Kansas State had a pretty good season last year. They finished with an overall record of 20-14 and a Big 12 Conference record of 9-9. Their only down points during the season came from conference play. There were two different points last year where the Wildcats lost three conference games in a row. The Wildcats tried to make a run during the Big 12 Conference Tournament by beating Iowa State in their first game, lost to #1 Baylor in their second game.
They did indeed make it into the NCAA Women’s Tournament. They won their first game against 9th seed Princeton, but could only score 26 points against 1st seed UCONN in their second game to end their season.
Going into this season, Kansas State will need to find a way to replace their leading scorer from the 2011-2012 season, Jalana Childs. Childs led the team with 14.3 points per game and was second on the team with 5.0 rebounds per game. She was also recognized by the Big 12 Conference and the nation as she was named to the 2012 All-Big 12 first team, the 2012 Academic All-Big 12 second team, and as a candidate for the 2011-12 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
However, KSU will be returning a very powerful player in the form of Brittany Chambers. Chambers will be a senior guard for the Wildcats this season. Last year, Chambers was second on the team with 14.0 points per game and led the team with 6.2 rebounds per game. Like Childs, Chambers was named to the 2012 All-Big 12 first team, the 2011-12 preseason All-Big 12 honorable mention team, and the 2012 Academic All-Big 12 first team.
According to kstatesports.com, Chambers is the “ninth player in school history and the fifth guard with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists.”
Another player that will need to help the Wildcats off the bench this season is Ashia Woods. During the 2011-2012 season, Woods played in all 34 games and averaged 14.3 minutes per game. She might not have helped out with scoring, rebounds, or assists, but she did help the team out on defense with 30 steals off the bench. If this sophomore can elevate her game to the next level this season, she will be a nice option for KSU off the bench.
Kansas State has the ability to have a successful season, but it comes down to their conference schedule. Last season, the Wildcats finished 9-9 in the conference and got into the NCAA Women’s Tournament as an 8th seed. However, the Big 12 made additions this offseason and one of them is West Virginia.
Especially with the loss of Childs, it would not be surprising if the Wildcats did not make it back to the tournament. They were voted 9th in the Big 12 preseason poll. It would be surprising if the Wildcats finished ninth this season, but they could finish in the lower half of the conference. Possibly 6th at the absolute worst.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.
Check out my other writings on the Oregon Ducks blog, Autzen Zoo.