Only Tuesday, and already the week has been a bummer.
On paper, the Wildcats might have been the favorites to win the Fort Myers Tipoff Classic. Early in Monday’s game against the Pittsburgh Panthers, the K-State looked the part, racing to a 9-0 lead behind seven quick points from freshman Antonio Gordon. But, as foul trouble mounted and the offense endured lengthy droughts, the Cats faltered. As our intrepid Luke Thompson notes, 3-for-13 free throw shooting was one obvious culprit in K-State’s demise. Another factor: K-State needs more out of senior post Makol Mawien. (Robinett, Star, with video of the post-game press conference)
If you are the brooding sort who desires more diverse perspective on your disappointment, the game drew plenty of coverage from other quarters, too:
K-state Athletic Department: Late Pittsburgh rally clips K-State
Hutchinson News: K-state stumbles after strong start, falls to Pittsburh at Ft. Myers Tipoff
Fox Sports: Kansas State suffers first loss, 63-59 to Pittsburgh in Ft. Myers Tipoff
National Post: Pittsburgh holds off Kansas State in Fort Myers Tip-Off
Ryan Black at the Mercury: Kansas State can’t hold on to early lead, falls to Pittsburgh at Fort Myers Tip-Off
That should be more than enough coverage to vent our collective ennui. K-State will try to right the ship at 5:00 CST Wednesday against the mid-major power Bradley Braves, who were systematically destroyed by Northwestern, 78-51, in the nightcap yesterday. No Purple Wildcat on Purple Wildcat battle for the championship. Sad.
In yesterday’s Collegian, Andrew Lind chronicled Bruce Weber’s St. Louis pipeline, which as delivered past players DJ Johnson and Nino Williams, as well as current players Xavier Sneed, Levi Stockard III and Shaun Williams. 2020 signees Luke Kasubke and Davion Bradford also hail from the Gateway City. In case you missed it, Ryan Black ran a similar column in Sunday’s Mercury.
In women’s basketball, despite a disappointing loss on Sunday, Ayoka Lee was named Big 12 Freshman of the Week after averaging a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) against Oral Roberts and UTSA.
The athletic department preview of Saturday’s game against Iowa State highlights the fact that it will be Senior Day, but does not report anything about the number of seniors who will be trying to win their final game in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Odd. But never fear! Kellis Robinett gives us the answer (27, including leaders Trey Dishon, Scott Frantz, Denzel Goolsby and Reggie Walker) in his “Five things to know” column at the Star. Good old, reliable Kellis.
Behind enemy lines (We hate you, @WideRightNattyLite!) Ben Visser has his own “Five Things” column about the Wildcats. Visser has, shall we say, less than fond memories of K-State offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham’s tenure at Iowa State, and he seems to suggest that the Wildcat offense—at third worst in the Big 12 in scoring and second worst in yards—is on par with what should be expected from a Messingham unit.
After taking his second kickoff of the season the distance Saturday against Texas Tech, Joshua Youngblood was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week. As three-point home underdogs on Senior Day, K-State could use another electric play from the freshman against the Cyclones.
Track and Field
All-Amercian high jumper Tejaswin Shankar will represent Kansas State in national competition in April. But not as an athlete this time. Shankar is one of six students on the K-State Accounting Team who will compete in the Deloitt Audit Innovation Campus Challenge finals. Shankar and his team presented a means of verifying Esports user platform databases and finished runner-up in a regional competition in Dallas last Friday.