Monthly Archives: March 2013

K-State basketball recruit Marcus Foster named Texas 3A Player of the Year

Marcus Foster, who has long been viewed as Kansas State’s top incoming basketball recruit, received an honor this week that will send him to Manhattan with more hype than the typical three-star prospect.

On Wednesday, the 6-foot-3 guard from Wichita Falls was named Texas 3A Player of the Year by the state’s association of basketball coaches.

He earned the honor by averaging more than 27 points and 11 rebounds as a senior and leading his team in nearly every major statistical category on the way to a playoff run that fell just short of the state finals.

“That’s a big honor to me,” Foster said by phone. “There are a lot of great players in my division, so it’s an honor to know people think I was the best one. I think they saw I was a leader on my team this year. I get my teammates going and I score and rebound the ball well.”

Foster will likely play on the perimeter for K-State next season, but his high school coach, Donald Hedge, said he also has the capabilities to move inside and be effective around the basket. Foster has always been a good three-point shooter (a skill the Wildcats badly need) but he can also slash and post-up defenders.

In some situations, he played center last season.

“Marcus is one of the guys who can do it all,” Hedge said by phone. “I’ve had him guard 6-8 guys and shut them down. He can post up players, he can shoot the ball like nobody else and he can beat you on the floor.
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K-State football lands Elijah Lee, adds Central Arkansas to 2017 schedule

Two interesting Kansas State football stories to pass along this afternoon:

– Elijah Lee, a hybrid defensive end with the ability to shift to outside linebacker, of Blue Springs has committed to the Wildcats.

Lee made 72 tackles and 15.5 sacks as a junior and won the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the top lineman or linebacker in the Kansas City area. He will join teammate Dalvin Warmack, a running back who committed to K-State last month.

– Central Arkansas will play a football game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in 2017.

Central Arkansas athletic director Dr. Brad Teague told the Log Cabin Democrat that K-State will pay $400,000 for the game. Central Arkansas went 9-3 last season, losing its opener at Mississippi 49-27 before rallying to make the Football Bowl Championship Subdivision playoffs.

Gameday links – K-State vs. La Salle

The NCAA Tournament begins at the Sprint Center in Kansas City today and we were grinding out stories yesterday in anticipation of Kansas State’s game against La Salle that’s scheduled to begin around 2:10 p.m. Here’s all the links you need to get you to gametime from

-Leading Kansas State comes with fewer lapses for Angel Rodriguez.

-KU, K-State fans share Sprint Center … and still manage to take an occasional jab. 

-Photo gallery from The Eagle’s Travis Heying out of media sessions and open practice. 

-K-State pod notes: Rebellious Henderson all the talk of NCAA Tournament. 

-Kansas State freshman forward D.J. Johnson learns to stick it out through long college season. 

-La Salle relaxes upon arrival in Kansas City after wild 24 hours. 

See you on the other side – enjoy the games.





Five things about La Salle

Here’s five things about La Salle leading up to Friday’s game against Kansas State in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament:

1. They’re not intimidated. 

La Salle isn’t worried about the quick turnaround after Wednesday night’s win, and they’re not worried about being tired.

“I think we started off proving people wrong, proving to people how good we really are,” Tyreek Duren said. “I think we have to take care of Kansas State next and show people what we can really do.”

2. They don’t have a center
The Explorers have played with two big men all year in 6-8 power forward Jerrell Wright (10.4 points, 6.8 rebounds) and 6-11 center Steve Zack (6.4 points, 6.4 rebounds). Zack was at the Sprint Center walking around on crutches after spraining his left foot and will not play against the Wildcats.
3. Guard play is the key
La Salle has three guards that average over 10 points – Tyreek Duren (14.6), Ramon Galloway (17.1) and Tyrone Garland (13.3). That could create problems for Kansas State.
4. There’s some familiarity there … but not much
La Salle guard Sam Mills (7.9 points, 2.3 assists) was a teammate of Kansas State guard Martavious Irving at Fort Lauderdale’s Boyd Anderson High. Garland played against Kansas State when he was at Virginia Tech in 2010.
5. They’ve got history in KC
The Explorers won the 1954 NCAA championship at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, defeating Bradley 92-76.

Angel Rodriguez says K-State will “mess up” President Obama’s bracket “right away”

During Kansas State’s NCAA Tournament media session on Thursday at the Sprint Center, sophomore point guard Angel Rodriguez was asked about President Barack Obama picking Wisconsin to beat the Wildcats this weekend.

His response: “I feel bad for him. He’s going to mess up his bracket right away. I respect what he has to say. Whoever he picks to win, I respect it. But he already messed up the bracket.”

Update: Depending on where you look on the Internet for Obama’s bracket, you will find versions that have him picking La Salle over K-State and him picking K-State to make it to the round of 32. The latter is correct. ESPN apparently uploaded the wrong picks, but he chose the Wildcats to win a game on TV.

Morning links from Kansas City

Greetings from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, where we’re a couple of hours away from open practices and interview sessions.

Here’s some quick links to K-State stories from our NCAA Tournament preview section that came out today and from La Salle’s win over Boise State last night in the First Four to earn the right to play the Wildcats on Friday in Kansas City.

-LaSalle beat Boise State and gets to return to Kansas City, site of their ’54 NCAA title.

-K-State beat writer Kellis Robinett with a must-read on KSU senior guard Rodney McGruder. 

-Shane Southwell can open up K-State’s offense.

-Wildcats went from a desperate December to a merry March.

-Looking at the teams in K-State’s pod.

Here’s Twitter links to our Eagle crew in KC – @kellisrobinett @rickplumlee @travisheying @t_adame

Much more to come – will check back in later with some La Salle stuff after their interview session.


K-State hopes to stay in elite company with another NCAA Tournament victory

Every time Kansas State qualified for the NCAA Tournament under former coach Frank Martin it won at least one game before heading home.

In 2008, the Wildcats beat No. 6 seed USC 80-67. In 2010, they made it to the Elite Eight. In 2011, they took down No. 12 seed Utah State 73-68. And last year they downed No. 9 seed Southern Mississippi 70-64.

High seed, low seed, toss-up game … K-State found a way to win every year.

No one hangs banners for making it to the round of 32, but there is something to be said for advancing that far four times in five years and three times in a row. Few teams have accomplished the same. K-State is one of eight programs that has played for a spot in the Sweet 16 in each of the past three seasons. The other seven: Kansas, Ohio State, Syracuse, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Purdue.
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Forbes: K-State one of nation’s most valuable college basketball teams

Kansas State is the 19th most valuable college basketball team in the country, according to Forbes.

The Wildcats cracked Forbes’ top-20 list of valuable college basketball teams on Tuesday at a value of $13.6 million.

K-State is new to the top 20 after bringing in $8.1 million in profit within the last year.

The Wildcats’ share of Big 12 distributions increased by more than $1 million last year that, along with increases to ticket sales and contributions, helped it usurp Pittsburgh for the No. 19 spot on our list.

Other notable teams on the list, which was topped by Louisville with a value of $38.5 million: No. 2 Kansas ($32.9 million), No. 4 Kentucky ($32.1 million), No. 7 Wisconsin ($19.8 million), No. 11 Duke ($17.1 million), No. 12 Texas ($16.8 million) and No. 17 Illinois ($14.1 million).

The good and bad of K-State’s bracket

Analyzing the good and bad of Kansas State’s draw in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament:

Opening Game
THE GOOD: K-State will open the NCAA Tournament inside the friendly confines of Sprint Center against one of the worst at-large teams in the NCAA Tournament. Regardless of who wins between La Salle and Boise State, the Wildcats will have a big crowd advantage and be favored. Both teams like to push the issue on offense and are capable of scoring in the 80s, but they might not be at full strength after playing an intense game on Wednesday. The Wildcats should be at full strength after six days off. Plus, K-State players will get to watch La Salle and Boise State play this week and learn from the game while their opponents will only get one day to prepare for the Wildcats.

THE BAD: The Wildcats are one of four teams that don’t know who they will play in their first NCAA Tournament game. That makes the scouting process more difficult than usual. K-State coaches won’t be able to lock in on La Salle or Boise State until Thursday. La Salle or Boise State will have momentum on its side when it reaches Kansas City. Sometimes a victory in the play-in game can help a team relax and lead to success in the next round. Both La Salle and Boise State have proven they are capable of beating NCAA Tournament teams.
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Kansas State eyes return to Sprint Center next week and next season

The Sprint Center has been good to Kansas State this season.

K-State moved into the top 25 for the first time after beating Florida in Kansas City. Then it thumped Texas and Oklahoma State to advance to tonight’s championship game of the Big 12 Tournament. Now it is hoping to start the NCAA Tournament in Kansas City, too.

If all goes according to plan, the Wildcats will also be back at the Sprint Center next season for a nonconference game.

They are still working on a date and an opponent, but K-State athletic director John Currie said Saturday morning that the Wildcats intend on continuing their annual nonconference trip to Sprint Center for a neutral-court game next season. K-State has played an early game at Sprint Center for six straight seasons.
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