Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Lawrence Lottery

Author: Nathan Mize

"With the first pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select....Andrew Wiggins, the University of Kansas". Adam Silver made his debut at the draft under his new position of commissioner of the NBA on Thursday night, and what better name to call first other than a Kansas Jayhawk. This pick sets milestones in KU history, and even on a personal level. This is the highest pick under the Bill Self era, starting in 2003. To think of all the great players that have passed through Kansas during that time and this lengthy 19 year old phenom tops them all. Danny Manning is the only other Jayhawk to go first overall a few years before I was born. So I couldn't be happier to see Andrew Wiggins be the first Kansas Jayhawk to go number one overall in my lifetime. (Hopefully it's not the last.)

Over the past weeks and even months, "experts" already have the draft lined out. This guy will get drafted here, but then traded for such and such player. All speculation that doesn't mean anything, it just gives ESPN analyst something to argue about. I bring this up because of the injury that Joel Embiid suffered only a week before draft night. Embiid was "projected" to go number one overall to Cleveland, but unfortunately he needed surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot, exactly six days before the big day. The injury could sideline him for 5-8 months. The sports world freaked out. Some say he would go middle to late round, some even said that he still deserved the number 1 pick. The silver lining is that the greatest player in the history of the NBA, Michael Jordan, had the same surgery early in his career. I would say it didn't really bother him.

So when the NBA Draft finally arrived, Wiggins went to the Cavs and Duke's freshman Jabari Parker went to the Bucks at number 2. (Side note- Riley was happy about this, because he is a closet Duke fan, but don't tell anyone). The Philadelphia 76ers were on the clock with pick number 3. Cleveland and Milwaukee passed on Embiid because of his injury, and they wanted someone who could come out of the gates right away and put up big numbers, which they undoubtedly got in Wiggins and Parker. To some surprise, the 76ers drafted Joel Emiid, the University of Kansas. At first sight, this was Joels reaction: (Joel did not attend the draft as he was recovering from his surgery in LA)

Upon further review, this was JoJos ACTUAL reaction to getting drafted:

The tape delay from New York to LA made it a very awkward moment in the eyes of millions. Maybe a little foreshadowing here, because there certainly will be a delay in Emiid's game. Some recover faster than others and come back even better. However, once he gets 100% healthy, I truly believe that Joel Embiid will be one of the best big men in the entire NBA. And I am saying that as non-bias as I can.

With free agency talk in a frenzy right now, I'm not sure how the Cavs will fair next season. If they push to get Lebron or Kevin Love, they would be unstoppable. However, that could be a whole other blog post in itself. With the players the Cavs have right now in Kyrie Irving and Luol Deng, which are questionably the most underrated players in the game, I see Wiggins fitting in perfectly. I can see him starting and putting anywhere from 15 PPG a night or even more. Cleveland needed a superstar like Andrew. He will be wearing number 21 next season because his usual 22 is retired by the Cavs. This is also a nod to his father Mitchell Wiggins, who wore 21 in the NBA.

All in all, the NBA draft is a beautiful moment in these kids lives. Finally getting to the big stages and showing everybody what you can do. The minor league (being NCAA basketball) is over. You've been called up and it's time to step to the plate. I cannot wait to see Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid tear it up next year, and represent the University of Kansas while they do. Cleveland Cav and 76er now, but a Jayhawk for life. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2013-14 Basketball Season Review

Unfortunately, Kansas State and Kansas both took early exits in the NCAA Tournament this year.  In this post, the guys will recap the season and look ahead to the future.

Author: Nathan Mize

This post is coming much earlier than I had anticipated. Being the optimist I am, I expected to be coming home from North Texas with a 2014 National Champions shirt on my back and a big smile on my face. Stanford had other plans.

NY times
I was lucky enough to drive to St. Louis last weekend to see the Hawks take on Eastern Kentucky. The final score of 80-69 really doesn't translate to the whole game. EKU is a "live by the 3, die by the 3" kind of team, much like Iowa State. KU has had trouble guarding perimeter teams all season, so I knew that this game wouldn't be your average 2 seed vs. 15 seed game. Luckily the Jayhawks pulled out the win, even without making a single 3 pointer all game. Coming home from St. Louis the next day, I kept replaying past KU tourney upsets in my head. Northern Iowa, VCU, Bradley, and Bucknell. I knew that couldn't be a good sign. From the tip of the Stanford game, I could tell something was wrong. Maybe it was because the game was at 11 o'clock on a Sunday morning and I was still trying to wake myself up. With no Joel Embiid, (and practically no Wiggins) the Hawks never seemed to be in the game. Connor Frankamp who was only averaging 1.9 points all season, was trusted to take the "Mario Chalmers" shot to send it to overtime. When the shot missed badly, the game was over. The season was over. No sweet 16. No North Texas.

It's easy to say that if Embiid played, we would've won. If Tarik Black didn't foul out, the outcome would be different. However, since the Jayhawks are one of the deepest teams in the country, we can't use those excuses. The five players on the court should've got the job done, and they didn't. It's as simple as that.
However, we can't let one game define a whole season. Looking at the big picture, KU won their 10th straight Big 12 Championship. A record of 25-10 with a starting lineup consisting of three 19 year olds. Losing all five starters from last season can obviously be a challenge. But at Kansas, we don't have anything called "rebuilding years". One of the most defining games of the season was the second game on November 12th vs. Duke in Chicago. I called this game "Game of the year" in a past KansasRivals post. This matchup of blue bloods not only would see where we would match up against great teams the rest of the season, but it also would show how the freshman would react to the big stage. With minutes counting down and when plays had to be made, it was obvious Andrew Wiggins was ready. The dunk and the foul (which fouled Jabari Parker out) was the deciding factor of the game. The Hawks ended up winning the game 94-83.

Coming into the season, I think we all can agree that the expectations for Andrew Wiggins were way too high. ESPN called him the next Lebron James. Videos of him doing 360 behind the back under the legs dunks on YouTube made fans think he would be the greatest athlete to ever walk on the face of this earth. As we were all caught up in the hoopla, I think we didn't respect Wiggins for what he actually was. It comes down to this: He averaged 16.8 points a game (led team), 5.9 rebounds (3rd on team behind Ellis and Embiid), 1.2 steals (led team), and he shot 45% from the field. Of course, these aren't Lebron numbers, but they are great numbers for any college player. The truth is, he didn't need to average 30 points a game. He's not the only player on the team. It is obvious that he will declare for the NBA draft, and I completely support his decision and wish him luck. People who think that he isn't ready for the NBA don't realize how good he actually was. He's not MJ, he's not Wilt, he's Andrew Wiggins.

One of the biggest questions in the past couple of weeks is will Embiid stay or declare for the draft with Wiggins? Earlier this week, yahoo sports put out a story saying that he will declare. This came to Embiid's surprise as he tweeted "I haven't made a decision yet." Personally, I really hope he stays along with every other KU fan. I'm positive he will do great in the NBA, but the thought of Embiid and 5 star recruit Cliff Alexander down low makes me excited for 11 straight.

All in all, it was another great season of Kansas Basketball. I want to thank Tarik Black, Justin Wesley, and Niko Roberts for (1-4) great years. I expect even better things next season for this team. Next year I will be a freshman at KU. Wouldn't it be memorable to win a National Championship my first year? Rock Chalk.

Author: Riley Gates

The 2013-2014 basketball season for Kansas State was not expected to be anything spectacular.  Losing 3 Seniors from the previous year that included a great scorer in Rodney McGruder, 7 footer Jordan Henriquez, and a defensive threat in Martavious Irving, did not give fans much hope to make a run at another Big 12 Championship, and possibly not making the NCAA Tournament.  Not to mention the loss of PG Angel Rodriguez who transferred to Miami.  The Wildcats didn't bring in any special 5-Star recruits either.  All 6 signees for 2013 were 3-Stars.  And the 6'10 Center that they planned to bring in was deemed ineligible by the NCAA and couldn't attend Kansas State.  Kansas State was depleted before the games even started.
The spirits didn't get any higher for the Wildcats after the season opener either.  K-State fell 60-58 in their season opener, at home, to Northern Colorado.  Many thought that it was just waking up on the wrong side of the bed perhaps, and the Cats would get going after that.  K-State won a game at home against Oral Roberts and then Long Beach State to go to 2-1 before heading to Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.  Even out of the country, it did not get better for Kansas State.  The Wildcats were upset in the first game by Charlotte and then dismantled by Georgetown in the next round.  K-State defeated Long Beach State again and came back to Manhattan going 1-2 in the tournament and 3-3 on the year.  Things did not look bright for Kansas State.

After buzzer beater loss at Texas (
Then as if it were some sort of a movie where the main character's team doesn't lose, the Wildcats won 9 games in a row including wins over Ole Miss, Gonzaga, George Washington, and (at the time) No. 6 Oklahoma State.  K-State moved to 12-3 and 1-0 in the Big 12.  Momentum was rolling heading into the rivalry in Lawrence, Kansas against the Jayhawks.  Well that momentum was put to an abrupt stop.  Marcus Foster was held to 7 points and the Jayhawks cruised, 86-60.  Kansas State would then go through the rigorous Big 12 schedule and won some games in dominating fashion, but lost games, sometimes at the buzzer.  The Cats went 4-3 after the first game with Kansas.  After those 7, the Jayhawks again would be the foe for K-State.  Many doubted Kansas State based off the inconsistency of the team, and the dominating fashion that they were defeated by in Lawrence.  But those doubters, forget the magic that a Sunflower Showdown in Bramlage Coliseum brings.

K-State forward D.J. Johnson (50) celebrates as time runs out and K-State defeats Kansas in Manhattan 85-82.(February 10, 2014)
DJ Johnson celebrates win over KU (Bo Rader photo)
No. 7 Kansas vs. unranked Kansas State.  The Jayhawks would surely cruise, right?  Wrong.  K-State played outstanding that night.  Offensively they were clicking.  Marcus Foster had 20 and Will Spradling had 15.  The Wildcats were also sound on the defensive side of the ball.  Despite a Game-Tying Layup from Andrew Wiggins at the end of regulation, he was held to just 8 points away from the free throw line.  And in a game where 7 footer Joel Embiid was guarded by 6'9 Thomas Gipson, Embiid was held to just 6 points all night.  K-State knocked off the Jayhawks 85-82 in OT in another special night at Bramlage.

Julius Randle of UK dunks on KSU (US Presswire)
K-State would finish the season from there on out 3-4 though, as they went through the wringer that is the Big 12 Conference.  They ended the regular season 20-11 (10-8).  They would match up with red-hot Iowa State in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament, and the Cyclones came out on top, 91-85.  Selection Sunday rolled around and K-State was put in arguably the toughest region of the 4, the Midwest region with the likes of undefeated Wichita State, Michigan, Duke, and the defending National Champions, the Louisville Cardinals.  The Wildcats didn't match up with any of these teams though.  But they did face another national powerhouse.  In the "Second Round" the Wildcats faced...the Wildcats.  The Kentucky Wildcats.  The match up proved to bee too much for K-State, but it was not a blowout.  Kansas State ended their season at 20-13 after the 56-49 loss.

Marcus Foster (College Basketball Talk)
This season was considered a failure by some.  Seeing as the Wildcats were 10-8 in the conference, ended the season on a 4 game losing streak, and were an abysmal 2-7 during the conference schedule while away from Manhattan.  Me personally?  I don't see how you can look at this as a failure of a season.  No, K-State didn't win the conference or any game in the postseason.  But before the season, K-State was not expected to have any success.  This team was NOT supposed to make the NCAA Tournament before this season, and they weren't supposed to be successful in the conference.  Well K-State DID make the NCAA Tournament and they finished in the top half of the Big 12, the nation's best conference.  The season was an overachieving season, and the way I see it, the start of something special.  K-State returns their top scorers next year.  Marcus Foster will only be a Sophomore and averaged 15.5 ppg.  Thomas Gipson will be a Senior and averaged 11.7 ppg.  Marcus Foster is a special kid who is just a pure scorer and does it very well.  Not to mention the other Freshmen that showed big time play like Wesley Iwundu or Nigel Johnson.  Jevon Thomas struggled on the offensive end, but it's nothing that the off season can't help.  And his defensive game is off the charts.  Then on top of all that, K-State gets transfers Brandon Bolden and Justin Edwards who sat out this year, and the highlight of the class, 6'10 Stephen Hurt from Northwest Florida State College.  Hurt will be a huge factor in the Wildcats' success.  The future looks bright, and I'm excited for K-State basketball in the years to come.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2014 Football Signing Day!

Dalton Risner
Recap of 2014 Signing Classes for both K-State and KU football.  We'll list all of the players and highlight a few big names

2014 Kansas State Football Recruiting Class
(Position, Name, Hometown, High School)
DB, Kendall Adams, Fort Worth TX, All Saints Episcopal
WR, Tyler Ahrens, Kerryville TX, Tivy
RB, Winston Dimel, Manhattan KS, Manhattan High
WR, Dominique Heath, Huntersville NC, Hopewell
LB, Elijah Lee, Blue Springs MO, Blue Springs High
DB, Kaleb Prewett, Blue Springs MO, Blue Springs High
DE, C.J. Reese, San Antonio TX, James Madison
OL, Dalton Risner, Wiggins CO, Wiggins High
OL, Alec Ruth, Highlands Ranch CO, Valor Christian
LB, Sam Sizelove, Argyle TX, Argyle High
RB, Dalvin Warmack, Blue Springs MO, Blue Springs High
(Position, Name, Previous School)
Dvonta Derricott
OL, A.J. Allen, Grossmont C.C.
DT, Terrell Clinkscales, Dodge City C.C.
WR, Andre Davis, Santa Rosa J.C.
LB, Dvonta Derricott, Garden City C.C.
OL, Luke Hayes, Butler County C.C.
OL, Terrale Johnson, Hutchinson C.C.
DB, Jesse Mack, Highland C.C.
DB, Danzel McDaniel, Dodge City C.C.
LB, Isaiah Riddle, Scottsdale C.C.

Dalton Risner-Dalton Risner is a big addition to this offensive line.  As of now, he is the only of the 2 High School signees that has shown a lot of promise to be a contributor.  Alec Ruth is only a 2 star, so he could get better, but won't see time as soon as Dalton.  Risner is a 3-Star offensive lineman and ranked 6th best Center in the nation for 2014.  He was recieved offers from 11 schools including K-State, Arizona State, and Missiouri, and had intrest from schools like Oregon and Oklahoma State.  Like Ryan Wallace said in my interview, he will likely take over at Center for BJ Finney in the 2015 season.
Terrell Clinkscales-I know we spoke at length about Terrell in the interview, but I can't stress how much a guy like Terrell is going to help out this team, which was known for having a struggling defensive line this season.  The Cats return guys like Travis Britz and Valentino Coleman, but lose contributors Chaquil Reed Alauna Finau.  4-Star Clinkscales, who had offers from schools like Alabama, Auburn, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Oregon, will more than likely be a starter on the defensive line when he gets to Manhattan.
Dvonta Derricott-Derricott is the other 4-Star in this class.  The 6'1, 230 pound Linebacker from Garden City was at stud at the Junior College ranks this season.  Derricott had offers from 28 schools including Arizona State, Oklahoma State, and Wisconsin before accepting Kansas State's offer.  Derricott could very easily see himself in a starting role at Linebacker with the departures of Blake Slaughter and Tre Walker.
(More Kansas State info in the interview with Ryan Wallace)

Author: Nathan Mize

2014 Kansas Football Recruiting Class

High School

Corey Avery, RB/WR, 5-10, 170, Dallas, Carter High
Matthew Boateng, DB, 5-11, 175, Bradenton, Fla., IMG Academy
Jacob Bragg, OL, 6-4, 305, Nacogdoches, Texas, Nacogdoches High
Darious Crawley, WR, 5-11, 183, Houston, Cypress Ridge High
Corey Avery
Joe Dineen, DB, 6-2, 208, Lawrence, Free State High
Josh Ehambe, LB, 6-5, 232, Arlington, Texas, Prime Prep Academy
Bobby Hartzog, WR, 5-11, 180, Houston, Westside High
Lay’Trion Jones, DT, 6-3, 297, Garland, Texas, Garland High
Derrick Neal, WR, 5-10, 155, Dallas, Lincoln High
Tyler Patrick, WR, 6-0, 170, The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands
Apa Visinia, OL, 6-4, 380, Grandview, Mo., Grandview High
Kyron Watson, LB, 6-0, 220, East St. Louis, Ill., East St. Louis High
D.J. Williams, DT, 6-5, 288, Lufkin, Texas, Lufkin High
Daniel Wise, DE, 6-3, 241, Lewisville, Texas, Hebron High
Traevohn Wrench, RB, 6-0, 190, Gardner, Gardner-Edgerton High

Junior College

Ronnie Davis, DB, 6-0, 180, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
Kapil Fletcher, DE, 6-3, 261, Hartnell Community College
Keyon Haughton, OL, 6-2, 309, Georgia Military College
De’Andre Mann, RB, 5-10, 205, Hartnell C.C.
Damani Mosby, DE, 6-3, 228, Mesa C.C.
Anthony Olobia, DE, 6-5, 241, Arizona Western
Anthony “Fish” Smithson, DB, 5-11, 185, Hartnell C.C.
Devon Williams, OL, 6-4, 340, Georgia Military College

Div. I Transfers

T.J. Millweard, QB, 6-3, 210, Colleyville, Texas (UCLA)

Kent Taylor, TE, 6-5, 223, Land O’ Lakes, Fla. (University of Florida)

• KU’s 2014 class includes 15 high school signees, 8 junior college transfers and 2 Division-I transfers. There are 12 defensive players and 13 offensive players in the group.

• The 2014 KU signees represent 9 different states and Canada, with Texas leading the way providing 11 new Jayhawks. Three local players signed letters of intent with KU as safety Joe Dineen (Lawrence, Kan./Free State HS), offensive lineman Apa Visinia (Grandview, Mo./Grandview HS) and running back Traevohn Wrench (Gardner, Kan./Gardner Edgerton HS) each joined the program.

• The Jayhawks signed four 4-star players according to — running back/wide receiver Corey Avery (Dallas, Texas/Carter HS), offensive lineman Jacob Bragg (Nacogdoches, Texas (Nacogdoches HS), linebacker Kyron Watson (East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis HS) and Wrench. Wrench was also given a four-star rating by

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ryan Wallace Interview!

Riley had the chance to talk to Ryan Wallace of and Powercat Illustrated about the 2014 K-State Football signing class!

Thanks to Ryan for taking the time to do this.  This will be talking about the class, then Nathan and I will do another post about football recruiting classes.  Copy and Paste URL below to hear audio.


Riley Gates: Riley Gates here from Kansas Rivals Blog.  A blogging website where myself and Nathan Mize, give our opinions on the world of sports for the Kansas State Wildcats, and the Kansas Jayhawks.  You can read our posts online anytime at, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter, @KansasRivals. I'm now pleased to be joined by and Powercat Illustrated's Ryan Wallace, who is the director of multimedia productions and assistant recruiting editor, how you doing today Ryan?

Ryan Wallace: I'm doing great.  It's a pleasure to join you.

RG: It's great that we could get you on here and talk about the 2014 Kansas State football recruiting class.  Definitely a lot of hype around this class, and we'll just go right into this.  If anybody follows you guys over at GoPowercat, they've seen the videos you produced this summer, specifically with the Blue Springs guys.  Kind of talk about that process that you went through with those videos and how you got to know the guys through that.

BS coach Donohoe (
RW:  Well first and foremost, it starts with Coach Kelly Donohoe over there at Blue Springs.  He does a tremendous job with that program and he made life easy for me.  He was a pleasure to work with, and like I said, made getting things scheduled, very very simple.  But more than anything, it was just kind of a matter of talking to the Blue Springs guys and some of the coaches over there, letting them know the idea that we had in place and I really wanted to try and mimic HBO's "Hard Knocks" as close as I possibly could and from there it was just figuring out dates that they had their team camp avalibility for.  And just getting down there and talking to them, watching them go through their summer conditioning, a side of high school football that I think goes unnoticed.  I mean that's when all the work really goes in.  At the college level you hear about the conditioning work and everything, but I think at the high school level it's very comparable.  Maybe not to the certain extent that it is in college, but a lot of time and a lot of effort goes in to a lot of Kansas and Missouri programs and I wanted to make sure that, that story was told for the Blue Springs kids, but like I said it was made a lot easier by the people over there at Blue Springs and also thanks to Rivals for their work putting together the Rivals camp series earlier this Spring, which allowed the GoPowercat employees like myself a chance to meet the Blue Springs guys before the summer, give them a chance to look at us, know our faces, know what we sound like, know who we are, who we represent, what we do and from there in April, we just started a bond and it was a pleasure getting to know those guys and really everybody that is associated with Blue Springs High School.  They've become a fan favorite.

RG: Definitely, and I know personally, I follow them on Twitter and I like to watch how the guys are going along the way.  The 3 guys in case people don't know who we're talking about, is RB Dalvin Warmack, DB Kaleb Prewett, and LB Elijah Lee.  Obviously, they're all 3 stars according to  Dalvin Warmack is a guy I like to follow specifically because Kansas State is losing John Hubert, the starting RB.  Of those 3 guys, do you think Dalvin is the guy who has the best chance to step up and take the starting job at their respective positions, or is it one of the other two?

Dalvin Warmack (KC Star)
RW: For me, I think it's a 50/50 battle.  Maybe a 60/40 battle between Kaleb Prewett and Dalvin.  I think Kaleb Prewett has a better chance to start or see more significant playing time right away.  Simply because the depth at his position isn't as deep as RB.  Now RB doesn't have a lot of experience returning, virtually none.  But I think Demarcus Robinson is a guy that position coach, Dana Dimel really likes, they just haven't been able to utilize him fully because John Hubert has been so good the last few years.  Jarvis Leverett was a former scout team Player of the Year.  We haven't seen him yet, but we know that that potential is there.  Even a guy like Charles Jones from what we've heard and gathered, continues to improve as a scout squad member.  So for Dalvin, he obviously has the talent.  When you're a back-to-back Simone Award winner, which has never been done before in the history of that award in 30+ years, obviously you have some talent.  Despite what my friends over at wish to believe, he is more than durable enough to take the beating of the Big 12.  I think they're going to regret not boosting him to a 4-Star.  But Kaleb Prewett is a very very special athlete.  This is a guy that his Pro Agility is off the chart, his 40, and what he's able to do in the weight room is freakish.  And he really has only improved since Coach Donohoe slid him over and really started working him, predominantly as a safety in that defense.  Because I think he came into the system more as a Wide Receiver.  He's very good at wide out, but he has become a natural safety, he has the size, I would expect by the time he arrives in June that he'll be looking at somewhere around 6'1, 6'2, probably in the 210 maybe flirting with the 215 range and that is a beast of a safety.  Aside from Dante Barnett, Dylan Schellenberg is a very smart player, will be entering his Senior season for the Wildcats, but lacks a lot of the raw ability and the athleticism that a guy like Kaleb Prewett will bring.  Travis Green is coming off an injury, so it's unclear and uncertain what he can provide, so at safety, that holds the potential to see the first Freshman starter in quite some time.  I mean Dante Barnett and Ty Zimmerman who was grey shirted, both saw some time, Ty more than Dante, as true Freshmen.  But really when you go back and look at the history of Bill Snyder, it would be very very rare for a Freshman to start at the safety position, but look out because I think Kaleb Prewett has a real shot to do that for this 2014 season. 

RG: Let's talk about possibly the biggest name in this recruiting class, known to many people.  4-Star player, 6'4 315 pound DT, Terrell Clinkscales.  For anyone who followed his recruiting process, he went from Dodge City Community College.  From there he received many offers, and he committed to Nebraska.  Many people, I know personally my dad who is the other recruiting editor at GoPowercat, he kind of foresaw it coming that Clinkscales would switch to K-State before signing day came around, he did that.  Terrell has received a lot of criticism I guess from Nebraska fans for not sticking it out at Nebraska and trying to make the grades, is what many people think is his reason for switching.  What is Clinkscales real position as to why he switched and does he have the chance to make the grades at K-State if it's about the grades?

Terrell Clinkscales (Terrell's Twitter page)
RW: From everything that I've spoken with to Terrell, on signing day I had a chance to do an interview with Terrell that was in upwards of 30 minutes long.  Part of that is just because Terrell is such an open guy and he's very easy to talk to.  He's very open and honest.  The thing that I gathered most from his reason for switching his commitment, was that the Kansas State coaching staff just remained loyal throughout the entire process, and they were willing to work with his current academic situation to try and get him in the best shape to play immediately in 2014, sooner rather than later.  It sounded to me like he was really swooped off his feet on his official visit to Nebraska.  Obviously it's become very clear if you follow him on Twitter that he does have a passion and a liking for a player like Ndamukong Suh and I think a lot of that really caught up to him on his official visit.  Now once he committed to Nebraska, from what Terrell has told me, the Nebraska coaches kind of became content with his commitment.  It was like, "OK we've got him on board now" and from there on out it was "We'll let him do whatever he needs to do and look forward to seeing you in August" or, "Look forward to seeing you in July."  And for Terrell, I think he was looking for a bit more structure.  He was looking for a bit more guidance.  "How can you help me with my academics?  What do I need to do?"  He told me stories of emails and phone calls that he had sent to the Nebraska coaching staff, and sometimes they would get back to him and sometimes they didn't, and a lot of times even when they did return his questions about "What classes do I need to take?" and "Which ones should take priority?"  the Nebraska coaches really didn't have answers.  And in the meantime, here's Charlie Dickey and the Kansas State coaching staff.  They have continued to call him every day, and when he asks questions to them about "What kind of these courses translate to Kansas State?  How can Kansas State help me with certain things?" Kansas State was there immediately with answers.  "You do A, B, and C, and this will happen."  And for Terrell, a guy who I think has always struggled in the classroom, and he'd be honest with you with that, that academics have never really been his strong suit because Terrell's focus is on football so it's been tough for him to stay motivated and dedicated in the classroom.  He's needed some guidance, and like I said he's needed some structure.  And so Kansas State was able to give him a plan of attack, that if he takes care of his business, he could potentially get done with all of his credits and really get started in the Kansas State football program as soon as June, rather than flirting with August or late July over at Nebraska and I think that's something that excites him.  Because he understands that he needs to get his conditioning in better shape if he wants to contribute immediately and he's going to need the majority of the summer to do so.  Kansas State is going to allow him, if he takes care of business, to potentially come in right away and get in Chris Dawson's workout program as soon as June.  At Nebraska it was more "We'll see when you get here" and Terrell Clinkscales wants to make an immediate impact now, not in the near future or distant future. 

RG: Switching back over to the other side of the ball real quick, specifically a position that I pay a lot of attention to.  Me personally, seeing as I am one of these when I play football, offensive lineman.  Obviously there's going to be some holes left for the next season.  A guy like Cornelius Lucas, big tackle on the left side, he's gone now so there's some holes that need to be filled.  K-State got a few offensive linemen.  AJ Allen, there was also Dalton Risner, and finally Luke Hayes from Butler Community College.  All of them are 3 stars.  Dalton Risner, according to Rivals is the 6th ranked (lineman).  Just kind of looking at it, I was listening to the podcast on GoPowercat the other day and you guys were saying that Luke Hayes really was showing some progress I think is what you were saying, and that he was really kind of dominating in the workouts that they were doing.  Just kind of talk about what you were hearing from these offensive linemen, if they can step up and be the same kind of structure that a guy like Cornelius gave. 

Luke Hayes (
RW: Well I think let's start with Luke Hayes, I think he's the headliner and rightfully so.  Probably partially due to the fact that he's already on campus which is going to benefit him and Kansas State in the long run just tremendously.  I think with Luke, you're exactly right.  Everything that we've been told by the Kansas State, I guess people that are closely involved with this Kansas State coaching staff, and closely involved with the Vanier Complex, have started to allude to us that just how special of a talent Luke Hayes could become.  From everything we're hearing in conditioning, sprints and Chris Dawson's philosophy, you gotta get up and really work your butt off early in the morning, and Luke Hayes has done just that.  There are rumors circulating that in one of the first sprint drills that he participated in, in the off season, he was beating linebackers and some of the other "skill position" players I guess you could say, in sprints.  Which is unbelievable when you think about it, but when you look at Luke Hayes' history, it shouldn't surprise that many people because this is a former Tight End out of Scott City, very gifted and has always been kind of a natural athlete for his size.  When he went to Butler County, he was recruited there as a Tight End, and they ended up deciding to put some weight on him, and he has such good feet that it was just a natural transition for him.  And so he's a very very athletic offensive tackle.  He takes his work very seriously, he's no nonsense, very hard working, hit you in the mouth kind of an offensive lineman.  He's mean on the field.  I'll be honest, he's not the easiest guy to talk to either, just because like I said, he's really all about his business.  He's a 2nd Team Junior College All-American, and I think the ceiling is very high for Luke Hayes.  I would be SHOCKED, I would be absolutely shocked, if he did not start at Left Tackle next season.  As far as Dalton Risner goes, I think him and Luke Hayes probably should've been 4-Stars, maybe I'm biased, but I think the film speaks for itself.  With Dalton Risner, he's a guy who's gone and played at 2 All-American Bowls now, and has been one of the best run blocking offensive linemen they've had at those bowls.  He'll redshirt this year, and by all accounts, he will replace BJ Finney after the 2014 season as the starting Center for Kansas State.  And with Luke Hayes, I think he's another guy who probably should've been a 4-Star, and I think that's really all you need to know about Luke Hayes.  There's a clip from his Sophomore season at Butler County this year, where Butler's on their 10 yard line, they were inside the redzone about ready to score, and Luke Hayes ends up tracking down the outside linebacker, and dragging him down at the 30 yard line down field, to save a pick-6.  Like I said, these are 2 guys that are very athletic, they're very hard nosed, very physical, and they're perfect for Charlie Dickey's scheme which is run, run, run, and...more running.  When you factor those 2 guys in, and you add a big time player like AJ Allen who will work on his conditioning, maybe trim some of his weight down and get more muscular, and get Alec Ruth, a guy from Valor Christian which is in Colorado and you get him in a redshirt season, I think that the potential for the offensive line is very high and obviously that's a position that right now Charlie Dickey really wanted to get some added depth in, and he got it with this recruiting class.

RG: Most definitely I think he did and I think he did a very good job going out and getting players that he really needed to fill those gaps.  Just kind of looking at this class as a whole now, many people think that it compares to one of Bill Snyder's greatest recruiting classes that he's ever had at Kansas State.  There's certainly been some good ones in the past, but many people think this is a very complete class.  But when you look at it on paper, there's 2 4-Stars according to Rivals, a bunch of 3-Stars, and a couple 2's.  According to ESPN, the class was the 10th ranked class in the Big 12 and I believe the 7th on Rivals.  What do you think it is, that people are saying that this is a very complete class and it's a very good class, but yet the people at Rivals and ESPN who say that they know what's going on here, claim that this is one of the bottom tier classes of the Big 12?

Blue Springs State Title (
RW: You know, I think that when it comes to some of these recruiting services, and I know I work for them (or) one of them, but it's very hard to evaluate a lot of players, and particularly a lot of players from around the area that I think Kansas State recruits most.  You look at Texas, some of the guys down there at Rivals will know about, but at the same time if you're not getting looked at by a Texas A&M or a Texas, or some of the other programs down there, you're not going to get maybe the full attention that you rightfully deserve, and I think that definitely in the Midwest when you start looking at some of the guys in the Junior College ranks and around the Kansas City area, specifically talking about the Blue Springs guys, there are just not a lot of analysts that have been able to put eyes on some of these guys.  I think the ones you have, would tell you that the rankings are probably a little underrated on most of these players, but for the most part, a lot of these guys just  have not been seen enough.  Or when you look at them on paper, they still need to grow an inch or they still need to add 10-20 pounds.  You know, are you looking at a guy like Elijah Lee that jumps out as kind of being a tweener at his position?  But what those recruiting analysts don't understand, is, well go back and look at the 2013 class of Bill Snyder.  You realize that Jordan Willis is the only Freshman that was not redshirted.  Virtually that entire class was redshirted.  I think Kansas State fans understand that when you look at a recruiting class, you don't look for immediate impact.  You start looking at guys on film.  What can they do, what can they do well, and then you try and start to predict what they're going to look like after a year, and it's very scary, in a good way for Kansas State.  I try not to look into the recruiting services too hard.  I think the guys from major areas and major football recruiting markets, you can tell pretty cut and dry who's going to be good and who's not.  But with so many guys in the Midwest, it's just tough to get a real gauge on them and what type of competition they're going up against and so a lot of analysts just shy away from this part of the country, and I think that's just a disservice to them, I think it's a discredit to a lot of the prospects, but it's just a side of the business.  But to answer the question about how good this class is, I think and your dad would agree, Brian Gates would agree and he knows a lot better than I would, this is probably the best class you're going to find in the Bill Snyder era, other than probably 1997 and 2003 and both of those classes had a lot of 4 year contributors in them, if not guys that were in the program for 5 years with a redshirt.  So I think that it's very balanced top to bottom and above all else, you're getting high character kids, high quality kids that are going to have their ears and eyes open to coaching.  They welcome it, they're not bigger than anyone whether it be a coach or a team, and I think they're all winners.  From Blue Springs, back-to-back State Titles, Valor Christian with Alec Ruth they won a State Championship this year, Kendall Adams down in Dallas, he played for a really small private school but they're back-to-back champions.  They have a lot of high recruits on their team, 4-Stars and I think  Demetrius Knox was flirting with a 5-Star so that's a guy that knows how to win and when you combine all those components, with a mix of JUCO guys, it's very balanced top to bottom and it's going to give Bill Snyder ample supplies for as long as he wants to remain on the sideline.

RG: It'll definitely be interesting to see how this class plays out in the coming years to see if this Kansas State team can reach the National hype that they have had in the past and I think that this class is very capable.  This is just the very tip of all the recruiting coverage that you guys can get if you guys go over to and sign up for Powercat Illustrated.  It's a very good site and I know you Ryan, and Fitz, Brett, and all the other guys over there that you guys just really put a lot of work, time, and dedication into what you guys do and I think fans really appreciate it and I think you guys are one of the best sites around.  I definitely encourage people to go over and look at your guys' coverage because it's not anything like what you're going to get on this interview.  It's a lot more in depth over there.

Powercat Illustrated
RW: Well I appreciate that.  You know I think that's one thing that we all strive for from what your dad is able to help me with in recruiting, all the way down to some of the articles that are provided by D. Scott Fritchen and Brett Regan who are both just tremendous writers.  I don't think you're going to find a better story teller than D. Scott Fritchen, anywhere.  I thoroughly believe that.  The guy should be writing for Sports Illustrated at this point.  But we're lucky enough to keep him on board at GoPowercat and like I said, it's been a pleasure talking with you and yeah I welcome anyone and everyone to come over to GoPowercat.  We're not going to light you up with a ton of recruiting stuff like some of the other sites can provide you because Bill Snyder is a very close minded person and he doesn't like all the ins and outs of what's going on in his program to get leaked to the public, and I don't blame him one bit for that.  But we dig and find as much information as is open up to us, and when it comes to the Kansas State beat, you're not going to find better coverage anywhere else when it comes to the Wildcats.

RG: Definitely.  Well Ryan I really thank you for your time.  I know like you said, you're out traveling right now so I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me and just giving a brief look at this class.  Thank you for giving us the chance to talk to you.

RW: It's been my pleasure.  Looking forward to it and hopefully some of these predictions and high expectations come true in the Fall.

RG: Well you have a good day and we'll talk to you later Ryan.
RW: Thanks so much.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Awards and 2014 Preview!

Author: Nathan Mize

With 2013 now in the rear-view, it is time to look back on the year that was!

Game of the year:
Kansas vs. Duke (November 12th)

Coach of the year: 
Bill Self

Most improved / surprising player of the year:
James Sims

Ben McLemore

Favorite KansasRivals post:
"The Ben McLemore Miracle"

2014 preview:
What a year! From the best recruiting class in KU history, to a Big 12 football win, 2013 had it all. I only hope that 2014 will be better than 2013. This year, I will be attending the University of Kansas. I cannot wait to cover stories and games for this website that two kids from Kansas put together. I hope everyone has a blessed New Year and as always, Rock Chalk.

Author: Riley Gates

Game of the Year:
Kansas State at Baylor (March 2nd)

Coach of the Year:
Brad Hill

Most Improved/Surprising Player of the Year:
Dante Barnett

Tyler Lockett

Favorite KansasRivals post:
"Erik Kynard Interview"

2014 Preview:
2013 was definitely the Year of the Cats.  A Big 12 Title in Football, Basketball, and Baseball made it an incredible year.  Football just ended their season with a bowl win.  The basketball team is finding their identity, baseball has a chance to be great again, and football in the fall is expected to be very good.  It could be another amazing year for Kansas State athletics, and I can't wait.  EMAW!