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December 2010 Archives

Cats Drop Heartbreaker in Big Apple

NEW YORK - NBA sensation LeBron James offered this tweet immediately after the game: "I'm watching this Kansas St vs. Syracuse Bowl game and the ref just decided the outcome of it! It's a shame."
A salute to Mr. James for seeing what the 38,274 fans at Yankee Stadium viewed first hand after Adrian Hilburn did nothing but offer a right-hand salute to the K-State crowd after scoring on a 30-yard reception from Carson Coffman to close the difference to two, 36-34, with 1:13  left in the game.


By Mark Janssen
You know the name of the late George Steinbrenner as owner of the New York Yankees, but did you know that he was a past college football coach at Purdue?
"I think George was always a football man first," said Lonn Trost, Chief Operating Officer of the New York Yankees. "I know that he's looking down on us today and smiling. One of his dreams with this new stadium was to bring in college football."

K-State, Syracuse Match 7-5 Records

By Mark Janssen 

NEW YORK - To the winner goes the George M. Steinbrenner Trophy and the chance to feel extra special good heading into the off-season, while it will be a continuing stagger mode for the non-victor.
K-State, 7-5, but winners of just two of its last six games, will be playing Syracuse, 7-5 and winners of just one of its last four games, will play today in Yankee Stadium in the first New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

Postcard From The Big Apple - Wednesday


View photo gallery from Wednesday | Watch video recap from Wednesday

By Mark Janssen

NEW YORK - The "Big Apple" was officially "Wabashed" today as K-State's Marching Band provided the atmosphere in a packed pep rally in downtown (or is it uptown?) Manhattan.
The crowd of a couple thousand had its patience tested as the team was snagged and snarled in NYC traffic as the normal 45-minute trek from Yankee Stadium took 1:20 to get to the rally located a couple blocks from the Sheraton Hotel.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 28

Dear Wildcat fans,

Greetings from SUNNY New York City! 

Coach Snyder and the football team have another busy day planned, which you may have already read about in Mark Janssen's daily update.

Last night I went with our student-athletes and coaches to the team welcome dinner in the Legends Club at Yankee Stadium. Also in attendance were the coaches and players from Syracuse.  Wildcat fans should be proud of how Coach Snyder's teams represent K-State at such events. Our players were dressed in coats and ties, and I noticed a number of our student-athletes taking the time to personally thank Yankees President Randy Levine and other bowl officials.


Snyder, Colbert so different, but best of friends
By Mark Janssen
In all honesty, they're K-State's "Odd Couple."
There's suit and tie Bill Snyder, who is best of buddies with Jim Colbert, who is anything but a suit and tie kind of guy with his turned-up collared golf shirts.


By Mark Janssen
NEW YORK - Keep these numbers in mind when it comes to Kansas State's No. 8 Thursday when the Wildcats and Orangemen of Syracuse match 7-5 records in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.
4 - That's how many touchdowns Daniel Thomas needs to move into fourth place with Josh Scobey for career rushing TDs at 31.

Postcard From The Big Apple - Tuesday


View photo gallery from Tuesday | Watch video recap from Tuesday

NEW YORK - Here's my thought for the day: Be careful what you wish for.
With clearing skies and slightly warmer temperatures, those lightly traveled city streets have become anthill-alive with the sound of honkety-honk-honk-honk yellow cabbies that are sending the slush of the streets splattering into the ka-ka-ka-zillion people that are now out and about.
Navigating the streets of NYC has become less of a challenge, but the city crews have nearly covered the cars of those who park in front of their apartments. To the eye today, owners should be able to drive by ... oh, maybe early-May!

Brown Defeats NYC

By Mark Janssen

NYC - Without question, John Brown is K-State's MVP of this New Era Pinstripe Bowl trip so far.
Never heard of him? That's not a surprise.
Brown, plus his son-in-law Todd Carlson of Wamego, were the men behind the wheels of K-State's two semis that left Manhattan on Thursday with over 30,000 pounds of football equipment, medical and video gear, plus, all the luggage of the 350-plus person travel party that arrived by charter Sunday afternoon.

Wright's Dream Ends in Grand Style

By Mark Janssen

Few Kansas State football players are savoring this trip to New York City and Thursday's New Era Pinstripe Bowl more so than Jarett Wright.
The 22-year-old talks like an awe-struck 12-year old as he says, "I catch myself just looking at that Powercat on my helmet. I'm just in awe of it. To know that I get to put that helmet on and represent Kansas State one more time is just an unbelievable feeling."

Postcard from the Big Apple - Monday


View Monday's photo gallery | Watch video recap from Monday

News Flash!
The sun popped out around 12:15 Monday lifting the spirits of all of 'us' New Yorkers. More so than K-Staters, it helped the mood of air travelers that were affected by nearly 1,500 NY flights in the city's three airports that didn't open until early evening, and then only on a limited basis.
Oh, and it really, really helped the disposition of over 500 travelers on the "A Train" who were trapped over night for eight to nine hours.
One of the neat sites of the morning was cross country skiers semi-zooming their way down 5th Ave., as pedestrians and a few vehicles shared the streets. While somewhat sunny, conditions were still blustery with 20-plus mile per hour winds.

Barrett Reflects on First Trip to NYC

By Mark Janssen
Ernie Barrett is 81 years of age, but the former Kansas State basketball All-American remembers his first trip to New York City like it was just a couple of seasons ago.
"It was early in the year and we took a TWA Constellation that was driven by four motors," said Barrett. Laughing, he added, "It was hardly a jet like we know them today."

Postcard From The Big Apple


View photo gallery from Sunday | Watch video recap of Sunday

New York City
- In a word, New York, New York, is colder than cold.
In another word, it's white, and getting whiter.
In yet another word, it's western Kansas windy. OK, that's three words.

PostMark NYC-Bound:

Sunday - A cast of roughly 350 Wildcats is scheduled to bus out of the Vanier Football Complex shortly after 8:00 a.m., this morning headed for Topeka's Forbes Field where a 9:50 a.m., departure is set on a chartered jet for New York's JFK Airport.

At last word, here was the forecast for the Big Apple: Snow Sunday through Monday with significant blowing and drifting. Winds out of the north will be 20-30 mph with gusts over 40.

Little Apple Heads to the Big Apple

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - At mid-morning today, Kansas State zooms out of Topeka on a charter loaded with a travel party of roughly 350 for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in New York City.

There will be a total of 122 Wildcat players, every 'Cat that took part in a practice this year, plus an immediate football support staff of 78, plus 150 athletic department members, plus families.

In the understatement of the recent weeks since the announcement was made on the Kansas State versus Syracuse game on Dec. 30, Director of Football Operations Sean Snyder said, "There has been a lot of organizing to do."

Favorite Christmas Gift Received

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Here are some Christmas time memories from the K-State athletic department to you...

"A furbie." - Amanda Weishaar, rowing

"A life-sized Raggedy Ann doll when I was little. Even though I wasn't too much into dolls, it was really cool. Unfortunately, our hunting dog ate it Christmas evening!" - Jill Shields, associate AD

Favorite Christmas Gift Given

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Here are some Christmas time memories from the K-State athletic department to you...

"A few years ago we didn't exchange gifts in our family to save money to go to Hawaii to celebrate my dad being cancer-free for five years. It was a year where we gave a gift of love. A little cheesy, but that is the best Christmas I can remember." - Paige Osterloo, women's golf

Snyder Perfectly Happy with Bowl System

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - On Dec. 11, 1982, Kansas State made an appearance in the Independence Bowl.

To schools like Oklahoma, Nebraska and Notre Dame, they surely wondered why there were so many bowl games, and, who would ever want to go to Shreveport, La.?

The answer was 'K-State' was thrilled to have the opportunity. It was the first postseason opportunity for the Wildcats in the history of the school, plus, it gave all in purple and white reason to hope for more bowl attractions in the future.

Student-Athletes Give Back to Manhattan

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State's student-athletes are much more than dazzling runners, slam-dunk artists and chip-ins on the golf course.

While the city of Manhattan cheers their every move on the field/court/course/diamond/track, the Wildcats are now trying to do their best to give back to the Little Apple through a variety of community service projects.

The current example of that is K-State's "Adopt-a-Family" program through the Flint Hills Breadbasket organization.

The Best of the Best

By Mark Janssen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In years to come when debating about the best of the best guards in K-State history, two leading candidates will be wearing suits as coaches for the opposing team tonight, while the other has helped K-State re-emerge as one of the nation's top programs heading into the 8 p.m. game with UNLV at the Sprint Center. 

Pullen (2007-08 - present) is K-State's preseason All-American; Lon Kruger (1971-72 - 1973-74) is the current head coach at UNLV, and Steve Henson (1986-87 - 1989-90) is an assistant for the Rebels.

K-State to Play in Christmas Classic

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Fast starts are the norm for Deb Patterson's basketball teams, but the norm for all coaches is also never being satisfied with an 8-1 record like the Wildcats have this year.

In six of the last 10 seasons, K-State has started the season with either an 8-1 start, or in the case of the 2008-09 season, a 9-0 beginning to the hoop year.

That's good, but the Wildcat basketball coach also understands that the road gets tougher as soon as the calendar flips from December to January.

Wildcats Hope to Regain Spirit

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State went into the weekend with a glossy 9-1 record and a No. 6 national ranking, but most would agree that the play of the Wildcats has not been the prettiest in those first 10 games of the season.

One of those agreeing, in fact, is coach Frank Martin, who said after Saturday's 57-44 loss to Florida, "We've been playing with fire all season and the fire finally burned us."

Nelson's Big Dreams Come True

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Jordy Nelson is an example of dreaming big.

Jordy Nelson is an example of being prepared for an opportunity.

Honestly, it's the Jordy Nelsons of the world that have made Kansas State football through the years.

Another 'Homecoming' for K-Staters

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Last week, it was Jacob Pullen who had his homecoming game in Chicago, and today it's Frank Martin who takes his turn as Kansas State plays Florida, in Sunrise, Fla., just a 30-minute drive north of where he grew up in Miami.

In prepping for the Gators, Martin says it's "... just another game. You scout, you watch tape and you get your guys ready."

But once arriving in southern Florida, he knows there will be family distractions, as well as scores of friends wanting at least a handshake and offer a pat on the back.

Spradling Making Immediate Impact

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Here's the roll call of fulltime freshmen starters in K-State basketball history: Dean Harris, Mike Evans, Curtis Redding, Rolando Blackman, Tyrone Adams, Ed Nealy, Freddy Marshall, Norris Coleman, Steve Henson, Askia Jones, Ayome May, Cartier Martin, Clent Stewart, Michael Beasley, Bill Walker and Jacob Pullen.

And now, add the name of Will Spradling to the fancy list of Wildcat all-timers who started in their freshman season since the rule went into place in 1971-72.

Live, from New York, it's Kansas State

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Updates, Photos and Videos from NY Starting December 26

Beginning December 26th, kstatesports.com will provide exclusive updates, stories, photos, videos and more from the team's trip to New York City for the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl. 

You'll go behind the scenes as K-State prepares for Syracuse. You'll tag along with team activities and  events. And you'll experience the sights and sounds of New York City as we turn the Big Apple purple.

For complete information on the Pinstripe Bowl, visit K-State's bowl headquarters at kstatesports.com/bowlgame.

Walker Learns on the Job

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Just what is the key for a high school linebacker to adjust to play at the Big 12 level?

"The most difficult thing is reading your keys," said K-State freshman linebacker Tre Walker. "It's easy to get out of it mentally and then you lose your discipline."

Other than that, Walker will tell you that football is, well, just football.

Hill Competes, Defeats Odds

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kelsey Hill defines herself as a "competitor."

In her words, "That's in everything I do."

For the last shot, she says, "I want the ball in my hands. I want to make the shot."

In grades, the 3.5 student in agriculture journalism says, "I want to make the best grades of anyone."

Defense Steady for Wildcats

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Picture a Frank Martin-coached basketball team and the first vision is tenacity and toughness on the defensive end. This year is no exception.

In a year that K-State's offensive accuracy has been iffy at times, its defensive play has been extremely steady.

In a 9-1 start to the season, the No. 6 ranked Wildcats are allowing only 62.5 points per game, and are holding teams to 38 percent shooting overall, which includes a chilly 32 percent from 3-point range.

Concussions Taken Seriously at K-State

By Mark Janssen 

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Joe Paterno said it last month: "We used to have one single bar; now we have a weapon."

The 83-year-old Penn State coaching legend added, "I've been saying for 15 years we should get rid of the facemask and get back to shoulder tackling."

Wildcats So Close to Being Ranked

By Mark Janssen

Kansas State's women's basketball team is trying to break a streak with coach Deb Patterson believing that her ladies are knocking on the door.

Not since the last week of the 2008-09 basketball year has K-State's women's basketball team been ranked among the Top 25 teams in the nation. That's not during any week of last season, and to date, not any week of this 2010-11 campaign.

"I think we're right there," said Patterson of her 7-1 basketball team heading into today's 2 p.m., tipoff against 6-1 UC Davis in Bramlage Coliseum. "If you take those teams ranked No. 23, 24 and 25, I think you could make a case for us being right in that mix."

Pullen Goes Home

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Maywood, Ill., isn't Chicago, but the community of 30,000 just to the west side of the Windy City makes it a true homecoming game today at 3 p.m., when Jacob Pullen leads his No. 5 ranked Kansas State Wildcats against Loyola-Chicago.

Admitting that homecomings often times turn sour for the star of the day, Wildcat coach Frank Martin said, "I hope we break that so called mystique and Jacob plays well, because we need him to play well."

Pullen understands that, and now is getting an introduction to what Denis Clemente went through when he returned to Puerto Rico last season.

Samuels is K-State's 'Energy' Man

By Mark Janssen

Might this be a Kansas State basketball team that goes the way Jamar Samuels goes?

When right, he's the single Wildcat player who can score, can rebound, can swat shots and can supply a mega-dose of energy.

That's what he "can" do. But can he do it consistently?

Pullens Set for Jacob's Homecoming

By Mark Janssen

Jerome Pullen can only laugh when asked what the last couple of days have been like.

"The list grows every day," Pullen said. "There are 10 new ones coming, then 10 more, then 20 more. I'm not sure when it will end. I'm sure the list is at 100 or more by now."

The list is that of family and friends that will be attending Saturday's 3 p.m., tipoff between Kansas State and Loyola-Chicago at the Joseph J. Gentile Center to see Jacob Pullen's homecoming game to the Chicago-area.

Snyder Places High Value on December Practices

By Mark Janssen

Kansas State's football camp reopened for business late last week, and will continue on a three- to four-day a week routine heading into the Christmas holidays, followed by a trip to New York City for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 30.
Coach Bill Snyder said that practices during the next three weeks will be "piecemealed" around recruiting trips by coaches, final exams for the players, plus a couple days off for Christmas before returning to Manhattan for a Dec. 26 practice and departure for the Big Apple later that day.

Fritz Wants to See Growth Through Experience

By Mark Janssen

Kansas State volleyball coach Suzie Fritz knew that it would be a season of "challenges," and it was just that.
The Wildcats won just 12 of 31 matches, which included a 6-14 record in Big 12 play with a roster that included just two seniors, no juniors and 15 underclassmen.

Martin: Search Continues for Leadership

By Mark Janssen

Leadership is one of those intangible things that's tough to put a definition to other than to say that good teams are said to have it, and iffy teams are said to lack it.
There's no question that Kansas State's No. 5 ranked and 7-1 basketball team has a world of potential, but the search continues to locate that steady leadership on a team that includes six sophomores and four freshmen.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - December 5

Good Afternoon Wildcat Nation!

Today is a big day - the 6-0 Wildcat women's basketball team tips off at 18th-ranked Iowa at 2 p.m. (listen on the K-State Sports Network and online for FREE) and then by tonight the bowl line-up will be complete and approximately 8,000 student-athletes will get ready to experience the thrill of participating in college football's post-season!

Chisholm Now a Hoopster

By Mark Janssen 

Coach Deb Patterson defines the moment as "... one of those when something really good happens to you and you ask, 'How did that drop out of the sky?' "
The moment came last December when Kansas State volleyball coach Suzie Fritz made a cross-campus call with the message that her outside-hitter, JuliAnne Chisholm, had an interest in playing basketball after her volleyball career was over next year.

World-Class Experience Awaits Cats in NYC

By Mark Janssen

John Currie has always said one of the top goals of the Kansas State athletic department is to give the student-athletes "... a world-class experience. I think we're going to have that in one of the world-class cities of the world."
That city is New York City where the Wildcats will play in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl against the Syracuse Orange on Dec. 30, in Yankee Stadium. The game will have a 2:30 (Central time) kickoff and be televised nationally on ESPN.

Cats' Mental Focus the Key to Free Throws

By Mark Janssen 

Attention Dr. Tom Amberry: Please report to Bramlage Coliseum ... immediately.

Who is the heck is Doc Amberry, you ask? Well, he's nicknamed the "Big Kahuna of Free Throws."

Inconsistencies Sum Up 2010 Season

By Mark Janssen

Kansas State's football record says it all.
Seven wins indicate there were some ups; five losses advertise there were some downs.
"Inconsistencies," said coach Bill Snyder in defining the 2010 season. "At some point of the season, we were probably a little bit better than we should have been, and then there were times when we were not as good as we should have been."

Wildcats Making News

by Mark Janssen

BIG 12 COACHES AWARDS: The Big 12 coaches have voted on their yearly awards with K-State's William Powell being the lone all-league first-teamer. Powell ranked first in the nation for the majority of the season in kickoff returns.
Second team recognition went to Zach Kendall at offensive guard, Daniel Thomas at running back and Ty Zimmerman as a defensive back.