MANHATTAN, NY. (KSNT) – K-State men’s basketball junior Ish Massoud hit maybe the most important shot of the game in the Wildcats’ overtime thriller win against Michigan State. With 15 seconds remaining, Massoud made a baseline jumper to put K-State ahead by three points.
It wasn’t long ago, however, that Massoud wasn’t seeing the floor, let alone hitting big shots.
Massoud recorded 15 points in 27 minutes of play against the Spartans. Both numbers are well above his season-average 5.5 points and 15.3 minutes per game.
Before the hero ball – a tough discussion had to be made. Massoud was averaging career-lows in minutes and scoring midway through the season. Massoud wanted that to change.
“At times it was frustrating,” Massoud said. “But…just having the conversation with Coach Tang, he always tells us his door is always open. At first…you never really want to have those conversations, it’s a hard conversation to have.”
From March Madness games to the WNIT to rivalry baseball, KU and K-State sports provided plenty of storylines in one week.
Massoud realized that in order for him to be a part of this K-State team, he would have to buy into Coach Tang’s vision.
“I realized this team is winning, and I just wanted to be a part of it, and I wanted to help, and I knew I could play a big part for this team,” Massoud said.
Tang recognized Massoud was willing to contribute to the team aspect, which has brought Massoud into a bigger role for the Wildcats’ Elite 8 run.
“It happened because of Ish,” Tang said. “Ish decided that he wanted to be a part of this thing. And he wanted to contribute, and he knew he could contribute. Then we both started to see the game the same way. He looked at it through my eyes, I’ve done a better job at looking at it through his eyes.”
K-State plays Florida Atlantic on Saturday with a trip to the Final Four on the line.