Kansas State looks to keep improving vs. TCU

·2 min read

With a 5-5 overall record and a 1-1 record in the Big 12, Kansas State will look for a fresh start as the Wildcats host TCU on Saturday in the first game of 2021 for both teams. The Horned Frogs (8-2, 1-1 Big 12) are riding a four-game winning streak.

TCU has been represented in all but one of the conference's weekly individual awards, including the last three weeks. RJ Nembhard and Kevin Samuel won back-to-back Player of the Week winners on Dec. 14 and 21. Freshman Mike Miles earned his second Newcomer of the Week honor Dec. 28 after winning the first honor Nov. 30.

Miles scored the most points by a TCU freshman in 10 seasons when he had 26 in a win over North Dakota State on Dec. 22. He was 11-of-18 from the field and 4 of 7 from 3-point range, both career-highs for makes. Miles' 11 field goals tied for the fourth most by any freshman this season. He also added four assists and drew two charges.

Nembhard leads the Horned Frogs with 18.4 points per game. He is joined in double-figures by Miles (15.2) and Samuel (10.8). Samuel is averaging a double-double, as he's also pulling down 10.2 rebounds per game. He is the only player on the roster to start every game.

In their last game, the Horned Frogs struggled to defeat Prairie View A&M 66-61. They held the Panthers to 36 percent shooting, about the only thing that head coach Jamie Dixon could find to praise.

"I had hoped we'd come and play a little bit better, but we didn't," Dixon said. "It wasn't the game I wanted to have. We came out in the second half and played with more energy. We'll take the win and prepare for Kansas State."

The Wildcats have been playing better since going with a three-freshmen starting lineup five games ago. After starting the season 1-4, including an embarrassing loss at home to Division II Fort Hays State, the Cats have won four of their last five, including a 60-58 victory over Omaha on Tuesday when freshman Selton Miguel hit a 3-pointer with 9.6 seconds left.

"We made some plays when it counted," head coach Bruce Weber said. "Selton goes 3-for-14 but hits obviously a big one. That makes a difference for us, a game-winner. Mike McGuirl makes the right pass."

The Wildcats have had a different leading scorer in each of the last five games, including three times by freshmen. They are led by McGuirl with 12.4 points, the only player in double-figures.

--Field Level Media