Nijel Pack set to lead K-State at home vs. Omaha

·2 min read

Defense likely will be the focus as Kansas State hosts Omaha in a Wednesday night tilt at Manhattan, Kan.

Kansas State (1-0) defeated Florida A&M, 67-57, on Nov. 10 with a stifling defense, holding the Rattlers to 41.5 percent (22-of-53) shooting, including 20 percent (3-of-15) from 3-point range. The Wildcats also forced 18 turnovers.

"We held them to 41 percent, 20 percent from three and turned them over 18 times so we did some good things defensively," head coach Bruce Weber said. "Obviously, we've got to get a little better offensively."

Omaha (1-1) won its opener, 67-57, over Hastings College before falling on the road, 73-69, to Ball State on Nov. 13. The Mavericks shot a woeful 32.1 percent (9-of-28) from the field in the first half against Ball State, including missing all nine 3-point attempts in falling behind by as many as 29 points.

But a furious comeback left them just one point down inside of four minutes to play. The Mavericks shot 50 percent (18-of-36) from the field after halftime, including 46.1 percent (6-of-13) from long range.

The key on offense for K-State will be the continued improvement of point guard Nijel Pack. Pack missed several weeks of practice with hip pointers before returning to practice two weeks ago. He led the Wildcats in scoring with 18 points against Florida A&M, but he's still working his way back into game shape.

"All that time spent going through some stuff for this upcoming season, it felt good to be able to get out there with my teammates and have a good game today," Pack said after the game. "I took advantage of what the defense gave me. My teammates were able to drive and create and the defense gave me a lot of space."

Omaha is shooting 42.5 percent as a team through two games. They've struggled from long range, hitting just 26.3 percent from behind the arc. They are led by Frankie Fidler with 14.0 points per game. Kyle Luedtke adds 10.0 points per game. They crash the boards, with six players averaging between 4.0 and 5.5 rebounds per game.

--Field Level Media