Brace yourselves! Kansas State football is nearly here! We are just pre-teen numbers away from kickoff, as demonstrated by BracketCat’s countdown profiles of #13 wide receiver Steven West, another #13 in defensive back Ryan Mack, and #12 defensive back AJ Parker.
The 2016 Position Preview also ticks down to kickoff with JT VanGilder’s look at the offensive line.
With Dante Barnett returning from a season lost to injury and Duke Shelley lighting it up, the secondary is looking strong this year. If transfers Cedric Dozier (Cal) and D.J. Reed (Cerritos College) can make significant contributions, this could be one of the best secondaries of the Snyder 2.0 era (Ken Corbitt, Topeka Capital-Journal).
Dozier, who used his time at Cal mostly to get his degree, is ready to focus more heavily on football. Meanwhile, Reed got to start opposite Shelley at a recent public scrimmage and sets high expectations for himself.
Others expected to contend for a spot in the secondary include junior Cre Moore, senior Jesse Mack, and junior college transfer Jordan Noil.
Speaking of defensive backs, Shelley made Max Olson’s list of the best cornerbacks in the Big 12 (ESPN).
Is 2016 the year of the quarterback in the Big 12? Nine teams in the conference return a starter at the position, although many, including Kansas State and Texas, will be looking to upgrade from 2015, and Jesse Ertz should be a step up in quality and effectiveness for the Wildcats (Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News).
The lone team not returning a starter at quarterback is TCU. But the Frogs may get Kenny Hill under center and probably won’t miss a beat.
You can add this to the latest set of pre-season power rankings we’ll mostly just ignore. Kansas State is bringing up the bottom, with only Iowa State and Kansas ranked lower. Yay Big 12 North! Then again, flying under the radar is just how Bill Snyder likes it (Brayden Conover, SportsBlog).
The basketball team just returned from a tour of Europe. Their 10-day sojourn in Italy and Switzerland included actual basketball mixed in with sightseeing, an experience freshman Brian Patrick described as “once in a lifetime.”
From Bruce Weber’s perspective, the trip was a microcosm of an actual basketball season, including having to deal with adversity. The trip began with Delta’s now infamous systems glitch and a 40-hour chain of airports, hotels, and delays that undoubtedly led to the Wildcats losing the first game. But the team ultimately rebounded to win a couple of games and fought hard against a Kosovo national team loaded with veteran professionals, which presented a unique opportunity and challenge for the Wildcats.
Real practice begins in 43 days.
Track and Field
The Kansas State campaign at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio is over. The last Wildcat still in contention was Canada’s Alyx Treasure. She failed to clear the bar at 1.93m, the Olympic standard mark she’d reached earlier in Manhattan this year. She ultimately finished 17th in the standings, with Ruth Beitia of Spain having a monster leap of 1.97m to take gold.
Although no medals were won, this was a good Olympiad for current and former Wildcats. Confirming Kansas State’s stature as High Jump U, two Wildcats (Treasure and Erik Kynard, Jr) made the high jump finals. Hurdlers Balazs Baji and Jeffrey Julmis made the semifinals of the 110m event, and Akela Jones and Shadae Lawrence had top-25 finishes in the heptathlon and the discus throw.
The VolleyCats held their annual Purple-White scrimmage at Ahearn Field House last night, with Team White winning all four sets.
Team White featured Katie Brand with 46 assists, while teammate Bryna Vogel had 16 digs. Alyssa Schultejans played for both teams and totaled 13 digs, while Kylee Zumach, back from a knee injury and playing for Team Purple, had the only double-double of the night (15 digs, 13 kills).
The team travels to Honolulu, Hawaii next week for the season opener against Arizona on Friday at the Wahine Invitational.