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Of Confidence and Second Chances

The football team embraces opportunity this season

Kansas State v Kansas Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Previously

Real live Kansas State football is less than a month away, and BracketCat brings us this timely reminder in the form of #27 Tanner Langvardt, a walk-on wide receiver who is nothing like Jordy Nelson, but wears the same number.

In our ongoing feature on K-State’s Olympians, we take a closer look at Akela Jones, an athlete destined for greatness.

Football

The 2016 Kansas State football Media Day was held yesterday. As expected, it was chock full of the usual platitudes and clichés that coaches are so fond of. Unlike other coaches though, Bill Snyder was often asked questions about the changes in the game and its players since he first became a head coach more than 25 years ago. His take is simple and typically Snyder: things are both the same and different.

The entire press conference will be made available on K-StateHD.tv shortly.

Although little is expected of Kansas State this season, at least one player is dealing with unusually high expectations. But Byron Pringle is more than ready for the challenge (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle). He’s a phenomenon whose abundant talent is tempered by a checkered past. But he’s at Kansas State now, and enjoying the embrace of a community that has given him a much-needed second chance. Since arriving in Manhattan, Pringle has been a model citizen and exemplary student, even making the Big 12 commissioner’s honor roll after his first semester of school. His coaches and players are all impressed too. Andre Coleman, heavily involved in recruiting Pringle, had this to say:

He can do so many things. He is bigger and more physical than most defensive backs. If you try to come up and be physical with him, he can run by you. He has great ball skills, he blocks, he does everything. I am excited to see him on game day.

Pringle’s emergence should help the offense, especially considering that projected starting quarterback Jesse Ertz has little in-game experience. Indeed, the only signal caller on the roster with experience is the much-maligned Joe Hubener who, of his own admission, was unimpressive in the role in 2015. Still, he has confidence he can compete with the other players, and more importantly, he’s learned to be thick-skinned. The coaching staff thinks Hubener has improved over last year and if nothing else, should the injury bug bite again, he’ll be ready to go (Kevin Haskin, Topeka Capital-Journal).

Basketball

The basketball team held an open scrimmage at Bramlage yesterday as part of its final preparations for a 12-day tour of Europe. Played with FIBA rules, the Black and Gray squads alternated over three 8-minute quarters. Black beat Gray in the first quarter, 22-11, but Gray took the next two, 17-14 and 20-16.

Wesley Iwundu led the team with 17 points and nine rebounds, including three 3-point shots. Barry Brown (14), D.J. Johnson (11), Isaiah Maurice (11), and Kamau Stokes (10) joined Iwundu in double-digit scoring, while Carlbe Ervin, Dean Wade, and Brian Patrick each had eight points.

The team sets off for Europe on Monday. The first game will be against LCC International University on August 10th. Fans can follow along HERE and also via K-State’s social network accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.