1. WHAT RETURNING KANSAS STATE BASKETBALL PLAYER MAKES THE BIGGEST JUMP NEXT SEASON?
DY: Nae’Qwan Tomlin. He had a very elementary understanding of organized basketball when he arrived at Kansas State. With that being said, he had the best professional traits of anyone on the roster, and that includes Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell.
Having guard skills at a 6-foot-10 frame and with that kind of length is special. Keyontae Johnson was absolutely correct that Tomlin would already be in the NBA if he had picked up basketball far sooner and played it at an organized level much earlier.
There is a reason that he is going to test the professional waters this offseason. If he cleans up his shot, becomes a more reliable outside shooter, expands his offensive arsenal between the three-point line and the bucket and gets tougher and stronger, look out.
2. WHICH FRESHMAN BASKETBALL PLAYER MAKES THE BIGGEST IMPACT NEXT YEAR?
DY: I’m assuming that is asking about which of the three K-State signees. That is a list that includes Macaleab Rich, RJ Jones and Dai Dai Ames. I have not held back my belief that Jones is the best prospect of the three.
In terms of the earliest impact, though, my answer is still Jones. I think his offensive game translates the quickest, he is going to be a shooter that Kansas State depends upon and he played stiff competition for the last 12 months.
Rich didn’t play the same kind of schedule and has more of a logjam to navigate, in my opinion. Point guards like Ames tend to need a little bit more time before making a huge mark.
3. WHO WILL BE THE NEXT FOOTBALL COMMIT?
DY: That is a great question. Honestly, I don’t have a fantastic answer. At this stage, most remaining uncommitted prospects are likely content with drawing it out a few more months so that they can take at least a few official visits, including one to K-State.
4. IF AARON ESTRADA DOES VISIT K-STATE, CAN THEY FLIP HIM FROM ALABAMA?
DY: I do not believe he will visit Kansas State. In my mind it is already a done deal that Aaron Estrada will play his college basketball in Tuscaloosa next year.
Tobi Osunsanmi/Kansas State Athletics
5. WHICH FRESHMAN IN FOOTBALL HAS THE BIGGEST IMPACT?
DY: Redshirt freshman or true freshman? I’ll do both.
Three redshirt freshmen come to mind for K-State. Linebacker Tobi Osunsanmi should see some spot duty at the very least, much like Jake Clifton a year ago. He has an enormous amount of potential, and I’d be surprised if he didn’t earn some playing time.
Two others are tight end Garrett Oakley and safety Colby McCalister. Oakley is someone that has a chance to grab some No. 2 tight end reps, and McCalister has seen significant snaps in the secondary during the Spring. John Pastore is a good pick, too, but the offensive line is very crowded.
In terms of the true freshmen, look no further than the Kansas State early enrollees who have just a little traffic in front of them.
Jayce Brown has earned some praise at receiver, though it could be tougher to crack at a spot that rotates a little less than others. Like offensive line, the linebacker room is a bit crowded for someone to break through this year.
The best answers may be Chiddi Obiazor along the defensive line or one of the early-arriving safeties in Wesley Fair and Kameron Sallis. All three are already on campus and have been praised by K-State defensive coordinator Joe Klanderman.
6. WILL THIS YEAR’S LEADING RUSHER HAVE OVER OR UNDER 8.5 TOUCHDOWNS?
DY: I will say under. That is due to a combination of my belief that we will see Kansas State have a higher percentage of throws and the rushing game being more of a balanced distribution between guys like Treshaun Ward and DJ Giddens.
7. WILL THE LEADING RECEIVER FOR KANSAS STATE HAVE OVER OR UNDER 4.5 TOUCHDOWNS?
DY: My gut instinct is to actually say over. Phillip Brooks is not exactly a home run or red zone threat, thus making the gap between Keagan Johnson and any other K-State receiver pretty wide, in my opinion. Add that to a higher percentage of throws and no Deuce Vaughn in the passing game.
Both Ben Sinnott and Johnson should both have a chance.
8. IS DAVID CASTILLO GOOD ENOUGH TO BE A ONE-AND-DONE?
DY: When it comes to David Castillo, he’s an excellent basketball player with a lot of skill. However, one-and-done guards typically have more size to them, or at least more length, and they are ball-dominant players.
Castillo may end up being ball-dominant or a volume scorer at Kansas State, but he may not even be a primary ball-handler. He’s more of a combo guard than anything. As some have noted, he could be an under-sized 2-guard at the end of the day.
None of that screams one-and-done. But by that, I mean a lottery pick after one year. That probably isn’t in the cards for the four-star playmaker. With that being said, that doesn’t mean he isn’t any good. I would just expect him to be one of the better players for K-State for multiple seasons.
9. BETWEEN KANSAS STATE FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL, WHO IS THE BEST ALL-AROUND ATHLETE?
DY: Instantly, Tomlin comes to my mind again. A freak athlete at 6-foot-10 is hard to top. Kansas State football players that would come to mind for it are Obiazor, Osunsanmi, Khalid Duke and Will Lee. If it was last year, Julius Brents would probably lay stake to the claim.
10. HOW MANY TIGHT ENDS IS COLLIN KLEIN GOING TO USE THIS SEASON?
DY: I could see three. A trio of Sinnott, Oakley and Will Swanson seems about right.
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