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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 8, 2:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Smith Athletic Center (4,338) -- Washington, D.C. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: KSU 4-0, GW 1-2. Away Record: KSU 0-0, GW 2-2. Neutral Record: KSU 2-1, GW 1-0. Conference Record: KSU 0-0, GW 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: The Kansas State Wildcats will play their first true road game of the season on Saturday afternoon, as they have made the trek to Washington D.C. to take on the George Washington Colonials.
Kansas State lost head coach Frank Martin to South Carolina in the offseason, but it has barely skipped a beat thus far under new leader Bruce Weber, with its only loss in seven chances coming on a neutral floor against nationally- ranked Michigan on Nov. 23 (71-57). The Wildcats bounced back from that defeat nicely last Sunday by posting a convincing win over USC Upstate, 72-53
George Washington has been the definition of average through eight games, splitting its contests right down the middle for a 4-4 mark. After winning back-to-back games for the first time all season against James Madison (54-53) and Manhattan (67-55), the Colonials failed to make it three in a row on Tuesday as they fell to Bradley on the road, 72-68.
This tilt marks just the third meeting all-time between these two programs, with the teams splitting the first two.
The Wildcats haven't been explosive at the offensive end of the court this season (.424 field goal percentage, 74.3 ppg), but they have started off well thanks to a top-notch defensive effort, as they allow opponents to net just 53.6 ppg on 36.8 percent shooting. The story was no different against USC Upstate, as they forced it to shoot just 20-of-56 from the field, including 1- of-11 from three-point range, in the 19-point win. Rodney McGruder scored 22 points on 8-of-16 from the floor while adding seven rebounds in the win, while Thomas Gipson added 11 points and Omari Lawrence and Adrian Diaz each netted 10 points. K-State is no stranger to a balanced scoring attack, as it boasts 10 players who average at least 4.6 ppg, with only McGruder (12.6 ppg) sitting in double figures. Gipson (8.4 ppg) is the team's leading rebounder with 6.1 per contest, and the "cats do a great job on the overall with a rebounding margin of plus-10.4, which ranks top 15 in the nation.
George Washington found itself down by 16 points versus Bradley with less than 10 minutes to play and managed to climb all the way back to make it a four- point game with 1:18 remaining, but it could never get any closer as the comeback attempt fell short. A .615 field goal percentage in the second half could not undo a poor showing from the field in the first 20 minutes (8- of-25). Patricio Garino did all he could to bring his team back in the game with a career-high 24 points, and Isaiah Armwood tallied a true double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. On the year, the Colonials have been successful on better than 45 percent of their field goal attempts, but that has only resulted in 64.8 ppg, a mere 1.7 ppg more than their opponents. Armwood has been the team's catalyst down low, not only pacing the squad in scoring (13.0 ppg) but also grabbing 9.0 rpg and swatting away nearly three shots per contest. Lasan Kromah adds 10.5 ppg, and Garino has been impressive in his freshman campaign with 10.5 ppg.
The Colonials' inconsistencies this season have show through in their home record, as they have won just one of their three games at Smith Athletic Center. K-State has performed well at both ends of the floor under its new head coach, and expect that to continue in this bout.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas State 74, George Washington 64
12/08 10:35:40 ET