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Slate: Brooks wins weekly special teams award

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Also, basketball schedules released, with a few name opponents coming to Manhattan before the end of the year.

NCAA Football: Kansas at Kansas State
In this picture: The KU punt defense unit.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s news and links to all things K-State. Let’s go!

Football

In one of the more predictable outcomes in recent memory, Phillip Brooks was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week after amassing 189 punt return yards and taking two to the end zone against Kansas on Saturday.

As reported yesterday, freshman defensive back T.J. Smith is lost for the season with an ACL tear. But not all the injury news is bad. It appears fellow defensive back A.J. Parker’s ankle injury is not as severe as first feared, and Coach Klieman expressed hope that it will not require extended downtime.

On the football recruiting front, brighter lights and the allure of playing for the reigning national champions in his home state have coaxed safety recruit Matthew Langlois to withdraw his commitment to K-State and give it, instead, to Louisiana State University. He left with grace, thanking Coach Klieman and the staff. Stinks for us, but we get it. Best wishes to the young man.

The athletic department posted its preview of this week’s opponent, the West Virginia Mountaineers. The ‘Cats are 5-5 all time against our easternmost conference mates, after losing the last four contests between the teams. Kellis Robinett thinks this is a tricky matchup, especially considering the efficiency of the Mountaineer defense.

A couple of West Virginia outlets have begun writing about the game, as well. Ryan Pritt at the Charleston Gazette-Mail penned a lengthy feature on K-State coach Chris Kleiman, noting that the Wildcats owe a large part of their success to the culture he has built in Manhattan. For the West Virginia Metro News, Joe Brocato notes that after winning an overtime game at home against Baylor and dropping a pair of 7-point decisions on the road, West Virginia will be looking to finish better against K-State to avoid another close loss.

In the NFL this week, Tyler Lockett and Byron Pringle had highlight performances. Lockett became just the 3rd player since the 1970 merger of the NFL and AFL to have a game with 15 receptions, 200 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns. Highlights are included in the athletic department’s post.

Basketball

The men’s basketball season will commence with a tournament in Manhattan and include sixteen home games. Colorado is the headlining visitor in the tournament field. Other non-conference highlights include visits by UNLV and Texas A&M.

The big story on the women’s schedule is a home contest against the University of Kentucky. The Wildcat women don’t bring much cachet as the men’s team, but the game should be a good early test of Coach Mittie’s squad in the post-Peyton Williams era.

Volleyball

Today’s K-State Sports Extra features the volleyball team’s four liberos, Loren Hinkle, Dru Kuck, Jacque Smith and Mackenzie Morris, who coach Suzie Fritz describes as the team’s “heartbeat.”