Marcus Foster

OMAHA, NE - NOVEMBER 15: Maurice Watson Jr. #10 of the Creighton Bluejays drives to the hoop past Jordan Hill #11 of the Wisconsin Badgers during their game at the CenturyLink Center on November 15, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
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No. 12 Creighton lands come-from-behind win over Ole Miss

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Marcus Foster scored 25 points and Khyri Thomas chipped in 16 points of his own as No. 12 Creighton landed a come-from-behind win over Ole Miss in the title game of the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands, 86-77.

The Rebels were up by as many as 12 points in the second half before the Jays caught fire from deep – Creighton finished shooting 16-for-26 from beyond the arc – but the real difference came on the defensive end of the floor. The Bluejays finally started getting stops, and it’s not a coincidence that those stops came at the same time that they started clearing the defensive glass.

Ole Miss took a 46-40 lead into the break. With 15 minutes left in the game, a jumper from Cullen Neal gave Ole Miss a 59-51 lead. They mustered just 18 points the rest of the way. It’s also worth noting that Ole Miss grabbed 14 of their 17 offensive rebounds in the first 25 minutes; they finished with 20 second chance points.

The defense is going to be the key long-term for Creighton. This is easily the most athletic team that Greg McDermott has had in his time at Creighton – there’s probably an argument to be made that it’s the most talented as well, although that’s a different discussion for a different day – but what they have in shooting prowess and back court dominance they lack in true difference-makers defensively.

Deandre Burnett and Rasheed Brooks, who both had 22 points, are good basketball players – Burnett had 41 points in the opening game of this event – but they got anything they wanted in the first half on Monday night. It helped that they made seemingly all of the open shots that they got, and it also helped that Justin Patton, Zach Hanson and Toby Hegner looked helpless against Sebastian Saiz on the glass. Again, Saiz is a good player, but he should not have been able to dominate the glass like that against a team that’s many believe is a top 15-20 team in the country.

The Bluejays are going to score a lot of points this season. They have shooters everywhere on their roster, they have a group of guards that are as good as any in the country and they those guards thrive in transition and when their spacing creates driving lanes.

But their ceiling will be limited if they cannot get more consistent defensively.

On the other side, Ole Miss is a better basketball team than I thought they were. They may even be the second-best team in the SEC. Burnett is going to score a lot of points this season while Neal and Brooks seem like capable compliments in the back court. Throw in Saiz, who is as underrated as anyone in that conference, and this is a typically-good Andy Kennedy team.

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Former Kansas State guard transferring to Creighton

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Marcus Foster, a guard whose sophomore season at Kansas State was an inconsistent one, has found a new home. Foster, who entered last season as a candidate for Big 12 Player of the Year, has decided that he’ll complete his college career at Creighton.

Foster announced the decision on Twitter, and after sitting out the 2015-16 season he’ll have two years to play under head coach Greg McDermott.

As a sophomore Foster averaged 12.5 points per game, shooting just under 39 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from beyond the arc. He and head coach Bruce Weber clashed on multiple occasions throughout the season, but that was the story for most of the Kansas State team as a group that reached the NCAA tournament in 2014 finished below .500. In the case of Foster a change of scenery may benefit him, and he joins a Creighton system that should serve him well once eligible.

While Foster sits out this season Creighton will look for major contributions from two other transfers in guard Maurice Watson and forward Cole Huff, both of whom sat out the 2014-15 campaign per NCAA transfer rules. Both were productive options at their previous stops, Watson at Boston University and Huff at Nevada, and that will need to be the case next season as the Bluejays lost their lone double-digit scorer in guard Austin Chatman.

Foster is the fifth newcomer who will join the Creighton program this summer with the other four being freshmen. Guards Malon Stewart and Khyri Thomas, and forwards Justin Patton and Martin Krampelj complete the class, with the 6-foot-10 Patton the most highly regarded of the freshman quartet.

Kansas State losing three players, including Marcus Foster (UPDATED)

Marcus Foster (Getty Images)
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source: Getty Images
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Kansas State took a hit to its rotation on Tuesday as three players are leaving the program. Leaving the Wildcats due to dismissal from the program is sophomore guard Marcus Foster and freshman shooting guard Tre Harris, according to a release from the school. Sophomore point guard Jevon Thomas will also transfer.

The loss of Foster is the major news here. As a freshman, Foster was one of the best players in the Big 12 as the 6-foot-2 guard averaged 15.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game for the Wildcats. As a sophomore, Foster started to become a problem in the locker room. He was benched in a Big 12 game against Oklahoma State and appeared to lose confidence at times during the season. His shooting percentages dropped to 38 percent from the field and 34 percent from 3-point range.

The 6-foot-1 Thomas was a major part of the Kansas State backcourt rotation this season. Thomas averaged 25 minutes per game and put up 4.5 points and 3.3 assists and 3 rebounds per contest in his sophomore season. One of the premier perimeter defenders in the Big 12 when he was engaged, Thomas also had 1.1 steals per game and was a difference-maker on that end when he was providing pressure.

At 6-foot-5, Harris showed some ability to score in bursts as a freshman role player. In 21 games, Harris was 20-for-44 from 3-point range and seemed to find his niche in the rotation by being a spark plug. Harris wasn’t overly productive in other facets of the game, however, as he had 18 rebounds and 11 assists in 211 minutes played.

Foster leaving means the Wildcats are losing their most talented player with two more seasons of eligibility. It’s a major hit for Bruce Weber’s program and now there isn’t a clear go-to guy on the roster without him.

Losing Thomas and Harris could hurt the backcourt depth for Kansas State going forward, but the Wildcats underachieved this season in-part to bad attitudes, so many losing some players could be an addition by subtraction scenario.

Marcus Foster’s three-pointer gives Kansas State controversial win over No. 17 Oklahoma (VIDEO)

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By this point, No. 17 Oklahoma has to be sick of Kansas State’s Marcus Foster.

For the second time this season the Sooners fell victim to Foster’s late-game heroics, as he hit a three-pointer with 3.4 seconds remaining to give Kansas State the 59-56 victory. Foster, in his first game back from a three-game suspension, scored 14 points in 25 minutes of action off the bench.

In the first meeting of the season between the two teams, Foster hit both the game-tying (in regulation) and game-winning shots in Kansas State’s 66-63 win in Norman.

However, Saturday’s win did not lack for controversy. With 9:24 remaining in the game Justin Edwards hit a three-pointer as the shot clock expired to give the Wildcats a 46-41 lead.

The officials ruled that the ball left Edwards’ hand before the shot clock expired, but that does not appear to have been the case upon closer inspection. Also of note is the fact that the LED lights around the shot clock are on. Per NCAA rules, schools can use such a setup to indicate the expiration of the shot clock.

Here’s a still picture of Edwards attempting the shot, thanks to CBT’s Rob Dauster.

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Rob Dauster

Per the NCAA rule book, when it comes to a shot clock violation there can only be an official review in the final two minutes of the second half and at any point in overtime. At any other point in the game, an official review regarding the shot clock can only take place if there’s a malfunction or mistake in starting, stopping or setting/resetting the shot clock:

Determine whether the shot clock malfunctioned or a timing mistake occurred in failing to properly start, stop, set or reset the shot clock. The malfunction or mistake may only be corrected in the shot clock period in which it occurred. Any activity after the mistake or malfunction has been committed and until it has been rectified shall be canceled, excluding a flagrant 1 or 2 personal foul or any technical foul.

Unfortunately for Oklahoma, the rules prohibited the game officials from taking another look at what is viewed to be a judgment call.

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Kansas State suffers catastrophic loss after another disciplinary issue for Marcus Foster

Marcus Foster, Jevon Carter
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For the second time this season, Marcus Foster has faced the wrath of Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber.

And for the second time this season, it cost the Wildcats a win.

On Wednesday, just an hour or two before they were set to tip off at Texas Tech, Weber announced that Foster and freshman reserve Malek Harris had been suspended for a violation of team rules. They lost 64-47 to a team that had just one Big 12 win entering the night. That came nearly a month to the day from K-State’s visit to Oklahoma State, a 61-47 loss in which Foster came off the bench, played just 14 minutes and finished the afternoon scoreless.

It’s been the story of the season for Foster, who has been as disappointing as any player in the country this year. And it’s showing. Kansas State is now 12-11 on the year, with losses to Long Beach State and Texas Southern on their resume. They’re 5-5 in the Big 12, having lost three in a row and four of their last five. They do have seven games left against ranked teams, so they’ll have their chances to improve that resume, but if their star guard is getting himself suspended during road trips and they’re coming off of an ugly loss to a league bottom-feeder, why should we believe a turn-around is in the cards?

“Our whole team, we have been plagued from the start of the season by immaturity, by a lack of discipline and a lack of consistency,” Weber told reporters after the game. “That has been on and off the court, all year. I gave them a sheet of paper at the beginning of the year, because I saw it coming – I guess I’m brilliant. I feared, because we had so many young guys, we wouldn’t have maturity as a team. Plus, they had too much hype. They hadn’t earned anything. Second thing I wrote on the paper was: discipline, to do the right thing all the time on and off the court. I said, ‘If you do those two things you will have consistency,’ and we just have not have had consistency, obviously. That is why we are 12-11 and 5-5.”

Last time Foster had to be disciplined, he responded by playing his best basketball of the season, igniting Kansas State’s hot-start in the Big 12 and hitting the game-tying and game-winning shots in an overtime win against at Oklahoma.

But at this point, that was all for naught.

Barring a miracle, Kansas State is not going to the NCAA tournament.

And you’d be foolish to pin the blame on anyone other than Kansas State’s supposed leader.

Kansas State suspends two, including leading scorer, for violation of team rules

Marcus Foster, Jevon Carter
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Having lost three of their last four games, Kansas State could use a positive spark as they look to work towards a berth in the NCAA tournament. However the news delivered by the program just before Wednesday’s game at Texas Tech won’t help matters, as it was announced that sophomore guard Marcus Foster and freshman forward Malek Harris have been suspended for a violation of team rules.

“Our players have expectations and there are consequences when you don’t live up to those expectations,” Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber said in the release. “Hopefully, they will learn from this experience and make the necessary progress to rejoin our team.”

This is a disappointing turn for Foster, who prior to this season was expected to build on what was an outstanding freshman season. Foster currently leads the team in scoring with an average of 14.0 points per game, but he was benched for a significant portion of Kansas State’s conference-opening loss to Oklahoma State. Foster rebounded from that with a 23-point outing in a win over TCU.

Foster is a player the Wildcats need to be fully engaged if they’re to hang with the best teams in the Big 12, so this disciplinary action clearly isn’t a positive development. Without him on the floor, players such as Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson to do even more from a scoring standpoint. Harris is averaging 2.2 points and 2.2 rebounds in 13.5 minutes of action per contest.