The Kansas State Wildcats are coming off of an incredible 29-win season that included a surprise run to the Elite Eight. It helped Frank Martin get a new contract extension and put Jacob Pullen on the map so that he could be a preseason All-American the following year.
Expectations were raised considerably. But should we have raised expectations? What if they were just a one-year wonder? The latest KC Star story on this topic explores some of those questions and includes this quote from Martin following the Mizzou game:
"Who says it wasn't supposed to be this way for us? You?" Martin said while addressing reporters after Monday's loss at Missouri. "You never asked me. You said it, not me. If you would have asked me, I would have said we were going to go through some bumps on the road."
Is it possible we should have looked at this team before the season and realized they weren't an elite team yet and shouldn't be ranked preseason top 3? Martin has said from day one of this year that these Wildcats weren't as good or as mature as last year's team. That should have been our first clue that something was up with this team.
Kansas State lost a senior leader and their best defender, and they wonder why they're not as good, especially when the team last year was a total surprise.
I wouldn't expect Kansas State to make some sort of miracle turnaround at this point. They've played 19 games so we have a pretty good idea of who they are (or at least who they aren't). They're talented but inconsistent.
In the end, I think expectations were too high. Martin knew it from the start and I think that's why he would bring his team back down to earth so often. The team last year is in the past. This year's Kansas State team is who they are -- a 13-6 team issues that probably won't be resolved in the next couple of weeks.
So what is Kansas State just isn't very good? What if we can stop waiting on them to break out and just accept that this year at least they're another average team in the Big 12.
It's also important to keep this in mind the next two weeks when Kansas State will play No. 10 Texas A&M, Baylor and No. 2 Kansas. It's going to be a long month in Manhattan.