K-Stated

Kansas State Q&A: Lots of spring football and a little basketball

Quarterback Jesse Ertz hands the ball to Charles Jones.(April 25, 2015)
Quarterback Jesse Ertz hands the ball to Charles Jones.(April 25, 2015) The Wichita Eagle

It’s time for another K-State Q&A.

Basketball season is over, but spring football is upon us. Glad to see there are still plenty of questions to go around. Let’s get right to them. Thanks, as always, for asking them.

I would take things a step further and say Alex Delton should play an expanded Wildcat role if he ends up as the primary backup quarterback.

Jesse Ertz tore the ACL in his right knee (for the second time) on the only run he attempted last season. Best to keep his carries down this season.

Besides, plenty of other teams are starting to have success while using both a passing quarterback and running quarterback. That strategy helped Texas and Oklahoma State last season.

K-State would be wise to get both Ertz and Delton on the field in some capacity next season. At the least, the extra snaps would prepare one of them for full-time duties should the other suffer an injury.

As long as the quarterbacks they use are good and worthy of playing time, I think using multiple passers is a plus. But if they are stuck trying to decide between below average options, such as last season with Joe Hubener and Kody Cook, then they are better off giving all the snaps to freshman Skylar Thompson and grooming him as the quarterback of the future.

I wouldn’t use the words “struggle” and “K-State” and “defense” in the same sentence. Not until the Wildcats give me a reason to, anyway.

K-State returns the bulk of its best players on defense -- Will Geary, Jordan Willis and Tanner Wood up front, Elijah Lee and Charmeachealle Moore in the middle, plus Dante Barnett, Duke Shelley and Kendall Adams deep. That’s a solid lineup.

They will need help from graduate transfer Cedric Dozier at corner. They could also use some new formations/strategies from coordinator Tom Hayes. Still, this will be one of the more experienced defenses in the Big 12. I understand K-State had issues stopping potent offenses last season, but it could be a much improved unit.

Dante Barnett and Kendall Adams at the safety spots, plus Duke Shelley at corner. Not sure who starts the spring game at the other corner slot, but I will be shocked if Cedric Dozier isn’t starting there against Stanford.

Let’s tackle these line by line with answers from a Magic 8 Ball.

On Bill Snyder’s future: Reply hazy, try again.

On Bill Snyder’s successor: Cannot predict now.

On Byron Pringle: Outlook good.

On running back: Signs point to Charles Jones. As I see it, Justin Silmon.

On quarterback: You may rely on Jesse Ertz.

The odds are similar for both possibilities, but I would think missing a bowl would be slightly more likely.

Everything will have to break right for K-State to win nine games. It would take a 2-1 nonconference record and then the Wildcats would need to run the table against the mid-tier teams in the Big 12, meaning they would have to beat West Virginia, Texas Tech, Texas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Kansas. And then they would have to win a bowl game. Otherwise, they would need to win at Baylor, Oklahoma, TCU or Stanford. Maybe TCU takes a step back, but all those games will be tough as nails.

Nine victories is probably this team’s ceiling.

I think K-State gets to six wins no matter what next year with the defense it returns, but another throng of injuries could make things tough. If Iowa State, Texas Tech or West Virginia improve, the schedule will be harder than currently expected. Some close losses could result in a 5-7 record. Then again, that may be good enough for a bowl.

There are so many Nike templates to choose from. All purple, all black, all white, purple and white, gray and purple, camouflage.

But I would go black with purple accents. Something like this:

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They both need to get healthy and stay healthy.

If that happens, Bruce Weber thinks Isaiah Maurice and Dante Williams will both play meaningful minutes next season. Teammates raved about Williams’ shot-blocking abilities in practice this season. He could be a nice addition on defense.

His choice will probably come down to brand name (Indiana) vs. playing time (K-State).

If McSwain is as good as advertised, he could make a bigger impact with the Wildcats. But the Hoosiers are the better team with more tradition. Could be a tough choice for him.

He saved his Indiana visit for last, which probably means he is favoring the Hoosiers. And the recruiting website 247sports projects him 100 percent to Indiana.

But he has also visited K-State twice. I don’t think he has made a decision yet. I would give K-State a 40 percent chance.

Baylor is in his home state. Baylor has outperformed K-State during the Scott Drew era. And Baylor probably offered him more money than the $230,000 salary he was earning in Manhattan.

Tough to turn that down. This job is a big opportunity for Alvin Brooks and his family.

I think it’s a good change for both sides. Brooks is a good coach, but he wasn’t getting that many recruits to K-State. Marcus Foster, Wesley Iwundu and Dante Williams were the only Texas guys he got credit for. Bruce Weber could benefit from some new blood on his coaching stuff, and Brooks will likely have more pull on the recruiting trail at Baylor.

A return to the NCAA Tournament next season seems like a reasonable minimum requirement.

Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett

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