Need a distraction from the long lines at the grocery stores and the Ice-pocalypse heading our way?
Well, you’re in luck. It’s time for another K-State Q&A.
Hope everyone stays warm and safe this weekend. Now let’s dive into your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.
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Seeing as how the calls that went against K-State late at Texas Tech had Bruce Weber wondering if he needed to start cussing at officials, it will be fascinating to see how he reacts to bad calls against Baylor on Saturday. I mean, if he’s getting technicals for raising his arms in disagreement at Texas Tech he might as well get his money’s worth next time.
Personally, I think we’ve seen Weber go as far as he is willing to go. He has criticized officials without truly calling anyone out in K-State’s past two losses. The only other time I can remember him being so worked up about calls was when he lost a close one at Oklahoma State in his first season and went off on Marcus Smart being a flopper.
But I’m not sure yelling or cussing or treating the refs any differently will have a profound impact on K-State games moving forward. Weber should move his focus to helping the Wildcats execute better throughout games, especially late.
Did no-calls hurt K-State against Kansas and Texas Tech? Yes. Of course. The KU game should have gone to overtime and Barry Brown should have been shooting free throws with 8 seconds left in Lubbock. At the same time, if Dean Wade hits an open three or Wesley Iwundu holds onto a rebound on K-State’s final possession in Lawrence, that game doesn’t come down to a judgment call from the officials. If K-State doesn’t go scoreless on four straight possessions in the final two minutes at Texas Tech, the officials don’t factor into that game, either.
Fans are free to blame officials all they want, but players and coaches can’t go that route. They have to focus on winning, regardless of the refs.
The next four games (No. 1 Baylor, at Oklahoma State, No. 10 West Virginia, at Iowa State) could make or break K-State’s season. Throw on a road trip to Tennessee on Jan 28 and nothing the rest of the month is easy. But that’s college basketball this time of year.
K-State needs to go 3-2 over that stretch.
The Wildcats are among the First Four Out in the latest Bracketology projection and need wins, especially quality wins (did you know K-State doesn’t have a single top 100 RPI victory?) to make its case for the NCAA Tournament. Now is the time to get them.
I think K-State has a a good shot against Baylor. The Wildcats are a good three-point shooting team this year and have had success of late at home against top-ranked teams. I’m leaninig toward the Wildcats in this one, but they have lost three straight to the Bears. Then it’s off to Stillwater to play a struggling opponent in a building K-State rarely wins. That’s a toss-up. West Virginia seems like a bad matchup for K-State, but that game is at home. Then it’s off to Ames, where Hilton Magic has doomed the Wildcats for years. Tennessee looks winnable.
The Wildcats most likely go 2-3 the rest of the month, but I’m going to go the optimistic route and say they go 3-2. Despite two painful losses this month, they are playing pretty well.
Law of averages suggests yes, but the past two losses do make you wonder.
Here is the breakdown of how Bruce Weber has performed in games decided by five or less points as a head coach.
At Southern Illinois: 26-20.
At Illinois: 35-37.
At Kansas State: 20-18.
Overall record in games decided by five or less points: 81-75. He is 1-3 this season.
Well, they’ve already won one at Saint Louis, but I’m guessing you are asking if they will win a Big 12 road game.
My answer: Yes. If they can come within controversial calls of beating Kansas and Texas Tech on the road they should be able to win at Oklahoma State, at Texas, at Oklahoma or at TCU.
That’s always a tricky call for a coach.
If you use the timeout, you can draw up the play you want to run and make sure your players all know what to do. At the same time, that gives the opposing team time to draw up a defensive plan to stop you. In this case, Weber trusted his players could better make a play on the fly. And it’s hard to fault him for the strategy. Barry Brown drove all the way to the rim and drew obvious contact from Texas Tech defenders. But the officials didn’t call the foul. He should have been going to the free-throw line with a chance to tie the score and then give K-State the lead.
Not calling a timeout isn’t what doomed that possession.
If Weber was going to use a timeout at any point late in the game he would have been better served using one on the possession before the no-call against Brown. K-State was up one with the ball and had a great opportunity to hold off Texas Tech with a bucket. But Wesley Iwundu was isolated up top and all of his teammates were spread out in a bizarre way that made it impossible for them to help him. Iwundu ended up driving into the lane and throwing the ball away, which led to a go-ahead basket for the Red Raiders on the other end.
Top college basketball officials can earn as much as $3,000 per game. Not sure exactly what arrangements the Big 12 has with its officials, but I’m guessing it is in that range.
I think Shaka Smart currently holds that title. A 7-9 start at Texas with that much talent is very puzzling.
I really like what I’ve seen from the K-State women’s team this season. They’ve got a great mix of veteran leaders and young talent. The core of this group has already been to the NCAA Tournament and won a game there. The Wildcats should have a favorable seed in the first round this time. A Sweet 16 run seems possible.
K-State’s coaching staff doesn’t tend to have much turnover under Bill Snyder. For now, it appears everyone will be back for next season.
You don’t hire a big name offensive coordinator like Doug Meacham without promising to let him run the offense his way and call the plays his way, so I assume David Beaty will stop doing two jobs and go back to being the head coach. That should help.
Other than that, Meacham just seems like an upgrade. TCU was far from sharp on offense last season, but the Horned Frogs were very good moving the ball in 2014 and 2015. It was surprising to see him leave TCU for KU, and he will face a brand new (and more difficult) challenge in Lawrence. But this looks like a great hire for the Jayhawks.
Baylor’s blowout loss at West Virginia raised some questions for me about the Bears. I still think they will finish in the top three. But can they really contend for the league championship?
Kansas and West Virginia seem like 1a and 1b with Baylor third.
Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas are all worse than I expected. Avoiding losses to that group may be as important as scoring wins against the league’s contenders.
The most intriguing race could be for fourth place. Iowa State, K-State, TCU and Texas Tech all feel lumped together. Right now, I’d favor Iowa State. But the league seems to have seven good teams. And Oklahoma could join that mix once Jordan Woodard shakes off the rust. There won’t be many nights off in this conference.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett