Kansas State was unable to defeat UNLV without its best two players in the lineup Tuesday at the Sprint Center.
The loss came in front of a raucous sellout crowd, and the shorthanded Wildcats played the Rebels tough before falling 63-59. But it was a painful night for K-State all the same.
“We’re not about losing here,” said an angry Frank Martin. “We’re not about playing hard and coming up close and moral victories. That’s not what we built our program about. We lost, so it wasn’t good enough.”
Martavious Irving and Jamar Samuels later said they also found few positives in the loss. Samuels made a good point about the Wildcats being strong enough to beat Virginia Tech earlier this season with Kelly out of the lineup and Pullen only playing 14 minutes. He thought they should have done the same here.
K-State is certainly a team that should know how to play with members of its roster unavailable. Of the Wildcats’ 16 players, only six (Rodney McGruder, Victor Ojeleye, Nick Russell, Freddy Asprilla, Jordan Henriquez-Roberts and Will Spradling) have seen action in every game this season.
The other 10 have missed anywhere from one game to nine for various reasons. Here is a rundown: