ARGUMENT FOR FICTION
Completing double-doubles against any kind of competition is tough, let alone a top tier Big 12 opponent like Kansas. Mark Smith may have found a niche as a rebounder in Manhattan, but he still only has five double-doubles in his five-season career.
25 points and 16 rebounds was his last double-double, and it came six games ago when Kansas State fell to Oklahoma in Norman. The Sooners played smaller because they were without their most important frontcourt piece, Tanner Groves.
The assumption is that Smith will score at least 10 points versus the Jayhawks, but predicting more than nine rebounds is a steep request.
Bruce Weber 2021
ARGUMENT FOR FACT
Four of his five double-doubles have come as a Wildcat. Bruce Weber has unlocked multiple parts of Smith’s game by allowing him to handle the ball and attack the glass at will.
He currently averages almost 15 points and nine rebounds per game in the Big 12. I have no doubt that he will score in the double-digits, and his rebounding rate in conference play would suggest he’s due for another double-double.
Smith has a strong, thick body with a guard’s height. He is K-State’s most effective rebounder. No one on the roster, including the frontcourt, comes close to the production Smith displays in that category.
The super senior will be asked to dominate the glass against Kansas. The Jayhawk frontcourt is tough, while the Kansas State bigs have struggled, mightily.
Smith is more physical than anyone on the Kansas perimeter and will have a strong chance to gobble up many rebounds and loose balls.
***Subscribe to K-StateOnline by clicking here***
Talk K-State football and basketball in the largest, most active K-State message board community anywhere, The Foundation.
FINAL ANSWER: FICTION
Logging 10 rebounds usually takes at least one or two offensive rebounds falling your way. Kansas ins’t a small team and center David McCormack is physical enough to make securing a rebound on both ends difficult for anyone in purple.
I predict Smith will score in double-digits, but fall just short of double-digits in another category (rebounds).