In the middle of basketball season, with four league games in the books, it’s a football-heavy slate today. We know how much you all hate that. Right? But the news dictates the docket. And don’t worry; we’ll cover some hoops, too.
Coach Klieman finally made the week-long rumors fact yesterday, announcing Mike Tuiasosopo as K-State’s new defensive tackles coach. Tuiasosopo comes from UTEP, though most of his coaching experience is on the west coast, with stops at USC and UCLA. He was “special teams quality control” coach for USC in 2017, when the squad averaged 23.5 yards per return on kickoffs and 11.9 on punts. Since Klieman has named no designated special teams coach, Tuiasosopo’s expertise in the area will be helpful. He has also coached at Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Utah State.
Blake Seiler will now focus his attentions on the defensive ends. Klieman also announced that Chris Dawson will be retained from the previous regime as director of strength and conditioning.
Not all the football news is good news, unfortunately. The Chicago Bears are reportedly sniffing around K-State’s new defensive coordinator, Ted Monachino, and hope to steal him away to become a defensive assistant on their NFL staff. Nothing is final on this, as the Mercury reports the Bears are merely “exploring” the possibility, though they are “hopeful” of reaching terms in the next few days. Shorthand summary: If Monachino and the Bears can reach financial agreement, the Wildcats will be looking for another defensive coordinator.
As Jon reported in yesterday’s Slate, K-State got a verbal commitment from Louisiana cornerback Tyrone Lewis. Later yesterday, Coach Klieman gained a commitment from junior college defensive back Jonathan Alexander. He is expected to arrive in time for spring practice.
K-state’s October game against TCU, which had been scheduled for a Thursday night, has been moved to October 19, a Saturday. You know...the day college football is supposed to be played.
In the Sports Extra column, Corbin McGuire introduces offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham, who has been close friends with Chris Klieman since the two were teammates on a fifth grade baseball team. Messingham seems to embrace the concept of complimentary football, saying:
“I’ve got no problem being wide open from an offensive mindset, but I also want to make sure that we’re helping our defense, helping our special teams and moving the chains when we need to move the chains. Obviously, you have to score points when you get an opportunity to, but you also need to grind the football a little bit, hold on to the ball and try to flip the field. If you’re not scoring points, make sure their offense is having to go a long way.”
Barry Brown carried the Wildcats offensively down the stretch of the West Virginia and Iowa State games, hit a clutch winning shot in both, and earned the Big 12 player of the week award for his efforts. This is the first time the senior guard has won the honor.
Barry has elevated his play of late, and on Saturday became the ninth player in school history to score 1,500 career points. (Arne Green, Capital-Journal)
With the grind of consecutive ranked opponents marching on with a game in Oklahoma Wednesday night, Barry and the supporting cast will have to continue elevating their play.
Sunday’s home loss to KU dropped the K-State women to 1-3 in league play, with two conference defeats in Bramlage Coliseum. The loss ended a 10-game win streak by the Wildcats. They cannot mope, however, with a home game against No. 7 Texas on Wednesday and a road game at Texas Tech this Saturday.