Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Weber's Message Not Getting through to Wildcats

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Weber's Message Not Getting through to Wildcats

Article excerpt

LUBBOCK, Texas -- The warning signs of potential problems surfaced as early as the summer. Coach Bruce Weber attempted a preemptive strike to head off the issue, but his message hasn't gotten through to every player on the Kansas State basketball team.

Weber has removed players from the starting lineup as a message, and Wednesday the problem took a downward spiral when he suspended leading scorer Marcus Foster and freshman reserve Malek Harris for a violation of team rules.

Following a 64-47 loss to Texas Tech, Weber said the Wildcats lack maturity and discipline.

"I gave them a sheet of paper in the summer because I saw it coming," Weber said. "The first thing I wrote was 'Maturity.' I feared, because we have so many young guys, that we wouldn't have much maturity as a team, plus they had too much hype and hadn't earned anything.

"The second thing I wrote was 'Discipline,' to do the right thing at the right time on and off the court. If you do those two things, you'll have consistency. We have not had consistency and that's why we're 12-11 and 5-5."

K-State's problems first emerged during a three-game losing streak to Texas Southern, Georgia and Oklahoma State. The Wildcats righted the ship by winning four of the next five Big 12 games, but now they have lost three in a row and four of five.

"Once we won some games, that immaturity came in again," Weber said. "At Oklahoma and Iowa State, our focus and concentration before the game was good. I gave them an article about (New England Patriots coach Bill) Belichick and he talks about passion, preparation and performance. Part of performance is being mentally tough to do things at critical times that are best for the team.

"We're not ready. We don't prepare like we should. Some of that is being young and understanding what it's all about. …

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