Kansas State forward Dean Wade (32) knocks the ball away from South Carolina Upstate center Isaiah Anderson, right, during the first half Wednesday night in Manhattan. Orlin Wagner AP
Kansas State forward Dean Wade (32) knocks the ball away from South Carolina Upstate center Isaiah Anderson, right, during the first half Wednesday night in Manhattan. Orlin Wagner AP

Kansas State University

K-State takeaways: Kamau Stokes heating up from three-point range

By Kellis Robinett

krobinett@wichitaeagle.com

December 05, 2017 09:58 PM

UPDATED December 06, 2017 09:43 AM

MANHATTAN

Kansas State defeated South Carolina Upstate 86-49 on Tuesday at Bramlage Coliseum. Some thoughts on the game:

Kamau Stokes has evolved as a three-point shooter

K-State point guard Kamau Stokes hit 5 of 7 three-pointers on his way to 17 points, continuing his season-long trend of hot shooting.

Stokes is now 25 of 50 from three-point range.

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It seems unlikely he will be able to keep up that torrid pace and shoot 50 percent from the outside all season, but he has done it for eight games, and that’s too good to ignore. K-State fans are beginning to expect the ball to go in when he shoots from deep.

His main goal for the year was to improve his assists-to-turnovers ratio, but also put in considerable work on his shot. And it shows.

“I have been in the gym getting threes up,” Stokes said. “Whenever you are in the gym as much as I am, it shows on the floor.”

What is the biggest step he has taken with his shot?

“Just consistency,” Stokes said. “I am trying to shoot it the same every time and hit open shots when I have got them.”

Stokes began pushing himself to make more three-pointers after testing the NBA waters during the offseason. He realized he had to become a better shooter if he wants to make it as a professional.

So far his hard work is paying off. K-State will remain a dangerous offensive team as long as he makes 50 percent of his threes.

Xavier Sneed: "My confidence is on the rise"

Xavier Sneed: "My confidence is on the rise"

krobinett@wichitaeagle.com

This was a good game for K-State’s big men

The Wildcats have struggled to find a consistent option down low this season, with Makol Mawien, Mawdo Sallah and Levi Stockard running hot and cold from game to game.

But this was a good day for that group. Even seldom-used freshman Nigel Shadd looked good scoring five points and grabbing three rebounds. Mawien had eight points and three rebounds, while Mawdo Sallah finished with seven points and three rebounds. Stockard went scoreless.

USC Upstate lacks size, so this was a good matchup for K-State. It will be interesting to see if its big men can build off this game next time out against Tulsa.

Amaad Wainright has more potential than anyone else on K-State’s bench

Wainright only saw 19 minutes of action against the Spartans, but he made them count.

The junior guard gave K-State a jolt off the bench with seven points, four rebounds and two assists. Most impressively, he didn’t commit any errors.

A junior-college transfer, Wainright appears to have a high ceiling. Some wondered how quickly he would be able to make the transition to Division I basketball, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue. He is athletic and smart, and he proved both on Tuesday. His ability to score on the wing and in the paint makes him a versatile asset.

Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett