For the second year in a row, K-State traveled roughly 2 hours north and took a 40-minute nap and woke up on the end of a lopsided loss. Just replace Alecs Maric with Paul Velander (I just heard a collective "who?") and the games are pretty much mirror images.
Except this year's version puts the Cats in an 0-3 hole to start the conference schedule.
Hit the jump to read the recap. (Warning: Due to the graphic nature of horrible basketball, reader discretion is advised.)
Let's start by looking at the positives. We should be able to speed right through these, though.
What I liked
- The confidence of Lu Colon. While Lu didn't set the world on fire (4 points, 4 rebounds) I am slowly climbing aboard the bandwagon. You can definitely see an increased confidence when he gets the ball, and he has even stepped up on the defensive end. He's committing fewer mistakes and is not seen as a total liability. He's still a step slower than most big guys, but he's learning how to overcome his physical inabilities.
- Jamar Samuels starting the game. I was excited that Jamar got the start, and the first time he touched the ball, he made a nice turnaround on the block. His game got off track after getting whistled for two quick fouls - one of which he got hit in the face while committing - and he just didn't look comfortable the rest of the game. However, the future of this team is on JamSam's shoulders. He needs more starts and experience to learn how to compete with better opposition.
What sucked beyond recognition
- Turnovers. Yeah, 25 of them. That's 2-5. It is next to impossible for basketball teams to win games when they turn the ball over more than 20 times. What is more troubling, we will see much more of the same defensive pressure the rest of the season. Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen are two seemingly capable ball handlers, yet the offense never gets in a good rhythm due to the fact our guards can't distribute the ball.
- Offense. I agree with BracketCat's statement during the Open Game Thread. I have no idea what our offense is supposed to resemble. Most of that is due to the fact we turn the ball over roughly one-third of the time. But even when we don't turn it over, there's no ball movement or any semblance of an effort to get high-quality shots. It looks way too much like everyone is trying to create their own shot. Maybe I'm missing something, but I've played quite a bit of ball in my day, and I see confusion and lack of fundamentals. Speaking of fundamentals.....
- Fundamentals. This 2008-2009 K-State team has a ton of talent. You can't teach talent. But, talent will only get you so far. I realize this team is young, but lack of fundamentals is killing their offensive and defensive talents. There are players not using screens when they can't get separation, players dribbling into 1 on 3 fast breaks, travels, double dribbles, five counts, ten counts......ugh! Oh yeah, Paul Velander. I'll just leave it at that.
- Confidence. There's no replacement for playing with confidence. Either you have it, or you don't. This team looks like it would rather be anywhere other than a basketball court. But, with the way they've been playing, can you blame them? A good showing at home next Wednesday against Baylor will do wonders for this young team. If they come out and lay an egg, I don't see us winning more than 5 or 6 games in conference.
Frank has three days to let his team forget this trip to Nubbville ever happened. Let's hope Wednesday doesn't bring back another nightmare.