Your football euphoria will have to wait. Men’s basketball opens its official season tonight.
A little PTSD may kick in for K-State fans tonight, as the basketball team hosts North Dakota State to open the regular season slate. Though the basketball Bison don’t quite bring the pedigree to Manhattan that the football team did when it upset the Wildcats in 2013 season opener, NDSU did qualify for the NCAA tournament last year and is the favorite to win the Summit League. As Kellis Robinett reports for the Eagle (subscription), five starters return for the 3-point shot loving Bison, and Coach Weber expects the game to be closely contested throughout.
In a cool bit of nostalgia to mark the occasion, Fargo columnist Mike McFeeley recounted the “most entertaining day of men’s college basketball ever played on the campus of North Dakota State University,” when Bob Huggins took the Wildcats north and narrowly escaped with an 83-81 win over the Bison in 2006.
Kellis also reports on uber-athletic junior guard Cartier Diarra, who hopes for more consistency and highlight dunks this year, even suggesting he may attempt a between-the-legs 360-degree windmill effort at some point. (Eagle) Oh, my.
K-State will again be without the services of sophomore guard Shaun Williams, who remains suspended.
K-State Sports Extra features two familiar alumni, Mason Schoen and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts, who are both excited to join Coach Weber’s bench as graduate assistant coaches this year.
In keeping with Coach Klieman’s prospective over retrospective theme, local beat writers have moved on from Saturday’s beatdown of the Jayhawks and are looking ahead to this week’s marquee match-up between K-State and Texas. But the Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel had a “wait, what?” moment when Klieman suggested that the Wildcats’ best performance of the season came in Lawrence, and not the previous week when they knocked off then-No. 5 Oklahoma in Manhattan. He also suggests that a 10-2 finish is not out of the question. We love you, Berry.
The Wildcats have bought into Coach Klieman’s focus on attacking today before thinking about tomorrow, and it has paid dividends. They will try to pile up good days in practice this week before journeying to Austin to face the Texas Longhorns.
Texas writers have noticed K-State’s resurgence. Rigging on the failed pre-game bravado that KU coach Les Miles would surely reel back into his own mouth, if he could, Statesman columnist Suzanne Halliburton asks, “Who is K-State? Wildcats are one of the Big 12’s hottest teams.” If they are to remain hot, it appears the Wildcats will have to beat a Texas team that is getting a number of players back from injury, most notably in the defensive backfield, where the Longhorns have struggled in recent games.
The home game against West Virginia on November 16 will kick off at 2:30 and air on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.
Finally, the athletic department posted its weekly update on Wildcats in the NFL, which may as well be rechristened “The Tyler Lockett Highlight Reel.”
ESPN ranked the top-25 women’s college players, naming senior post Peyton Williams No. 22. The piece noted that Peyton is adding the 3-point shot to her arsenal, a skill that could take her game to another level.