The Texas Longhorns brought a wiffle ball bat to an Anchorman fight. Meanwhile, the Kansas St. Wildcats came out swinging a machete and quite possibly killed a guy with a trident. The Wildcats imposed their will early, and if they weren't such horrendous shooters, Texas could've found itself down twice what it was at halftime. Even still, the 38-19 margin at the half looked like something out of the catalogue of Mack Brown's greatest losses to his Purple Overlords.
Frank Martin may have fled Manhattan, but his physical brand of basketball remains. This heady Kansas St. team outmuscled and outhustled Texas in the first half. It didn't matter that neither team could shoot; one team could score, and it wasn't Texas.
That Rodney McGruder drew two quick fouls may have been a curse in disguise for Texas. My guess is that Barnes' defensive gameplan keyed on stopping McGruder, and Texas' defenders may have relaxed after seeing him go to the bench. Instead, third-string guard Omari Lawrence led the way for the Wildcats, scoring 10 first-half points with a defender nowhere close to being in his face.
Point guard Angel Rodriguez didn't shoot well but kept the team steady, dishing 8 assists (to 1 turnover) and scoring 11. Rodriguez's play is probably a reasonable facsimile of what to expect from a sophomore Javan Felix. As for Felix, he scored all 6 of his points in a 1 minute span to start the second half, but was generally a liability the rest of the game.
He wasn't the only one. Freshman bigs Cameron Ridley and Prince Ibeh sat virtually all of the second half, presumably in one of Rick Barnes' teaching lessons. Jaylen Bond and Connor Lammert gave it a shot on defense, but were both outclassed by Thomas Gipson, who ended the night with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Offensively, Bond flashed some potential. He hit all four of his free throws and showed a nice drive to the bucket move. His 12 points, 8 rebound performance was probably the only plus on the night.
Sheldon McClellan led the way with 15 inefficient points but once again hoisted way too many shots. Barnes is asking him to be the
alpha only dog on offense, and it's hurting his game, frankly. Ioannis Papapetrou scored 9 but offset that with 5 turnovers, and played like he was stuck in mud.
The chants of "We Own Texas" in garbage time rung all too true. Freakin' Kansas St. By the way, I saw multiple comments vocalizing disgust towards the Kansas State's, shall we say, overly enthusiastic fanbase. To that I say that at least, unlike Texas fans, they give a sh*t.