Kansas State coach Bruce Weber has complimented Stephen Hurt all season long.
But he has not always used the junior forward as much as he would prefer. Often, Weber looks over final stat sheets shaking his head, saying he should have played Hurt more.
The situation felt so strange to Hurt, a junior-college transfer playing his first season at K-State, that he approached Weber earlier this week with a simple question: What gives?
“I apologized,” Weber said. “I told him, ‘it’s our fault.’ We talked about it as a staff. Some of it is the other guys and our trust in Thomas (Gipson). … It’s great that he has kept a great attitude. He comes every day and battles.”
Hurt’s playing time may increase from here. He had 15 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes against Oklahoma, sinking jumper after jumper when K-State badly needed someone other than Marcus Foster to score.
“I just had to wait my turn,” Hurt said. “I knew that it would come. ... I just knew there would be a time when I had to step up.”
▪ K-State got balanced scoring Saturday, with Justin Edwards, Thomas Gipson, Nino Williams, Hurt and Foster all scoring at least eight points. Williams and Gipson weren’t efficient, though. Gipson made five of 12 shots, while Williams went four for 12.
▪ K-State and Oklahoma players joined each other at midcourt before tipoff to hold an oversized flag during the national anthem.
▪ Key play: Thomas Gipson’s dunk with 1:47 left in the first half put the Wildcats up 31-27. K-State went into halftime with a 31-30 lead.
▪ Key stat: The Wildcats were tough inside. They outscored the Sooners 18-10 on points in the paint.
▪ Key play: Marcus Foster drove hard to the lane from the right wing and sent up a floater in traffic that went in and tied the score 55-55 with 6 seconds left.
▪ Key stat: There were five lead changes in the second half.
▪ Key play: Foster’s three with 4 seconds left ended up as the game-winner.
▪ Key stat: K-State scored six points off turnovers in OT.
| Kellis Robinett, The Star