Busting Brackets

Kansas State Basketball: 2 takeaways from season-opening loss to Drake

Bruce Webber Kansas State (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Bruce Webber Kansas State (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

Kansas State Basketball fell short to the Drake University Bulldogs in the opening round of the Little Apple Classic.

Kansas State Basketball is coming off a last-place finish in the Big 12 last season, finishing with an 11-21 record overall, the worst in Bruce Webber’s time in Manhattan.

Last season was a disappointing one for the Wildcats, and with the departure of leading scorer, Xavier Sneed, Bruce Webber, and his staff are in complete rebuild mode. Kansas State kicked off their season against the Drake University Bulldogs.

Bruce Webber’s squad kicked off the opening day of the 2020-2021 college basketball season against the Drake University Bulldogs. Coached by Darren Devries, this Bulldog squad is no slouch, and the Bulldogs made K-State aware of that from the tip.

Led by Garret Sturtz and company, the Bulldogs knocked off Kansas State 80 -70. Kansas State wasn’t expected to be competitive in the Big 12, but nobody expected this from Bruce Webber and his squad.

Here are the two biggest takeaways from Kansas State’s loss to Drake.

Kansas State is Full Rebuild

If it wasn’t clear enough already, Kansas State is in a complete rebuild this season. Kansas State struggled winning games last season even with All-Conference performer Xavier Sneed. With Sneed graduating, and then their second-best player Cartier Diarra transferring out of the program, Webber must build his program back up by developing his young talent.

On Wednesday against Drake, Weber started four underclassmen to go along with Mike McGuirl. The young squad looked rattled against a pesky Bulldog defense and coughed up 14 turnovers and fell apart in the second half as Drake went on a run late in the second half.

This season isn’t going to be pretty for Kansas State. Bruce Webber and his staff will focus on developing their underclassmen as they just try and remain competitive in the Big 12.

Mike McGuirl is a Bucket

There weren’t many bright spots for K-State against Drake, but Mike McGuirl did shine. The senior went for a game-high 22 points on 8-15 shooting, to go along with six rebounds. McGuirl is coming off a junior season where he took a backseat role to Xavier Sneed and Cartier Diarra, but with those two gone, McGuirl will be the Wildcat’s go-to option for the Wildcats this season, and a potential All-Conference performer.

Next. 10 biggest takeaways from opening night. dark

McGuirl will have a good season for the Wildcats where he will likely average north of 15 points a game, but this Wildcats team will struggle in a loaded Big 12 conference. The Big 12 Title is not running through Manhattan.