By now it's a familiar refrain for the Kansas State Wildcats, but one with seemingly no solution.
What, if anything, will it take for them to get off to faster starts?
During their current six-game losing streak, the Wildcats have continue to battle — from behind.
It happened again last Saturday when they rallied from a 10-point deficit at TCU to lead at halftime, stayed with the Horned Frogs through much of the second period and then stumbled down the stretch for a 68-57 loss. It was much the same story, with slight variations, the five outings before that as well as the Wildcats came up short against Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Baylor and West Virginia.
"There have been some really bad starts, there's no doubt about that," said K-State Wildcats, who will try to avoid a similar fate at 8 p.m. Wednesday when they take on Texas Tech at United Supermarket Arena in Lubbock, Texas. "The Iowa State (game), the Baylor (game), TCU — what was it, 7-2 or something?
"I'm not sure exactly why, but then it seems we get a sense of urgency and we get back in the game. A lot of times we take the lead, but then we can't sustain and finish it."
With their six straight losses, K-State has slipped to 9-16 overall, 2-10 in the Big 12. Texas Tech (16-9, 7-5 Big12), which beat the Wildcats, 77-63, on Jan. 14 in Manhattan fell out of the Top 25 this week after losing at Oklahoma State last Saturday.
Weber has tried shuffling his starting lineup, looking for a combination that will click out of the gate, but that hasn't produced results, either. Juniors Cartier Diarra and David Sloan have taken turns at the point and freshman DaJuan Gordon stepped in at shooting guard when Mike McGuirl suffered a concussion and has remained there.
Sloan, who started at TCU after Diarra got the call the game before against Oklahoma State, suggested that the root of the problem has been an inability to put the ball in the basket.
"We usually guard well, but I think the offensive end, scoring, getting better shots," he said.
Freshman forward Montavious Murphy is looking for a greater sense of urgency.
"I just feel like we're just not coming out right, which is every game," he said. "We just need to get better, that's it."
The Wildcats have especially struggled on the road, where they're 0-6 in Big 12 play and 1-7 overall, with the loan victory coming at UNLV in the second game of the season.
"It's been a problem pretty much the whole year, whether it's been home or away," Weber said. "We make improvements in one area and then something else slips, and we maybe fix that one and then (it's) something else.
"You have to be consistent, you've got to sustain and you've got to be tough. You've got to get stops at the end."
Not that they're giving up.
"We've competed and that's one thing," Murphy said. "We've come out slow and sluggish, and I feel like we always have that mindset of always coming back.
"I just feel like if we have had that mindset from the start, just competing hard from the start, having that fire from the get-go, we'll be good."
The Wildcats have been slowed by nagging injuries, which no doubt has made it more difficult to establish continuity. But asked if he felt they were cursed, Weber said a reversal of fortune has to come from within.
"You've got to make your own luck, and that's your consistency, your effort, your mindset, your attitude — all those things.
"Those are the things that make the difference and we keep coaching them and keep battling and hope some good things will come about here as we finish the season."