There was a lot of anxiety in Wildcat Nation over the spring as virtually the entire men’s basketball roster chose to depart Kansas State. But according to the Eagle’s Kellis Robinett, that was sort of Jerome Tang’s plan all along. According to Tang, there were really only three players he was set on keeping, and two of them stayed.
Of course, it’s hard to judge whether that’s an entirely honest statement; coaches are naturally given to a little gamesmanship and salesmanship when talking about these things. But if Tang is being forthright about having had a desire to completely rebuild the roster, two things are certain: he laid the groundwork to achieve that goal almost the minute he set foot on campus, and he won’t have any scapegoats if it doesn’t work out.
Of note, Tang says he has a commit in his pocket, but he can’t mention them until they mention themselves. That leaves five spots to fill on the 2022-23 roster, and he’s looking for guys who can step in and play 30 minutes a game.
In other basketball news, our colleague Adam Bridgers at Blogger So Dear reports that former Wildcat Davion Bradford has committed to Wake Forest.
Dylan Phillips, K-State’s all-time home run king, has been named to the COSIDA District 7 Academic All-District team. This is the first step in earning Academic All-America honors. Phillips, still a junior technically but graduating this weekend, has a 3.63 GPA in Finance.
Phillips and his teammates are set to host Baylor this weekend in the final home series of the 2022 season. Tonight’s game is scheduled for 6:00, while Saturday’s first pitch will be at 4:00 and Sunday’s at 1:00. Blake Adams and German Fajardo will start the first two games; the game three starter is yet to be determined. All three games will, of course, be carried on Big 12 Now/ESPN+.
The Cats will need to win the series to lock in seventh place in the final Big 12 standings; a 2-1 series loss would tie K-State with Baylor and leave Baylor with the head-to-head tiebreaker. If you’re going to Sunday’s game, get there early; it’s Senior Day, and the ceremony will be held pre-game.
Track and Field
The Wildcat teams will be in Lubbock this weekend, starting at 11:00 this morning, for the 2022 Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships. K-State’s only reigning conference champion competing this weekend is two-time defending high jump champion Tejaswin Shankar.
As alluded to above, Saturday is graduation day, and 61 Wildcat athletes will be walking the stage at various times through the day. Of those, 60 will be at Bramlage while one, women’s basketball player Laura Macke, will be at McCain Auditorium to get her Architectural Engineering degree.
The full list of graduates is included in the link. It should come as no surprise that the number of men’s basketball players receiving diplomas tomorrow is zero.
Andrew Bahl and Jason Tidd of the Capital-Journal report on some big news: Governor Kelly has signed into law SB 84, which means sports betting will officially become legal in Kansas. It will probably be close to the end of the year before the organizational details are worked out, however, so don’t rush out trying to bet against the Royals yet.