Barry Brown, Dean Wade saved Wild­cats in sea­son opener

The Wichita Eagle (Sunday) - - Sports - BY KELLIS ROBINETT

K-State take­aways: in sea­son opener

The Kansas State Wild­cats de­feated the Ken­ne­saw State Owls 56-41 on Fri­day at Bram­lage Coli­seum.

Here are some thoughts from the sea­son-open­ing win for the home team:

Barry Brown and Dean Wade car­ried the Wild­cats on open­ing night

K-State needed its two best play­ers to pro­duce at high lev­els on a night when one starter, Xavier Sneed, didn’t play and two oth­ers, Cartier Diarra and Ka­mau Stokes, strug­gled to find the bot­tom of the net.

And they de­liv­ered. Dean Wade was the pic­ture of ef­fi­ciency, scor­ing 15 points and grab­bing eight re­bounds on just 13 shots. Barry Brown had a huge first half that fea­tured two dunks and some ac­ro­batic layups, then added a few more buck­ets to get to 15 points, six re­bounds and three as­sists.

K-State coach Bruce We­ber and K-State fans would have pre­ferred a more well-rounded ef­fort, but Wade and Brown did what they had to do to squash the Owls’ up­set hopes..

K-State missed Xavier Sneed

There’s no way around it, the Wild­cats strug­gled with­out their usual start­ing wing on the court.

We­ber said the Wild­cats held Sneed out for pre­cau­tion­ary rea­sons. He sprained his an­kle in prac­tice ear­lier in the week, and they didn’t want to rush his re­cov­ery. If KS­tate was play­ing Kansas, We­ber said, Sneed would have been out there. Against Ken­ne­saw State, he rested.

K-State re­placed him with a small lineup that fea­tured both Diarra and Stokes. Diarra fin­ished with two points, one re­bound and zero as­sists. Stokes had two points, two re­bounds, five as­sists and four turnovers.

Out­side shooting con­tin­ues to be a prob­lem

The Wild­cats weren’t sharp from the out­side in their lone ex­hi­bi­tion vic­tory, and their shooting strug­gles con­tin­ued against the Owls.

K-State made 1 of 13 shots from three-point range. It went 1 for 6 in the first half and 0 for 7 in the sec­ond. Good thing it held Ken­ne­saw State to 41 points. Bruce We­ber’s team has shot bet­ter than this in the past, so this feels more like a slump than a trend.

Austin Trice has got a mo­tor

Ju­nior-col­lege trans­fer Austin Trice played with more pas­sion and en­ergy than any­one else on the court on Fri­day. That was to be ex­pected, con­sid­er­ing it was his first official game in a K-State uni­form.

He will be a dif­fer­ence­maker if he can con­tinue to play that hard once the adren­a­line wears off.

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