The roster yoyo continues, this time in the good way. K-State’s scholarship roster has climbed back to five with the announcement that Cam Carter, a top-150 2021 recruit from Oak Hill Academy coming off his freshman season with Mississippi State, signed his financial aid agreement with K-State on Wednesday.
Carter, a 6’3” guard, saw the floor in 27 of MSU’s 34 games last year, earning four starts by the end of the year. His numbers aren’t eye-popping, with only 2.1 points per game — but he only had 8 minutes of action per game, so don’t read too much into that. He did reach double figures twice, and shot 30% from the arc.
Things looked bleak at Tointon Tuesday night as K-State entered the bottom of the seventh inning trailing Nebraska-Omaha 3-1.
Then suddenly Omaha reliever Tanner Olmstead couldn’t find the strike zone, walking the bases loaded and setting the stage for Jeff Heinrich. The senior transfer from South Carolina deposited an 0-2 pitch over the wall in left field, giving K-State its first grand slam of the season and a 5-3 lead. Raphael Pelletier homered on the next pitch, and the Cats added another run later on a Cole Johnson RBI single to stretch the lead to 7-3.
Omaha loaded the bases in the eighth, but Dylan Phillips came in from first base to get an inning-ending strikeout, and the Cats went back to work. K-State manufactured four more runs the old fashioned way; after an error led off the ninth, Phillips struck out the side to seal an 11-3 win.
The win does nothing to help the Wildcats in the Big 12 standings, but improves the overall record to 19-17. Next up is a three-game series against Cal-Irvine (21-13, 9-6 Big West) starting Friday. This is the second time the Anteaters have visited Manhattan; this series will begin exactly 14 years to the day after that prior visit, with the two teams split 1-1 in 2008.
Six members of K-State’s tennis team received Academic All-Big 12 honors Wednesday. Five of those are seniors — Ioana Gheorghita, Karine-Marion Job, Maria Linares, Rosanna Maffei and Anna Turco — and they’re joined by sophomore Manami Ukita. The Wildcats were responsible for almost one-sixth of the conference’s 37 honorees and, thanks to Turco, one-fifth of those honored with a 4.0 GPA.
The season’s not over yet. This morning at 10:00, ninth-seeded K-State takes on eighth seed TCU in the first round of the Big 12 Championships in Fort Worth. The winner gets Oklahoma tomorrow.
K-State’s women are now in Hockley, Tex., for the practice round prior to the Big 12 Championship at Houston Oaks Golf Club. The tournament itself, a 54-hole three-day affair, will tee off Friday morning.
Heartland College Sports lists their top five Big 12 rivalries, and K-State’s involved in two of them. Honestly, if you extended it to six the Cats would be in half of them because there’s a very good argument for K-State/Oklahoma being the best rivalry not in that top five list.
Finally, K-State has gotten aboard the Academic Incentive Award train which was enabled by the landmark Alston v UCLA Supreme Court decision. Under Big 12 rules only scholarship athletes will be eligible; they can earn $2,990 per semester based on earning all their academic progress rate points. Only $750 of that will be paid out immediately; the remainder will be held as an incentive to graduate. An athlete who graduates in five years while meeting all APR targets would then receive a nice check for about $22,000 with their diploma. The incentives begin with the coming fall semester.