K-State Q&A: Arthur Kaluma, basketball transfers, Wildcat superstitions and mascots

It’s time for another K-State Q&A.

No need for a lengthy introduction this week. Let’s dive right into your questions about the Wildcats. Thanks, as always, for providing them.

Jerome Tang has two open spots left. What is his plan for rounding out the Kansas State men’s basketball roster? - Andrew B. via e-mail.

Keep an eye on Kentucky transfer Ugonna Onyenso.

The 7-foot sophomore is looking for a new college basketball team now that he has removed his name from the NBA Draft, and K-State might be at the top of his list.

Onyenso plans to make a recruiting visit to K-State on Monday, according to Joe Tipton of On3. That is certainly good news for the Wildcats, who could use another talented and athletic big man in their front court. Onyenso has also been linked to North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi State and Louisville. Others have probably reached out to him now that he is fully committed to another year of college hoops.

So landing Onyenso would be a nice June recruiting victory for Tang ... if it happens.

Onyenso averaged 3.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks for Kentucky last season. While those aren’t the greatest numbers in the world, he is clearly loaded with potential. It would be interesting to see him and Baye Fall, another SEC transfer, both playing at the five next season in Manhattan.

He seems like Plan A.

I’m not sure what Plan B looks like, but the Wildcats have done their best to stay in the mix with players as they exit the NBA Draft. Arthur Kaluma will be a target. So will others.

Prediction on where Kaluma ends up? -@GuitarCatsChief via X.

Kaluma is the college equivalent of a free agent.

The 6-foot-7 wing who averaged 14.4 points, seven rebounds and two assists per game for Kansas State last season is good enough to play and start for just about any basketball team that is currently hunting for a transfer.

That makes him a hot commodity, especially this late in the process.

Where will he end up? The answer will probably come down to NIL money. Sorry if that seems like a cold answer, but college sports is a business and Kaluma will be looking to cash in just like everyone else.

That could make it hard for the Wildcats to retain him. Jerome Tang wants him back, but I don’t think K-State will be the top bidder for his services. If that were the case, Kaluma would not have entered the transfer portal. Heck, he might not have even tested the NBA Draft waters.

K-State will be in the mix, but I wouldn’t describe the Wildcats as the favorites. Others will be involved. Kaluma has already transferred once, from Creighton, and he is open to doing it again.

I’m not sure where he will end up. This one will be interesting to watch.

What’s the most bizarre superstitious ritual you’ve seen a K-State player, coach or fan perform before a game? -@CatAttackPod via X.

Well, Bill Snyder was so particular about his music that he made Kansas State use the exact same playlist before every single home game that he coached ... at least during his second stint with the Wildcats.

You could tell exactly how much time was left before kickoff based on when his song choices, such as “Right Now” by Van Halen and “New Sensation” by INXS and “One Vision” by Queen, were being played during warmups.

Snyder was so particular about his music that, legend has it, he once tried to get an opposing team to start playing his playlist before a road game because he didn’t care for the songs they were blaring inside their stadium.

I really wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that conversation.

While I respect the boldness of such a request, you don’t get more outlandish or superstitious than that.

The only other thing that comes to mind is Barry Brown’s old warm-up routine. When he was a senior playing for Bruce Weber, there were times he would stay out on the court shooting solo for so long that he missed part of the pregame speech in the locker room.

I once asked Brown how he determined when he was finished warming up, and he said it was all based on feel. Sometimes he finished on one made free throw. Other times he needed to make five in a row before he felt ready for a game. But those last shots always had to take place with just him on the court.

Haven’t seen anyone else in a K-State basketball uniform do that since, or before for that matter.

What’s the best Tom Hanks movie and the worst? -@GuitarCatsChief via X.

Toy Story is his best work, hands down.

Alas he is only the voice of Woody. So if you’re asking about his best movie in which he actually appears on screen on as a lead actor then I am probably going to go with Apollo 13. But I also gave some thought to Saving Private Ryan and That Thing You Do.

Sorry Forrest Gump.

His worst movie: The Circle?

I’m not sure on that one. The Circle was really bad. But I did at least watch it. I didn’t even try on some of his other work.

Would you rather see a female companion for Willie Wildcat, or see Willie evolve into a full body cat? -@scottwildcat via X.

Why not both?

I wouldn’t mind either of these things happening to the K-State mascot.

North Carolina State paraded around a pair of mascots (brilliantly named Mr. and Mrs. Wuf) at the Pop-Tarts Bowl, and I liked it. Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, Kansas, UCLA and others all have both male and female mascots at certain games.

It seems like women aren’t all that well represented in the mascot world. Why not create more opportunities for them?

Willie and Willa the Wildcats sounds pretty good to me. Just think about all the zany things they could do at football games.

I could also get behind a full-body suit for the K-State mascot. Even though I have no problem with just the Willie head, only a certain type of person can really wear it. Let’s be honest, you have to be in amazing shape to wear the Willie head on top of a basketball uniform.

Think about it, if you don’t have bulging muscles people are going to notice. If you are too skinny or too chunky and you are wearing the Willie head then people are going to point it out on social media. There might not be a better motivator to get someone in the weight room.

I’m sure switching to a full-body suit wouldn’t be popular at first. But it could be more inclusive and open up the door for new and different K-State students to perform as Willie the Wildcat.