We’ll get to basketball in a second, but first up is a team that gets back to action this today out in sunny California.
After a second rough weekend (and Tuesday) saw the BatCats drop to 1-6 on the season, K-State will be looking for better fortunes this weekend as they are at Loyola Marymount for a three-game series to end their first road trip of the season. Game one is tonight with an 8pm CST first pitch that can be seen free(!) online via the West Coast Conference Network (WCCN). Starting on the mound for Friday and Saturday will again be Blake Adams and Connor McCullough, respectively, and both have started the season very well for the Cats. Sunday’s starter for both teams is TBA, and the Wildcats are still looking for a third man for the rotation. Like last weekend, Saturday’s game is also at 8pm CST, and Sunday’s game is at 2pm CST.
Since we last saw you, the K-State women completed their regular season home schedule with a disappointing 74-62 double-overtime loss to West Virginia on Senior night. As it has often here in the latter part of the season, cold shooting ultimately doomed the Wildcats. The Cats shot just 31.1% from the field and 16.7% from deep, and all four of the Wildcats 3pt makes (in 24 attempts) came in the 2nd quarter. The Wildcats also failed to make a basket from the 4:52 mark in the 4th until the 2:44 mark in the second overtime, a stretch of over 12 minutes without a made field goal (all six K-State points in the first overtime came on free throws). Ayoka Lee did record her 18th double-double of the season, just one behind the school-record mark of 19 she set in the 2019-20 season. With the loss, the Cats fall below .500 in conference play for the first time this season, sitting at 18-11 overall and 8-9 in Big 12 play.
Next up for the MittieCats is the regular season finale, as the Cats will be in Fort Worth to take on the Horned Frogs on Saturday. That game tips at 1pm CST and can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
The Kansas State men are also in action on Saturday, as they host Senior Day in Bramlage at 3pm CST. They are set to face off against the team they opened conference play against, as the Sooners will be in town to close the regular season. The Sooners had lost seven of eight to open February, but have reeled off consecutive wins to get themselves back above .500 overall and sitting at 6-11 in conference play to tie with K-State in 8th place. This game does have some ramifications for the Big 12 tournament, as thanks to OSU’s inability to play in the postseason, the winner will get a bye in the first round on Wednesday before facing the 2-seed on Thursday, while the loser must play in the 8-9 game against West Virginia on Wednesday followed by a match-up with the 1-seed on Thursday.
One of the seniors to be honored on Saturday is 5th-year senior Mike McGuirl, who has seen both the highs and lows of K-State basketball. He was a true freshman on the team that went to the Elite Eight in 2018, including playing a pivotal role off the bench in the first round win over Creighton. He was then a regular contributor on the Big 12 Title team the next season, before taking a step up to a starter and then leader role for much of the past three seasons. In his own words, he’ll be “forever grateful” for his time at K-State. Thanks Mike.
Oh, and while Senior Day is happening on Saturday, there is potential for a game to be played on Monday depending on the outcome of Saturday’s game. It’s expected that Northern Illinois would be the opponent, but nothing official has come out.
Kellis Robinett caught up with senior transfer Adrian Martinez, and got the details on just what brought the sought-after Nebraska transfer to K-State. Primarily it was new offensive coordinator Collin Klein, who impressed Martinez with his attitude, as well as the thought that K-State was in a position to win now. Martinez will miss participating in any of the physical parts of spring practices while he recovers from shoulder surgery, but should be ready to go full-on this summer.
The Wildcats also picked up an interesting preferred walk-on yesterday, as Hays High standout Gavin Meyers announced his intent to walk-on at K-State. Meyers was originally rated as the No. 2 prospect in his class before falling down the ratings boards as a senior, and at one time held scholarship offers from Nebraska, Colorado, Louisville, and K-State (among others). But he slow-played his commitment, and it ended up costing him as his offers dried up over the summer and into the early fall when recruiting attention shifted focus to his teammate Jaren Kanak. Meyers is a 6’1 220lb linebacker, who just capped off a perfect 41-0 season with a 5A state title in wrestling, and is primed to move forward at this level to be a defensive end (probably a “rush end” like Khalid Duke).
Getting back to the Great Plains appears to have been a good thing for the RacquetCats, as they blasted No. 68 Nebraska 4-1 on Wednesday in Lincoln to improve to 5-3 on the season. The Cats opened by winning the doubles point then won singles matches at 1, 2, and 5 positions to earn the victory. The lone Huskers point came against No. 108 and senior Rosanna Maffei, as she fell 6-1, 6-2.
The Cats have returned home for back-to-back matches, and get back to action today taking on Iowa at 1 pm CST at the Mike Goss Tennis Stadium (in a match rescheduled from February 6). Closing out the weekend will be a match against No. 42 Northwestern on Saturday at 12 pm CST.