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SLATE: Catching Back Up

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Just a few things have happened since the last Slate.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Well, uh, welcome back to the Slate. #RealLife has impacted the BotC, slowing down our non-countdown output. You will all be receiving a full refund for last month in the mail, personally signed by our benevolent despot.

Now on to sports!

Baseball

You make some history, you get top billing. Back on Sunday, Jordan Wicks made Kansas State history by becoming the first BatCat taken in the first round of the MLB Draft. Selected 21st overall by the Cubs, the Wildcat ace from Conway, AR also became the Wildcats highest-ever draft pick regardless of round (because, you know, there are more picks now in the first round than, say, 1969).

K-State draft history didn’t end there, as on Monday fellow pitcher Carson Seymour was taken in the 6th round by the Mets with the 172nd-overall pick, marking the first time that the Wildcats have had two pitchers taken in the first 6 rounds, and just the third time that two pitchers have been taken in the first 9 rounds. But day two wasn’t complete yet for the BatCats, as Zach Kokoska, K-State’s best hitter during the 2021 season, heard his name called in the 10th round, being selected by the Rockies with the 290th-overall pick. It was the best first two days of the draft for K-State since 2011, when four players went in the first seven rounds, with two in the 4th and two in the 7th, and just the fourth time in K-State history that at least three players were taken in the first 10 rounds (joining 1969, 1997, and 2011).

Last but not least, Eric Torres heard his name called on Tuesday, as the Wildcats star closer was picked up by the Angels in the 14th round with the 411th-overall pick, tying K-State’s 2021 draft class with that 2011 crew for most in the first 15 rounds (really, the most important as far as the MLB draft is concerned), and the four total the most overall since 2017.

There was a bit of disappointment, however, as Dylan Phillips, Kasey Ford, Cam Thompson and Tyler Eckberg all went undrafted. Ford, Thompson, and Eckberg were all super-seniors in 2021 and will have to look to other prospects if they want to continue to play baseball professionally, but Phillips (along with Connor McCullough and Cole Johnson, who were also on the prospect list but undrafted) does have the opportunity to return to K-State for one more season thanks to the added year of eligibility due to Covid.

Basketball

Some more disappointing news out of the men’s basketball program yesterday, as Montavious Murphy announced via social media his intent to transfer from K-State. The Texas native was well-rated coming out of high school and there was excitement for his future, but injuries derailed his first two seasons in Manhattan and he has elected to make his return elsewhere. With Murphy’s departure, the entire 2019 signing class has now departed without any graduations, joining the 2018 class without a single graduation. In fact, since the big group of the 2015 class (Wade, Brown, Stokes, etc), only two players have exhausted their eligibility at K-State: Xavier Sneed and (technically) Mike McGuirl. That’s four classes with just two graduates (or, technically, guys that left early for the NBA, but we haven’t had one of those in many years); not exactly a good mark on Bruce Weber’s recruiting or coaching grade sheet.

We’re doing an actual, official bracket challenge for The TBT Tournament, with an actual prize for the top BotC-group bracket (which means we have official rules and stuff that are kinda important). Head over and get signed up!

Football

The Countdown continues, and we’ve missed too many days to list, but we’re almost out of the 50’s, which is wild.

It’s the return of Big 12 Media Days, and K-State is on the docket today. Skylar Thompson and Jahron McPherson will join Chris Klieman on the podium at 11:45am from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Hopefully the guys will also take a few minutes to scout the stadium in preparation for the season opener against Stanford.

247Sports national writer Chris Hummer took a look at K-State’s “electrifying RB” Deuce Vaughn, who burst onto the scene last year and is expected to continue to be a force for the Wildcats in 2021.

Also, a special BotC shout-out to Frank Solich, who has officially announced his retirement from Ohio. Solich is best known in these parts for being the guy to follow Tom Osborne at Nebraska, and was canned for having the audacity to lose to K-State.