Before the season started anyone would have looked at K-State's schedule and saw Colorado @ KSU on Wednesday January 12, 2011 and marked it down as a W for the Wildcats. Fast forward to the present and hardly anyone should be assuming that K-State can roll the ball out and beat the Buffs when they take the court in Bramlage Coliseum tonight.
CU is coming off an extremely impressive home win against Missouri and KSU is coming off a less than impressive performance on the road against Oklahoma State.
In the victory against the Tigers, Alec Burks scored 36 point and proved why he will most likely be earning a paycheck next year in the NBA instead of making road trips to places like Eugene, OR & Pullman, WA in the Pac whatever its called.
Not to be forgotten by KSU is Burks running mate Cory Higgins who is definitely no slouch either. For the season Higgins is averaging 16.7 points a game and as a senior he should not be intimidated by playing on the road in a hostile environment.
The main problem for Colorado against a team like Kansas State, is the Buffs lack of interior big men and depth. Before the season, CU lose Shane Harris-Tunks to a knee injury and this has left the only viable big men on the roster to be Austin Dufault and Marcus Relphorde.
Kansas State had trouble establishing a post presence in their last game against Oklahoma State but they need to pound the ball down low against CU to draw contact and fouls. The Wildcats main advantage in the game is their interior depth, with Frank Martin being able to substitute guys in like Wally Judge & Jordan Henriquez-Roberts.
The gameplan sounds much simpler for the Wildcats than it actually is. Defend Higgins and Burks hard and make them try to get their teammates involved or force them to take bad shots. On offense for KSU they need to get some post buckets and hope that Jacob Pullen and Rodney McGruder can continue to get hot from the outside.
The strategy for CU should be quite simple as well. Stay out of foul trouble and get the ball to Higgins and Burks while getting steady contributions from their role players.
While most everyone, including myself, has picked K-State to win this game do not be surprised to see CU win this game. The Buffs will have the best player on the floor along with a fellow senior guard who can be very streaky, if they are both hitting and K-State is ice cold again this could cause some heartache in the Little Apple.
Game time is set for 8 P.M. and it will be broadcast on ESPNU.