Category Archives: Player 2 Watch

This week’s player to watch: Kai Forbath

KaiForbath The place kicker is normally one of the most overlooked players on any football team, but it’s impossible not to notice UCLA’s Kai Forbath.

The senior won the 2009 Lou Groza Award, was a consensus All-American last season and could have jumped to the NFL early if he wanted to. He connected on 28 of 31 field goal attempts, and the three he missed came from beyond 50 yards. At the 50-plus range he went three for six.

Basically, that means every time the Bruins’ offense gets to the 33-yard line, they’re assured three points. At his weekly news conference, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder was asked about Forbath’s consistency, and the name Martin Gramatica came up. Read More »

Player to watch: Tommy Mason-Griffin

mason-griffin_576

Who is the best freshman in the Big 12 Conference?

Normally, that is a difficult question to answer. But this season, there is little debate. Oklahoma’s Tommy Mason-Griffin is the league’s top rookie.

Sure, a good case could also be made for Colorado’s Alec Burks, who is averaging 16.8 points per game, but Mason-Griffin is much more explosive.

He has scored 20 or more points six times this season, and against Iowa State recorded a statistical performance most only dream of. During that game, he went off for a ridiculous 38 points and six assists.
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Player to watch: J.T. Tiller

J.T. Tiller

Missouri has won 29 straight home games, and the Tigers’ full-court press is always difficult to handle.

But Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin believes senior Mizzou guard J.T. Tiller can be just as hard to prepare for as either of those factors.

“It’s very important to us that we contain J.T. Tiller,” Martin said. “He’s going to try to come up with every single loose ball during the course of the game. Well, we can’t let that happen, because that’s what he brings to the table.”
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Player to watch: Mikhail Torrance

Mikhail Torrance

In Alabama, the focus is understandably on football right now. The Crimson Tide are ranked No. 1 in the country and will soon play Texas for a BCS championship.

But the Crimson Tide basketball team is worth noticing, too. Alabama is off to a 7-3 start and nearly beat No. 4 Purdue last week.

Mikhail Torrance is one of the main reasons why.

The 6-foot-5 senior Alabama point guard does a little bit of everything. He leads the Crimson Tide in scoring (15.4) assists (5.5) and ranks fourth on the team in rebounding (3.5).
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Player to watch: Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson is the type of player who strikes fear into opposing coaches.

Through seven games this season, the Washington State sophomore guard is averaging 26.4 points and is the nation’s second-leading scorer. If not properly defended, he can go off for huge numbers.

Just ask San Diego coach Bill Grier, who said he would never forget Thompson’s name after he dropped 43 on the Toreros during a game this year. Or you could ask Kansas State coach Frank Martin, who has already issued a warning about Thompson to his players.

“If we don’t play (well on defense), Klay Thompson will score 146 points here on Saturday,” Martin said. “He’s the leading scorer in the country. If we come in here and we’re not disciplined and not enthusiastic about our jobs he’s going to set a NCAA record for points in a game.”
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This week’s player to watch: Missouri senior wide receiver Danario Alexander

Danario Alexander

Missouri wide receiver Danario Alexander is putting up big numbers in his senior season — All-American type numbers.

The Marlin, Texas native comes into tomorrow’s game against Kansas State with 71 receptions and 1,038 yards to his name. Those statistics each rank fifth nationally.

Last time out, in a loss to Baylor, he caught 13 passes for an astounding 214 yards and a touchdown. He is Blaine Gabbert’s favorite target, and the Wildcats will need to figure out a way to slow him down.
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This week’s player to watch: senior defensive end Jeffrey Fitzgerald

Jeffrey Fitzgerald

Ever since Jeffrey Fitzgerald accepted coach Bill Snyder’s mid-season challenge and became one of Kansas State’s vocal leaders, the Wildcats have looked completely different on the defensive line.

Up front, K-State is now able to rush the quarterback and force turnovers on a consistent basis. In its last two home games, K-State recorded 10 sacks and forced 10 turnovers.

Fitzgerald alone has five sacks against conference opponents this season and one interception return for a touchdown. Continuing that type of play will be key against Kansas.
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This week’s player to watch: Grant Gregory

Grant Gregory took Kansas State’s offense to another level earlier this season when he got his first collegiate start against Iowa State.

All of a sudden, the Wildcats had a quarterback with fast feet, a quick release and the passion of a player who only had a few games left in his college career.

Gregory, a senior transfer from South Florida, has even fewer games remaining now, and if K-State is to make a run at beating Oklahoma tomorrow he will need to once again raise the overall level of K-State’s play on offense.
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This week’s player to watch: Tyler Hansen

Here’s how good Colorado coach Dan Hawkins thinks Tyler Hansen is: He benched his own son to get the sophomore quarterback on the field.

Facing a tough start to the season and badly needing some new life on offense, Hawkins pulled the redshirt off Hansen two weeks ago during a loss at Texas and now he’s starting full time over Cody Hawkins.

The move seems to have paid off. Last week Hansen led the Buffaloes to a victory over Kansas and they now come into Manhattan with first place in the Big 12 North on the line against Kansas State.

It’s safe to say K-State coach Bill Snyder would rather play against the Hawkins father/son combo.
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This week’s player to watch: Von Miller

Aggies' Von Miller

Here’s all you really need to know about Von Miller: He leads the nation in sacks.

Through five games, the junior from Desoto, Texas has tackled the quarterback in the backfield nine times and may well turn out to be the best pass rusher K-State sees all season.
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