(Insert singing of Handel's Hallelujah chorus...)
The men's basketball schedule has fiiiiinally been released. I don't know why it took so long, that school downstream on the Kaw released its non-conference slate back in early July, and the Big 12 schedule came out in late July (although www.Big12Sports.com still hasn't bothered to post them).
Anyway, the Cats' full schedule can be seen below, or by visiting the official K-State sports site.
Sat. 11/3 Fort Hays State (exhibition)
Fri. 11/9 Sacramento State
Sun. 11/11 Pittsburg State
Sat. 11/17 Western Illinois
Old Spice Classic (Orlando)
Thu. 11/22 George Mason
Fri. 11/23 UCF/Villanova
Sun. 11/25 TBA
Thu. 11/29 Oregon (Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series)
Tue. 12/4 Notre Dame (Jimmy V Classic, NYC)
Sun. 12/9 California
Mon. 12/17 Florida A&M (site TBA???)
Sat. 12/22 Winston-Salem State
Sat. 12/29 Wagner
Mon. 12/31 Xavier (at Cincinnati)
Mon. 1/7 Savannah State
Sat. 1/12 @ Oklahoma
Sat. 1/19 Texas A&M
Wed. 1/23 @ Colorado
Sat. 1/26 Iowa State
Wed. 1/30 KU
Sat. 2/2 @ Missouri
Wed. 2/6 Nebraska
Sat. 2/9 Oklahoma State
Wed. 2/13 @ Texas Tech
Sat. 2/16 Missouri
Wed. 2/20 Nebraska
Sat. 2/23 @ Baylor
Mon. 2/25 Texas
Sat. 3/1 @ KU
Tue. 3/4 Colorado
Sat. 3/8 Iowa State
Thu. 3/13 Big 12 Tournament, Kansas City, MO (Spring Center)
I like the non-conference slate. A lot. We have quality opponents in Oregon, Notre Dame, Xavier and a possible date with Villanova. We have a couple medium quality opponents in George Mason and California. And then there are the obligatory schedule fillers. The TV opportunities with the Old Spice Classic and the Jimmy V Classic, not to mention the Oregon game, should be a big help to national exposure
I like avoiding senior day at KU. I really, really don't like getting a Wednesday date in Manhattan with the beaks. Great scheduling, Big 12, that game will feature enough NBA talent to stock a new team in Kansas City, and yet it's relegated to Wednesday night (great TV night, or not). All told, though, ESPN is picking up four conference games (A&M, Okie State, Texas, @KU), while ESPN 2 is picking up another two (@ Tech, @Nebraska).
Big Monday in Manhattan against Texas will be great. We've been very successful in games against Texas recently, especially big TV games. Maybe we can continue that trend, especially against the Durant-less 'Horns. We also get South opponents Texas A&M and Oklahoma State in Manhattan, which can't hurt.
My biggest question...why the hell is the game against Florida A&M listed as "TBA" with regard to the date? Would we really even consider playing Florida A&M anywhere other than Manhattan? I hope not.
It's still just message board chatter at this point, but those rumors insinuate offensive lineman Derek Meyer is leaving the Wildcat football team. While Meyer has never started a game at K-State and struggled with injuries last year, he is another body along the line. We'll have to wait and see if this becomes official today or tomorrow.
I also failed to mention last weekend that junior Alphonso Moran left the team for "personal reasons." The Cats still have Steven Cline, who saw plenty of playing time last year. Of course, a successful team needs more than one nose tackle to be successful, and stopping the run was a major concern last year and coming into this year for the Cats. With Moran and Cline, I was cautiously optimistic about some improvement in the middle.
At this point, we're going to have to lean on players like Michael Abana (promising, but only played football for three years and a little undersized at 280 pounds), Vlad Faustin (little game experience and only 258 pounds), Xzavier Stewart (promising at 304 pounds and a 4.7-40, but also a true freshman), and Brandon Balkcom (some experience, a little small at 266 pounds).
Dear God, give me some GOOD news between now and September 1st...
Please keep Nebraska wide receiver Maurice Purify and his family in your thoughts. His brother was shot and killed in Oakland today. No matter what you think about Purify personally, this is a tragedy and I for one wish him the best in getting through it.