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SLATE: Smorgasbord Tuesday

We’ve got a bit of everything since we last saw you for the Slate

11/05/95 CHIEFS’ WILLIE DAVIS, right, CATCHES touchdown IN FRONT OF TOM CARTER. Photo by Joel Richardson/The The Washington Post via Getty Images

Basketball

While Drew brought you the news of Desi Sills’ commitment this time last week, K-State officially announced the signing the next day, making Sills officially the 6th new player to sign with the program since the arrival of Jerome Tang to Manhattan, and the 7th new player for the Wildcats for the 2022-23 season. The 6’2 combo guard spent the past season at Arkansas State, after spending the previous three seasons at Arkansas, and will be in his final year of eligibility. Sills is officially the 9th member of K-State’s 2022-23 squad, though the Tang staff has indicated on social media that they have collected the commitment of a tenth player, at this time presumed to be Hofstra transfer big Abayomi Iyiola.

Jerome Tang already feels settled in as head coach at K-State, but that doesn’t mean the new Wildcats head man is resting. He’s now evolving into his new role, taking over the full reins of a college program for the first time in his career, and putting his stamp on everything from practice to recruiting.

The Wildcats opponent for the Big 12/SEC Challenge is now known, as K-State is set to face Florida on Saturday, January 28th, 2023 in Manhattan. It will be the third time the Wildcats and Gators have faced off on the hardwood, all coming since 2010, and the first time in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The previous two matchups were part of “classics”, with the Gators taking the first meeting 57-44 in the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, FL, on December 18, 2010, and the Wildcats taking the second with a 67-61 victory in the Wildcat Classic at the Sprint T-Mobile Center in Kansas City on December 22, 2012.

The women’s basketball team now have an interesting game on their schedule, and will be a part of a double-header with Wisconsin in the Brew City Battle in Milwaukee on Friday, November 11th. The game is most notable for being played at American Family Field, home of the Milwaukee Brewers, and will be the first time the Wildcats women’s basketball team has ever played on a baseball field. The Wildcats and Badgers have played one other time, in November 2006 at the UNLV Lady Rebel Shootout, with Wisconsin earning the victory.

Football

K-State football might have a small 2023 recruiting class at the moment, but it’s starting to making some waves, at least locally. And it got better over the weekend, as the Wildcats landed the commitment of 3-star wide receiver Andre Davis. Davis becomes the 4th commit of the class, a group comprised (so far) entirely of 3-star recruits from Kansas. The 6’4 200lbs receiver hails from Stillwell, KS (KCK metro) and plays his high school ball at Blue Valley, the same high school that recently sent the Wildcats Sterling Lockett. Davis is also the son of former Chiefs receiver Willie Davis (in our headline picture for today).

And the K-State staff isn’t done yet in the Sunflower State. The state’s top three recruits, all 4-star athletes, are all expected to make their college decisions soon, and all three are strongly considering K-State. Avery Johnson, the Maize quarterback who will compete at the prestigious Elite 11 finals next week, headlines the group, but is joined by Derby running back Dylan Edwards, a K-State legacy, and Wichita (Heights) running back John Randle, Jr. It’s possible that none of the three pick the Wildcats, but the current buzz is that at least two of the three may select K-State as their collegiate destination, but all three are legitimate possibilities.

There’s another in-state recruit that is also considering the Wildcats, but is torn between K-State and KU. And it makes sense, as 3-star o-lineman Calvin Clements is from Lawrence, and is not opposed to staying in his hometown to become a college star. But the Wildcats, along with a group of other Big 12 schools, are trying hard to lure the lineman away from KU and the prospect of playing his home games in his hometown.

The Capital-Journal’s Arne Green also has a nice feature on Will Anciaux, one of the four commits for the 2023 class, and why the tight end recruit picked football over basketball, a “first love” for the 6’6 Wichita native.

Chris Klieman was on 810 WHB’s “The Program” yesterday, and talked about the transfer portal and the new era of recruiting as well as the state of the program and his roster. (You can hear the full audio here, Klieman comes in at the 20:00 mark)

Track & Field

After taking becoming the 2022 NCAA High Jump champion at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, the second outdoor crown of his career, K-State fifth-year senior Tejaswin Shankar has been named the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Men’s Field Athlete of the Year. Shankar also competed in the decathlon much of the year, culminating with taking 3rd at the 2022 Big 12 Outdoor Championships with a score of 7,592 points.

Volleyball

After the release of the Big 12 schedule a couple weeks ago, K-State volleyball released their full schedule last week, and it includes four different group events, as well as the return of Missouri to Manhattan. K-State opens the season as they normally do, hosting the K-State Invitational on August 26th & 27th, followed by a trip to Florida for the UCF Challenge from Sept 1-3. Then a return home to face the Tigers on Sept. 7th, followed by a trip to Chicago for the Rambler Challenge (hosted by Loyola Chicago), a visit to Kansas City to face to Roos, and the the non-conference completes with a trip to Houston for the Rice Invitation on Sept. 16th & 17th.