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10 Thoughts: Kansas State

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Cowboys lost a tough one today in Manhattan to an extremely good Kansas State team. Marcus Smart did Marcus Smart things and Markel did his best Smart impression, but OSU got little production elsewhere.

Here are my 10 thoughts on the game.

1. You can say whatever you want about Ford’s teams sucking on the road but Kansas State’s only losses are to Michigan (KenPom #8) and Gonzaga (KenPom #14). They beat Florida (KenPom #4) and took care of business elsewhere. I think they’re a top three or four Big 12 team (maybe the second-best team) and we rolled with them until McGruder’s dagger with a buck thirty left. I know it’s cliche and pisses some of you off, but this State team is the real deal. No shame in a road loss to KSU.

2. “Markel Brown is a tough matchup for Will Spradling.” Yeah, and Middle East politics is mildly difficult to understand. Also, this was awesome.

3. Speaking of Markel, my gosh, he was breathtaking today. Seriously, every time Smart was on the bench, he became the best player on the floor. Brendon Morris noticed it too:

He’s a legitimate all-conference player, which I said he would be at the beginning of the year. Ignore the fact that I say this at the beginning of every year and just focus on the fact that I got it right this time!

4. Two things that bother me about Nash (that he can control): First, he’s always in somebody’s mug about the officiating. That’s fine if you’re KD or, crap, Marcus Smart, but when you’re not flying around the court, making plays, and working hard, you don’t get to do that.

Also, Nash shot two free throws today. Two! He’s the most physically developed player on the court and he went to the line twice! I can understand slightly fellows like Terrel Harris and Randy Rutherford dropping rainbow fadeaways in the lane. You’re 235 lbs! Go at somebody! No idea why, but this is such a great analogy…

5. The announcers said something about Ford telling them he wanted to get shots up within eight seconds of the shot clock (which sounds like something he read on a Phoenix Suns SB Nation blog) which I’m all for. If they’ll actually do it.

6. Angel Rodriguez (A-Rod, as Nolo called him) didn’t even want to guard Smart. He would purposely sag onto Cobbins or Jurick (!) because he was scared of Smart housing him. Not that I can blame him. Also, Rodriguez’s eurostep = lol!

7. We roll on Nash a lot (and trust me, with good reason) but the Cobbins/Jurick/Murphy three-headed gremlin (I can’t give them three-headed monster status yet, haven’t done enough) wasn’t exactly blowing anybody away. Eight fouls and eight points on 3-9 shooting. You’re going to have to be better than that if you don’t want to give Smart a herniated disc in his back by mid-February from carrying the team…

8. On Smart, does he have a chance to post a season like Duran’t freshman year at Texas[1. Which I once wrote poetry about.]? I don’t know about that yet, but here’s a look at the first Big 12 games of each of their careers:

Durant first Big 12 game: 37 points, 16 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

Smart first Big 12 game: 25 points, 5 boards, 2 assists, 3 steals, 0 blocks

9. One thing I noticed is that Cobbins isn’t really that comfortable on offense yet. He needs to get going to give OSU a legit inside-outside game on offense. Otherwise Smart’s going to get more double teams than Kobe in a YMCA pickup game. I agree with this from friend of the blog, KT King:

10. K-State hit so many big shots down the stretch. Combine that with a pretty good winter break home crowd and OSU was shot. Cowboys really didn’t play that poorly at the end of the game, McGruder just hit two filthy threes after it was 64-64, and that was that. Move on to TCU on Wednesday.

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