I’m tempted to copy and paste what I wrote here exactly one week ago because very little should have changed from what I wrote about the Cats heading to a crucial game against TCU.
Turnovers have been a problem for the Kansas State Wildcats this season. But Saturday night turned into a catastrophe for the Cats. No, they didn’t lead to a double-digit loss like they did at TCU a few weeks ago, but the season-high 23 turnovers committed by the TangCats turned what should have been a solid road win into a stunning loss.
No player who recorded a stat in both columns had more assists than turnovers, and Ish Massoud was the only Cat to also be between the two. Markquis Noweel, Keyontae Johnson and Desi Sills combined for 16 by themselves which would have been high for the side on an ordinary night. And it’s the third time in their last five losses that the Cats have had more than 19 as a team (going back to the previous season-high of 20 against TCU in Fort Worth). Clearly, rolling the ball isn’t a recipe for success.
Of course, it’s also an incredibly easy thing to fix with the right amount of effort and commitment. These turnovers have usually been caused by sloppy ball handling and overly aggressive passing when a simpler game would have sufficed. Both of these things are correctable in season. Do these Wildcats have the maturity and the “will to do” to make that change?
Thankfully, one of the other causes of turnovers — defensive pressure a knack for forcing them — isn’t something that should be a big deal tonight. Despite the sheer anxiety they’ve given Alabama, the Oklahoma Sooners are not a good basketball team right now. They play really good defense, but struggle to score and lack the kind of athleticism needed to get past it (my gosh, sounds familiar…). The Sooners are on a four-game, 7-straight slide in Big 12 play sandwich that beat the Crimson Tide 93-69 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. On Saturday, they were down by 23 points against the visiting Jayhawks, and that wasn’t even their worst loss this month.
But back to turnovers, the Sooners are really bad at forcing them. So if the Cats can keep from just giving away the ball like Oprah gives away cars, then they could have a huge turnaround in that department today.
If the Cats can hang on to the ball, they should win easily. If they can’t, it could be an awkward night for Norman.
Tonight’s fight is scheduled for an 8:05 p.m. CT episode from the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman and will be televised on ESPNU with the venerable James Westling (play-by-play) and Lance Blanks (analyst) on the call. You’ll also be able to listen to the game online at K-StateSports.com (and via the Varsity Network app), as well as portions of the K-State Sports Radio Network and on SiriusXM 84 with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber ( analyst) call the action over there.
Come on Cats!
Hi, are you on Discord? Now we are too! Feel free to join us! (Be sure to click the react button on the rules notice or you won’t see anything.) We’ll have a game thread there too!