In some form or fashion, every team has a weak link.
For the 2017-18 Kansas State Wildcats, that weak link is the performance coming from the center position.
With Makol Mawien, Mawdo Sallah and Levi Stockard stocking the cupboards down low, Kansas State presents three newcomers at the position and the stat sheet tells the story quite accurately. While Kamau Stokes, Barry Brown, Xavier Sneed and Dean Wade have paved the way for an 8-2 start to the season, the aforementioned trio at center have combined for just 10.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
As Kellis Robinett of Kansas.com detailed, such productivity quite simply isn’t enough, and with Big 12 play looming, the Wildcats may soon have to explore other options.
“We still have pretty good bigs, but it is an option that we have,” Sneed said, via Kansas.com. “We could probably throw Dean at the five and me at the four. We would have a lot more shooters on the floor, but we still all have to go out there and crash the glass.”
Considering Kansas State’s 32.6 rebounds per game currently ranks 309th in the nation, going with a small-ball lineup featuring Dean and Sneed would certainly require the Cats to crash the glass much more effectively.
With a starting lineup that boasts its share of versatility, though, the transition may not be far-fetched, as Wade noted.
“I will do some other things than a typical five will do, but I can run the offense as a five,” Wade said. “I don’t mind posting up. It wouldn’t be a big transition.”
After falling to Tulsa last Saturday, Kansas State will return home to host Southeast Missouri State on Sat. Dec. 16 before closing out non-conference play on the road against Washington State on Wednesday, Dec. 20.
In short, Kansas State has plenty of questions down low as conference play nears and little time to address those concerns.