 to go until halftime.

KSU Head Coach Frank Martin commented, “Our kids came out and we played with tremendous intensity and contested everything; every pass, every dribble, every shot for the first 16 minutes of the game.  I don’t think we played particularly well offensively the first four or five (minutes of the game). I thought we settled, we didn’t make good decisions, but as the half went on, our constant pressure offensively and defensively created better opportunities for us. We kind of settled down a little bit and made better decisions.”

A few defensive breakdowns before the half closed the lead a bit, but the Wildcats were in control 49-25 at the break. Leading by 22 just 1:11 before halftime, a few bad KSU trips down the floor led Martin to call his own 30 second timeout, and he was hot, trying to get his team to finish the half “strong.”

As the second half would begin, Coach Martin would again call a quick timeout to address some defensive issues in the system. “We kind of built that lead and unfortunately our youth and inexperience showed its ugly head in the second half.”

With just under 11 minutes to play in the game, Martin became so disgusted with the play on the floor that he subbed “hockey style,” with a complete line change. Five new players checked into the game and five players headed to the bench.

One of the crowd favorites, Luis Colon, received one of the biggest cheers of the night, when he scored his first bucket, his only two points of the game, with 6:33 left in the contest. Colon also led the team in rebounds with nine in his 22 minutes of action.

But the loudest ovation of the evening happened with 5:31 to go when Senior Darren Kent left the ballgame with a game high 18 points. The Wildcats would put three others in double figures, Dominique Sutton (12), Jacob Pullen (12) and Denis Clemente (15).

With the Wildcats comfortably ahead with 2:42 to go, Coach Martin had all five starters out the game and some less used bench players finish up the action.

Then, with 53.6 seconds remaining, the student section erupted with a chant, “Beat KU.” This would continue until the final buzzer sounded.

Finally the Kansas State Wildcats can turn their attention to their instate rival and prepare for Saturday’s Sunflower Showdown. Coach Martin addressed it after the game. “I’m under the impression that Sherron (Collins) is the best guard in the league. It’s something about when he sees our color now; it’s like a bull looking at red. He just plays his rear end off against us. We are expecting their (KU) best shot. I have so much respect for what Bill (Self) does and how hard his teams always play. We are going to get their best shot. We are going to line up and deal with a team that is kind of wounded right now.  We have to make sure that we kind of match that and we understand that we have to go out and do it.”

Sophomore Guard Jacob Pulled had this to say when asked about playing Kansas on Saturday, “This is what we’ve all been waiting for and it’s here. We went to their (KU) place and started out really bad. We didn’t get a flow going on offense. They ended up getting up real big, and we had to fight to get back in the game. We used all our energy just trying to get back in it so we didn’t have enough to finish. When we play Saturday, we have to start the game like we did tonight.  It would mean a lot (to beat KU.) It would prove a lot for us as a team.”

For tip off on Saturday afternoon you can throw all records and history out the window. All that is for sure is that the KSU student body wants to be chanting “We Beat KU” when the final buzzer goes off.

GAME EXTRAS

– Being an equipment guy all my life, I tend to notice things like uniforms, shoes, etc. so I was interested to see Texas Tech wearing an Under Armor Jersey and Adidas Shoes. TTU had red warm-up tops with a hood on them. Not a fan of that look.

– Also not a fan of the entire Texas Tech staff in black polo shirts for the game. Just does not look as professional in my eyes.

– A very cool opening before tipoff where a US soldier stationed in Bagdad was on the video board wishing the Wildcats “good luck against the Red Raiders.” Kansas State has a strong military following with Ft. Riley base being so close.

– During the game, Kansas State introduced their new University President, Kirk Schulz, and his wife to the crowd to a large ovation. Schulz will be the 13th president in KSU history.

– The Governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius, was also present at the game and recognized on the scoreboard.

– New Kansas State Football Head Coach Bill Snyder had a short video presentation on the board before being shown sitting in his seats in Bramlage to a large roar from the crowd. Snyder is a legend to KSU Athletic fans and is returning to again coach the Wildcats.

– Head Basketball Coach Frank Martin was sporting some nice cowboy boots for the game with his suit. I wonder if it is because he is auctioning off the pair he wore a few games ago for charity.

– Found it interesting to occasionally hear Coach Martin giving direction to point guard Denis Clemente or center Luis Colon in Spanish. That is some pretty good strategy.

– I also picked up on Texas Tech Head Coach Pat Knight changing defenses (man to zone) mid possession by yelling out “Shark.” Maybe Coach Knight needs to find something else that might work for his team like holding up a picture of his dad Robert Montgomery Knight yelling.

– Cannot wait for the students to start lining up and camping out for the Kansas Game seats. Really think that is a great part of college athletics and regret that I never got to have the experience. But like anything else in life, there are rules to this.


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