Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

What’s Wrong With Kansas State?

January 17, 2011 Conference Notes No Comments

With all due respect to Denis Clemente, his absence isn’t important enough to Kansas State to drive the preseason No. 3 team into a tailspin.

Rather, the cause of Kansas State’s pain this season is almost entirely related to the team’s lack of charity work — a flat-out awful 58.7 percent free throw shooting rate.

Plenty of analysts are blaming the quick decline of the Wildcats on the graduation of Clemente in May. Yes, the team’s starting point guard helped keep the offense on pace throughout last season as he led the team with 4.2 assists per game. But Clemente was a poor — and frequent — shooter on a team with reliable options in other spots.

Clemente ended last season with a 40.5 shooting percentage, and he attempted nearly 50 more shots than the team’s leading scorer, Jacob Pullen, did. His Total Impact Quotient was a dismal 2.4 points, indicating that Clemente’s production might have been significant but wasn’t necessarily critical to Kansas State’s success relative to the other options on the team.

This season, Kansas State has significantly regressed in free throw shooting. To worsen matters, Kansas State’s offense has been more passive. The Wildcats attempted nearly 30 free throws per game last season; they’re right around 25 attempts this season. Combine the team’s lack of aggression and lack of execution, and you have about five fewer points per game at the line.

Of Kansas State’s six losses, the Wildcats lost to UNLV by four and Colorado by eight. On a so-called neutral court in Kansas City, Mo., against Duke, the Wildcats missed 12 free throws in a 14-point loss. Who knows how those games would have played out if Kansas State’s free throw production matched last season’s — let alone approached a respectable 70 percent free throw shooting rate.

And the Wildcats share the blame on this one. Pullen has dipped from 82.2 percent from the line in 2009-10 to 73.9 percent this season. Rodney McGruder is down to 60.6 percent from 72.0 percent; Cutis Kelly is down to 50.0 percent from 66.7 percent; Wally Judge down to an awful 43.8 percent from an already bad 58.1 percent.

This year’s Kansas State squad isn’t a particularly great shooting team from the field at 44.3 percent. But if you’re one of the Wildcats’ opponents and your man has a shot within 10 feet, why wouldn’t you smack him as hard as you could and force him to make two from the line? It would defy the law of averages for Kansas State to make both free throws.

Kansas State might miss the leadership and charisma of Clemente, but the Wildcats can only blame themselves for their unexpected struggles on the court this season.

Comment on this Article:

College Basketball Tonight

COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, who will be joined by former Manhattan and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show will air on AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on every Sunday from Selection Sunday to the Final Four. You can listen to the show here.

Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

2013 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: St. Andrew's
Sept 10: Tilton
Sept. 11: South Kent School and Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 12: Putnam Science Academy
Sept. 16: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 17: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 23: New Hampton School
Sept. 24: Brimmer and May
Sept. 25: Proctor Academy
Sept. 26: Notre Dame Prep and Cushing Academy
Sept. 29: Worcester Academy and Vermont Academy
Oct. 6: Charlestown High School and Milton Academy
Oct. 13: Tabor Academy
Oct. 15: Brooks School

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Cesar Fulcar commits to Wentworth

The senior guard led Watertown to the state semifinal this past season

Travel team profile: Bay State Magic

Bay State Magic doesn’t have much size on their junior team this season, so they’ll have to win with execution and intangibles

Travel team profile: Mass Elite

Mass Elite is one of the largest travel teams in the state despite being relatively new

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is already moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter