Kansas State’s basketball season came to an end Friday night in St. Louis with a 56-49 loss to Kentucky.
K-State can blame a complete lack of offense for the defeat.
Strange that it went toe-to-toe in a shootout with Iowa State at the Big 12 Tournament (falling 91-85) and then mustered just 49 points (a season low) eight days later in the NCAA Tournament.
There were many reasons for K-State’s struggles. First and foremost was Kentucky. Every member of its playing rotation stands 6-foot-6 or taller, and that length created all kinds of problems. Open shots were hard to come by on the perimeter, and Willie Cauley-Stein made driving the lane difficult by blocking four shots and altering several others. But K-State also missed the few open shots it had. Marcus Foster and Will Spradling both went 1 for 7 from three-point range. That’s not going to cut it against a team of future NBA players.
K-State coaches were confident heading into the game. They thought K-State was quick enough to get around Kentucky defenders and find open shots. But that didn’t happen. Bruce Weber introduced some new offensive sets last week, thinking they would take Kentucky by surprise. But poor coaching and execution made that impossible. Foster was the team’s only consistent scorer all season, and that hurt K-State on Friday.
“On the offensive end, we didn’t get anything accomplished,” Spradling said. “We really struggled. Their length bothered us a lot more than we expected. We were pretty stagnant.”