Kansas State Preview
Date: Sunday, December 19th
Time: 5:00pm CST
Location: Lincoln, NE
Record: 6-3 (0-0 Big 12)
Coach: Bruce Weber (10th Season)
Preview (via Huskers.com)
Kansas State comes into the matchup with a 6-3 record following a win over Green Bay on Sunday. The Wildcats’ best win in non-conference play was a 65-59 win at Wichita State, while their three losses have been neutral-site losses to Illinois and Arkansas as well as a one-point loss to Marquette on Dec. 8.
Bruce Weber is in his 10th season at the helm of the Wildcat program and has guided Kansas State to five NCAA Tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight finish in 2018-19. Before taking over the Wildcats, Weber coached at Illinois for nine seasons, highlighted by an NCAA runner-up finish in 2005. His last season at Illinois (2011-12) was the Huskers’ first in the Big Ten, as the teams split a pair of games that year.
The Wildcats are a balanced squad with six players averaging more than seven points per game. Nijel Pack is Kansas State’s leading scorer at 14.4 points per game, including 48 percent from 3-point range. Pack had missed a pair of games following a concussion before scoring six points in 14 minutes off the bench against Green Bay. Arkansas Little Rock transfer Markquis Nowell has made a significant impact, averaging 13.2 points per game along with a team-high 4.6 assists per game. Nowell had a season-high 22 points, including four 3-pointers, and eight assists against Green Bay and had 11 points and 11 assists in the loss to Marquette. Mark Smith, who originally began his collegiate career at Arkansas, is the third Wildcat averaging double figures, as he averages 10.0 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game. As a team, K-State is holding teams to 59.7 points per game while holding foes to 38.4 percent shooting. The Wildcats are second nationally in 3-point defense, as teams are shooting just 24.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Kansas State leads the all-time series, 127-93, but the teams have not played since a 61-57 Wildcat victory in Lincoln on Feb. 23, 2011. KSU won the last five meetings in the Big 12 era, as the Huskers will be looking for their first win since a 73-51 win on Jan. 17, 2009. Nebraska is 60-35 all-time against the Wildcats in Lincoln, as Sunday’s meeting will be the first between the schools since Pinnacle Bank Arena opened in 2013.