It's finally March, and though the four senior starters for the Ohio Valley Conference preseason favorites didn't survive to see it, the madness is starting. Before we really get into the swing of things in the Big 12, though, K-State needs to take care of business against an underachieving Oklahoma State team.
The 'Cats will also get to honor seniors Jamar Samuels and Victor Ojeleye, who have caused plenty of consternation in their four-year playing careers but have also done more than enough to earn a hearty BOTC salute.
Thanks for the memories, guys, and here's hoping K-State can send them you out in style.
In place of my typical preview, I'm pleased to introduce to you Pokelahoma, another old Fantake virtual acquaintance of mine who has moved over to sbnation.
You can find him on Twitter (see link above) or writing things at the excellent Oklahoma State weblog Cowboys Ride For Free, which I'd recommend checking out when you're looking for news on Boone Pickens' athletic teams.
Pokelahoma and I are united in our support of the Cowgirls women's soccer team (4-time Big 12 champs!) since my little sister was a proud member for four successful seasons. She might dispute this, but I'd like to think she would have played at KSU if it wasn't the only school in the Big 12 without a team.
However, Kansas State is still lacking a soccer program despite the fact that, as Jordan Henriquez himself once pointed out to me, it's located in a "state full of grass." Yes, that conversation actually happened. But I digress....
Pokelahoma was kind enough to answer some questions for me to get you prepared for Saturday's game and the postseason that will follow. His answers are after the jump, and you'll note I didn't ask him to make a prediction because we all know what's going to happen. Right?
Update: Pokelahoma just tweeted to me: "Q and A while drinking moonshine gives interesting results for sure." That seems appropriate for this OSU season.
AA: What is Oklahoma State playing for on Saturday and could they surprise anyone (notably Missouri) in the Big 12 tourney?
Pokelahoma: Pride and next year is the obvious answer.
When you're already the first Ok State team with a losing record since I've been alive ( I'm a graduate) and everyone on scholarship but Page is eligible to return what else is there? In an effort to balance our midwestern humility with the house that Eddie built, the NIT is still not OK with this fanbase. Next year needs to happen.
I think you'll see lots of CJ Gurerro as he is the most likely candidate for Dec 2012 mid year transfer from this group of underclassmen. We've a short bench due to mid season transfers and an injury. I genuinely believe they're athletic enough to beat anyone but KU, coached by the prodigal son, and lose to anyone including Tech.
Missouri's lack of height plays into our hands. A first round or final round exit against anyone would cause me the same reaction.
AA: How has Le'Bryan Nash done this season compared to expectations and will he show up Saturday or just kindly get into foul trouble again?
Pokelahoma: The unfortunate reality is that the highest rated recruit in school history will be expected to perform beyond his age. Le'Bryan started....like everyone else.
He seems to have grown more comfortable as the year has gone on. These days the kid has moments when he thrills this 25 year old alum. He really has unstopable moments. However, even his Twitter traffic isn't what Markel Brown's is. It's hard for me to say anything negative though, I sat next to his mom once or twice.
Will he show up on the road? For the right line I'd say less than 10 points. No, Not enough is my answer. Probably dumb fouls and pouting. JUST MY GUESS
AA: As far as this season goes, where does Bramlage rank in terms of intimidating road venues for your team to travel to in the Big 12?
Pokelahoma: I've never been there. I wish I would have while I was in school. These days it certainly has to be ranked above CURRENT GIA though. No reason why Phog, Hilton, Bramlge isn't atleast cause for respectful debate.
AA: From your outsider perspective, which K-State do you think we're more likely to see in the postseason? The one that beat Mizzou and Baylor on the road or the one that lost to Oklahoma twice?
Pokelahoma: The one that beat Mizzou and Baylor. As I understand it the OU coach is a Wildcat. I can't see why that doesn't play into the equation. Sorry, but he had something in it for ya'll.
AA: I could have probably found a more eloquent way to ask this, but how the hell does Keiton Page do what he does? More importantly, will this really be his final season or will he be back somehow, like by getting a medical redshirt for his Hobbit condition?
Pokelahoma: THE ONE RING TO RULE THEM ALL!!!!!!!!!!!! But really the debate has started among the "sabermetric" OkState folks about his real impact. He is undeniably* what's right about college sports and 100 times out of 100 I want him to be a Cowboy. But, his place in our somewhat storied history needs to be debated.
*Editor's Note: This seems like questionable word choice to me, but I can see how wearing orange-tinted glasses would give you that opinion. -AA
That said, John Smith started an herb garden. Keiton Page probably makes an appearance guarding it from time to time.