December 21, 2007

Winston-Salem offers Cats another tuneup

He wasn't disappointed in his team's effort, but Kansas State coach Frank Martin believed a sloppy week of practice contributed to unspectacular play on the court by the Wildcats despite a 27-point win against Florida A&M earlier in the week. Since then, Martin's young team has apparently bounced back by stringing together better practices. And that could be bad news for Winston-Salem State, which visits on Saturday.

"The kids have responded exactly how I told you (they would)," Martin said on Thursday. "We've got guys in that locker room that want to win. They're just learning but they want to win. They weren't pleased with the way they performed, so they came in and we've had two tremendous practices."

The Wildcats posted their third-highest margin of victory in a 87-60 trouncing of Florida A&M despite committing 22 turnovers in a contest in which it was difficult to look pretty. Still, K-State was at its best this season in field goal percentage (49.1) and 3-point percentage (47.1). The outmatched Rattlers sent the Wildcats to the line for 37 free throws.

Will Winston-Salem State devise a similar strategy? Stay tuned.

Winston-Salem State has won two straight after losing four in a row and will try to equal its win total from a year ago as the Rams, a new member in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, went 5-24 as a Division I independent. The Rams are no strangers to playing in front of large crowds but continue to seek a win over a name opponent. They opened the season with a 58-44 loss at Iowa State and suffered a 73-53 loss at Wake Forest on Nov. 23.

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