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10 thoughts on Kansas State

Marcus Smart was not very good on Saturday in Manhattan. Video, notes, and more.



I’m just going to call this 10 thoughts even though it’ll be a lot more than that for hoops. Oblige me.


Well the last 24 hours have not been our finest as a basketball/football program. The heart-gashing at Jerryworld followed by a conference-opening loss in the Octagon that is less worrisome as a singular loss and more worrisome as a harbinger of things to come.

OSU traded double digit lead changes with K-State in Manhattan on Saturday but couldn’t close down the stretch and ended up losing 74-71.[1. Something tells me Travis Ford does not drink coffee.] Le’Bryan Nash and Markel Brown shouldered most of the load as Smart sat lengthy stretches in both halves because of foul trouble.

The loss of Cobbins is immense. We knew it would be but it was just so clear down the stretch when OSU couldn’t get a defensive rebound how much it missed No. 20. That’s not an excuse, of course, but it doesn’t paint the most optimistic picture for the next 17 games, either.

Matty Amilian texted me near the end of the game and said “it would be pretty hard to convince me Cobbins wasn’t worth at least a five-point swing.” I couldn’t agree more.

The Stevie Clark non-suspension (?) was an issue as well but Markel was adequate in Marcus’ absence at the point. It’s not ideal because of how great Markel has become in hitting Js off screens but it was sufficient.

The guy who made me come out of my seat (in a good way) multiple times was Le’Bryan. He carried the No. 6 team in the country for most of the second half and despite disappearances at times on defense was absolutely immense on offense.

I don’t know what that means for the future of this team but it was completely impressive today.

The loss, I think, falls on Smart. He took some horrific shots (1/6 from three) and basically took himself out of the game for over 10 minutes by slapping the backboard on a dunk (see below). He was also 2/5 from the line and missed two biggies in the last four minutes. He gets free passes (lots of them) but I’m going to need more out of my All-American in the wake of the Cobbins and Stevie being out.

More thoughts…

• I can’t kill Nash for the three he took with 20 seconds left. It’s not ideal but he was wide open.

The thing I would like to kill (metaphorically, of course) is the fact that coming out of the four-minute timeout Markel hit two free throws, Nash made a layup and a 12-foot jumper and that was promptly followed by an in-transition 25-footer from Forte and an off-balance one-legged twenty-foot two from Marcus.

That’s awful. You have to feed Nash at that point.

• I crush Ford (and rightfully so a lot of the time, I think) but I loved his decision to press late. That’s wise when you’re outmatched by guys like Gipson down low and don’t have a lead. And it worked for a little bit.

• This was insane but it was also a back-breaker. Just hammer it but don’t try to scale the backboard and get a subsequent T. Maybe he doesn’t know the rules but that’s bone-headed..

• Somebody texted me after Markel hugged Marcus after that dunk and said “Marcus tried to flop on that Markel hug.” I died.

• Speaking of Marcus, I hope you guys are ready for him to assume the villain role in the Big 12 this year. Actually I hope he’s ready to assume the villain role in the Big 12 this year. “You’re a flopper!” will be tame compared to what he’ll hear at Allen Fieldhouse and Hilton. Other schools loathe him.

• Marek Soucek is our first big man off the bench right now. That’s all, that’s it.

• I love the all-black basketball uniforms. I actually love the all whites as well. I think it was Carson who said we should just ditch the silvers and oranges and roll with white and black. I agree.

• Here’s Markel taunting the KSU student section:

• One cool thing about Cobbins being out is that he tweeted some interesting stuff during the game. I love it when guys commentate on events they have an innate knowledge of (see: Maurice Clarett during the 30 for 30 he was in) and Cobbins did a pretty good job. Hope we get more of that.

• I don’t understand Stevie traveling to KSU and not dressing or sitting on the bench. Also, the announcers said he wasn’t technically suspended. So we aren’t playing him because he’s had a lot of turnovers?

• Markel and Brian Williams both had nine rebounds and OSU actually only got out-rebounded 40-39. That’s impressive, considering. But KSU doesn’t have a ton of great big guys and it felt like we got drilled down the stretch.

• Marcus Smart is now shooting 31.5% from the three point line.

• I get annoyed at Marcus for doing the hero ball thing but there was a lot of it going on today with Markel and a few other guys as well. 11 assists sort of proves it. I feel like at least a little bit of that has to fall on Ford. You’re getting paid millions of dollars to coach basketball, injuries happen, you have to figure it out.

• One thing I liked that Ford did was filtering in Hammonds and Soucek throughout the first half. Ford realizes he can’t just ride Murphy until he fouls out and I thought he did a good job of picking his spots and trying to get Murph to the end of the game. But then Marcus did a lot of stupid stuff and oh yeah, that closing thing.

• Ford’s quote on Stevie was classic. “I’m still putting together the pieces of what happened.”

Here, let me translate that for you: “We’re screwed without a backup for Marcus and I have to get to the Sweet 16.”

• I tweeted this after the game but I don’t think losing at Kansas State is a horrific loss.[1. I feel like I’ve typed that each of the last six years.] You have like 1.5 gimmes on the road this year and this wasn’t going to be one of them. Still, if you’re the No. 6 team in the country and you have Marcus Smart, you should be winning these games.

• I’m more frustrated with this loss than the Cotton Bowl loss. Conference titles > exhibition games.

• It’s probably not a good thing that KSU shot 37% | 24% | 69% tonight and won, is it?

• Marcus Foster was born in 1995. Let that sink in.

• Will Spradling, on the other hand, was trading baskets with Brady Heslip when basketball was still played with a peach basket and coaches needed a ladder to retrieve the ball.

• The Lleyton Hammonds 5-point defensive possession in the first half is why OSU will struggle to win the Big 12. Speaking of Hammonds, how about him and Christien Sager both being in with 15 seconds left in a conference game. Yiiikes.

• This is awesome:

• Why doesn’t Bruce Weber wear a Maui Invitational pullover? I need answers.

• I bury announcers a lot so I feel like I need to give credit where it’s due. Mark Neely and Tim Welsh were fantastic. They helped the game along and didn’t try to be stars. And good grief I didn’t hear one single story about Smart and Forte being friends or about how many shots Forte hoists every day.

Back at it on Wednesday with Texas at home

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