I interviewed Kansas State assistant coach Brad Underwood at length last week for today’s story in the print edition about how important Denis Clemente was to the Wildcats last season and why it has been difficult to replace him.
Here a few of Underwood’s insightful thoughts that I couldn’t fit into the paper:
“I think the one thing that Denis was was a quiet leader. He led in a different way. The language was obviously an issue. But the one thing Denis was was an everyday guy. You knew every single day what you were getting from Denis. There was no roller coaster. There was no wondering as a coach what you were going to get. You knew what you were getting every day in practice and every game.
“I think the thing we probably miss the most is his spirit, and his sense of pride. Denis loved to play. He loved to compete and he loved everything that came with that. That was very, very contagious with everybody in the locker room. That’s hard to replace. Not every individual has those characteristics.”