We’ve been kinda distracted lately, but basketball season is well underway, and this weekend was the perfect opportunity to turn our attention back to roundball.
The Kansas State men’s basketball team, back at home after two straight road games, beat Georgia State 71-59 last night at Bramlage Coliseum. As wins go, this was a tough one, if only because the Wildcats lost both Dean Wade and Kamau Stokes to injury in the second half.
As Luke Sobba noted in the BotC post-game recap, Wade was actually playing well (12 points, 9 rebounds) when he went down. He never came back to the game and was allegedly on crutches afterwards. If that wasn’t enough, just a few minutes later, Kamau Stokes (15 points, 4 rebounds), turned his ankle and also did not return to the game.
It was left to Barry Brown to pick up the pieces, and he came through big time. With a bit of help from Cartier Diarra and Mike McGuirl, Brown put Kansas State back in the lead for good. He ended the game with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.
The win is, of course, a relief. But losing both Wade and Stokes within minutes is a tough loss for a team that was unlikely to go through the conference season unscathed anyway. The current status of both players is up in the air, although MRIs today should reveal more.
Meanwhile, the women’s basketball squad are minutes into a game against #17 Arizona State at the Battle of the Bluff in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The Sun Devils lead the series 2-1 and have gone 1-1 against the Wildcats in neutral site games.
For Kayla Goth, who grew up in DeForest—about two hours away from LaCrosse—this game is a homecoming of sorts. She was recruited with the promise that she’d get to play at least one game close to home, and now that she’s a senior, the promise is finally being fulfilled. In addition to showing well on court, Goth hopes to have dinner at Culver’s tonight.
With Kansas State not playing in the bowl season, and with the hiring of Chris Klieman finally announced, this ought to be a slow time for Kansas State football news. But thankfully, it really isn’t.
Tributes to Bill Snyder and his work at Kansas State continue apace. We would be remiss if we did not give special note to the Manhattan Mercury’s Snyder Tribute section. As of this writing, the paper features pieces from Manhattan-based writer Mike Matson, entrepreneur Dave Dreling, former Mercury sports editor Joshua Kinder, Manhattan High (and KU!) grad Scott Worthington, former Kansas State presidents Kirk Schulz and Jon Wefald, former Kansas State athletic directors Steve Miller (as told to Ned Seaton), Tim Weiser, and John Currie, and many others, including former assistant and KU head coach Mark Mangino, and perhaps with the most feeling, from his son, Sean.
The Kansas City Star’s Vahe Gregorian joins the chorus, with this look back at Snyder’s initial hiring by Kansas State way back in 1988. The article is excellent and includes some choice quotes from Wefald, who notes Snyder was the school’s 18th choice!
Turning his lens to the future instead, the Wichita Eagle’s Kellis Robinett provides this feature on Chris Klieman and the NDSU program he leaves behind. (Disclaimer: BotC is not responsible for any injuries or property damage resulting from readers of Robinett’s article possibly running through walls in support of Kansas State’s new head coach).
For your Sunday reading pleasure...
Punting is winning is a longstanding Big Ten somewhat-inside joke about Iowa, but this oft-ignored aspect of football may be entering a golden age. This SB Nation longform piece takes a closer look at the new science of punting in the NFL.