From The Couch - Basketball Notes And Another Football Transfer

 

I'm running out of adjectives to describe K-State basketball.  When you lose by 13 points to a division two basketball team that was 0-3 on the season and was missing their head coach, top assistant coach and best player, "humiliating" and "embarrassing" don't do it justice.  After the game, Bruce Weber used "disappointing" and "sad"......

“This was very, very disappointing and sad for our program. I knew the season was not going to be easy. Obviously, I didn’t think it would be this tough. We’ve had to go through COVID, injuries, all that, but there’s no way this should happen.”...Bruce Weber, Fort Hays State post-game, December 8

JM:  Weber made these comments after losing 81-68 to Fort Hays State.  Every basketball program in the country is going through Covid and is dealing with injuries.  Why bother mentioning this as an excuse?

“Hat’s off to Fort Hays State. They played unbelievable, made shots maybe they’ve never made in their career. It’s unbelievable. That’s the special thing about college basketball: Every game is different. You make some shots, get on a ‘magic level’ and you have amazing things happen. So credit to them.”...Bruce Weber, Fort Hays State post-game, December 8

JM:  Weber's perspective here is interesting.   During the first half of this game, I commented to a friend of mine how bad Fort Hays State is.  They were turning the ball over a lot, had multiple traveling calls against them, and were missing some easy shots.  Yet they never trailed in the game.  Weber said Fort Hays played "unbelievable" and on a "magic level."  What was he talking about?

“We weren’t in help. We couldn’t keep anybody in front of us the whole night. They made shots. They kept it pretty simple. They ran the same stuff. It was the same stuff beating us, and we couldn’t stop it. As a leader, I’ve got to be better. I’ve got to lead better on defense and be better myself.”...Mike McGuirl, Fort Hays State post-game, December 8

JM:  If it was the "same stuff beating us" and "they kept it pretty simple, why was the K-State coaching staff unable to adjust to what they were doing to try to stop it?

"The Wildcats haven’t started a season 1-4 since 1965-66."...Ryan Black, Manhattan Mercury, December 8.

JM:  In 1965 Lyndon Johnson was President and Tex Winter was K-State's head basketball coach.

"And they hadn’t lost to a smaller, lower-level in-state school since 1945, when they fell to Washburn 42-38. K-State went on to finish that season 4-20 — the single-season record for defeats until last year’s 21 losses — in the final, forgettable campaign of Fritz Knorr’s two years as head coach."...Ryan Black, Manhattan Mercury, December 8

JM:  In 1945 Harry Truman was President and World War 2 was just wrapping up. Most, if not all, of us have never seen this level of futility watching the K-State basketball team.

“I apologize. I am disappointed. No excuses, I am the boss and I have been here. I have done really good things, but right now this is not a special thing. I hope (the fans) stick with us. We have got a young group. I am very, very sure on Friday (against Milwaukee) that it is going to be different, and hopefully moving forward in the season.”...Bruce Weber, Fort Hays State post-game, December 8

JM:  Four losses on the season and four "we are a young team" excuses afterwards.  At least he's consistent.  And he was also prophetic about the Milwaukee game.

"It wasn’t easy. But it was a win. And after the events of the preceding 72 hours, Kansas State’s men’s basketball team would take a victory in whatever form it came. K-State held off a Wisconsin-Milwaukee club playing its first game of the season, escaping with a 76-75 victory at Bramlage Coliseum on Friday."...Ryan Black, Manhattan Mercury, December 11

JM:  If Milwaukee made a couple of shots at the end of the game instead of missing them, this game would have had a different outcome.   It was that close.  The words "escaping with the victory" fit well.

“Just really happy for our players. Obviously, the last two games have been difficult. We’ve got such a young group. It’s just a difficult time, not only for K-State basketball, (but) for the state of Kansas, for the United States, for the world, dealing with COVID and all the different situations and issues. To our guys’ credit, they stuck with it.”...Bruce Weber, Milwaukee post-game, December 11.

JM:  Now he's using the "young team" excuse after close victories against what should be inferior competition.  This was Milwaukee's first game of the season and they looked like it.  Bruce Weber hasn't gotten much done with his team in six games.  It looks to me like the same group of players he always has: average Big 12 talent along with a bunch of role players that will probably transfer out of the program at some point.  I don't see how he turns this group into a Big 12 title contender.  The question is how patient will the fan base be this time around?  This team has a long way to go.

"Gill is the second wide receiver to leave the program, joining All-America kick returner Joshua Youngblood, who has since committed to Rutgers. The Wildcats have had five defensive backs transfer (Robinson, Walter Neil Jr., Jonathan Alexander, Tyrone Lewis and Will Jones) as well as three defensive linemen (Derick Newton, Ronald Triplette and Matthew Pola-Mao), a running back (Thomas Grayson) and a linebacker (Demarrquese Hayes)."...Ryan Black, Manhattan Mercury, December 7.

JM: Wykeen Gill became the 12th K-State football player to leave the football program this fall.  Does Chris Klieman have a problem on his hands?  12 players is an extraordinarily high number.

“I want to say thank you to (head) Coach (Chris) Klieman, (offensive coordinator) Coach (Courtney) Messingham and the rest of the staff for presenting me with the opportunity to become a part of this family. The K-State coaching staff is second to none, and I am blessed to have enjoyed the opportunity to experience the culture that they continue to build. I will carry these experiences from both UNI (Northern Iowa) and K-State with me throughout life.”...Briley Moore, Twitter, December 12.

JM:  Tight End Briley Moore declared for the NFL draft over the weekend.  He was one of the bright spots for the football Wildcats this fall and will be missed.  Will he be drafted?  I wouldn't say it's a guarantee that he does, but he must have a good feeling about the probability.

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