a man standing in front of a crowd: Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber gestures during the first half of a first round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament against UC Irvine Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)© Offered by Oath Inc.
Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber gestures through the first half of a primary spherical males’s faculty basketball recreation within the NCAA Event in opposition to UC Irvine Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Picture/Chris Carlson)

If Kansas State is attempting to evaluate why it didn’t advance past the primary spherical of the NCAA match, the Wildcats ought to begin by reexamining an antiquated determination coach Bruce Weber made.

Weber needlessly sat first-team all-Huge 12 guard Barry Brown for the remainder of the primary half after he picked up his second foul lower than six minutes into the sport.

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Thirteenth-seeded UC Irvine took benefit of Brown’s absence, erasing a 10-point deficit by holding Kansas State’s anemic offense with no area purpose for the ultimate six minutes earlier than halftime. Brown then struggled to generate any second-half rhythm after sitting so lengthy, ending a 70-64 loss with simply 5 factors and nonetheless solely two fouls.

Requested at halftime about benching Brown for thus lengthy by Turner Sports activities sideline reporter Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, Weber informed her, “So long as we had been forward, we had been going to maintain him on the bench.” The Kansas State coach reiterated that stance throughout his postgame information convention as nicely.

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Stated Weber, “I assumed so long as we had been staying forward we might keep with out him.”

It’s straightforward to criticize an in-game teaching determination with the good thing about hindsight, however this one appeared misguided even in the second. There’s no justification for Weber benching his finest participant for that lengthy given Brown’s foul historical past, Kansas State’s reliance on him and the standard of the Wildcats’ opponent.

Brown is a senior guard who averaged 2.four fouls per 40 minutes this season and has fouled out of simply three video games the previous 4 years. He had given his head coach no motive to not belief him to play via foul hassle on a day when Kansas State badly wanted him.

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An enormous, skilled staff that leads the nation in two-point field-goal proportion protection and excels at altering photographs across the rim, UC Irvine in some ways is constructed to present Kansas State suits. The Wildcats are a poor perimeter capturing staff, a flaw additional exacerbated by the absence of 3-point marksman Dean Wade resulting from damage.

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Whereas driving lanes for Kansas State had been scarce in opposition to UC Irvine’s tightly packed zone protection, Brown may need been capable of slither via them usually sufficient to assist the Wildcats’ keep a slight halftime lead. The Huge 12’s defensive participant of the 12 months additionally undoubtedly would have made some distinction guarding UC Irvine perimeter standouts Max Hazzard and Evan Leonard had been he on the ground.

As a substitute Brown sat whereas UC Irvine gained confidence. Then he couldn’t appear to get something going throughout a cold-shooting second half.

The defining play of the sport for Brown arrived within the ultimate minute with Kansas State nonetheless inside two. Brown tried to kick to teammate Cartier Diarra noticed up behind the arc, however a miscommunication led to the go crusing into the Kansas State bench for an ill-timed turnover.

“I form of made the improper go,” Brown informed reporters after the sport. “I did not learn it proper. I ought to have simply dribbled it out. Simply made the improper learn in an important a part of the sport. Positively on me. Ought to have been higher.”

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There’s no denying Kansas State misplaced in opposition to UC Irvine for a myriad of causes, not simply Weber mishandling Brown’s foul hassle.

The Wildcats shot poorly from the perimeter, turned the ball over too usually and missed Wade’s capacity to attract opposing large males out of the paint. In the meantime, the Anteaters performed with poise, defended relentlessly and hit some large threes down the stretch.

There’s additionally no denying that determining when to sit down foul-plagued gamers isn’t straightforward. Heck, UC Irvine coach Russell Turner benched guard Robert Cartwright for a lot of the primary half with two fouls, and no person will criticize him for it.

However with all the info obtainable today, it appears honest to anticipate coaches to keep away from routinely eradicating a star with two early fouls with out contemplating the context of the scenario.

Weber’s mishandling of Brown’s foul hassle throughout Kansas State’s stunning first-round exit is additional proof of that.

Associated slideshow: Greatest images of the NCAA Event (Offered by imagn)

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Liberty Flames players celebrate from the bench against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the second half in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at SAP Center.

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