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I'm Back: Sutton and Samuels Are Wildcats

Hope everyone has had a safe and enjoyable holiday season thus far.  We have a lot of news to catch up on, so I'll just jump right in.

K-State 90, Winston-Salem 48 ( KC Star, Topeka Capital-Journal, Wichita Eagle): On the face of it, this wouldn't be all that exciting of a game, but the subplots were quite intriguing.  The first subplot involves Michael Beasley's line from the game: 40 points (14-22, 3-4 [3-pt.], 9-13 [FT]), 15 rebounds, three blocks.

The second involves Beasley's motivation for the scoring outburst.  Check out the following video:

Memo to all Big 12 teams: please talk trash to Michael Beasley.  Please!

Unfortunately, senior guard Blake Young injured a knee against WSSU.  No word yet on his condition.  Bill Walker had a massive dunk right before Beasley went on his scoring binge, but didn't play most of the second half because of foul trouble.

And now, the news all K-State basketball fans have been waiting for: Dominique Sutton and Jamar Samuels are officially Wildcats!  ( KC Star, TCJ, Wichita Eagle)  The two have been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse and apparently have joined practice starting yesterday (Wednesday).

That gives the two highly touted players two tuneup games (Wagner, 12/29 and Savannah State, 1/7/08) and one real test (Xavier, New Year's Eve in Cincinnati) to get ready for conference play.

Obviously this is good news for the Cats as it brings more depth and athleticism to the team.  We'll have to wait and see some game action before we find out how much of an impact Sutton and Samuels will have this year, but with the recent improvement we've seen this is unqualified good news.

Time to catch up on a little football news.  Offensive coordinator James Franklin has left the Wildcats to become the offensive coordinator at Maryland. ( KC Star, TCJ, Wichita Eagle)  In most instances, I'd view this as terrible news, as it would seem to continue the trend of Ron Prince's coordinators leaving the program for a new job that is, at best, a lateral move.  But this time the story is a little different.  According to this TCJ story, it appears Franklin will be paid more than a regular assistant and is basically the "head-coach-in-waiting" when Ralph Friedgen retires.

Given that our offense was pretty good at picking up yards and atrocious at scoring in the red zone, I'm indifferent about Franklin leaving from a scheme standpoint.  But we're already seeing some negative effects from his departure, and highly rated Wichita quarterback recruit Chris Harper decommitted from K-State after Franklin left.

Prince and athletic director Tim Weiser wasted no time replacing Franklin, promoting wide receiver's coach Dave Brock to the OC position. ( KC Star, TCJ, Wichita Eagle)  I don't really know what to say about this.  Brock coached consensus all-America Jordy Nelson this year, but the rest of the receiving corps was fairly pedestrian.  He led a fairly prolific offense at FCS Hofstra, and according to John Bunting (in the KC Star article) may install more of a spread-based attack next year.

From the Omaha World-Herald's Lee Barfknecht, here's a good read on Michael Beasley.  Not really anything earth-shattering in it, but there are some comments from Bob Boozer and Soupy Campbell, who coached against Beasley in high school.

Texas kicks off the Big 12 bowl slate tonight, when it takes on Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl.  Hmm, playing ASU in the Holiday Bowl?  That brings back some good memories...

Anyway, after tonight the Big 12 gets serious about bowl games.  Here's the schedule:

: December 27th, vs. Arizona State, Holiday Bowl, 7 p.m. (CST)

: December 29th, vs. Penn State, Alama Bowl, 7 p.m. (CST)

: December 30th, vs. Alabama, Independnece Bowl, 7 p.m. (CST)

: December 31st, vs. Indiana, Insight Bowl, 5 p.m. (CST)

: January 1st, vs. Virginia, Gator Bowl, Noon (CST)

: January 1st, vs. Arkansas, Cotton Bowl, 10:30 a.m. (CST)

Dezmon Briscoe vs. Douglas County Prosecutor, January 2nd, Court Bowl, 1 p.m. (CST)

: January 2nd, vs. West Virginia, Fiesta Bowl, 7 p.m. (CST)

: January 3rd, vs. Virginia Tech, Undeserved Orange Bowl, 7 p.m. (CST)

This made me laugh.  Thanks, Hokie fans.

Have a great day, K-State fans.  I'm busy reading the book "It's Time to Play!  Jack Gardner, Basketball and Kansas State University" by Steven Michael Farney.  I'll get a review up when I'm done.