Don’t pack your NIT bags yet Mr. Pullen because at this point you’ll be lucky to play in even that tournament. Kansas State absolutely deserved to lose this game. I put most of it on Pullen as well. If you are going to say stupid things like “I ain’t playin’ in no NIT” than you had better be ready to perform at the highest of your ability for the rest of the year. And I’m not talking about his poor shooting night. That happens to everybody once in a while. No, the blame is put on his shoulder for all sorts of other reasons this time. You know he isn’t in the “good” column so continue reading to see if his actions put him in the “bad” or the “ugly.”
Almost… Despite a horrid night overall by the team, Kansas State almost had a chance to pull it out in the end. Add another .3 seconds to the clock and it actually would have been a victory. I yelled so loud when McGruder’s shot went down my roommate actually thought I was hurt. But it was not to be. If there was award for mediocre teams that still try really, really hard K-State would have gotten it tonight. As much as I hate to see losses, at least it was a game until the very end. I was afraid things were done with that technical foul on Kelly and CU getting out to a 7 point lead.
Samuels… Samuels had 13 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. He was the best player on the court for either side. He also played with the intensity that KSU fans love seeing from him. Had any other player on K-States roster played like him, the game would have been a win. Instead, Samuels was it. No one else decided this game was worth playing.
Defending Burks… Had the defense on CU’s best player not been incredible, K-State would have been crushed by 10+ points. Instead, Burks was kept to just 8 points on 3-13 shooting. On top of that, none of Colorado’s other payers went off either which explains the lowest scoring matchup of the two teams since the 70s. Southwell was the main defender playing Burks all night and he did a great job.
Dillards Pullen… Oh I thought long and hard about which column Mr. NIT was going to be placed but after letting it simmer for a bit I just couldn’t find any real justification to make it the ugly column… but I sure wanted to. Like I said earlier, pullen didn’t earn this spot by shooting like a blind jr. high kid. Anyone can have an off night and he hasn’t done this bad shooting wise for a while. What did get him here is pretty much every other aspect of his game. First, when you have a night of sucktitude, know your role and distribute the ball. Look to pass first and shoot second. That didn’t happen. Second, when you have been demoted to passing duty, don’t suck at that. Pullen made so many sloppy passes including one to nobody in particular in a crucial time that should have been a turnover. I don’t know how that call was overturned but it saved Pullen from adding another TO to his stellar stat sheet. Third, when you’re having a bad night, stop trying to force it. I’m not saying to stop shooting if it’s open. I’m talking about the driving when the lane is clogged and taking shots that have no business being put up even when your team is ahead by 10. Finally Mr. Discount, stop dribbling the basketball. Really, just stop. The season long experiment to find out if you can be a ball handling point guard has failed miserably. The results are as conclusive as it can get. You are not a ball handler. Instead God gave you skillets for hands. To remind you of that, please watch the replay of your final attempt to drive to the hoop being picked by Burks over and over and over. And don’t stop it until Burks has thrown the ball down with you watching from behind. Also, watch the miracle that was the final point of the Iowa State game over and over to remind yourself that you lost the ball and should have lost the game but a basketball angel kicked it right back to you. Your role is to get open, catch the ball, shoot the ball, and go play defense. Notice there was no mention of dribbling.
Dillards CK… This is our best big man. Say that again to yourself. This is our best big man. Against a team that is known for its roster being greatly undersized, Kelly had 5 points and 6 rebounds. This is our best big man. Say it one more time and you will have figured out half of why K-State is now 16-9 (4-6).
Offense… If someone understands what offense that nastiness K-State fans are watching is, please let me know. I hear it supposed to be something to do with a high post. It looks like it was drawn up by a toddler. Please inform.
Technical fouls/officiating… In no way were the officials responsible for either team winning or losing this game. If it was possible for neither to actually be credited with a victory, that should be the outcome. However, what was going on with this group? The technical against Kelly was one of the worst calls I can remember. How can a guy be penalized for unintentionally elbowing another player who is a foot shorter and squatting? I thought the game was going to turn on that call alone. Instead, another elbow technical was called to let K-State catch up. That call was not as horrid as the one against Kelly, but I still don’t think it was deserved. I guess after two techinicals the officials decided to really rope the game in and went whistle crazy for a few minutes resulting in a mess of fouls called against CU and a few players in foul trouble. Throw in the substitution stoppage that came later and you have an officiating crew that should never see college sports again.
Free throws… 58% vs. 82%. Which team do you think won? I honestly believe that if all of the teams rest on our schedule start their bench, get K-State into the bonus, and then foul every other possession the rest of the game, K-State wouldn’t win again. 13 points were left dead on the foul line against Colorado. The game was lost by 2. If they could figure out how to shoot even 65% when they aren’t guarded it could have been a win. Maybe it’s time to go back to granny shots from the line.
(Please prepare yourself for the beat down that is about to come from KU. I don’t want the entire Wildcat Nation to be on suicide watch after Monday)