I spoke with Ron Prince yesterday about a bunch of things, most unrelated to football. It was a pleasant conversation. But the very first thing he told me, or the very first thing I asked about, was regarding Leon Patton, who was the only returning experienced option at running back for Kansas State until he was arrested early Monday morning on outstanding warrants for theft and failure to appear.
“We’re going to remove him from all activities until this is all cleared up,” Prince said.
That, of course, is an indefinite suspension. Sports information director Kenny Lannou confirmed my delayed interpretation.
How this affects the roster, and more specifically, the running back position remains in question. Prince seems to like his backs interchangeable; quantity is almost more of a factor than quality. And that might be the case this year, especially if the offensive line – and that’s a big if – is up to the challenge of not only competing but staying healthy.
I thought Patton would have more of an impact last season, but James Johnson was clearly the better talent. Patton was the best the Wildcats had on the present roster, perhaps until (and if) junior college transfer Daniel Thomas arrives in Manhattan.
Final word on Patton: if Thomas Clayton received a one-game suspension for his traffic attendant woes two years ago, and given Rashaad Norwood’s issues last season, expect Patton to be out for at least a couple of games. I’d be shocked if he’s not back for Louisville, though. Then again, Prince might have had enough of Patton, who spent much of last summer in Prince’s doghouse for undisclosed reasons.
- ALL of your responses to my preseason poll query were enlightening. Now, I’m asking another favor – take off your purple-tinted glasses, put down the purple Kool-Aid and answer me this: Do you really see the Wildcats winning more than six games with that schedule? I understand the first four games are winnable, but you’re also making a huge assumption – too many fans now regard this as a done deal – about going into Louisville and winning. Ron Prince, K-State has won two road games in two seasons. Two games out of a possible 12. Those are the facts.
Even if the Wildcats were to start 4-0, which I admit is a distinct possibility, convince me winning a game in the next six weeks is likely. Put it this way – I doubt K-State is favored in any of those games. Home games at the end of the season against Nebraska (hmmm…) and Iowa State (gotta have that one) would be left, but if the Wildcats had dropped six in a row, there would be all sorts of new problems to consider at that point of the season. If you thought the players quit on the coaching staff at the end of last season, what do you think happens if K-State drops six in a row? Yikes.
- THAT said, I think K-State goes 6-6, which would be a tremendous accomplishment given how the Big 12 schedule stacks up. Guess dropping Fresno makes total sense now, huh? And now, I’m not identifying which games I believe the Wildcats will win.
- NOT surprised in the least by what Michael Beasley did in his Miami Heat debut yesterday in the Orlando Summer League. His agent, Joel Bell, told me a story about how Beasley, who is friends with DerMarr Johnson – another D.C. Assault alumnus - played a pickup game with the Denver Nuggets, for whom Johnson once placed, back when Beasley was in high school. Beasley was matched up against Kenyon Martin, a former No. 1 NBA draft pick. According to Bell, Beasley got the better of the matchup, causing some Denver personnel types to gush that they’d take him now (or then), insisting he could help an NBA team as a high school junior. Watching him dice up Joakim Noah, who will have a long and solid NBA career, was fascinating. But it wasn’t as if I didn’t see it coming. Mike is the goods.