Kansas State men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber often tries to put a positive spin on things, no matter how negative they may be.
Still, pessimism is hard to shake when you have lost three straight games.
“It was an awful week last week,” Weber said Monday during his turn on the Big 12 coaches’ teleconference. “There is no other way to put it. I can’t tell you it was a good week. If I did you would know I was lying. We had a bad week.”
Consecutive losses to Texas Southern, Georgia and Oklahoma State have dropped K-State to the bottom of the Big 12 with a 7-7 overall record, 0-1 conference record and RPI of 167. Using that data, and other advanced metrics, college basketball statistical guru Ken Pomeroy predicts the Wildcats will be underdogs in 16 of their final 17 games.
Simply put: they need to turn things around, and quickly.
“Two weeks ago we were pretty good against Texas A&M,” Weber said. “We went into the (holiday) break thinking, ‘Hey man, maybe we turned the corner.’ Then, obviously, some craziness happened, and now we have got to see if we can get the team going in the right direction again.
“There is no doubt it’s possible.”
K-State’s turnaround hopes begin Wednesday against TCU at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats haven’t lost to the Horned Frogs since they joined the conference, but TCU, 13-1, is one of the nation’s most improved teams, briefly cracking the top 25 during its hot start.
A difficult conference slate lies ahead, so K-State will need more than a home victory over TCU to jump start its disappointing season.
Sophomore guard Marcus Foster has regressed since his breakout freshman season, spending much of the past two games on the bench. Nino Williams has gone from looking like the team’s top player to an afterthought in one week’s time. And K-State’s effort remains inconsistent.
For now, though, the Wildcats are focused solely on TCU. Perhaps that game could supply Weber with a silver lining and be the first step toward something bigger for K-State.
“Sometimes you need to go through some tough times to bring guys together,” Weber said. “That’s part of building a team. We have a good group and good kids, but we’re very, very young. Some expectations were put on us, and I kept saying, ‘I’m cautiously optimistic,’ and ‘We have nice pieces,’ but you have to put it together and you have to get experience.
“The only way we get experience is to just keep playing games and get better in practice. If we do those things, we’re going to be successful.”