The final AP poll is out, and for the second year in a row, your Kansas State Wildcats finish the season as the #19 team in the country after going 25-9 (14-4 Big 12) and winning a Big 12 regular season title. Overall, it’s the fifth time the Cats have finished the season ranked since the 2010 season. K-State was joined by three fellow Big 12 teams led by joining #2 Texas Tech, #16 Kansas, and #25 Iowa State.
While the K-State men’s basketball team likely won’t be playing the Wichita State Shockers any time soon, the K-State alumni team playing in the TBT Tournament, Purple & Black, may have a chance to play the WSU alumni team (AfterShocks), as well as the KU alumni team, as all three Kansas-based groups were named to the Wichita regional for this summer’s tournament.
It will continue to be a story until the newness wears off, but the Wildcats held their second open practice of the spring, allowing reporters to watch a portion of spring football practice yesterday. One observation made during that period was that junior D.J. Render, who had been a wide receiver during his first three years in Manhattan, is “experimenting” with a move to safety under the new coaching staff, and the move might pay off with increased playing time for the Georgia native.
The other thing readily apparent to onlookers is that Coach Klieman has brought not just a new coaching style to K-State football, but also a new energy to practice. He’s coaching position groups, running around, and bringing “a real competitive spirit” to practice; something that seems to be speaking to the players.
At the end of practice, K-State held it’s weekly spring press conference. Coach Klieman returned to the mic after letting his coordinators handle the duties the last two weeks, and talked about players, coaches, and even the upcoming “Spring Showcase”. A big reason K-State won’t have a spring game: injuries all over. (I also enjoyed this line: “K-State’s not on the schedule for us next year, so we want to make sure that we get our work done.”)
The K-State men’s golf team has continued it’s strong spring play, this time wrapping up the Missouri Tiger Invitational with a second-place overall finish at 33-under par 831 (ahead of host Mizzou, who shot a 19-under par 845; and behind TCU, who shot a 40-under par 824). The Wildcats were again paced by junior Jacob Eklund, who finished by himself in second place with a 13-under par 203 on the event. There is just one regular season event left for the spring, as K-State will conclude its regular season April 20-21, at the Hawkeye Intercollegiate in Iowa City, Iowa.
Over on the women’s side, the Wildcats are “confident and carefree” headed into the Big 12 Championship in Broken Arrow, OK. The championship tees off on Sunday, and continues through Tuesday, and features six teams ranked in in Golfstat.com’s Top 40, led by #2 Texas.