There was no Slate yesterday, the day after the winter sports season was suddenly murdered in cold blood. Nobody had it in them. You didn’t want to read about it, either.
We’re going to assume you really don’t care to relive it today, either, and as such we’re not bothering with any game recap coverage this morning. It’s not like you didn’t see what happened, right?
Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo!, a writer who was trashed by your benevolent despot and many of his lieutenants a couple of weeks ago for blaming the failure of Kansas to once again win the Big 12 on Kansas themselves for losing games rather than on the teams that delivered two of those losses, may actually be right about something. He blamed Friday’s loss on Bruce Weber sitting Barry Brown Jr. with 2 fouls in the first half. One key point Eisenberg makes: Brown only averages 2.4 fouls per game, and therefore Weber should have trusted Barry to gather himself and avoid fouling out too early.
From this chair, the decision was flawed for another reason. Brown could have fouled out two minutes into the second half and it wouldn’t have mattered if K-State had continued stretching their lead instead of surrendering it.
We’re not condemning Weber. But this was a mistake, and it cannot be ignored. One need not require the termination of a coach while still criticizing his poor decision-making, after all.
At the Star, Sam Mellinger observes that it is the success or failure of this coming class of recruits, led by DaJuan Gordon and Montavious Murphy, which will truly define Bruce Weber’s legacy in Manhattan.
Over at the Eagle, Kellis Robinett ponders the future without Xavier Sneed, which is a remote possibility. But he expects that if Sneed returns to pad his resume, this will still be a tournament team in 2020.
The women are also done for the year after suffering a brutal beatdown at the hands of Michigan at the same time the men were collapsing in San Jose. Justin Toscana, as always, is on the ball with a couple of reflections: it’s all over for Kayla Goth and Kali Jones, and they’re leaving a pretty big mark on the program. Their influence is such that Rachel Ranke wasn’t emotional after the game because they lost, but because she won’t get to play with the pair anymore.
As for the game itself, Ranke — who, along with Peyton Williams, will occupy the team leader role being vacated by Goth — is ready for next season... right now.
Track and Field
On Friday, Ariel Okorie and Konstantina Romaiou took first and second in the women’s long jump at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego. That would mark the only event win for the Wildcats on the weekend, however, as K-State was shut out on Saturday.
There were a few second-place performances; Okorie in the 100m hurdles, Ranae McKenzie in the women’s 400m, Antoni Hoyte-Small in the men’s 400m, Tom Pyle in the men’s long jump, and Shanae McKenzie in the women’s high jump.
It was, however, a mildly disappointing performance overall, and one on which K-State is going to have to improve if they expect to contend in the NCAA Championships at spring’s end.
Next up: the Texas Relays in Austin next weekend, which those of you who have The Longhorn Network will be able to take in.
Speaking of Texas, they continued to heap indignity on a 36th-ranked Wildcat squad which has now fallen to 0-3 in Big 12 play after such a strong and encouraging start to the season. Texas, ranked 18th in the nation, handed the Cats a 6-1 defeat on Friday. That extends the Longhorn domination over the Cats to an absurd 29-0 all-time. (Latter link: Clark Dalton, UT Daily Texan)
The Cats will try to get in the win column finally as they take on Baylor this afternoon at 1:00 in Waco.
K-State has begun its conference season 0-2 following a pair of defeats in Stillwater. Yesterday, it was an eighth-inning sacrifice fly which broke a 4-4 tie and resulted in a 5-4 win for Oklahoma State. The teams will close the series this afternoon at 1:00 on FOX Sports Oklahoma.
The magic from Orlando has not transferred to North Carolina. After the two rounds played on Saturday at the Tar Heel Invitational in Chapel Hill, K-State stands at 10-over par. That resulted in a tie for fifth place, 12 strokes back of Illinois. Jeremy Gandon had a horrible day, shooting 5-over; he’s tied for 32nd. Three Cats are in the top 20, however, as Roland Massimino, Jacob Eklund, and Ben Fernandez all finished Saturday play at 2-over par, tied for 18th.
This morning, through three holes, Eklund and Massimino have both gone 1-under to move up a couple of slots, and K-State is now only 8-over. Still a long way to go, however.
As for the women, a 4-under performance on Saturday at the MountainView Collegiate in Tucson, Ariz. helped erase a terrible Friday. The Wildcats now sit tied for ninth at 3-over, 16 strokes back of Texas State.
Niamh McSherry is carrying the torch for the Cats, shooting 3-under over the first two rounds to stake herself to a tie for tenth place. Action resumes at 10:00 this morning.
You may not know this, but — assuming certain academic qualifications are met — high school seniors from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin receive in-state tuition at K-State. Five more states are being added to the list in fall 2020, according to the Mercury’s Emily Porter: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas.