Author Archives: Tony Adame

Three things about Kentucky

Just a quick primer – three things to watch for about Kansas State’s second-round NCAA Tournament opponent, Kentucky. The Wildcat-Wildcat tipoff is scheduled for around 8:40 p.m. tonight at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Here’s Kellis Robinett’s gameday advance and his excellent feature on K-State coach Bruce Weber.

THREE THINGS ABOUT KENTUCKY

1. Pick ‘em

JULIUS RANDLE

JULIUS RANDLE

The Wildcats have definitely three, and maybe up to six future NBA first-round draft picks on their roster. As in the future being June 26. Freshman forward and Dallas native Julius Randle is a sure-fire lottery pick, while freshman guard/forward James Young and sophomore center and Olathe native Willie Cauley-Stein are both also first-rounders. Freshman guards – and twins – Aaron and Andrew Harrison also could go in the first round, as could 7-foot freshman center Dakari Johnson. I watched a lot of college basketball this season, but getting to see Randle up close yesterday was something else. He’s pretty much the perfectly-built basketball player.

2. Don’t put too much into March 16

That’s the day that Kentucky almost pulled off the upset of No. 1 Florida, losing 61-60 in the SEC championship game. Don’t put too much into it, for a couple of reasons. The first being that it was a completely insignificant came in regards to the NCAA Tournament and one, I would guess, both teams would rather have not been playing in. The second is that the other time the teams played, at Florida on March 8, the Gators spanked Kentucky 84-65.

3. Depth

They’re not that deep — they’ve got seven guys in their rotation, so if Kansas State can find a way to get them in foul trouble they might have a shot. Johnson is a force when he’s on the floor, but he only averages 12.8 minutes per game. K-State can run a little bit, so if they can keep Kentucky’s big men on the move that could change the flow of the game. Run, run, run.

-TA

 

Kansas State will start Jake Matthys in Game 3 of super regional

Kansas State’s Jake Matthys on Saturday after beating Oregon State in Game 1 of an NCAA super regional in Corvallis, Ore. (TRAVIS HEYING/THE WICHITA EAGLE)

Kansas State assistant director of athletic communications Ryan Lackey just came over to press row a few minutes ago to tell us that K-State coach Brad Hill has decided to start Big 12 freshman of the year and All-Big 12 relief pitcher Jake Matthys (9-1, 9 saves, 1.88 ERA) in the deciding Game 3 of the Wildcats’ NCAA super regional against Oregon State at Goss Stadium in Corvallis, Ore.

This is interesting for a couple of reasons — first, because I think it was widely assumed Hill would hand the ball to Gerardo Esquivel, who got the regional-clinching win over Arkansas in Manhattan. Second, because it will be Matthys’ first start of the season.

What this means, though, is that if the Wildcats can somehow get 4-5 innings out of Matthys — his longest outing of the seasons have been 4.1 innings against Oklahoma State on April 21 (win) and 4,0 innings against Oklahoma on May 25 (loss) — then hand the ball to Esquivel … and whoever else they might need, they’ve probably got a shot. Oregon State will start lefty Ben Wetzler (8-1, 1.98 ERA), an All-Pac 12 selection.

TA

Can Kansas State do the unthinkable?

Kansas State’s Ross Kivett scores the tying run in the ninth inning on Saturday night in Corvallis, Ore. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle)

Picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 preseason poll — out of just 9 teams — the Kansas State baseball team is on the verge of doing the unthinkable here in Corvallis, Ore.

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Super Regional Gameday – Kansas State vs. Oregon State

Kansas State coach Brad Hill before practice on Friday in Corvallis, Ore. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle)

 

Greetings from Goss Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon, where Kansas State is about an hour away from taking on Oregon State in a best-of-3 NCAA super regional. It’s K-State’s first time in a super regional.

Yesterday was crazy busy for myself and Eagle photog Travis Heying as we hit Corvallis in the morning to talk with the Wildcats before they practiced at Goss, then booked it to Eugene for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field championships, where we saw K-State’s Erik Kynard fall short in his bid to become a three-time NCAA outdoor high jump champion. .

Here’s some links from Kansas.com and our friends to get you ready for today’s game:

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Why Jared King is Kansas State’s best pro prospect

L-R: Ross Kivett, Jared King and Jon Davis (Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle)

L-R: Ross Kivett, Jared King and Jon Davis (Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle)

With the Major League Baseball draft beginning tomorrow and Kansas State playing in its first super regional starting Saturday at Oregon State, I thought we could take a look at what makes Kansas State junior center fielder Jared King the Wildcats’ top pro prospect. I talked to a couple of guys who know a few things about college baseball — Baseball America national college baseball writer Aaron Fitt and Rob Buska, host of The Bush Leagues on NBC Sports Radio, about King’s future. Fitt has been with Baseball America for nine years. Buska was the play-by-play man for Cal State Fullerton from 2001 to 2004, including College World Series trips in ’03 and ’04 including  a national championship game in ’04. He also spent a couple of years in our fair state as the Sports Director for the Western Kansas Broadcast center in Garden City.

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Sunday at the Manhattan Regional

L-R: Ross Kivett, Jared King and Jon Davis on Saturday night after King’s amazing catch in the fifth inning (Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle)

Kansas State is one win away from advancing to a Super Regional for the first time in school history after defeating Bryant 7-1 last night in Manhattan. The Wildcats will play the Arkansas-Bryant winner (that game is going on right now) tonight at 7 p.m.

-Here’s my gamer from last night.

-Here’s notes from the Manhattan Regional from WSU beat writer Paul Suellentrop and myself. 

-Here’s a photo gallery from The Eagle’s Bo Rader out of last night’s K-State-Bryant game.

Kansas State freshman RHP Blake McFadden will get the start today – he’s 6-2 this season with a 4.04 ERA.  Kansas State has scored 27 runs in two games so offense hasn’t been a problem for the Cats so far — their pitching wasn’t great in the first game against Wichita State but was sharp last night against Bryant after starter Joe Flattery settled down. I think they need to get at least 5 good innings out of McFadden tonight and then their bullpen is more than capable of taking over. If they can get the ball in Jake Matthys’ hands for the last two innings with a lead that puts them in a pretty good spot.

Follow me on Twitter @t_adame for updates from tonight’s game.

TA

Yes, Kansas State scored a lot of runs

ROSS KIVETT (BO RADER/THE WICHITA EAGLE)

Kansas State put it on Wichita State in Friday’s NCAA Regional opener in Manhattan with a 20-11 victory, advancing the Wildcats to play the winner of Friday’s late game between Arkansas and Bryant.

Here’s some links for you from the game:

-Big 12 player of the year Ross Kivett sparked Kansas State’s offense with two home runs.

-Here’s Wichita State beat writer Paul Suellentrop’s game story.

-Replay of how the game went down on Twitter, if that’s your thing.

-Video of WSU coach Gene Stephenson talking about the loss

-Video of KSU catcher Blair DeBord talking about that crazy play at the plate on Johnny Coy. 

We’ve got some more notes coming out of Manhattan from myself and Paul, plus a gallery from Bo Rader coming in the near future. Kansas State plays at 7 p.m. tomorrow night, so stay tuned at Kansas.com and follow me on Twitter – @t_adame for updates.

TA

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Manhattan Regional Rumblings

Kansas State is hosting its first NCAA Regional beginning Friday in Manhattan — Bryant, Arkansas and Wichita State are the other teams — and Thursday was the day all the media types and teams got together. Here’s some short bits on each team that rolled out on what started off as a rainy day in Manhattan but turned pretty gorgeous.

KANSAS STATE

The Wildcats, first up to practice, were actually the only team that had to do everything indoors, including interviews. They seemed relaxed, excited. “When you see them putting in bleachers (at Tointon), that lets you know something a little different is going on,” K-State coach Brad Hill said. “Other than that, though, it’s business as usual.”

Here’s a couple of stories from K-State beat writer Kellis Robinett — on Kansas State baseball’s ascension from the dark ages aka the late 1980s. Here’s another one on K-State center fielder Jared King.

ARKANSAS

The Razorbacks, ranked No. 1 in the country in the preseason, have struggled at the plate all season and it was pretty evident where their focus was during Thursday’s practice. Every batter that came up during a scrimmage got major, major pointers from coach Dave Van Horn – and they weren’t the kindest remarks. On the flip side, the Razorbacks probably have the best pitching staff in the nation.

BRYANT 

The team from tiny Smithfield, R.I. was probably the loosest of the  four at Thursday’s practices. And their dugout was pretty spectacular – a mix of Northeasterner accents from Massachusets, Rhode Island, Jersey and New York. This team was NCAA Division II just 5 years ago and now they’re in the NCAA Tournament. That ain’t easy to do.

WICHITA STATE

Some things are best said … in video. Which I shot of Wichita State coach Gene Stephenson and designated hitter Johnny Coy on Thursday.

 

We’ve got a ton of stories/coverage coming out of Manhattan the next couple of days, so check Kansas.com.

TA 

 

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 Kansas.com:

-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.

TA

 

 

 

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.