Well on a night that featured some of the coldest combined deep shooting you’ll ever see (and all the “spurtability” you’d ever need), the Kansas State Wildcats got themselves in a huge hole early, but never gave up, falling to Arkansas 72-64 last night in the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City. The Wildcats actually won the second half 40-30, but the 18-point halftime deficit was just too much to overcome for K-State. The Cats were led by a near double-double from Selton Miguel with 14 points and nine rebounds, who was joined in double figures by Nijel Pack (14 points, but an uncharacteristic 5 turnovers) and Markquis Nowell (10 points, but fouled out of the game in the waning seconds). Nowell’s 10 points pushed him over the 1,000 point mark for his collegiate career, dating back to his time at Little Rock.
The Wildcats have a quick turnaround, and will face Brad Underwood’s Fighting Illini tonight at 6pm CST (again on ESPNews) in the consolation final of the Hall of Fame Classic. #14/15 Illinois held an early lead over Cincinnati yesterday, before completely falling apart to lose 71-51 to the Bearcats. Of course, Wildcats fans don’t need to be told the significance of this game. Bruce Weber was fired from Illinois before coming to K-State. Brad Underwood, a K-State alum and former assistant under Bob Huggins and Frank Martin, was the hot name when Bruce struggled the first time in Manhattan before rebuilding for a Big 12 title run.
Better get a second device out, as the K-State women are also in action tonight, and their game tonight against Abilene Christian tips off at 6:30pm CST from Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats return home after dropping their first game of the season, a 90-69 loss to Top 5 NC State in Raleigh, NC on Friday. ACU comes into tonight’s contest at 3-0 on the season, but were picked to finish 5th in their inaugural season in the WAC. The MittieCats game can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Brian Smoller (play-by-play) and Missy Heidrick (analyst) on the call.
K-State started off the day with the surprising news from Chris Klieman in the weekly press conference that was a day earlier than normal due to the short week. Not only might Skylar Thompson play this Friday, if he can’t, then it will be Will Howard that takes the field for the Wildcats instead of Jaren Lewis. Skylar of course wants to play, but will be a game time decision after injuring his ankle late in the loss to Baylor on Saturday. Howard playing means that he will lose his chance for a redshirt this year, as it would be his fifth game of the season, but if the 2nd-year player does need to play, his teammates are excited to have him out there. The Wildcats, really as expected this time of year, are dealing with injuries across the board, and are using their one-game exemption to bring 10-15 extra players to Austin to ensure healthy depth, especially on special teams.
Then the Wildcats picked up the big commitment of Garden City CC defensive tackle Vaai “Uso” Seumalo. The 6’4”, 305lbs native of Maunaloa, HI is the 13th commit for the 2022 class, and will be looked at to step in immediately and compete as the Wildcats lose three of the regular players on the interior in Timmy Horne, Eli Huggins, and Robert Hentz. Horne has exhausted his eligibility after using his COVID-year this season, and while Huggins and Hentz could return for their extra season, it’s expected that both will move on after this season.
The last news of the day for the Wildcats football team was not good news, as redshirt-freshman WR Jaleon Travis was dismissed from the team for violating team rules. No more specifics were given, but it had to have been something that came up late over the weekend, as Travis suited up for the Wildcats on Saturday evening against Baylor (though he did not play).