Category Archives: Basketball

K-State recruit Malek Harris nears decision

Malek Harris Malek Harris will choose where to play college basketball at 1 p.m. on Sunday at a ceremony at his family’s church.

The touted 6-foot-7 small forward from Orland Hills, Ill, is considering a handful of options, but Kansas State is favored to land Harris over Gonzaga and Virginia Tech.

Harris, the No. 80 player in the Rivals 2014 recruiting class originally committed to Marquette and Buzz Williams, but he began looking elsewhere when Williams left to take over as the head coach at Virginia Tech.

K-State coach Bruce Weber called Harris immediately after and convinced him to take an official visit to Manhattan. The visit went so well that Harris gave a soft verbal commitment to the Wildcats two weeks ago. He also canceled a scheduled visit to Virginia Tech, according to his AAU coach Mike Mullins.

If Harris signs with K-State, he will be the top-rated player Weber has landed in his two-plus years with the Wildcats.

But nothing will be official until Harris announces his college decision on Sunday.

“He enjoyed his visit to Kansas State,” said Mullins, who runs the Illinois Wolves AAU program. “Most official visits tend to be very good, otherwise something is wrong. But he really enjoyed the great family atmosphere. His mom was able to accompany him, and that was key. The first time through he was only looking to stay close to home and help his mom out. This time he was able to look a little further for a college.

“He wanted to wait and announce on Mother’s Day for his mother and his grandmother. They are big supporters for him.”
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K-State Q&A: Collin Klein in the CFL, Dalvin Warmack, Kaleb Prewett, a guess at Bruce Weber’s next starting five and Malek Harris

After a few weeks off, K-State Q&A is back.

There’s plenty to talk about, so let’s go ahead and jump right into your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.


That’s the plan. Knowing Collin Klein, the only thought on his mind when he reaches Canada and straps on a Montreal Allouettes helmet for the first time will be winning the starting quarterback job. He is actually walking into a pretty good situation. Anthony Calvillo, the team’s leading passer last year, retired in January (Yes, I did some CFL research) and his backup is no longer on the roster. Someone new will be taking the snaps this year. But Klein will face competition. Troy Smith, a former Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State, is on the roster. Arkansas State alum Tanner Marsh and former Washington State quarterback Alex Brink will also be in the mix. A lot of it might depend on how quickly Klein can adjust to CFL rules. Everything, even the fields, is different up there. He has until June 14, when he season starts, to figure things out. Hopefully he gets to throw some bombs to Chad Johnson/Ochocinco.
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Kansas State likely returning to Kansas City’s Sprint Center next season for nonconference basketball game against Texas A&M

Rodney McGruder, Jordan Green
Kansas State will likely return to Kansas City’s Sprint Center for a nonconference basketball game against Texas A&M next season.

Texas A&M basketball coach Billy Kennedy told Texas radio station KZNE late Tuesday night that the Aggies have agreed to the game, according to AggieSports.com.

On Wednesday morning, K-State basketball coach Bruce Weber said the Wildcats and Aggies have discussed a neutral-court series, before adding: “Nothing has been confirmed yet.”

Senior associate athletics director Casey Scott said K-State has “initiated a contract for a game in Kansas City.” But the deal has not been finalized.

One possible holdup on the series could be where to play the return game, though Houston’s Toyota Center could be a possibility. Texas A&M played Oklahoma there last season.

K-State played a regular season game at Sprint Center for six straight seasons from 2007-2012, beating Florida, Alabama, IUPUI, Southern Mississippi and Florida A&M. Its lone loss was against UNLV. All six games were played in December.

The Wildcats opted out of a Sprint Center game last year, choosing to play Gonzaga at Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena. After that game, Weber said he wanted to schedule a nonconference game at Sprint Center every year and at Intrust Bank Arena every other year.

“That is our mindset,” Weber said then. “We would have done Kansas City this year, but I thought our schedule was hard enough.”
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Kansas State AD John Currie addresses transfer policy

Kansas State athletic director John Currie made his first public comments in response to the university’s decision to deny Leticia Romero a release from her scholarship on Tuesday morning.

Currie shared some general thoughts on K-State’s transfer policy on his Twitter account after ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas ramped up his criticism of K-State for the way it handled the situation.

Over the span of five tweets, Currie wrote the following:

“National transfer issues are complex/need reform. Student privacy prevents discussion of individual student issues. As AD I have an obligation to all our (student-athletes) and institution to ensure department and university procedures are followed. Generally speaking, on RARE occasions that we have denied a student-athlete transfer release it has been because of concerns about outside tampering, undue influence by third parties or procedures not being followed in an honest and forthright manner.”

You can read his tweets individually here.

Early Tuesday morning, Jay Bilas took the following shot at K-State on his Twitter account:


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Reports: Former Kansas State standout guard Mitch Richmond makes Hall of Fame

MitchRichmond The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame won’t announce its newest members until the Final Four begins this weekend, but it appears that Mitch Richmond is headed for an official induction.

The former Kansas State standout guard and six-time NBA all-star is headed for the Hall of Fame along with Alonzo Mourning, according to multiple reports.

Word spread quickly on Twitter late Wednesday night, and fans began sending congratulatory messages to Richmond.

Richmond played two seasons at K-State, averaging 20.7 points and six rebounds. Under then coach Lon Kruger, he guided the Wildcats to two NCAA Tournaments, reaching the Elite Eight in 1988. His jersey now hangs from the rafters at Bramlage Coliseum.
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Postgame: Kentucky 56, Kansas State 49

ShaneSouthwellKentucky
Kansas State’s basketball season came to an end Friday night in St. Louis with a 56-49 loss to Kentucky.

K-State can blame a complete lack of offense for the defeat.

Strange that it went toe-to-toe in a shootout with Iowa State at the Big 12 Tournament (falling 91-85) and then mustered just 49 points (a season low) eight days later in the NCAA Tournament.

There were many reasons for K-State’s struggles. First and foremost was Kentucky. Every member of its playing rotation stands 6-foot-6 or taller, and that length created all kinds of problems. Open shots were hard to come by on the perimeter, and Willie Cauley-Stein made driving the lane difficult by blocking four shots and altering several others. But K-State also missed the few open shots it had. Marcus Foster and Will Spradling both went 1 for 7 from three-point range. That’s not going to cut it against a team of future NBA players.

K-State coaches were confident heading into the game. They thought K-State was quick enough to get around Kentucky defenders and find open shots. But that didn’t happen. Bruce Weber introduced some new offensive sets last week, thinking they would take Kentucky by surprise. But poor coaching and execution made that impossible. Foster was the team’s only consistent scorer all season, and that hurt K-State on Friday.

“On the offensive end, we didn’t get anything accomplished,” Spradling said. “We really struggled. Their length bothered us a lot more than we expected. We were pretty stagnant.”
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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

 

K-State talks confidently in St. Louis

Kansas State has practiced and fulfilled its media obligations for the day and the Wildcats are currently shooting in front fans at the Scottrade Center.

Will Spradling, by the way, looks right at home. He is making everything.

Anyway, here are a few tidbits that Bruce Weber and players shared with media today:

– Bruce Weber was asked about the long, up-and-down season that has featured wins over Kansas, Iowa State, Gonzaga and Texas as well as losses to Northern Colorado and Charlotte.

His answer: “We came a long way. I’m just glad we were able to come together as a good team.”
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K-State Q&A: Matching up with Kentucky, Wildcat puns, Shane Southwell, Brad Underwood, Marvin Clark and Hawaiian shirts

ShaneSouthwellNCAA
In honor of the start of the NCAA Tournament, we are moving our weekly K-State Q&A up a day.

Kansas State is taking on Kentucky at approximately 8:40 p.m. on Friday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The game should serve as an exclamation mark on a fun day of basketball. Kansas and Wichita State are both playing in the same arena on the same day.

I’m already here with a strong media horde. So follow along for updates.

Two updates before we move onto your questions:

1. Marvin Clark says he will announce his college decision on Monday. His finalists are Kansas State, Michigan State, Seton Hall and Indiana. He is no longer considering Iowa State. Clark’s AAU coach, Matt Suther, said he will meet with Clark and his family this weekend to discuss the possibilities.

“It’s going to be a tough decision,” Suther said. “He is still weighing his options. He has gone back and forth. He really likes Michigan State, but the pull to stay close to home is also there. He is looking at where he has the best opportunity to play right away. He wants to go someplace that is really big on skill development.”
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My all-Big 12 basketball team

The Big 12 coaches will announce their all-Big 12 basketball team today. The media will announce theirs on Monday. You get a sneak peek of my ballot now.

I am a voter for the Associated Press all-conference team. Below is a look at how I voted, with players ranked from 1-10.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Melvin Ejim, Iowa State.
Choosing the Big 12′s top player has never been more difficult. I seriously considered Melvin Ejim, Andrew Wiggins and Juwan Staten and didn’t eliminate a few others until the final week of the season. Ejim and Staten had dominant stats, but Wiggins was the best player on the league’s best team. What to reward? I chose Ejim, because his stats were too good to ignore. He ranked second in the Big 12 in points (18.2) and rebounds (8.6) and he ranked third in field-goal percentage (51.3). He also had two mammoth games, hitting TCU for 48 points and 18 rebounds and torching K-State for 30 points and 16 rebounds. That helped Iowa State finish third.
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