K-State fans must remain patient


    The adage that states patience is a virtue will have to hold true for the K-State men’s basketball team this season.
    Wildcat fans will have to remain patient. It’s not easy to overcome the loss of four starters, two of whom are currently in the NBA — Bill Walker and Michael Beasley.
    This year’s Wildcats are young, but don’t take that as an excuse for Wednesday night’s 83-65 collapse against Baylor.
    K-State made Baylor guard LaceDarius Dunn look like he was playing HORSE on the playground Wednesday as he hit 9-of-12 from beyond the arc.
    The defense that head coach Frank Martin prides himself on has disappeared. K-State has now allowed three straight opponents to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor.
    For the Wildcats to win, the game has to be ugly. They cannot allow their opponents to come out and hit 56 percent of their shots like Baylor did.
    It simply cannot happen because they do not have the offensive firepower to overcome a poor defensive effort.
    The Wildcats at times play out of control. There is a lack of offensive flow for this year’s K-State team, largely because of last year’s reliance on Beasley and Walker.
    Those two had the ability to make K-State look good when they were bad. The Wildcats could miss a shot, but it would be unnoticed because one of them would be there to grab the rebound and score.
    When K-State misses this year, it looks bad. This is simply a team that cannot afford to miss shots. The Wildcats cannot allow teams to beat them on numerous backdoor cuts, or allow opponents to go on large scoring runs.
    There is no room for error for this team. They are playing with only 10 scholarship players and have only one senior on the team in Darren Kent.
    Martin has said the Wildcats are young, and while that holds true, the excuse cannot be used much longer. He said the same last year, and the Wildcats will once again have several young players next year when they add a consensus Top-25 recruiting class.
    Martin admitted his team is scarred from the 0-4 start to conference play, the worst since 1996-97, when K-State lost its first nine conference games.
    “We lost four games in a row last year at the end of the season,” Martin said after the Baylor game. “The difference there is that we had two senior guards in Blake Young and Clent Stewart who wouldn’t let that team fall apart and they helped me.”
    That’s part of the problem with this team. Martin admitted this team has no leader and is searching for someone to grab hold of the reins and guide this team.
    “Denis [Clemente] is trying to be that person for us this year and we need to follow his energy,” Martin said.
    Yes, there are several problems with this team and some of it comes down to the simple X’s and O’s of coaching. It also comes down to talent and a lack of experience.
    Next year, talent will not be a problem and the youthfulness excuse should evaporate.
    I know it’s hard, but patience is a virtue and that will be a must, as 2009 is the year that must be a success for Martin and K-State.