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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Better Late Than Never? A Closer Look at Kansas State

This would have have been much timelier before tonight's game, but it arrived in my inbox during the first half, after I was already hoarse from screaming at the referees. However, this is good stuff and he went to all the trouble to put it together for us, so we're posting it anyway. Kansas State blog Bring On The Cats' "BracketCat" was nice enough to answer a few questions for us since we know next to nothing about the Big 12 school. Just pretend you read it before we played them.

1. When I think of Kansas State, I think of football. Have the fans started to pay attention to basketball yet?

Strangely enough, I think people are more pumped for basketball this year than they are for football. No one expected the football to be where it is, or even to be decent. As Ron Prince ran our program into the ground, basketball became a refuge for many fans. Everyone in Manhattan has been pretty fired up for basketball ever since Bob Huggins arrived (and left), and some don't know that K-State has a much better basketball tradition (pre-1988) than it does football.

2. This game will be in Puerto Rico, but what are home games like? Any cool traditions? What's the best way to make fun of the Rock Chalk Jayhawk chant?

Home games are pretty nuts. K-State has one of the best, and most underrated, home courts in the Big 12, mostly due to a student section that spans the entire east side of Bramlage Coliseum, from floor to ceiling. Traditions include the "Bring on the Cats" chant, swaying to the Wabash Cannonball, chanting "Left, right, left, right... sit down!" when opposing players foul out, and just generally being loud and annoying for the other team.

3. Jacob Pullen, Jamar Samuels and Denis Clemente helped lead the offense last year, and appear to be off to a good start again this year. Who's the star of this Wildcat team? What's their game like?

Well, you listed three of who I would say are our four most important players. The other is junior UConn transfer Curtis Kelly, who starts at the 4 position. He's our best post scorer in years, because he has all the moves you need in the post. Also surprising is starting freshman center Jordan Henriquez-Roberts, who's 7 feet tall with a legit 7'6" wingspan. Both Kelly and Henriquez are former New York Gauchos.

4. Compare and contrast the integrity and overall quality of the KU dance/cheer team with those of K-State, using the most graphic terms you feel comfortable with.

I'll put it simply. KU had a male dancer a few years back. That's all you need to know.

But in all seriousness, the Classy Cats are awesome. I should know -- I used to play trombone in the pep band and got to see them up close and personal for three years. Very talented and attractive ladies, indeed.

5. John Holland is our highlight reel dunk artist - who from K-State can we expect to match his ferocity on the rim? Got a YouTube link of one of his best?

Jamar Samuels, affectionately and aptly nicknamed "Jam Sam."

This isn't his best work, but it's a decent effort:

6. Finally, give us a prediction for the game and the Puerto Rico Tip-Off overall (blatant homerism expected and encouraged).

I'll say K-State wins 84-70. We have more depth and more inside presence, but Boston's outside shooting and our early defensive lapses should keep the Terriers in it until near the end.

My hope is to win the first two games and give a good effort against Villanova in the finals. For a team picked to finish 4th in the Big 12, and which I think can finish 3rd, that is a realistic expectation.

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