We could really devlove into some not-helpful discussion with this recap, but we’ll just keep it nice, tidy, and up front (for the most part) on this afternoon. The (12) Kansas State Wildcats (6-1) dropped their first game of the season, on the road to the Marquette Golden Eagles (6-2), 83-71.
The Wildcats came out like a good team should, playing gritty on both ends and finding themselves with a 20-17 lead approaching the under-8 media break in the first half. On the next Marquette possession, Barry Brown gets whistled for a reaching foul against the Eagles’ Markus Howard, and in his turning to run to the bench for picking up his second, lead official Jamie Luckie hits Barry with a T. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, nothing was said - he turned after the whistle, raised his hands as if to say “what did I do?”, then hopped a couple of times while running to the bench.
The unfolding of this event came on the tail of Xavier Sneed already finding the bench with two fouls (his first being a pretty questionable blocking foul), as well as Cartier Diarra finding the pine with two whistles as well.
K-State was forced to play the remainder of the first half without Barry (3 fouls) or X (2), and CD had to really back off of things with his two, until he ended up with a third foul in the first 20 minutes, as well.
Throughout all this, Dean Wade was effectively a no-show in the first half. Wade turned the ball over several times in the paint in “isolation” situations, and despite getting to the charity stripe for 4 points, he did not make his first field goal until a 3 at the buzzer.
Meanwhile, Marquette’s Markus Howard was putting on a show. Without K-State’s best defenders to impede him, Howard went on to score 26 points in the first half, leading the Eagles to a 44-33 lead at intermission.
The Wildcats were able to get their starting 5 back on the floor for the beginning of the second half, and immediately K-State clawed back a quick 4 points from that 11-point gap on a Xavier Sneed backdoor alley-oop, and a Dean Wade mid-range jumper.
Then, the whistles from Luckie again. Oh, dear Lord, the whistles. Kam immediately picked up his third (crap call) and fourth in two straight possessions, and Marquette regained control of the game the rest of the way in. Howard continued on with his exhibition, as well as getting others on the team involved. The Eagles would stretch the game out to 16 or 17 at several points. While K-State could find the occasional bucket to pull it back to 10, they never really mounted a challenge, as both teams ended up treading water for the final 83-71 result.
Howard finished the game with 45 points on 11-17 shooting and 19-21 from the stripe, and junior forward Sacar Anim added 16 points and four rebounds. Of note, the K-State defense actually did a good job containing the rest of the team, including holding the Hauser boys to 9 points on 2-6 from the floor, 1-5 from beyond the arc.
K-State Player of the Game: No one. Nope. Not today.
I’m not going to pull any punches here. No one played well enough to be awarded anything. If it was based solely on stats, Xavier Sneed probably had the best game. But he didn’t get to play most of the first half due to two quick fouls, then once he did get to run a little in the second, he made some pretty dumb decisions. X paced K-State with 12 points on 4-5 shooting (1-1 3PFG), 3-4 FT, and added 3 steals and an assist.
Three other players finished with double figures: Makol Mawien (12 pts on 4-6, 4-8 FT) before he fouled out, Kamau Stokes (10 pts on 3-10, 2-7 3PFG, 2-2 FT, 2 REB, 3 Ast), and Dean Wade (11 pts on 3-7 shooting, 1-2 3PFG, 4-4 FT, 3 REB, 2 Ast, 2 Stl) before he fouled out.
Barry Brown just never got anything going, from the floor, and finished with 7 points on 3-10 shooting and 4 rebounds.
Cartier Diarra and Austin Trice both added 5 points apiece.
Statistically, some things stand out:
- K-State gave up 56.8% from the floor. I would say the 25-34 rebounding discrepancy was an issue, but there aren’t rebounds when you’re taking the ball out of the net.
- Despite Marquette being a much better three-point-shooting team than K-State, both teams finished 6-22 from beyond the arc.
- Despite all the fouls against K-State’s primary players, Marquette shot 36 FTs, to K-State’s 31.
- K-State took 11 more shots than Marquette did.
- K-State forced Marquette to turn the ball over 20 times.
Three In The Key
- Team Leadership. It became very evident today that this K-State team can handle the absence/MIA of Dean Wade (we knew that last year), but handling the sustained absence of Barry Brown is much more difficult. Brown is this teams floor general, and if he has to spend more than just requisite rest time on the sideline, this team starts to unravel.
- Composure. K-State lost its composure late in the game. Not in the sense of playing dirty or mean; rather, they started playing with a sense of desperation, and that desperation turned into sloppiness. Quick guarded long-range shots, lost discipline on rotations and finding shooters on defense, and generally poor basketball decisions doomed any chance this team had to make a comeback. To be fair, much of this game was spent with backups playing prime minutes due to the foul trouble. In hindsight, I’d like Coach Weber to be more strategic with his timeouts, using them to calm the team down and do some coaching, setting up sets, setting up defenses, etc, rather than just see the team struggle through it and put heads in hands when they don’t succeed.
- Buzzsaw. Sometimes, it’s just not your night. Nothing much went right for K-State after Barry got taken out of the game in the first half, and damn - that Howard kid was impressive. I’ve seen that before - that night where it just doesn’t matter what you do, the dude’s gonna go off. It happened. Not much you can do except move on, and don’t let Marquette beat you twice.
Rants and Raves
If you watched this game, and saw that I did the recap, you all knew this was coming.
I’ve said it before, I said it on Twitter today during the game, and I will continue to say it:
If you show me that fans know an official’s name, I’ll show you a terrible official.
Go run a Google search on Mr. Luckie. You will find a plethora of just hideous, horrendous, inappropriate examples of poor officiating littering the web.
His impact on this game was unmistakable. There was a several minute stretch in the first half - leading into and including Barry’s T - where he made every call on the floor. He did much of the same in the second half, including Kam’s third foul (Howard kicked his leg out on a three point attempt into Kam, and Stokes got hit with the whistle), and Mak’s fourth (a moving screen call that he might as well have had the marshmallows out for the campfire he was there so long).
When the color commentary on the broadcast makes multiple comments that you’ve made a bad call (not just questionable, but “bad” was the word used multiple times), well, you’re probably not the best in the biz.
And if you think this is just some purple-lensed viewpoint that I’m using to appropriate this loss, it isn’t, and I’m not. He was trash both ways.
53 fouls were called. 2 T’s. 67 FTs were hoisted. Here’s how they broke down (3 or more):
- Dean Wade: 5
- Makol Mawien: 5
- Kamau Stokes: 4
- Cartier Diarra: 4
- Barry Brown: 3
- Xavier Sneed: 3
- Theo John: 4
- Joseph Chartouny: 4
- Ed Morrow: 4
- Joey Hauser: 3
- Sam Hauser: 3
- Sacar Anim: 3
Luckie joins the unenviable group of officials including John “Hair” Higgins, “TV Teddy” Valentine, Ed Hightower, and others that think that the thousands in the stands and the multitudes watching on television are there to watch them make calls. They feel its their responsibility to shape the game, instead of letting the game naturally take place.
I think I might have said this in a recap last year as well - officiating in the college game is just abysmal right now, and it’s a widespread epidemic.
My career path has taken me to Milwaukee a number of times for recruiting, albeit to Milwaukee School of Engineering, not to Marquette.
The weather has sucked every time I’ve been there.
Next Up: K-State stays on the road, heading to Tulsa to take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane next Saturday; tip scheduled for 3:30p CT on CBS Sports Network.