Bruce Weber saw exactly what he expected out of an intrasquad scrimmage at Bramlage Coliseum Saturday. There were highlights balanced by lowlights. Or as Weber put it, "some good, some bad."
The gray team "beat" the purple 63-58. But the final score is misleading, since players and teams constantly swapped around at the end of each six-minute period. The day's top performers included the two players expected to lead the Wildcats in scoring this season in Cartier Diarra (19 points) and Xavier Sneed (15) as well as a pair of highly touted newcomers at guard in DaJuan Gordon (12) and David Sloan (12).
The points weren't foremost on Weber's mind afterward, though.
"The most positive thing for me is assist-to-turnover (ratio)," said Weber, who is entering his eighth season as K-State's men's basketball head coach. "We've been turning it over so much that it's really been disgusting, to be honest. It's been very aggravating. But today, they were actually positive overall, which is good. Now, we'll watch the tape and say, 'Our defense wasn't very good.' But it's the kind of give and take that you have early."
Part of that "give and take" included the most frustrating part of the 24-minute, no-breaks scrimmage for Weber: effort. At times, the players' energy lagged. And Weber made sure they knew it, calling them out on multiple occasions.
"They just have to play through being tired, getting up and down," he said. "Now you've still got to play, and you can't walk. They all say they want to play at a 'relentless pace,' but then they walk the ball up. That's not 'relentless.' So it's important to get in shape. And then when you do have people (in the stands), it's a different mindset. Emotions get involved, you lose that shortness of breath. It takes a while, but it was good for us."
That's doubly true, Weber said, for Sloan and DaJuan Gordon, as well as the other two members of the Wildcats' 2019 signing class: forwards Montavious Murphy and Antonio Gordon.
"We talked about, with people being (here), not to lose your head," Weber said. "Stay focused. You've still got to execute. The coaches talked about, 'You've got to play every possession, every quarter, it doesn't matter. You've got to keep playing. Whether it's good or bad, you've got to keep playing and give something to the team.' Those were our goals, and hopefully we accomplished that."
Check out a pair of videos from the scrimmage in the embedded tweets below.