Coming off of two straight wins, the Red Raiders headed into the Little Apple as nearly 16 point favorites over the Wildcats. K-State played much better than the line would have indicated, keeping it close until the last couple of minutes where we finally broke away from them.
In a game where TJ Shannon was basically unavailable, Kevin McCullar and Kyler Edwards picked up the offensive slack that we were missing from him. The two guards combined for 28 points, while Mac McClung led the way with 23 of his own. The team shot 10-20 from 3 point range, which is an encouraging sight to see after the poor percentages we’ve seen from there this season.
The emergence of Edwards dropping 13 and shooting for a good percentage yesterday is a welcoming sight to behold. Kyler has been a little all over the place this season in terms of scoring and he has definitely caught some flack from that. But as fellow VTM writer Emory Lyda demonstrated in an article earlier this week, what he provides for us goes way beyond scoring the ball. Though if he is able to even give us 10+ every night from here on out, it can undoubtedly boost our team to a different ceiling.
The Wildcats made numerous runs throughout the game aiming to take the lead, but Tech did a good job of keeping them at arm's length, especially throughout the second half. The Red Raiders did not allow them to take the lead at any point in the game, preventing them from getting any massive confidence.
Tyreek Smith played some good minutes off of the bench by hitting a big 3 and being Tariq Owens-esque as a rim protector. No, he is not Tariq, but he is the closest thing we have to him at this point. As I mentioned earlier, TJ Shannon was nearly unavailable with what was reportedly a sore ankle. Though he played 11 minutes in the 2nd half, you could tell he was having some discomfort and just wasn’t himself.
The Red Raiders are getting ready to enter into a crazy rest of the month. As of right now, they are scheduled to play 7 games in a 19 day span, with 4 of them coming in a one week window due to rescheduling from COVID. The grueling schedule includes 4 matchups against ranked opponents, with 3 of them coming on the road.
The first game to come out of this stretch is a home matchup with West Virginia this Tuesday. In what I’m hoping is a game where the Red Raiders come out firing, we all know the Mountaineers can score the ball. But I also know that the guys will be wanting to win badly with how we let the last matchup slip through our hands.
You can catch the game on ESPN at 8pm Tuesday night. Check back with VTM throughout the day Tuesday so we can keep you posted on pregame notes and everything you need to know about the Red Raiders next key matchup.