The media is quiet this Veteran’s Day morning, with only a couple of football items in the locals. That’s probably got something to do with the fact that Kansas State is no longer ranked in the weekly polls, falling to 27th in the AP and 29th in the coaches poll. With a win on Saturday, the Cats might sneak back in, however, as several teams in the lower quadrant have eminently losable games this weekend.
Wake Forest and San Diego State joined the Wildcats on the Uber ride out of the polls; replacing the three departed are Indiana (yay!) making their first appearance in the top 25 since 1994 — breaking the longest drought among all Power 5 teams, and we seriously couldn’t be happier for them — and the return of Texas (boo!). The polls differed on the third new team to be ranked, as Oklahoma State took 25th in the AP and Appalachian State bounced back to 24th in the coaches.
By the way, with Indiana breaking their streak, the longest drought for a Power 5 team now belongs to Purdue, which hasn’t been ranked since 2007. Sorry, Drew. Don’t beat me up.
At the Eagle, Kellis Robinett has his grades for Saturday’s game while Hayden Barber introduces you to Manhattan’s own Derek Bowman, a walk-on who might be the only homeschooled player in Wildcat history.
Ayoka Lee had a hard year last year as she redshirted while recovering from a torn ACL. But the center from Minnesota is ready to contribute after 11 points and 8 rebounds in 18 minutes on Friday against Omaha. (Corbin McGuire, Sports Extra)
She’ll get the chance to contribute more tonight as the Cats (1-0, 0-0 Big 12) host Illinois-Chicago (0-2, 0-0 Horizon) at 6:30 tonight in the friendly confines of Bramlage. The Flames have already lost one game in Kansas this week, falling to the Jayhawks in Lawrence yesterday afternoon by a 91-50 tally. They are not a good team, having suffered through a 3-27 campaign last year.
But surprisingly, K-State will be trying to beat the Flames for the first time ever. They’re 0-2 all time against UIC, with the most recent meeting being a 61-60 loss in Manhattan way back in 1992. They weren’t a good team then, either, only going 6-22 that year, so... yeah.
The game will air on ESPN+ with Brian Smoller, Missy Heidrick, and Adam Cook. Matt Walters and Kristin Waller will have the call on radio and at kstatesports.com. As always, you can sign up for ESPN+ here.
K-State played six matches yesterday at the ASU Invitational in Tempe and won five of them. Ines Mesquita, Margot Decker, and Karine-Marion Job all grabbed singles wins while the duos of Decker-Anna Turco and Mesquita-Job both notched doubles victories. The only loss on the day was Turco’s singles defeat.
That event wraps the fall schedule for the Wildcat netters, who return to action on January 18 with a home match against Penn State.
The BatCats also put their fall activities to bed as they wrapped up the Fall World Series just in time to avoid the horrendous weather that’s already blown in. After losing the first two games, Team Purple got revenge on Team Grey with a 7-1 win, powered by homers by Chris Ceballos and Dylan Phillips.
On Valentine’s Day, K-State will start the regular season with a trip to Edinburg, Tex. and a series with the UT-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros. UTRGV has a bit of a connection with K-State, as it’s the school where a certain Lon Kruger coached for four seasons before coming home to take over for Jack Hartman. Of course, it wasn’t UTRGV then; it was Pan American University.
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