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Tom Miller / Forum Communications Co., Published November 10 2012

KSU's size gives UND problems

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The size of the starters and reserves for the Kansas State frontcourt resembled the measurements of the offensive linemen on the Wildcats’ No. 2-ranked football team.

In Kansas State’s 85-52 men’s basketball win against the University of North Dakota on Friday, the Wildcats started Jordan Henriquez (6-foot-11, 220 pounds) and the small guy in the bunch, Nino Williams (6-5, 220).

When the Wildcats went to the bench, there wasn’t much, if any, of a drop off in talent, and definitely not in size. Thomas Gipson is 6-7, 220; D.J. Johnson is 6-8, 250; and Adrian Diaz is 6-10, 230.

“We have big guys inside who can cause a lot of problems,” Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. “The good thing is that if we have one guy struggling, we have a lot of guys to go to. We want to keep everyone fresh, keep them rolling and keep them happy.”

They certainly took their toll on North Dakota. UND big men Brandon Brekke, Mitch Wilmer and Doug Archer each played exactly 11 minutes against the Wildcats – yet all three fouled out. A fourth UND post, Alonzo Traylor, was whistled for four fouls and was limited to 19 minutes.

Brekke’s foul trouble particularly hampered UND’s success – North Dakota was as close as 26-25 midway through the first half. And Brekke, who shot nearly 70 percent from the field last season, was off to a good start against the Wildcats with a 3-for-4 shooting performance.

Brekke’s absence limited UND’s scoring options.

“Our depth took a toll on them,” Weber said.

The size wasn’t only an issue for UND’s posts. North Dakota’s guards struggled to score around the basket.

UND’s offense is predicated on ball screens, meant to take advantage of the driving ability of Jamal Webb, Troy Huff and Aaron Anderson.

Against Kansas State, Webb was 1-for-4 from the field, Anderson was 1-for-12 and Huff was 4-for-15.

Miller writes for the Grand Forks Herald