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Villanova vs. Kansas State Preview | First Ever Trip to Manhattan, Kansas for Villanova

Written by on December 5, 2023

After dropping out of the Top 25 in the AP Poll with two losses against Big 5 opponents, Villanova travels to Kansas State for the first time ever, where they look to rebound tonight at 7pm. In the battle between the Wildcats, Villanova desperately needs to find some offense in a tough environment to play in Manhattan, Kansas.

Villanova Stats + All-Time Series Info

In addition to Villanova never playing in Manhattan, Kansas, this is only the second time these schools have played each other. Their first and only meeting took place in 1940: Villanova defeated Kansas State, 51-34.

Villanova has dropped their last two games after winning the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. The 6-3 Wildcats suffered a blowout loss against Saint Joseph’s and a close low-scoring battle to the Drexel Dragons in the Philly Big 5 Classic on Saturday. Except for Eric Dixon, Villanova’s starters have struggled, and their three-point shooting has been extremely inconsistent. Dixon leads the Wildcats by averaging 14 points per game. He is coming off a 21-point performance against the Dragons.

Kansas State Preview

Kansas State is off to a 6-2 start in their 2023-24 campaign. They have won all five games at home. Their losses both came against ranked teams: #12 Miami and #21 USC. The Wildcats’ loss to the Hurricanes was a fairly close game, but they were blown out by USC in their first game of the season. They have won three-straight contests, in which their victories came against Central Arkansas, Oral Roberts, and North Alabama. Kansas State has played in overtime their last two games against Oral Roberts and North Alabama.

Kansas State’s Scoring Trio

Kansas State’s leading scorer is Tylor Perry. The senior from Fort Coffee, Oklahoma averages more than 17 points per game with five assists and four rebounds. He is shooting 37% from the field and 34% from three. He is an excellent free throw shooter and limits turnovers. Perry scored 16 points against North Alabama on December 2nd.

Cam Carter, a junior guard from Donaldsonville, Louisiana, is another part of Kansas State’s great scoring trio. He averages 16.5 points per game with more than five rebounds. Carter is shooting 40.7% from the field, and he also plays great defense by averaging more than two steals per game this season.

Arthur Kaluma is the third part of the Wildcats’ trio. Kaluma, who is a transfer from Creighton, averages 15 points per game and is the best rebounder on Kansas State. He averages more than eight rebounds per game. Kaluma does not hit many threes, but he is a good shooter from the field and in the paint. He has also improved his shooting at the free throw line.

Kansas State Team Stats

Kansas State is shooting 44% from the field as a team. They are a solid free throw shooting team (73%) led by Perry. However, the Wildcats do not shoot the three well. As a team, they are shooting just 31% from behind the arc. Kansas State averages 82.8 points per game. Their offense from the field and good defense allows them to play good basketball. However, their areas of weakness are three-point shooting and turnovers. They average 14 turnovers per game this season. Kansas State is also good at forcing turnovers. Their opponents average 13.8 turnovers per game.

Keys to the Game: Can Villanova snap their two-game losing streak?

Villanova is slightly favored to win this game. The Wildcats have struggled recently, but they won the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament and defeated ranked North Carolina and other good opponents like Texas Tech and Memphis. Kansas State has struggled against ranked opponents, and they have played overtime in their last two matchups. This game will not be easy for Villanova as they must go on the road in a loud environment in Manhattan, Kansas. If the Wildcats can continue to play solid defense and find some offensive scoring in addition to Eric Dixon, I think Villanova defeats Kansas State by about five points. Since the start of the 2022-23 season, Villanova is 17-8 when scoring 70 or more points in a contest.

Another key to the game for Villanova is to get to the free throw line. They have made 82.4% of their free throws. They are 6-0 when they attempt 15 or more free throws in a game.

WXVU Coverage: Villanova vs. UCLA

WXVU’s next game of live coverage will be Saturday’s matchup against UCLA at 7pm in South Philadelphia. Coverage from the Wells Fargo Center begins at 6:30pm with the pregame show followed by tipoff at 7pm.