College Basketball

Hype in Huggieville

Differing opinions. What else would you expect in March? Some believe that the Kansas State Wildcats have already punched their ticket to “The Dance”, while others (so-called experts) believe otherwise. Whether it is the NIT or the NCAA Tournament, K-State fans have a reason to smile. Finally.

After the fall of the K-State basketball program and the emergence of the football team, things have switched back to the way they originally were. The Wildcat football team showed glimpses of their old self under highly-touted freshman quarterback Josh Freeman, who led the team to the Texas Bowl where they were promptly blasted by “America’s Team”- Rutgers, but the program doesn’t seem promising under Ron Prince. As things turned to the hardwood though, and as excitement blossomed on the Manhattan campus with the arrival of the Bob Huggins regime, this team has done what no one saw coming.Purple pride has been restored. It is harder than ever to find a ticket for a home basketball game at Bramlage Colisuem. Occupied seats outline the side of the court on gameday. Bob Huggins has already achieved so much in his short tenure in Aggieville. These ‘Cats look to be heading to the tournament for the first time since 1996. This may only be a stepping stone in the rebuilding process of a legendary program.

Led by senior, Cartier Martin, who doesn’t even start on the team, Kansas State has gone 21-10 and 10-6 in the Big XII conference. This man, who averages 16.9 points per game, has been through the grind of the life of a college athlete. Enduring the coaching change from Jim Wooldridge to Bob Huggins, things must have been difficult. But he has stayed around, and along with the help of teammates, sparked the Wildcats to a regular season-ending fourth place finish in the Big XII.

You have to remember this has all been done without true freshman Bill Walker. He sustained an injury early in the season and has yet to return. To me, this seems unbelievable. A sensational one-year turnaround without one of your key players.

Living in the Sunflower state, you see some quality basketball. There’s the Jayhawks in Lawrence, even the Shockers in Wichita, but I didn’t expect the Wildcats to compete this well, this soon. With the recruits coming in next year and a strong cast of players returning including Jason Bennett and David Hoskins, watch out, because there is some magic brewing in Manhattan.

One reply on “Hype in Huggieville”

This is so short… but it’s so directly to the point that I’ll vote it in.

I just hope Huggins is doing it on the level. He is a hell of a recruiter.

All they have to do now is beat Kansas in Manhattan and you’ll see a celebration like never before.

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