Flat tires cause late starts. Let’s get to it.
The K-State men will try to end a three-game skid to start league play tonight at 7 p.m. against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Kellis Robinett provides his usual preview-and-predict for the KC Star, prognosticating the norm for this season: a close loss by the Cats. Expect a focused effort from the Red Raiders, who are trying to recover from their own two-game skid after losses to Baylor and West Virginia.
After the Texas debacle, Coach Bruce Weber talked about freshman DaJuan Gordon’s development and path to becoming a team leader. Corbin McGuire picked up that thread for K-State Sports Extra, and Robinett followed suit in the Star, Lauding Gordon’s hard-nosed competitive nature.
Though this season has been rough, more help is on the way with next year’s talented recruiting class. The staff added to the 2020 haul yesterday, gaining a commitment from 6-10 UTEP transfer Kaosi Ezeagu. Ezeagu appears to be an offensive project but has already showed his chops as a rim protector. That could help the Wildcat defense to challenge more passing lanes on the perimeter, an element that has been missing from their usual gameplan this season. It is not known whether Ezeagu will be cleared to play at the beginning of next year after sitting out this season, or whether the Cats will have to wait until second semester for his services. That’s up the NCAA to decide, so expect something illogical, punitive and unfair.
Weber and his staff have also offered a preferred walk-on opportunity to former Wamego star TJ Fritz. He is the son of K-State Sports Hall of Fame member and Olympic track athlete Steve Fritz and K-State volleyball coach Suzie Fritz. He averaged 22.4 points per game for Wamego last season and has been playing a gap year at Sunrise Christian Academy, near Wichita, this year.
On the women’s side, Jeff Mittie’s squad will try to run win a second Big 12 contest tomorrow night against Oklahoma State.
A smattering of football news today, all about former Wildcats. First, quarterback and all-around physical specimen John Holcombe has chosen his transfer destination: Florida A&M. Though it would have been great to see him perform for K-State, we wish him well as he heads south to truck mid-major opponents in the tropics.
Former co-offensive coordinator Andre Coleman, meanwhile, has been named wide receivers coach for the Texas Longhorns. Coleman had served as an analyst for the UT staff leading up to the Longhorns’ bowl victory over Utah.
Finally, Ryan Black wrote a nice feature piece for the Mercury about former Wildcat and current Memphis Athletic Director Laird Veach, who credits his experiences at K-State for molding him and setting him on the road to the opportunities he has enjoyed.