Simply stated, “We didn’t play as a team today,” said K-State senior Jamar Samuels.
Simply said, sophomore guard Will Spradling said, “Players were playing selfish. You can be selfish on the defensive end just like you can at the offensive end.”
Both were right as K-State’s defense went on a rare hiatus as the Wildcats were thumped by Baylor, 82-74, in second-round action at the Big 12 Championship being staged at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
A not very happy coach Frank Martin said, “Today was a joke. I mean, it was a joke. We were so bad defensively. I don’t want to take anything away from Baylor because they won the game, but we were so selfish today and we didn’t go rebound the basketball.”
Aside from Jordan Henriquez, who scored career highs of 22 points and 14 rebounds, each and every Wildcat had his troubles.
Samuels didn’t gain a rebound and eight of his 10 points came after the game was decided; Spradling was 2-of-9 from the field; and Rodney McGruder scored 14 points, but on only 5-of-13 shooting.
K-State’s woes weren’t necessarily on the offensive end, but on defense where the Wildcats allowed the 82 points on 57 percent shooting.
Henriquez said of KSU’s iffy defense, “We just need to get back to what we do best and that’s denying lanes and protecting the rim. They killed us on the offensive boards, and just total rebounds, period.”
Baylor, in fact, did out-rebound K-State, 32-26, which included 13 offensive rebounds that resulted in 15 second-chance points.
Martin simply said of K-State’s rebounding, or lack thereof, “We were awful.”
As to why/how it happened? The Wildcats were at a loss.
“They just spread us out and drove it to the rim,” said Samuels. “Outside of JO, we didn’t have anyone defending the rim.”
Spradling added, “It was just a case of not attending to our defensive principals. Today we had no defensive rotation, plus we had nobody rebounding, which allowed them to get that next shot.”
McGruder said, “Rebounding is a collective thing and we didn’t rebound collectively. We only had one guy rebounding and one guy can’t out-rebound five other guys.”
Trailing by nine at the half, 45-36, K-State closed to within five points three times early in the second half, before letting the game get away and trailing by as many as 16.
Of Baylor, now 26-6, Martin said, “They’re a Final Four-contending team, and they were real good.”
STAT OF THE GAME:
In Waco on Feb. 18, K-State held Baylor to only 56 points on just 38 percent shooting in a 57-56 Wildcat win. In the game Perry Jones III was just 2-of-6 and scored four points, and no Bear had more than 14 points.
Thursday at the Sprint Center, Baylor scored 82 points, which is the second most allowed by the Wildcats all season. They did it with five twin figure scorers, which included Jones III netting 31 on 11-of-14 shooting from the field. In addition, four other Bears were in twin figures.
Of the two games, Jones III said, “I guess I was just in the zone today. I was just being aggressive and more assertive.”
Baylor shot 57 percent from the field, which included 62 percent in the second half. The Bears did their damage inside as they hit just 5-of-18 from 3-point range, but scored 44 points in the paint.
On the difference in the two games, BU’s Quincy Acy said, “We reversed the ball, we didn’t stand … we didn’t watch and we just kept moving, which you have to do against an aggressive defense like that.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Jordan Henriquez scored a career high of 22 points, which came on 9-of-13 shooting. The 6-foot-11 junior also claimed 14 rebounds and had four blocked shots.
“Jordan was once again good,” Martin said. “I’m not into individual performances, but he’s grown as a kid and as a player. His consistency here as of late has been awesome.”
Previous career-highs for Henriquez were 19 points against Iowa State, and 12 rebounds against Iowa State.
Kansas State awaits Selection Sunday to find its destination in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The show airs at 5 p.m. on CBS.