The offensive touch that went missing for Kansas State sophomore guard Will Spradling came back against Syracuse.
The 6-foot-2 guard from Overland Park scored 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting in the 75-59 loss to the Orange, his first double-digit performance since a Feb. 13 loss to Kansas in Manhattan. Spradling also hit two three-pointers.
Spradling struggled on offense for most of the season, shooting 36 percent from the field.
“I still probably wasn’t as aggressive as I should have been,” Spradling said. “They were playing a zone that was real similar to the one Baylor plays, we just couldn’t find the right ways to attack it.”
Even with his respectable outing, Spradling’s offensive production may have been hampered when K-State leading scorer Rodney McGruder rolled an ankle in the first half.
“You could tell (McGruder) wasn’t as explosive,” Spradling said. “He creates so much off the dribble and with how he elevates and draws the defense in. It opens up stuff for everybody.”
Oh, man – Kansas State played man defense against Syracuse, something that Orange point guard Scoop Jardine said surprised him.
“That was the first time we’ve seen a team try to play us man-to-man for awhile,” said Jardine, who had 16 points and eight assists. “I think when we saw that our eyes kind of lit up.”
Boeheim among the best – Saturday’s win over Kansas State was the 47th career NCAA Tournament victory for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, tying him with UCLA’s John Wooden for fifth on the career coaching list.
“There’s a big difference,” said Boeheim, in his 36th season with Syracuse. “He did it in like 10 years and it took me almost 40.”