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Basketball Season Openers

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Men and women open with a doubleheader

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Kansas State vs Oklahoma State Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Previously

In case you missed it, Luke finally got back from his great western trek and sat down with BracketCat and the Manhattan Mercury’s Joel Jellison for this weeks edition of Bring on the PodCats.

Also, we’ll have a doubleheader game thread for you later today, so be sure and tune in a little early to watch/listen to the women’s game.

Recruiting

Yesterday, day two of the early signing period, was another big day for K-State teams adding new members.

Baseball signed 9 young men yesterday. Andrew Stratman, RHP, from Bennington, KS; Dylan Watts, INF, from Rowlett, TX; Jaxon Passino, INF, from Ballwin, MO; Zachary Mesa, OF, from Flower Mound, TX; Jordan Maxson, OF, from Wichita, KS; Alex Belch, RHP, from Rochester, MN; Jacob Webb, RHP, from Pittsburg, KS; Noah Hemphill, OF/INF, from Las Vegas, NV; Terrence Spurlin, INF, from Cypress, TX.

Rowing added three more to bring their group to five this fall. Rebekah Cain, Allen, KS; Grace Kuenzi, Sabetha, KS; Anna Propst, St. Genevieve, KS.

Basketball

Men’s Basketball made official the signing of two of the three members of the 2017 class. Nigel Shadd and Mike McGuirl are now official, and you can read their bio’s and stats via the K-StateSports.com release. The third player in the class, Levi Stockard, is expected to sign today (Corbitt, Capital-Journal). Barry Brown is looking for consistency this season after #MICROWAVE went hot and cold often last year, working hard in the off-season to improve his conditioning and strength, among other things (Robinett, Eagle). Kamau Stokes is ready to test his knee in the season opener tonight, and is confident he’s ready to go full speed after playing during the Europe trip this summer (Corbitt, Capital-Journal). Sam Mellinger at the KC Star muses that this will be the first (or maybe last?) season of the rest of Bruce Weber’s career as he heads into a make-or-break 2016-17 season.

The men will tip off at approximately 8:10pm tonight against the Western Illinois Leathernecks, a team that knocked off Wisconsin in last year’s season opener for those two teams. The game will be available on FSN Kansas City (state of Kansas/Kansas City metro area) and ESPN3 (outside state of Kansas), as well as K-StateHD.TV; with live audio available on the K-State Sports Radio Network and streaming online at K-StateSports.com.

The women’s basketball team opens it’s 49th season tonight, and starts the season 9 wins shy of 900 wins for the program. Jeff Mittie will reach a goal sooner than that, as he only needs 8 wins to reach 500 for his career. And in one more milestone outlook, the Cats need only 2 wins to reach 300 in Bramlage Coliseum. The women are excited for the opener and to begin their quest to return to the NCAA tournament and make a deeper run than last year (Maria McIlwain, Mercury). The game tonight against Chicago State tips at 5:30pm and will be aired on K-StateHD.TV and you can listen live online at K-StateSports.com as well.

Football

The big news for the football team yesterday came right after yesterday’s Slate was already published. Jordan Willis was named to the mid-season watch list for the Hendricks Award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding defensive end. Willis joins Ian Campbell, who was a semifinalist in 2006 and a mid-season candidate in 2008, as well as Ryan Mueller who was a candidate in 2013. Mitch Lochbihler, all 6’7” of him, is excited for his new role on special teams, and has worked hard on his consistency to go along with his strong leg (Robinett, Eagle). And Wildcat fans (and coaches) were certainly pleased last Saturday as Mitch booted six of his seven kickoffs to the back or through the back of the endzone, including one that made it through the uprights. And the Topeka Capital-Journal takes us back fifteen years ago, to when Terry Allen had just been fired as the head coach at KU, and his defensive coordinator Tom Hayes took over for the rest of the season.