Mac Stevenson
Even though Big 12 basketball lost the challenge (W4-L6) to the SEC last Saturday, there was terrific national publicity gained by both leagues. ESPN stations carried all ten games and the national exposure will help schools in both conferences with their recruiting.
Kansas and Kansas State held up their end as the Jayhawks defeated Texas A&M (79-68) and the Wildcats took care of Georgia (56-51). It should be noted, however, that both Kansas schools had home court advantage and that’s important.
KU’s Bill Self rested his starters for two days prior to the Texas A&M game and it showed; the Jayhawks played with more spark and endurance than they’ve been showing. Devonté Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk and Malik Newman in particular had better stamina and bounce because of the extra rest.
Sophomore reserve center Mitch Lightfoot is playing better for KU; he’s beginning to score some points in the paint for the Jayhawks.
Kansas State has been playing exceptional basketball, even though the game with Georgia wasn’t one of their best. Center Dean Wade and guard Barry Brown have been highly effective on both offense and defense. And point guard Carter Diarra and forward Makol Mawien are coming on strong, but Mawien needs to play tougher and be more aggressive with his rebounding.
It appears—coming out of the SEC/Big 12 contests—that K-State and KU are certain to get solid seeds in the NCAA Tournament. For the rest of the regular season, it’s just going to be a matter of both teams continuing to improve.
Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder has announced the promotion of Andre Coleman to offensive coordinator for the Wildcats. Coleman has coached the receivers since 2013. Snyder also named offensive line coach Charlie Dickey and quarterbacks coach Collin Klein as co-coordinators. When you add Snyder to his new collection of offensive coordinators, it brings to mind an old expression: “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”
These moves, however, answer one vital question concerning the 2018 K-State team: the Wildcats will still be running Snyder’s offense and that’s fine as far as it goes. The problem is the excessive injuries to the quarterbacks due to the numerous running plays where they carry the ball.
K-State has two QBs—Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson—who have proved they are capable at the position. The issue is whether or not they can avoid injuries in Snyder’s QB-run offense.
In addition, K-State’s play-calling coordinators need to find a way to get the plays in quicker; one of the few shortcomings in Snyder’s system is that the clock is almost always running down to the final few seconds before the ball is snapped. It’s been that way for years and it needs changing.
Lorenzo Cain is no longer the center fielder for the Kansas City Royals; Cain agreed to a five year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers worth a reported $80 million.
Cain was a superb defensive center fielder and a capable major league hitter and he’ll be missed. And this is just the beginning of the dismantling of KC’s team. Owner David Glass has resolved to quit spending big money and the Royals’ fans are going to suffer because of that decision.
Kansas City is going to regress to the point where they will have a hard time getting out of the cellar in the American League Central Division. And that’s not just for this year; it’s for the foreseeable future. The time has come for Mr. Glass to pocket the huge profit that he’s made since acquiring the Royals and put the KC franchise up for sale. MLB is a game for big-money boys and the Royals ownership doesn’t qualify.
Here’s a word of warning for Kansas City Chiefs’ football fans: “Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.” Speculation is widespread that KC will release or trade QB Alex Smith and insert Patrick Mahomes as the starter.
Smith has one year left on his contract that calls for a salary of $20.6 million. Alex Smith led the Chiefs to the AFL West Division title last season; he did it with a poor defense and an offensive line that was mediocre at best.
If KC gets rid of Smith before the 2018 season, who is going to be the backup? And is Mahomes ready to be a starting QB in the NFL? That, more often than not, doesn’t work out as planned.
Alex Smith is just 33 and he’s among a small group of the best QBs in the NFL; CEO Clark Hunt had better think twice before he decides to get rid of KC’s veteran QB. There are more good reasons for keeping Smith than bad ones for letting him go.