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Wildcats Set for Wichita Wildcat Classic

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December 21, 2013
By Kelly McHugh

Thomas Gipson said his team's goal for December was to go 7-0.

On its way to that goal, K-State has gone undefeated in its first four games this month and hopes to continue the winning streak this afternoon in Wichita.

In a game aired nationally on ESPN2, the Wildcats are set to take on on No. 21/15 Gonzaga Bulldogs at 2:30 p.m., in the Wichita Wildcat Classic this afternoon in INTRUST Bank Arena.

"I heard from the last time that they played there that it was a great atmosphere," head coach Bruce Weber said. "The crowd was really into it. You have a great team, obviously, in Gonzaga, one of the top names in basketball over the last 10-15 years. So I hope we get a lot of people there. It's a national TV audience, so it should be a good opportunity for our guys."

The Bulldogs are 10-1 this season, with its lone loss to the Dayton at the EA Sports Maui Invitational last month.

Led on the court by junior guard Kevin Pangos, who is averaging 18.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, and 6-foot-9 senior center Sam Dower, who is averaging 14.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, Gonzaga will bring consistency and experience to the court, two things Weber said will be K-State's biggest challenge this afternoon.

"They have been so consistent," Weber explained. "They have always been a good offensive team, and right now they are up in the top 10 in the country in three-point percentage, scoring and all those types of things. They have good offensive weapons."

Last year, K-State and Gonzaga met up in Seattle, Wash., on December 15, and the Bulldogs came out victorious with a 68-52 win over the Wildcats. While Gonzaga used a solid second half where it outscored K-State, 41-26, to secure the win, this year, K-State senior guard Will Spradling says the Bulldogs have been competing a little bit differently on the court.

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"It is a pretty different team," said Spradling. "Last year they really tried to bang it inside with their bigs. This year they are a lot more guard oriented. Obviously, they have the same guards, but they had two pros on the inside (last season), so they really looked to get them the ball. This year, the guards are putting up a lot more shots."

Coming off of a 72-43 win over the Troy Trojans where K-State saw some of its best ball movement all season, today will be a test of just how far this young team has come since the beginning of the season.
Right now, K-State is 4-0 in December with wins over Central Arkansas, Ole Miss, South Dakota and Troy and on a five-game winning streak.

Will the streak continue? Will Gipson's goals to stay perfect this month stay true?

I guess we will all find out after this afternoon's game - all eyes on the Cats. 

 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh, Mark Janssen or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.