KState Article

  • From FoxSports Kansas City:

    K-State played like it would rather read Norm MacDonald’s tweets than listen to Weber

    Sean Keeler

    FOX Sports Kansas City

    FEB 19, 2015 12:00a ET

    Trailing 35-15 at the half to Texas Christian might be understandable, even a little palatable.

    If this were football.

    Alas, it was a frigid Wednesday in February, on a high-school gym floor in Texas, at a Big 12 basketball showdown between one purple team with little hoops history, finding its feet, and another with a proud basketball legacy content to shoot off toe after toe with a sawed-off 12 gauge.

    We would say Kansas State (the one with the shotgun and the self-inflicted wounds) ran into a buzzsaw, falling 69-55 at TCU. But that’s not exactly right, either: “Running” would infer desire or passion or hunger or will or any gutsy adjective of your preference.

    The Horned Frogs (16-10, 3-10 Big 12) are better than you think – or hope, in this case – but the fact remains:

    It takes some effort to get smoked in Fort Worth.

    Or, in the case of Bruce Weber’s Wildcats (13-14, 6-eight), a curious and disheartening lack thereof.

    “I just want guys that care,” Weber told reporters after the game, basically throwing the doors open on a locker room presumed, at present, to be somewhat dysfunctional. “That’s all I want: Guys that care and want to play for K-State.”

    If there was a bus in the back of the gym, right then and there, the coach might have taken that moment to throw half his team under it.

    The disconnect between Weber and his kids – or a segment of them, at least – is out in the open now, a fissure for all the world to see. The Wildcats missed 20 of their first 24 attempts from the floor and looked, senior Nino Williams (14 points, 10 rebounds) and freshman guard Tre Harris (14 points, two treys off the bench) notwithstanding, as if they’d rather have spent the evening reading Norm MacDonald’s Twitter feed than having to worry about running some kind of offense against TCU.

    Which raises its own set of soap-opera plot twists, not the least of which include whether Weber can get his guys to circle the wagons again – league-leading Kansas visits next Monday in what could be one of the last serious chances to win back some fan goodwill, followed by league-title-chasing Iowa State on Feb. 28 – or if his team has shut him out for good; what the fallout will be, in terms of roster and/or staff, coming off a season in which the 19-21 expected wins are just about off the table, mathematically; and, most critically, what will become of the on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again relationship between Weber and his star wing guard, Marcus Foster.

    One week, Foster sinks the Sooners; the next, red flags pop up like dandelions.

    Again, the sophomore didn’t start. Again, he didn’t appear to respond to not starting all that, shall we say, comfortably (one-for-six shooting, one-for-five from beyond the arc, five points).

    The 'Cats are remarkably easy to anticipate in this particular regard: When no. 2 nets 12 points or more, they’re 11-6. When it’s 11 or less, they’re 2-5; when he’s suspended, 0-3.

    Maybe the answer, if answers will salvage anything at this point, is more of Harris, the 6-foot-5 Illinois native with the shooter’s roll (nine-for-20 beyond the arc in Big 12 contests), one of the few bright spots of a discouraging four weeks.

    It’s worth noting that with Harris pulling the sled, the Wildcats opened the second half on a 15-2 run, scoring as many points in the first six minutes of the second period as they had the entire 20 minutes of the first. The freshman’s layup with 14:11 left in the contest even shaved the Frogs’ cushion to 37-30.

    Thomas Gipson’s layup pulled the 'Cats to within seven again, 41-34, but the hosts got up after the counterpunching and landed more body blows, stringing together a 9-1 run to push the score to 50-35 with 8:08 left and prompt a Weber timeout.

    Whether anyone on that bench was actually listening at that point, well – there’s the rub. In Weber’s defense, it’s hard to sugarcoat a tilt in which you end the first half by not scoring the final seven minutes and 47 seconds, and by not hitting a field goal for the final 9:42.

    That takes some effort, too.

    Remember: Anger may be constructive, but apathy is fatal. K-State brass can endure a line of fans bringing torches to Bramlage Coliseum, snarling at Weber and gnashing teeth over a season gone south. It’s when they stop bringing themselves to games that the real problems start.

  • @RockChalkinTexas they’ll get up for us.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    That’s what I thought after reading that. They have a better chance of making 20-24 against us then missing that many.

  • I believe Foster has “checked out” from the team for the season. He obviously had some issues that got him suspended and his bad attitude is evident. I just don’t see him coming back next season…Miami anyone?

  • @JayHawkFanToo him or weber? Both?

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    I would say Weber stays. Believe it or not, suspending Foster bought him some good will with a lot of the older, more traditional KSU fans that frown on self-centered players like Foster. Foster is a hugely talented player but I get the impression he has a bad attitude; he reminds me of the “king of flop” Marcus Smart.

  • Banned

    When Weber first burst onto the KC scene. There seem to be a lot of enthusiasm about his future at Kstate. I was more in the crowd of maybe we should pump the brakes here.

    The truth of the matter Weber did a fine job at Illinois with the players HCBS had recruited. However after beginning to build the team with his own players things begin to fall apart for him.

    It seems History is repeating itself. Weber with HCFM’s kids was a genius and even a bit cocky. What KU fan can forget the interview where Weber said everybody around here asked when are we going to beat KU? Weber then said well there you go we did that.

    I think or have to believe that Weber can x and o it, but as far as recruiting and keeping his team under control. I’m not so sure.

    Working in and out of Chicago and eastern Iowa over the years. Weber had the same problems at Illinois. Just Saying.

  • Maybe I should not have posted this. Our players might read it and think they can coast.

  • So now all Wildcat eyes are focused in on just one future game… with us. No other game matters. If they can just plow down Kansas, maybe they get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament (delusional) or NIT tournament (realistic).

    A win against only rival Kansas, is the only way Weber “salvages” something out of his horrid season.

    So we are bound to get their best shot. I’m cool with that… because we also get to be the team that stabs that last stake in their hearts.

  • @wrwlumpy

    “Maybe I should not have posted this. Our players might read it and think they can coast.”

    If there is no sense of urgency… they will be coasting anyways.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    don’t worry he’ll be checked in for the KU game. Had what 20 on an off shooting game in Allen.

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