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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Know Your Opponent: A battle in Cougar territory after hunting Jayhawks

Wildcats come off chaotic Sunflower Showdown victory to face strong BYU team
Avery Johnson
Guard Tylor Perry maneuvers through lane in the 75-70 overtime win against No. 4 Kansas. Perry lifted the Wildcats to the win, scoring 26 points with eight coming in overtime.
K-State 15-8 (5-5)

Kansas State’s overtime win against No. 4 Kansas perfectly reignited the season. After falling in four straight games, including Big 12 last-place Oklahoma State, the Wildcats are reignited. Guard Tylor Perry created an overtime work of art on his way to 26 points. His late-game heroics constantly clashed with his early-game sloppiness. Perry’s play demonstrates the Wildcats’ season theme of inconsistency. If they want to play in March, they must play to their full potential.

No. 21 BYU 16-6 (4-5)

The BYU Cougars face the opposite situation compared to K-State. After winning back-to-back games, including a road victory without center Aly Khalifa, the Cougars were trounced by Oklahoma 82-66. BYU’s strong depth failed as Oklahoma scored 48 second-half points. BYU is a dangerous team to go up against, despite injuries and recent poor performance. The Cougars have a chance to regain full health as they work to finish their first Big 12 season.

Matchup to Watch: The battle inside 

K-State and BYU have different experiences with inside play. K-State saw a slow but steady improvement while BYU can’t seem to get everyone healthy.

K-State’s interior play has greatly improved. After starting the season with forward David N’Guessan receiving most of the minutes as the big man, centers Will McNair Jr. and Jerrell Colbert joined him near the basket. The trio shined brightest against Kansas, joining forces to slow down Jayhawk center Hunter Dickinson who struggled late in the game. Every player has their own unique skills: N’Guessan’s versatility, McNair’s size and Colbert’s athleticism, meshing into a solid unit down low.

Meanwhile, BYU hasn’t reached its interior potential. The steady rock for most of the season, Khalifa is second in the team with 4.3 assists per game. Behind him is forward Fousseyni Traore, creating a physical presence scoring at the basket even at just 6-foot-6. Unfortunately for the Cougars, the duo has not played together often. Neither has played 20 games and continues to overlap with missing time. They both have the ability to dominate a game, and together could provide major issues should Khalifa return to face the Wildcats.

Key Players


Guard Cam Carter

Center Jerrell Colbert


Forward Fousseyni Traore

Guard Dallin Hall

Prediction: BYU 68-65

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About the Contributors
Luke Lazarczyk, sports writer
Sports editor for 2023-24. Previously sports editor for 2022-23 and writer for 2021-22.
Avery Johnson, multimedia editor
Multimedia editor for 2023-24. Previously photographer for spring 2023.
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