As covered here and elsewhere since Saturday’s Big 12 title-clinching win over the Oklahoma Sooners, the Kansas State Wildcats now wonder about Dean Wade’s rickety right foot and whether he will be able to contribute more to the post-season than he could last year.
On Sunday Coach Bruce Weber announced that Wade experienced some soreness after the game and that his status for the Big 12 tournament at Sprint Center was questionable. In yesterday’s coaches’ teleconference, Weber added a few layers of intrigue, saying that Dean tweaked the foot in the first half and reported discomfort, but that the medical staff cleared him to continue. He also characterized Wade’s ability to play as “day to day” but downgraded the senior forward’s status to “doubtful” for the weekend in Kansas City.
All of this, of course, has led to speculation about the seriousness of the injury. Is Dean really hurt again, or is this more precautionary, done in hopes of preserving him for a potential NCAA tournament run? Weber did little to tamp down the interpretive guesswork, as he said, “I would probably doubt he’ll be in the Big 12 tournament, but you never know.”
After suffering a foot injury both at the end of the 2017-2018 season and earlier this year, this marks the third time that Dean’s availability has been in question due to his feet.
In its preview of the Big 12 Tournament, the Kansas City Star notes that at least one “local” team—if we include Iowa State and Missouri—has played in the championship game each of the ten times the event has been contested at Sprint Center. K-State lost to Kansas in the 2010 and 2013 finals, though the article mistakenly says the Wildcats have only appeared in the championship game once.
K-State jumped three spots in both the Associated Press and Coaches’ NCAA basketball polls this week, ranking 15th and 14th, respectively, to close out the regular season. On their way up the rankings, the Wildcats waved at the Jayhawks on their way down to 17th and 18th in the two polls. The rankings are newsworthy because they represent the first time since the final AP poll in 1987-88 in which K-State received higher national rankings than KU.
The Leavenworth Times is reporting that the decision to scrap the traditional spring game is at least partly the result of injuries on the squad. According to the article, many players are recovering from season-ending injuries and surgeries, and the team only has three corners who would be healthy enough to play a spring game.
K-State Sports Extra introduces first-year running backs coach Brian Anderson, who plans to coach players up through positive messaging and examples. One particular role model he mentions: Marshall Faulk.
After dropping their home opening series to Old Dominion, the BatCats will host Northen Illinois for a midweek series, assuming the weather cooperates. K-State is 6-8, and the Huskies are 3-11.
Terrence Spurlin, who had one hit in only eight at-bats all of last season, is taking advantage of the fresh start afforded by Pete Hughes and the new coaching staff. Through video review and work with assistant coach Austin Waite, the sophomore first baseman has retooled his swing and is currently third on the squad with a .302 average. He also has 16 hits, two home runs and 9 RBI.