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.