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SLATE: Kansas State tops Penn in Paradise Jam semis

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Oh, and Kansas might have done a smart thing. In football.

Kamau Stokes was due.
Kamau Stokes was due.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Although we can probably count the number of people reading this who legally witnessed the event and can confirm that it did in fact occur, it is our pleasure to inform you that last night K-State remained unbeaten as they did indeed dispatch the Pennsylvania Quakers by a 64-48 count in the semifinals of the Paradise Jam at the University of the Virgin Islands.

The Cats trailed 19-11 shortly after the under-eight media timeout, but exploded on a 17-2 tear to close the first half and take a seven-point edge into the locker room. Dean Wade led the way with 17 points and eight rebounds; Kamau Stokes shook off his interminable funk and exploded for 16, including two treys — the only ones made by K-State the entire night. Xavier Sneed also reached double figures with 11, while Barry Brown Jr. was held to nine. Makol Mawien matched Wade on the boards with eight, and added five points — and only committed three fouls. Who didn’t only commit three fouls? Cartier Diarra, who managed to foul out with only 14 minutes of play. Austin Trice also had foul trouble, committing four in 17 minutes including a double technical involving Pennsylvania’s Michael Wang.

Devon Goodman led all scorers, pacing Pennsylvania with 18 points, and Wang added 14. Antonio Woods had ten boards for the Quakers, also a game high.

Kellis Robinett offers a good analysis and recap at the Eagle, while Arne Green reports on the game at the Capital-Journal.

So, what’s next? Missouri Tigers, that’s what. The Cats will take on the Tiggers tonight at 6:30pm CT, and you will once again be unable to legally view the game without a FloPass subscription. Matthew Harris previews the game over at Rock M Nation. He’s a bit dismissive of the Cats and thinks they’re overrated, but he still expects a Wildcat Victory.

Meanwhile, the women also remained unbeaten, handing UMKC a 61-50 loss at Bramlage. Kali Jones led the Cats with 14 points, and just missed a double-double with nine boards. Peyton Williams did not miss a double-double, grabbing her second in a row with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Kayla Goth only had seven points, but she also fed seven assists so we’ll let that slide.

Despite the relatively easy win, Jeff Mittie wasn’t pleased, challenging the team’s focus.

As the men return home tomorrow night, it’ll be time for the women to hit the road for the tropics. They’ll be scooting down to the Yucatan for the Cancun Challenge, where they’ll face 18th-ranked Syracuse on Thursday. They’ll follow that with another top-20 game as they meet 15th-ranked DePaul on Friday, and close things out on Saturday against Princeton.

Surprisingly, there’s no football news today. Well, not K-State football news, anyway. As you may have heard, however, Kansas has gone and hired a new head coach, and he’s someone everyone’s familiar with: Leslie Edwin Miles. This, to the shock of nearly everyone, makes Kansas the only school in the country whose head football and basketball coaches have both won national championships.

We’ll set aside the expected snark here and address the hire objectively. Despite the silly opinions of several national writers who think Kansas needed someone “innovative”, this is a good hire for the Jayhawks. Kansas is a program which desperately needs stability. Now, Miles may be one of the most maddening game managers we’ve seen on the sidelines in the last two decades, but the man can recruit actual players, and honestly the worst case scenario for Kansas under Miles is going to be mediocrity.

For those who are challenged by words, mediocrity is actually a vast improvement over what Kansas has been getting on the football field over the last decade. It’s entirely possible Miles isn’t The Guy in the way Bill Snyder was for K-State. But he can get them into a position where they can go after someone of whom the national media will actually approve.

Meanwhile, this spells trouble for a K-State program in turmoil. Recruiting has been one of the most frustrating aspects of the Wildcat program for several years, and now the Cats have to fight Les Miles for players? Gene Taylor’s task, should Snyder step down, just got more interesting.

You know what else just got more interesting? Kansas football and the Big 12. If nothing else, Miles is going to be a lot of fun to have around.