Remember when K-State hosted the Texas Longhorns and couldn’t miss a shot? Texas didn’t look like they wanted to be there, and the Wildcats looked unstoppable. Well, Oklahoma did that K-State in Norman. The only difference is that the Wildcats showed fight late in the game so the score was not embarrassing.
K-State’s offense was not their (biggest) problem, for once. They had struggles and a lot of turnovers, but it’s nothing that they couldn’t overcome. Marcus Foster had a good game on that end of the court, shooting 8 for 14 with 21 points. But on the other end of the floor, no one played well.
This game was technically decided by 13 points, but it was nowhere near that close. Since it was so lopsided, we will just accept the butt-kicking and look at a deeper issue: K-State cannot win on the road.
The Wildcats play with no energy on the road. Once they get into the game, it is sometimes too late. When a team prides itself on defense, energy is essential in every game. K-State can’t score with the best teams in the Big 12, so they have to play defense.
K-State has to rely on a team effort to win games, and there’s no shame in that. But if they can’t bring their own energy, then there is a problem. Even when the played TCU at home and there wasn’t much “doom” in the octagon, they couldn’t get themselves up.
What’s the solution? Your guess is as good as mine. As a junior varsity high school player, I was pretty much pumped up for every game I played. It could be something that comes as the freshman players grow as individuals.
Whatever it is for each player in that locker room, they must find it before the tournament. NCAA tournament crowds are generally apathetic until it’s crunch time, and that could spell disaster for K-State.