Kansas State University

K-State Q&A: Thoughts on a stronger basketball schedule, Wildcats in the NFL and more

Kansas State forward Dean Wade (32), forward Levi Stockard III (34) and guard Barry Brown (5) celebrated as they walked off the court during a timeout in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Kansas State forward Dean Wade (32), forward Levi Stockard III (34) and guard Barry Brown (5) celebrated as they walked off the court during a timeout in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

It's time for another K-State Q&A.

Big thanks to everyone that stepped up and asked a question this week. We're four months away from the next K-State football game and seven months away from basketball season. I challenged you to get creative with your questions and you responded with some great ones. Thank you!

Let's get right to them.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thanks for the reminder. I knew I could count on you:<br><br>Do you think with the recent announcement of the Home and Home with Marquette K-State fans will stop clamoring about a series with Wichita State?</p>&mdash; scottwildcat (@scottwildcat) <a href="https://twitter.com/scottwildcat/status/992072610027536395?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Hard to say.

Personally, I still think a series with Wichita State is a great idea. As boring as most nonconference games are, I think fans would much rather watch the Wildcats play the Shockers than say ... American, UMKC, UC Irvine, Northern Arizona, Oral Roberts, USC Upstate and Southeast Missouri State, as we saw last season. I understand you need some cupcake opponents, but nobody goes to those games. Trading one of them for a rivalry with Wichita State that fans will attend seems good for business and schedule strength. Bramlage Coliseum could use more games like that.

But with Wichita State turning down Bruce Weber's offer for a rivalry reboot next season, maybe some fan enthusiasm will fade. K-State can already claim victory in the dormant series right now. The Shockers turning down a game at Bramlage is basically the same as admitting they don't think they can win there. Bragging rights achieved.

If you can turn around and play Marquette instead, I can see why some fans might not want to play Wichita State anymore. Marquette at K-State in December 2019 will be the best nonconference game at Bramlage (that isn't part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge) since Virginia Tech in 2011.

It's just a shame Wichita State isn't ready to play the game. I understand the reasons not to do it from their vantage point, but why not get the ball rolling and see where the series goes? Yes, K-State would be favored over Wichita State next season. But that might not have been the case in 2019, especially at Koch Arena. The teams probably even out from there and go on to play competitive games.

Hopefully it happens down the line. Eight years without a decent early home game is way too long. Wichita State and K-State could offer each other quality home opponents. But both teams missed out on an opportunity to revive the series next season.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Marquette was a huge get for the perennially weak nonconference schedule. Any other types of home and homes like that on the horizon or tournament invites that you know about?</p>&mdash; Rex Trillerson (@LilBabyHos13) <a href="https://twitter.com/LilBabyHos13/status/992054016854183936?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Bruce Weber said the Wildcats still have one opening remaining on the schedule and their desire is to fill it with another series against a notable opponent that starts in Manhattan. They want an extra home game next season.

That makes sense considering the other games they have on the schedule. They will play Vanderbilt at Sprint Center, Marquette and Tulsa and the Big 12/SEC Challenge on the road, as well as some combination of Missouri, Oregon State, Old Dominion and Northern Iowa at the Paradise Jam.

An insider told me to keep an eye on Mississippi State as K-State looks to finish its schedule, but also said the Wildcats are exploring several options. Finding someone to play in Manhattan is the priority.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">What would be considered a successful season this year for K-State football in your honest opinion?</p>&mdash; Bryan Nelson (@Bryan_Nelson14) <a href="https://twitter.com/Bryan_Nelson14/status/992059325752446977?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Anything better than last season.

K-State has the talent and experience to win 10 games, but also has enough new coaches and question marks on defense to lose six games. I, for one, will be interested to see the over/under Vegas assigns the Wildcats coming off an 8-5 record and a Cactus Bowl victory.

An 8-4 regular season plus a bowl win would seem like a success. Anything better than that is a really good year. Anything less will probably feel like the same thing again or regression.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Current NFL Athletes from KSU: Who are the top five (current level of play). Nelson, Sproles, Newman, Lockett, Finney?</p>&mdash; Robbie Collins (@RCSings) <a href="https://twitter.com/RCSings/status/992090281813032960?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

1. Jordy Nelson: Will be fascinating to see what he does with the Raiders.

2. Terence Newman: Ageless defensive back says this will be his last season.

3. Tyler Lockett: Best young K-State product in the NFL.

4. Cody Whitehair: Could start for the Bears for a long time.

5. Jordan Willis: Solid rookie season with the Bengals.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">If you could change the outcome of a Kansas State sporting event (obviously having KSU win) which would you rather have: Beat A&amp;M in the conference title game or beat KU in the ‘88 Elite Eight? Or feel free to substitute your own game.</p>&mdash; Jonathan (@jzad_2011) <a href="https://twitter.com/jzad_2011/status/992185088443117570?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Those are definitely two of the contenders any K-State fan would choose.

A few other possibilities: Loyola-Chicago in the Elite Eight earlier this year, Butler in the Elite Eight in 2010 and Kentucky in the national championship game of 1951. Also, the Baylor football loss of 2012.

Change any of those and K-State is in the Final Four, a national champion or likely in the BCS championshp game. So there's no wrong answer.

But the choice still has to be Texas A&M in 1998. Win that game and Bill Snyder's best team is playing for a national championship. Behind Michael Bishop, that team was arguably the best in college football that year and deserved better than the Alamo Bowl. It really could have won the national championship.

I'm not sure you can say the same about either of K-State's last Elite Eight teams or the 2012 Collin Klein/Arthur Brown football team. They were really good, but not on the same level as the 98 football team.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bill Snyder comes to you and says “Kellis, what the one thing you could change about our program? Whatever you say, I’ll make sure by and large it will get done.” What would it be?</p>&mdash; Tod Cordill (@ksu4tc) <a href="https://twitter.com/ksu4tc/status/992066844445102081?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

As a member of the media that writes about Kansas State football, my request would obviously be for more media access.

Let us talk to assistant coaches, set up a time after practice each week when any requested player is available, update the depth chart and release an injury report. Other teams do these things and still win games.

SPOILER ALERT: I'm told the next question involves a plot twist in the new Avengers movie. If you care about such things, scroll past it!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Instead of retiring, is Bill going to just turn to ash on the sideline and fly away like Spidey?</p>&mdash; Habitual Line Stepper (@mikec2w) <a href="https://twitter.com/mikec2w/status/992060494214254592?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Judging by the interactions on my timeline, this reference has something to do with the new Avengers movie. Haven't seen it (will probably wait until it's on Netflix) so hopefully this answer doesn't miss the mark.

My joke on this subject has always involved a Bill Snyder hologram. Whenever the real Snyder decides to retire, K-State keeps it a secret and lets a state-of-the-art hologram replace him on the sideline. Or maybe he pulls a Luke Skywalker and uses the force to project himself on the sideline while he's really at home chilling on the couch.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">If Bill Snyder were to eat a chile pepper in one bite, what kind would it be and why?</p>&mdash; dust storm appreciator (@sp0rpsball) <a href="https://twitter.com/sp0rpsball/status/992057809075253248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The Infinity Chili Pepper, because it's incredible heat would give him the power to coach football for, well, infinity.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">What is better? Salsa or guac?</p>&mdash; Greg Houser (@GregoryHouser3) <a href="https://twitter.com/GregoryHouser3/status/992060835597045760?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Guac. Obviously.

That's not really a question for me. Guacamole is so much better than salsa. There are times my family will order a sampler platter of chips and dip and I will totally ignore the salsa and hog the guac.

Now, guacamole vs. queso or guacamole vs. black bean dip ... Those are some questions.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="es" dir="ltr">El Tapitio or La Fiesta?</p>&mdash; Robby Hudson (@RobHud3) <a href="https://twitter.com/RobHud3/status/992069416786518019?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

La Fiesta ... Easy!

When I first arrived on the K-State beat I lived in a sad, one-bedroom apartment not that far from La Fiesta and ate there a lot. Then I moved into a less sad rental property even closer to La Fiesta and continued to eat there a lot. Even bumped into Bill Snyder there once! Now that I'm paying a mortgage on a not-at-all-sad house on the opposite side of town I don't go to La Fiesta all that much.

Taco Lucha and Coco-Bolo's are my new go-to Mexican spots in Manhattan.

But La Fiesta is good and affordable. This question has me wanting to eat there again.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Do you have a favorite culturally appropriated holiday celebrated by Americans as an excuse to get inebriated? I’m personally not a big Saint Patrick’s Day/Oktoberfest(event not the Beer)/Cinco de Mayo fan personally.</p>&mdash; scottwildcat (@scottwildcat) <a href="https://twitter.com/scottwildcat/status/992074888067379200?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

I like to drink beer on Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July.

On Thanksgiving, I'm usually outside smoking or frying a turkey and you can't do either of those things without a beer in your hand.

On July 4, I'm usually grilling or swimming or looking at fireworks. Those are all fun on their own, but are you really celebrating American independence if you don't also crack open a beer?

Never been much of a St. Patrick's Day guy. Too busy covering basketball! But Cinco de Mayo is always a good time to drink tequila or cerveza.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">What should I do to occupy myself? Kstate offseason, Royals stink, Chiefs a few months out... <a href="https://t.co/8tU83VaSlt">pic.twitter.com/8tU83VaSlt</a></p>&mdash; Zac (@PowercatZac) <a href="https://twitter.com/PowercatZac/status/992056725544030209?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Well, you've still got the NBA and NHL playoffs to watch.

But you don't need sports to enjoy life this time of year. Get outside, go on vacation, drink a beer on the patio, smoke meat, golf, run ... Whatever you want. You could also go watch some movies or stream something on Netflix. Altered Carbon, Lost in Space and The Santa Clarita Diet are all really good, and there's always old BoJack Horseman episodes.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Which did you like better, Jedi or Empire??</p>&mdash; curtis dawson (@lunchbox_77) <a href="https://twitter.com/lunchbox_77/status/992095544062369793?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Empire.

They are both good movies, but The Empire Strikes Back is better. It's the best Star Wars movie ever made. It's got Hoth, Yoda, Lando Calrissian, Darth Vader choking inept admirals via FaceTime and a surprise ending. Plus, it doesn't have Ewoks, which are sadly everywhere in Return of the Jedi.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Has Tim Fitzgerald’s “Hit the breaks on the Weber extension” been effective? Have not heard anymore about extending him again.</p>&mdash; bkParallax (@bkparallax) <a href="https://twitter.com/bkparallax/status/992147884790468609?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

It's still happening.

I expect K-State to announce a contract extension for Bruce Weber in the next few weeks. Gene Taylor and Bruce Weber have agreed to basic terms on a new deal, they just need to hammer out the fine details before it can be signed.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Interested to know if Bill Snyder and Bruce Weber are the oldest football/basketball coaching duo in NCAA D1? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/oldbutgold?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#oldbutgold</a></p>&mdash; EVAN WILLIAMS (@Evan_Will32) <a href="https://twitter.com/Evan_Will32/status/992063538523967488?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

My answer to your question: probably.

Never thought to research the combined age of football and basketball coaches, but a quick and dirty search sure makes it seem like Bill Snyder (78) and Bruce Weber (61) are the oldest coaching tandem in major college sports. Snyder being the oldest coach in either sport gives K-State quite the advantage here.

Ohio's Frank Solich (73) and San Diego State's Rocky Long (68) are the oldest football coaches behind Snyder, and they are both paired with younger basketball coaches than Weber. So they're out.

Duke's David Cutliffe (63) and Mike Krzyzewski (71) are close. So are Syracuse's Dino Babers (56) and Jim Boeheim (73). But they're still collectively younger.

Feel free to correct me if I'm missing a coaching tandem here, but it seems like K-State takes the #oldbutgold trophy.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Any idea what the replacement turf is going to be? The old turf looked horrendous towards the end in my opinion!</p>&mdash; Zach Etzel (@KsZach14) <a href="https://twitter.com/KsZach14/status/992058365839925249?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Same paint design as the old turf, but the new artificial field will be state of the art with fresh blades of fake grass still pointing up to the sky.

You're right. The old turf looked beaten down. It was installed prior to the 2011 season and K-State used it for every home football game and the vast majority of practices. Definitely time for some new turf.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Turf removal: ~2 days <br>Time to watch turf removal: ~30 seconds <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KStateFB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KStateFB</a> <a href="https://t.co/3MvMOKdBkk">pic.twitter.com/3MvMOKdBkk</a></p>&mdash; K-State Athletics (@kstatesports) <a href="https://twitter.com/kstatesports/status/992087103461707778?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-cards="hidden" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">How does a seriously great special teams coordinator like Sean Snyder not have a better option at field goal kicker right now?</p>&mdash; Fort Worth Evan (@FortWorthEvan) <a href="https://twitter.com/FortWorthEvan/status/992056844830019584?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Let's not overreact here. Yes, it looks like K-State will take a step back in the kicking department without Matthew McCrane next season. But I think the Wildcats will end up OK.

At the spring game, Nick McLellan missed a 39-yarder off the left upright, Jake Roark missed by a wider margin from 48, and Blake Lynch connected on a 44-yard game-winner.

It's not like K-State kickers were topping the ball into the back of the long snapper or coming up 10 yards short of the goal post.

Here's guessing one of them matures into a serviceable option.

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