Film study now appears to be optional for No. 15 Kansas after sustaining defeats in four of its last five games.
Bill Self considered a playback of the loss the Jayhawks (11-6, 5-4 Big 12) suffered Saturday at No. 18 Tennessee to be potentially futile in advance of a home game Tuesday against Kansas State (5-13, 1-8) at Lawrence, Kan.
Watching from the bench, the Kansas coach again noticed a trending weakness he doesn’t need to confirm from watching a replay. The Jayhawks continue to let hardship get the best of them.
“I just don’t feel like when things don’t go well,” said Self, “that we handle the adversity quite as well as what we need to or don’t adjust to what we need to do during the course of the game, especially early on.”
Kansas has won 11 of its last 12 meetings against Kansas State, making it conceivable the visit from the Wildcats could be a get-well opportunity. Just don’t count on Self to frame the matchup that way.
His concerns don’t center as much on the Jayhawks’ anemic offense, despite misses on 16 of their first 17 3-point attempts at Tennessee. Their leading scorer, David McCormack, grabbed just two rebounds while netting 17 points.
Uncontested attempts the Jayhawks allowed from behind the arc and a lack of defensive intensity in general bothered Self, who awarded more minutes to Dajuan Harris and Tyon Grant-Foster.
“I’m pretty frustrated,” Self said. “I think we’ve had some pretty good defensive teams in the last 18 years, and I can’t remember a defensive team that was so giving as far as allowing people to basically execute what they want to do.”
Kansas State has struggled to knock down anything, ranking last in the Big 12 with 40.6-percent shooting in conference play, including 26.2 percent from behind the arc.
Despite eight consecutive losses, and a negative differential of 18.6 in conference play, Bruce Weber appears safe in his ninth season as Kansas State coach.
After a 68-61 setback Saturday against Texas A&M, athletic director Gene Taylor said “that’s our intention” when asked by the Manhattan Mercury if Weber would be retained after this season, regardless of how the Wildcats finish.
Weber’s Wildcats have captured two Big 12 championships and made five NCAA Tournament appearances. Their struggles this season include the program’s most lopsided defeat, a 48-point thrashing at Baylor in their last conference game.
“It’s a young team,” Taylor told the Mercury. “With the conference as strong as it is and with COVID and everything we’re dealing with, it was going to be a challenging season. We knew that. It’s probably been more challenging than we anticipated, but I think we have to take all of that into consideration.”
Nijel Pack leads Kansas State in scoring (11.8). He canned eight treys against Texas A&M.
The game at Kansas will be on the same court where a brawl broke out at the end of last year’s in-state clash. Four players drew suspensions but only McCormack and Kansas State’s Antonio Gordon remain on their respective rosters.
–Field Level Media