January 5, 2008

KSU guards may hold key to success

Xavier's Drew Lavender not only scored 21 points in his team's 103-77 trouncing of Kansas State on Dec. 31, the senior guard also showed how a good guard can control a game. And while no member of K-State's backcourt can be expected to consistently register Lavender-like numbers, K-State's guards, either seniors or freshmen, must make tremendous strides as a unit before the start of Big 12 play on Jan. 12.

"It could be better," said freshman point guard Jacob Pullen of his team's guard play. "There's always room for improvement. It's a learning process for us."

Just one game stands between the young Wildcats and their conference-season opening game with the Oklahoma Sooners -- a Jan. 7 meeting with 7-12 Savannah State -- and though it's easy to dismiss K-State's final non-conference game as a meaningless laugher, the Wildcats' group of guards view it as much more.

"That's the good thing about playing another game here at home before the Big 12 starts," said senior Clent Stewart of the opportunity for K-State's guards to improve in its non-conference finale. "We get the chance to turn it around and look good. We can use that game to get ready for a big challenge."

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