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SLATE: Horseshoes and hand grenades

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Two games, two chances, two missed opportunities.

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This is what implosion looks like.
This is what implosion looks like.
Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

When the headline for the game recap from the writer at the biggest local paper which covers your team specifically calls you out — twice — as an explanation for a loss, you’ve probably screwed up.

Such is the case this morning for Cartier Diarra, who got the treatment from the Wichita Eagle this morning to lead off Kellis Robinett’s recap of Kansas State‘s 69-62 loss to Texas Tech last night in Lubbock. In a game which K-State had a shot, Diarra was essentially responsible personally for a five-point swing on a single play. That play, a missed attempt at an acrobatic “look at me” dunk, closely followed a confrontation with Bruce Weber on the sideline during a timeout, and resulted in Diarra getting the rest of the night off.

The entire sequence, in turn, had to sap energy and confidence from the Wildcats, who instead of having the game tied at 44 suddenly found themselves trailing 47-42.

As you know, our policy around here is generally to not pile on players. They’re unpaid labor, they’re still young, they’re representing us. But sometimes, something has to be said. Last month, Diarra was outraged over comments made by ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla suggesting he had checked out on the team and wasn’t doing what was needed to either win games for K-State or advance his own career. But Fraschilla was right. The perception that Diarra just doesn’t care has been widespread, with comments arising nearly every game about the subject. Now we have him getting into a row with his coach with cameras trained on them, and an attempt to get himself on SportsCenter which only didn’t fail because it was such a massive failure.

It’s time for Weber to take a good long think about this situation, and ask himself whether having Diarra on the floor is hurting the team. Cartier has been a good Wildcat, and he’s provided some thrilling moments. We’ll always appreciate that. But right now, we honestly don’t care if he plays another minute. If he’s already moved on mentally, we may as well do the same.

Other coverage of the game:

The Cats return home for a tilt with Texas Longhorns on Saturday, and if you want tickets you can grab them from the box office, or maybe you can get a deal on good seats at StubHub.

In other news, the Eagle’s Taylor Eldridge reports that Wichita State is whining about K-State not making an effort to play the Shockers. They’re so not mad about Kansas not playing them that they handwave KU’s excuses, but K-State? Oh, they’re bitter. WE CAN TASTE THE SALT.

At the Mercury, Ryan Black strangely has no story about the game, but does have a piece on mid-year transfer Kaosi Ezeagu and his assimilation into the program as he waits to become eligible. Per Weber, Ezeagu “has made a couple of guys quit in practice,” and, well, you can probably guess what we’re thinking already.

Women’s Basketball

Meanwhile, the TCU curse continues to afflict former TCU head coach Jeff Mittie. Last night, the outcome was a heartbreaking 54-52 loss to his former squad at Bramlage.

It certainly wasn’t Ayoka Lee’s fault; the freshman phenom drained 22 points and added 17 boards for yet another double-double, and threw in six — six! — blocks as a bonus.

No, the culprit was shooting, as it’s been in pretty much every loss this season, and oddly enough the bug even hit Peyton Williams last night. The senior star did pull down 13 rebounds, but only managed nine points on the night thanks to a 3-10 performance from the field, well below her usual expectations.

But blaming Williams for a 2-point loss after going 9 and 13 would be absurd. Angela Harris was 2-15 from the field, causing the Mercury’s Tyler Kraft to open his game story with the words “Angela Harris looked lost.” Chrissy Carr was 0-8 from the field, with six of those attempts coming from long range. As a whole, the team was 1-13 from beyond the arc.

In short, K-State did everything they needed to do to win the game except put the ball in the hole. Old pal Greg Woods, also at the Mercury, reports on Mittie’s feelings about the offense.

The Cats will now head to Austin to take on Texas at noon Saturday.

Track and Field

We’re so used to Williams and Lee getting weekly honors that it seems almost routine. But now it’s time to swing that camera over to Ahearn. Junior long-jumper Taishia Pryce, fresh off setting a national high mark in that event last weekend in Fayetteville, earned Big 12 Women’s Athlete of the Week honors yesterday.

Pryce, who recorded a 21’10” jump last Friday, will try to do even better on Saturday at the Steve Miller Open at Ahearn.

Baseball

The BatCats take the field this evening at 6:30 in Corpus Christi, Tex., at the Kleberg Bank College Classic. Their opponent tonight is the host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders (0-3), and they’ll continue on to face Missouri (2-1) tomorrow at 2:00pm before finishing things up at 11:00am Sunday against Utah (1-3).

The most important thing for us, however, is that the Friday and Sunday games will be played at Whataburger Field. We’re hungry now. However, those games will only be visually available for cash money via FloBaseball. Today’s game, on the other hand, can be ogled via TAMUCC’s own streaming service. Audio for all three games will, of course, be available on KMAN and via kstatesports.com.


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