It’s time to really figure out what this team is. Oklahoma State come in to The Octagon of Doom on Saturday and with it we get the toughest test so far. As we get this Big 12 season going, I have taken some time to think about where this team is at and what they need to do to win.

We have already had a low, low and a high, high that Mike talks about for this team. We had a pretty low, low to open this season when we got beat by Northern Colorado and our high, high has to be the Gonzaga game.

By the end of this season, I might say the addition of Jevon Thomas has been the highest of highs. I was huge on Angel Rodriguez from day one. I loved his defensive intensity. Jevon, in the few minutes I have seen him on the court, already seems more tenacious. He may not step back and drain a few threes to get the team and crowd into the ballgame, but he will find the open man and make the offense go. With Marcus Foster and Shane Southwell showing they can be counted on to get buckets, Jevon’s role is well defined and a huge need for this team’s success.

Thomas Gipson has shown a tremendous improvement over his previous two seasons. He has become our only source of post points while working through our offense. One thing that worries me with Gip is rebounding. I know he has had some good numbers to this point, but the knock on him has been what he is able to do in conference play.

While our offense has improved since the first game, our offensive efficiency is still really bad. The addition of a healthy Gipson and now a speedy Thomas really has helped provide that spark.

With our poor shooting and being undersized, we cant afford to miss shots. I know this sounds like an obvious observation, but as we start playing bigger and more athletic teams I don’t see our second chance numbers improving. Along the same lines, we can’t turn the ball over either. I am really digging Jevon’s 10 assists and 0 turnovers and being a true, pass-first point guard. For this team to find above average success they need to be really efficient on the offensive end of the court.

Defensively as a team, I think this team has the chance to be one of the best defenses we have seen in the past 20 years. The only thing we are lacking is height in the paint. We may get into some trouble against KU, Baylor and Iowa State when it comes down to the points in the paint. The good news is that we may have the strength to make them earn their points. I guess I will just continue to gush over a player that’s played a total of two games, Jevon Thomas. His speed and quickness will pester the opposing point’s game. If you can disrupt the other team’s point, you can take the whole team out of their offensive rhythm and that will be huge in the upcoming Big 12 season.

To sum up all of this rambling, the Big 12 is probably the best conference from top to bottom in the nation. Team’s like Kansas, Iowa State, Baylor and Oklahoma State appear the top tier of this conference. Kansas State, Texas, Oklahoma and West Virginia mark the second tier. This conference has a really good chance to get 7 or maybe 8 teams in the NCAA tournament. The way the Wildcats are trending, I think it will be hard to keep them out of the dance.

PowercatRyan’s Prediction: Kansas State 21-10 (11-7) 5th place Big 12 finish. Round of 32.

About The Author

Ryan was born and raised around the “Little Apple”, and is a life-long Kansas State fan and 2007 graduate. He is also a lover of all things Tallgrass Brewing. Was once quoted on November 11, 2006 as saying, "If we beat Texas, I will get a Powercat tattooed on my ass!"

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