MANHATTAN — Bruce Weber is not about to anoint Levi Stockard as Kansas State's leading post player just yet.

Recent experience has taught him that when it comes to the Wildcats' big men, there are few certainties.

In other words, don't be shocked to see Stockard's name in the starting lineup when the Wildcats play host to Tulsa at 5 p.m. Sunday at Bramlage Coliseum — or not.

"I'm not going to say he's going to (start)," Weber said of Stockard, a 6-foot-8 junior from St. Louis, who had a breakout game last Saturday in the Wildcats' 66-63 loss to Saint Louis. "Is he going to be casual and lazy, or is he going to come to practice and come and dominate?

"If he does that, that means he gets an opportunity to play."

Stockard's performance against Saint Louis in Kansas City, was a welcome contribution given the Wildcats' recent struggles. In the past two games — both losses — K-State big men Makol Mawien, Antonio Gordon and Montavious Murphy were a combined 4 of 20 shooting, while Stockard went 5 for 5 against with a career-high 17 points against the Billikens.

His previous career high was eight points on several occasions.

"My teammates passed to me when I was open, that's about it," Stockard said after the game. "And I finished it."

Perhaps it helped that he was facing his hometown school, and maybe the bright lights of the Sprint Center helped. Regardless, Stockard was the most productive Wildcats in his 28 minutes of action.

"Obviously a tough loss," Stockard said after the Wildcats were shut out over the final 2 minutes, 10 seconds. "I know a lot of those (Saint Louis) guys.

"I played with, played against a lot of those guys, so it gave me a lot of energy. I wanted to play."

Weber, whose mantra all season has been consistency, dependability and efficiency, has not seen enough of either from the Wildcats, individually or collectively. But he'd like nothing better than to believe the most recent outing was a turning point for Stockard, who in one night raised his season scoring average from 5.0 points per game to 6.1.

"I told Levi I'm not going to let him just drift through his career," Weber said. "He's got to step up.

"I've been on him for a couple of weeks now and I'm happy he performed well, but obviously it's disappointing that we couldn't find a way to win."

Reserve point guard David Sloan, who also had a big game in relief of slumping Cartier Diarra, said he liked what he saw from Stockard inside.

"He brought a lot of energy," said Sloan, a junior college transfer who finished with seven points and eight assists against Saint Louis. "He was battling down there with their bigs (and) they were very huge.

"And then on offense, I was just telling him, 'Get off the ball screens fast and I'm going to get it to you.' And he did that, and he was scoring."

Stockard saw it as a step in the right direction, and perhaps the sign of better things to come.

"I feel like I can build off this game," he said. "It gives me a little confidence moving forward. I've been struggling, really, early in the season, so I feel like this game should help me a lot."