Hope everybody is as excited as I am about the Cats' game at the Sprint Center tonight. Here is some news and commentary for this Monday.
Coach Frank Martin has finally turned the media loose on K-State's freshmen contingent. Of course, nobody in the mainstream media was apparently interested in talking to anyone but Michael Beasley. The articles from each paper are linked here: KC Star, Topeka Capital Journal and Wichita Eagle. K-StateSports has comments from each freshmen, including Jacob Pullen, Ron Anderson, Andre Gilbert and Fred Brown. Here are some of my favorites, with my commentary:
"It’s [Manhattan] not a city, that’s for sure. Going to a school like Oak Hill Academy, I was ready for it. There’s nothing to do. It keeps me out of trouble. I play basketball all day and catch up on a lot of sleep."
(*Relief*) At least he likes it...
"I plan to do what I have to do to get a win for Kansas State. If I have to rebound, I’m going to rebound. If I have to score, I’m going to score. If I have to sit on the end of the bench with a towel over my head, that’s what I’m going to do."
Man, you gotta love hearing that.
"It’s fun. I thought everybody was lying when they said the college years were the best years. It’s fun. You’re just living on your own. I don’t have any money though – I’m hungry sometimes. But it’s fun. I go to a couple of parties and stuff like that. But I’m just being a kid right now. I go to class in the morning and practice in the afternoon."
It's the other way around, Michael. If anyone tells you college is not the greatest years, they're lying to you (or they went to KU). Oh yeah, and be careful at those parties.
"Yes, it’s education first. I’m a student-athlete, not an athletic student. I’m trying to get my degree before anything. If this basketball team takes me where you think it can take me, then I’ll try that out. But I’m here to get my education."
Love to hear that sentiment, but pardon my cynicism. I'll believe it when I see it (and oh, how I'd love to see it).
"We have to make our strides regardless, so we can’t get mad about the few losses that we have. It is important that we win these games and play hard so we can be ready and focused going into Big 12 play."
Yeah, the non-conference games are huge right now. Gotta beat Xavier...
"I’m very excited. It is unlike anything that I have ever experienced. It is a very large arena and we know that some K-State alumni will be there so it is an honor and a privilege to be playing in front of alumni from my college. I’m really excited."
Wow, a player who thinks it's an honor to play in front of me. This is going to be fun.
"My role on the team it to be a competitor like everyone else, defend, rebound and make things happen. As far as me being the ‘class clown,’ I like joking around just like everybody else, but my jokes may be funnier [laughing]."
Hey, somebody's gotta break up the tension.
"It [Sprint Center] is a nice gym, I can’t wait to play in there."
"It is a nice arena, I can't wait to watch them play in there. Especially this March, in the conference tournament.
The TCJ has some information about K-State's history of playing games in Kansas City. I know I haven't addressed this yet, but there is absolutely no reason why we should not play one regular-season game in KC every year. We have a solid alumni base in KC, they have an amazing new arena there, and as long as we field a competitive team, we shouldn't have trouble selling quite a few tickets.
My only recommendation: let's try to get it moved to a weekend date next time.
Here's a little information about tonight's opponent, the Florida A&M Rattlers. The Rattlers, out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, are 3-6 on the year. The Rattlers' three wins have been over Carver College, Kennesaw State and North Florida, while its six losses have been to Colorado (83-59), Wisconsin (88-40), Savannah State (72-62), Connecticut (93-54), Bethune-Cookman (62-46), and Florida (92-52). They have undoubtedly played a tough schedule, so we won't be far and away the best team they've played this year.
Because of the big mismatches, the Rattlers rank very low statistically. Using Ken Pomeroy's statistical measures, they are 321st in offensive efficiency (which is points scored per 100 offensive possessions) and 341st in defensive efficiency (which is points allowed per 100 defensive possessions). The Rattlers score only 84.1 points per 100 offensive possessions, and give up 122.6 points per 100 defensive possessions.
A big, big shoutout to Darren Sproles, who went for 122 yards and two touchdowns for San Diego yesterday. He's the best running back I've seen play in person, and I'll renew my plea for somebody to get him out of San Diego. Not that SD is not a nice place, but he deserves more playing time.
Here are the video highlights of Sproles' day, send them to an NFL general manager near you.
That's it for now. I'll have the open game thread up in a little while. Hope to see some of you at the Sprint Center tonight.