I have recovered from the four-state car trip yesterday and am ready to unload my thoughts on K-State's final game of the year. It wasn't pretty, and I'm sure the breakdown will reflect that.
What I liked...
...Michael Beasley's first half. He took Wisconsin's slow, oafish big men out to the perimeter and blew past them with the dribble, scoring easy buckets or drawing fouls.
...Bill Walker's game. He stepped up and played pretty well in the NCAA Tournament, mostly keeping his emotions in check and firing up the team with his individual play.
...umm, rebounding? I feel like I need something else here, and we dominated Wisconsin on the glass. Unfortunately, that just gave us more opportunities to miss shots.
What I didn't like...
...three-point shooting. First time in 12 years we failed to make a single three-pointer in a game. I realize outside shooting is a fickle thing, but it shouldn't be that bad. Clent Stewart and Jacob Pullen have pretty good shooting form, but just could not get the ball in the hoop late in this season. It was no different yesterday. It looks like they no they're struggling and are really trying to focus on putting up a good shot. Just pull it, fellas.
...complete lack of production from those not named Beasley and Walker. Two players scored 41 points. The rest of the team scored 14. That ain't gonna cut it.
...Frank Martin's substitution patterns. I'm going to look at this more in my season recap, but we had nine players who played double-digit minutes yesterday. Fred Brown, who really isn't doing anything well right now, had 10 minutes in the second half. I understand looking for a spark when things aren't clicking, but sometimes you have to dance with them that brung ya.
...the continued officiating conspiracy against Bill Walker. Granted, he totally flopped on Brian Butch's girly little shove, but the officials had no business calling a technical on him on that play.
...Big 10 basketball. It's like Southern Illinois. Hammer away at the other team because hey, the refs can't call everything, can they? I respect a coach for finding a weakness in modern officiating and exploiting it, but that doesn't mean I consider it basketball.
What it means and where we're headed...
Obviously it means the season is over, but you already knew that. Still, folks, it was one helluva ride. I'll have more on it in the coming days when I get my season recap up, but for now remember the good times. There were plenty of them this year.