MANHATTAN — Two points and 37 minutes.
That was the contribution Kansas State received from five reserve players off the bench in a 61-54 loss to Tulsa last Saturday in Wichita.
The bench has had its moments in some blowout victories, but consistent play has been missing. The reserves scored zero points in a win over George Washington, 13 in the Arizona State loss and 10 in a win over Northern Arizona.
“It would have been nice to get a little more out of our bench,” coach Bruce Weber said Monday. “The thing I’ve emphasized is that’s it’s easy for the bench if the older, experienced guys are playing well. Now, they can fit in the pieces in the puzzle, but when there’s not consistency from those guys it’s tougher on them.
“They have to play better in practice. That’s how they get confidence, that’s how we get confidence and it makes it easier to stick with them a little longer.”
Depth was expected to be a strength for the Wildcats, but it hasn’t fully developed with two nonconference games remaining prior to the start of the Big 12 schedule. Freshman guard Cartier Diarra and junior college transfer Amaad Wainright have had positive flashes, but 6-foot-9 forward Mawdo Sallah can’t get untracked due to foul problems — three fouls in five minutes against Tulsa.
Playing time has been minimal for guard Brian Patrick and big men Levi Stockard and Nigel Shadd. Freshman guard Mike McGuirl and redshirt freshman center James Love have yet to play due to injuries.
“Amaad has found a little bit of a niche: He’s active, steals, rebounds,” Weber said. “He has to be a little more sound on defense. Levi gave us some good minutes against Vanderbilt. Maw (Sallah) has struggled in certain games and we need him to give us something. We probably need to throw Brian Patrick out there. In hindsight, Brian maybe could have gone out and made a basket here or there.
“Cartier has been pretty good but he’s been up and down, like a lot of freshmen. I keep hounding on him that it starts in practice. One day he’s one of the best players out there and the next day he doesn’t come back like that.”
With a week between games before facing Southeast Missouri State on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum, Weber hopes some solid practice time will help iron out some of the issues that have plagued the Wildcats (8-2), including the bench play and rebounding.
“Everyone during the year is going to have a setback,” Weber said. “We had ours a little earlier than maybe we thought, but maybe that gives us a little more time to figure it out. You want to learn from success; it’s never fun to learn from a loss.”
REED HONORED — K-State junior D.J. Reed was named to three All-America football teams Monday: third team all-purpose player by the Associated Press, second team kick returner by the Football Writers Association of America and second team cornerback by Pro Football Focus.
Reed previously was named to the Walter Camp All-America second team as a kick returner. He was first team All-Big 12 at cornerback and kick returner.
WILDCAT TEAM AWARDS — At K-State’s annual team awards banquet, Reed was named the Wildcats’ defensive MVP while running back Alex Barnes and wide receiver Bryon Pringle were co-offensive MVPs.
Will Geary, a senior defensive tackle from Topeka, and Trent Tanking, a senior linebacker from Holton, share the outstanding defensive front seven award. Brogan Barry, a senior defensive back from Topeka, won the Anthony A. Bates Memorial Award.
K-STATE FOOTBALL AWARDS
Overachiever Award: Bernard Goodwater.
Red Raider Award: Nick Ast, Mitch Copeland.
Scholar-Athlete Award: Zach Reuter.
Purple Pride Award: Colby Moore.
Ken Ochs Courage Award: Tanner Wood, Jesse Ertz, Reggie Walker.
Kevin Saunders Never Give Up Award: Alex Delton, Dalvin Warmack.
Bob Cope Memorial Award: Davis Clard.
Nancy Bennett Memorial Award: Winston Dimel.
Anthony A. Bates Memorial Award: Brogan Barry.
Joan Friederich Award: Trent Tanking, Dayton Valentine.
Jim “Shorty” Kleinau Award: Drew Scott, Nick Walsh.
Most Improved Defensive Player: Jayd Kirby, Kendall Adams.
Most Improved Offensive Player: Dalton Schoen, Skylar Thompson.
Outstanding Defensive Front Seven Award: Will Geary, Trent Tanking.
Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award: Dalton Risner.
Special Teams Most Valuable Player: Matthew McCrane, D.J. Reed.
Defensive Most Valuable Player: D.J. Reed.
Offensive Most Valuable Player: Byron Pringle, Alex Barnes.
Contact Ken Corbitt at (785) 295-1123 or @KenCorbitt on Twitter.