Thoughts from K-State’s 80-67 loss to TCU in the Big 12 Championship Quarterfinals on Thursday night from managing editor Mason Voth.
WARTS RETURN FOR K-STATE
TCU routed K-State in the first meeting this season in Fort Worth and a lot of that was credited to the opportunities that K-State gave them. In Fort Worth, K-State turned the ball over 20 times to TCU’s 10. On Thursday evening in T-Mobile Center, the Wildcats gave the ball away 20 times as well, while TCU only had 9 giveaways.
In addition to the turnovers, TCU got 45 points off turnovers and second-chance points in the quarterfinal win over Kansas State. The Wildcats only had 24 and allowed TCU to put up 12 more shots than the Cats. In the first meeting, in which K-State lost 82-68, TCU scored 46 points off turnovers and second-chance points. The lone difference was TCU’s three-point shooting.
ONE OF THOSE NIGHTS
And that is where I will pick things up here, TCU shot 29% from three this season. There were only nine teams in Division I that were worse than that this season. TCU shot 16% from deep in game one against K-State, but nailed treys at a 44% clip on Thursday on 25 attempts.
I have harped on K-State’s three-point defense numerous times this season, but when a team as bad at shooting the ball as TCU is, shoots it as they did on Thursday, there isn’t much you can do. Just one of those nights for K-State where they didn’t help themselves, but I am not sure the Wildcats would have been able to overcome TCU anyways. Even when K-State pressed the Frogs and seemed as if they might come back, TCU got shots to fall from Chuck O’Bannon (29% from three on the season) and Mike Miles (32% from three on the season).
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DESI SILLS PROVES HIS WORTH, AGAIN
Desi Sills returned in a massive way from his one-game absence. Four big blocks in the first half and showed what the Wildcats missed in Morgantown. Sills also provided 14 points for the Wildcats, but his ability to go at 100% in every game for the Wildcats on defense is a big boost. Everyone knew how important was Sills was, but it was good for him to make an instant impact in his return.
A quick note on Nae’Qwan Tomlin that could be beneficial in the NCAA Tournament for K-State: he is 5/8 from three over the last five games for the Wildcats and his willingness to take the shots and knock them down regularly is a boost to a Wildcat offense that only has three and a half three-point threats in Markquis Nowell, Keyontae Johnson, Ish Massoud, and Cam Carter. It is just another element of Tomlin’s game that is growing and a little boost to making them a better team in the tournament than what they were in the regular season.