Three thoughts from Kansas State’s 81-71 loss against West Virginia on Saturday at WVU Coliseum:
1. Kansas State is a bad road team.
That much might be obvious based on the Wildcats’ 1-4 road record, but it is shocking how differently they play on the road than at home. Last month, K-State obliterated West Virginia at Bramlage Coliseum. The game was over at halftime, and Bruce Weber played everyone in the second half. Things were completely different in Morgantown. This time, West Virginia’s guards, especially Juwan Staten, (his 35 points were the most by a Big 12 player this season) had their way with K-State defenders. The Wildcats didn’t have anyone who could stay in front of them on the perimeter. The Mountaineers used a different strategy on offense, but that can’t explain that big of a change. The road venue got to the Wildcats, who hurt themselves by looking sluggish on defense and tight on offense. That combination led to a 39-31 halftime deficit. That makes four-straight road games in which K-State has trailed at halftime. All four ended in losses. That needs to change. Sure, K-State’s late-game execution was also poor in those games, but better starts would increase its margin for error.