The Kansas State men’s basketball team participated in the Big 12 Men’s Basketball tip-off event ahead of the 2021-2022 college basketball season on Wednesday morning and afternoon. The men’s team brought returning senior Mike McGuirl and sophomore Selton Miguel to represent the team.
For McGuirl, his decision to come back to K-State, using his extra year of eligibility, was an easy one.
“The decision to come back was a pretty easy decision,” McGuirl said. “I knew what I had to do — I had some unfinished business here that I wanted to take care of.”
Head coach Bruce Weber said that although McGuirl is a quiet leader, his leadership is one of the strongest points of the team.
“I’m still who I am,” McGuirl said. “I’m just a chill guy so, I try to lead and I try to talk as much as I can to try to help people, but I’m still myself at the end of the day.”
Miguel said that McGuirl returning for another season helped bring back other players as well.
“It’s big,” Miguel said. “Because he influenced all of us to come back too. Even the new three players to come and stay too, so it was a big thing for him to stay.”
K-State welcomed three new transfers in the offseason: Mark Smith from Missouri, Markquis Nowell from Little Rock and Ismael Massoud from Wake Forrest.
“I’d say that it’s very important to have them,” McGuirl said. “They’ve helped us a lot, they’ve been a great part of our team, and they’ve been a great part in building our culture up to where it needs to be.”
Big 12 Tip-Off: Ayoka Lee and Emilee Ebert
Miguel’s thoughts didn’t differ from McGuirl’s on the new transfer players.
“It’s been good, and they’re great guys off the court,” Miguel said. “Good chemistry, so it’s been good so far.”
Big 12 officiating coordinator Curtis Shaw broke the news during the morning session that new rules will be coming into place this season that could change the way players play their game.
“I mean, I’m going to keep it in mind,” McGuirl said. “I’m still going to play my game, but I’ll keep all that in mind when I get the ball.”
Miguel had the opportunity to play for his home country of Angola this past summer during the Olympic trial matches and gave credit to that team for helping improve his game.
“It was a fun experience for sure, playing against grown men over there,” Miguel said. “I was the little guy on the team, and it was definitely a good experience on and off the court. Understanding how they live, how they play, how to read the game like with their IQ type of things.”
With the new name, image and likeness (NIL) rules being introduced by the NCAA and starting this season, both players think it will help each of them off the court.
“I think it’s going to help a lot of us,” Miguel said. “It’s a great experience, a great opportunity for us to make a little bit of extra money on the side. Just getting the opportunity to experience other things.”
Big 12 Tip-Off: Women’s basketball head coach Jeff Mittie
However, the two said it won’t make a big difference on the court.
“I don’t think it will have any effect on our team as in performance-wise,” McGuirl said. “It does help, and guys get some extra money, but that’s about it.”
Weber also commented on the NIL rulings and said he thinks his players are “treated well” at K-State.
“One-hundred percent,” McGuirl said. “We are truly blessed, and we live a great life. We get free tuition, we get free food and we just get to play basketball every day, so it doesn’t get better than that.”
With Oklahoma and Texas heading to the SEC, McGuirl offered his thoughts on the new teams coming into the conference and how they will benefit the image of the Big 12.
“I think it will help the conference in the long run,” McGuirl said.”The conference has a bunch of guys with good social media followings, so I think it will have a good effect on the conference.”
With McGuirl returning for one last season with an extra year of eligibility the NCAA granted to athletes because of COVID-19, his main focus is becoming the best version of himself possible.
“My personal goal is to be efficient and be my best self,” McGuirl said. “For the team, to win. Get better every day, get better from game to game. Be the best team at the end of the season, not at the beginning of the season. I want to start the season off hot in our non-conference games.”