Sorry this thing is so late, I've had a pretty busy week.
Here are some keys for Texas facing the Wildcats.
Texas is going to have to contain the backcourt of Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente. Both players are streaky scorers that are continually hunting their offense. The key against the Wildcat backcourt is to just play disciplined, stay in front on ball defense. Neither player is a world beater shooting the basketball, making a standard close out and contest sufficient. The duo will take bad shots and turn the ball over, so Texas musn't do anything to make life easier on the tandem. No need to gamble, reach, and give up easy looks. The third guard getting starters minutes is Fred Brown. He's a pure shooter looking to catch and shoot. Texas must treat him like LaceDarius Dunn and Kyle McAlarney by guarding him right on the catch.
Darren Kent and Luis Colon give the Wildcats outstanding size inside and they're as big as any frontcourt the Horns have faced all year. Not the most skilled back to the basket players, Colon and Kent are bangers that want to pin, drop step and score. Texas' posts will have do their work early on defense and not allow deep catches for the Wildcat bigs. More importantly, Texas' frontcourt must put bodies on this group and keep them off the glass where the Wilcats are looking to play volley ball.
The Wilcats have 2 jumping jacks off the bench in Jamar Samuels and Dominque Sutton. These two are good athletes looking to slash to the goal or attack the weak side glass for offense. Damion James and Gary Johnson are going to have to play good position defense, because Samuels and Sutton are going to slither into gaps and get point blank looks if allowed to.
Pack Your Zone Offense
This could be sort of a perfect storm of factors causing the Wildcats to bring either some zone or junk defense to counter the Longhorns this afternoon. With Balbay in the game and Atchley struggling from deep, a zone makes sense. Couple that with KSU needing to keep Colon and Kent on the floor without having to chase Johnson and Atchley away from the basket and it makes even more sense for KSU play some box and 1 or traditional 2-3. Look for Texas to attack the middle of the zone with Gary Johnson while Damion James tries to find offense behind the zone at the short corner to take advantage of his quickness against the big KSU front. If Atchley hits a couple of bombs, look for KSU to go back to M2M really quickly.
KSU's size makes this potentially a Dexter Pittman game if Barnes so chooses. I like for Dex to get 10 minutes or more, especially if Texas struggles rebounding the basketball.
Much like the Baylor squad, KSU will make shots available inside and out if teams simply run offense and make the Wildcats help and recover. Kansas State's frontcourt doesn't have near the athleticism that Baylor's does, so if Gary Johnson and Damion James cut and move, open looks and layups should be plentiful. If Texas settles for jumpers early in the shot clock, someone should be murdered.
It's a no brainer, similar to breathing, but it's worth mentioning here. KSU's only hope to win this basketball game is to steal extra possessions on the offensive glass. They won't shoot the ball better than Texas and they're unlikely to win the turnover battle, so to even the playing field, the 'Cats better bludgeon the Horns on the glass. They certainly have the personnel to do so, so Texas must blockout as a team 1-5 and keep KSU second and third chance points to a minimum.
Sorry for the brevity. I'll have a better writeup on the postgame.