Team of the week
Kansas State: The Wildcats won the Diamond Head Classic Sunday night in Honolulu over a road-weary Long Beach State. KSU looked like a solid Top-25 team over the course of its three games in Hawaii. Coach Frank Martin has the Wildcats playing at a conference-level clip. They share the ball well, have good spacing on offense, run their sets effectively, turn the ball over defensively and can withstand a series of runs from opponents.
Kansas State has a brutal start to the Big 12 with games against Kansas (road), Missouri (home), Baylor (home) and Oklahoma (road) over a 10-day stretch. But the Wildcats will enter conference play with the utmost confidence that they will be a contender. If you had any doubt that K-State would be an NCAA team in the post-Jacob Pullen era, then it should have been dispelled after their performance in Honolulu, if not just prior to their trip after a crushing win over Alabama.
Player of the Week
Doug McDermott, So., F, Creighton: McDermott had quite a pre-Christmas week for the Bluejays. He averaged 31 points, 6 rebounds and 2.5 assists as the Jays beat Tulsa and Northwestern.
McDermott scored a career-high 35 points in an 83-64 win over the Golden Hurrican on the road and followed that up by lighting up the Wildcats for 27 in an 87-79 win. He made 26 of 37 field goals (70.3 percent), 5 of 7 3s and didn’t miss any of the five free throws he attempted.
McDermott was the top shooter on Team USA over the summer and has carried that play into the season. No one can fault coach Greg McDermott for favoring his son, who is the best player on the top team in the Missouri Valley Conference, and one that few will want to face in the NCAA tournament.