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Slate: Wildcats prepare for tipoff in Little Apple Classic

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For the football team, “regroup” is the operative word.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Tournament-TCU vs Kansas State
Can career role player Mike McGuirl lead a young and talented K-State roster to success?
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

It’s obscure sources day here at Bring on the Cats, as we scour the internet for any diversion that will scrub reminders of Saturday’s Farmageddon massacre from our collective conscience.

Basketball

Let’s brighten the mood by talking about a team whose most recent highlights are a win in the COVID-shortened Big 12 Tournament and the signing of a promising and talented class to build for the future. Betting site Winners and Whiners notes that pandemic protocols interrupted practice for the young and promising Wildcats, requiring a scheduled scrimmage—complete with real referees—to be a 4-on-4 affair. Though the Cats are favored by 7.5 in their 1 p.m. match against the Drake Bulldogs on Wednesday, K-State had one of the worst offenses in college basketball last year (317th in scoring, 309th in efficiency rating) and lost Cartier Diarra, Makol Mawien and Xavier Sneed. The lost development time could lead to a shaky start, and Winners and Whiners says Drake is the Vegas play.

Well. So much for bringing cheer.

The game will be part of the newly-minted Little Apple Classic, a tournament assembled within the past few months, after the NCAA limited the number of games teams could play and delayed the start of the season. It will be the start of an uphill climb powered by youth in a deep, loaded, experienced Big 12 Conference. And it will be strange watching games in arenas that are essentially empty. But Kellis Robinett presents ten reason why K-State fans should care about this season, beginning with this all-important reminder: Bruce Weber’s last rebuild was a success. In this video piece, the coach reflected on these odd times and says he hopes the guys are ready.

Speaking of Xavier Sneed, fellow SBNation site At the Hive reports that the former K-State swingman has signed a free agent contract with the Charlotte Hornets. Good for X. He has certainly worked for it.

Football

Our tour of the remote and unfamiliar continues with this piece from the Butler County Times-Gazette, where the familiar Arne Green forces us to remember that awful Saturday performance and the need for leaders to step up to help K-State regroup.

According to Coach Chris Klieman, part of that soul-searching will include reevaluating the quarterback position before picking a starter. That may seem only natural after a 45-0 drubbing in which the offense effectively moved the ball only on its first drive of the game. But options are obviously limited.

Adding to the upcoming challenge, Baylor will return three key offensive players for the game in Waco. The Baylor Lariat reports that junior wide receiver Tyquan Thornton, sophomore tight end Ben Sims and senior running back John Lovett—none of whom have played since October—will all be available for Saturday’s 6 p.m. contest.

The athletic department previewed the game, which features teams that are collectively riding 8-game losing streaks. Kellis leads his “Five Things” column with the disappointing season for new Head Coach Dave Aranda in Waco, which currently includes a lone win over Kansas, followed by five straight losses.

Soccer

Coach Mike Dibbini continued his efforts to restock the roster by signing Flower Mound, Texas forward Riley Baker to a national letter of intent. K-State will hope Baker, who scored 56 goals in her club career with FC Dallas in the Elite Clubs National League can replace some of the scoring punch lost with the graduation of Brookelyn Entz.