Campus Corner

Kansas State mailbag: NFL Draft predictions, basketball projections and more

Tyler Lockett.
Tyler Lockett. The Wichita Eagle

It’s time for another K-State Q&A.

Let’s get right to your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.

The safe answer is two. Tyler Lockett is a lock to get drafted in the early rounds, and B.J. Finney will get selected at some point, probably the middle rounds. After that, nothing is certain. Jake Waters could be a late-rounder, but he seems like more of an undrafted free agent, especially now that he is recovering from shoulder surgery. The only other K-State draft prospect is Ryan Mueller, who will certainly get the opportunity to make a roster. But he also seems like more an undrafted free agent. So, my prediction is that two K-State players will hear their names on draft day, while several others, including Curry Sexton, Jonathan Truman and Valentino Coleman, get try outs.

The two players I will have my eye on during spring football are running back Dalvin Warmack and center Dalton Risner. Both freshman spent the past season with redshirts on the scout team, and coaches had lots of positives for each of them leading up to the Alamo Bowl. Warmack, if he continues to improve, could challenge Charles Jones for carries in the backfield. At the least, he should complement Jones’ running style as a change of pace. And Risner could follow in Finney’s footsteps as a four-year starter on the offensive line. He will have to beat out other blockers for the opportunity to play next season, but I think he is up to the task.

If a senior transfer that is eligible to play immediately without sitting out expresses interest, yes, I think K-State would try and recruit him. But a regular transfer may seem less appealing to the coaching staff. The Wildcats have young potential at the position, but they could use veteran competition right away.

No dates have been set.

“Lord of the Rings” or “Star Wars?” That’s like asking me to choose between brisket and ribs at a barbecue restaurant. I want them both! I’m torn here. Both movie franchises had their highs and lows. I could wath the battle scene at the end of Two Towers all day long and “The Empire Strikes Back” is one of my all-time favorites. But “Return of the King” dragged on and there was so much walking in those films. Star Wars has the Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks and the awful prequels. I guess I’ll go “Star Wars,” just because I’m more intrigued by Episode 7 than I was for any of the Hobbit movies. But it is close. I have and still do own a cardigan. Favorite athlete: Reggie Miller. I loved watching that guy play basketball, especially late in close games. So clutch.

This is the opposite of the last question. Is there no third option? My choice would be The Aggie Lounge. I would want to go out drinking light beer from a can, just like I started.

I have not heard that any of K-State’s assistants are looking for new opportunities. Some of them have turned down interest from other teams, though.

Transitioning into basketball: Justin Edwards has a higher ceiling than what he has shown us so far. I don’t think he will end up being as good as his teammates made him out to be during the offseason. He is never going to lead K-State in scoring. But now that he is building a bond with Marcus Foster and Wesley Iwundu and he is figuring out how to use his athleticism within Bruce Weber’s offense I could see him scoring 15 points in a conference game at some point.

That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Just when it looked like the team was done it beats a ranked foe on the road and goes on a three-game winning streak. The answer for the future, as it often does, probably lies in the middle. K-State will compete with all, and beat many, of the Big 12 teams it plays at home. Now that Marcus Foster has regained his focus and Justin Edwards and Wesley Iwundu have settled in as role players, they will resemble the team many picked to finish in the top half of the Big 12 standings. But it won’t contend for a conference title and has lots of work to do before it can challenge for an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Statistical guru Ken Pomeroy projects K-State to finish the season 4-10. My guess is it will be closer to 7-7.

I was wondering the same thing earlier this week when the K-State transfer led Miami to a double-digit victory at Duke.

A quick, score-first point guard that can create his own shot would be a welcome addition to K-State’s current lineup. He is averaging 15.2 points for the Hurricanes, and the Wildcats could definitely use that type of scoring next to Foster. The biggest boost he could add his dependability. Bruce Weber is only now starting to figure out how to use newcomers like Stephen Hurt and Edwards. And he is going back and forth between Nigel Johnson and Jevon Thomas at point guard. With Rodriguez, he would simply play him as much as he could. With Foster and Rodriguez you would have two big-time scorers on the same roster. My guess is K-State would be on the same level as Baylor or Oklahoma had he stayed. Too bad we don’t have a simulation to run and find out.

To reach Kellis Robinett, send email to krobinett@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @KellisRobinett.

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