Baranczyk returns to Bramlage in Drake’s loss to K-State

By Greg Woods

As long as the gears turn in the Kansas State basketball program there will be coaching alumni, and Bramlage Coliseum has now hosted several this season alone — though few on the women’s side.

Seventh-seeded K-State’s 67-54 over 10th-seeded Drake Saturday afternoon provided a return trip for Bulldogs coach Jennie Baranczyk, who served as a K-State assistant from 2004-06 and who received her master’s degree from K-State in counseling and student development in 2007.

Now in her fifth season coaching Drake, Baranczyk led K-State to an NIT championship in 2006.

Baranczyk, of course, would have liked the visit more with a win, but she said walking the halls of Bramlage nonetheless invoked memories.

“There’s a lot of tradition here. It’s a great program,” Baranczyk said. “I learned a lot. I carried a lot with me.”

But her team had a game to win, so she said she couldn’t afford to spend too much time reminiscing.

“It’s nice to go down memory lane when you come back,” Baranczyk said, “but I was not really worried about that piece. I was really wanting to focus on (that) we have a really special team and a really special program. That’s where my focus was.”

K-State, who advanced to face second-seeded Stanford Monday night, handed Baranczyk’s team its first loss since Dec. 21, snapping a 22-game win streak — then the second-longest active streak in the country.

It was a loss that rendered Baranczyk emotional postgame.

“We’ll get into reflective mode at some point,” she said, fighting back tears, “because every time that I start to go there, tears start to come.”

It’s not the first time K-State has hosted an alumnus this year. Then-Oklahoma State men’s coach Brad Underwood visited on Feb. 22 — “Coming back in here, it was different,” he said after the game — and Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger returned Jan. 7 for a matchup with the Wildcats.

K-State’s basketball roots stretch far and wide into the nation, and Baranczyk’s homecoming of sorts likely won’t be the program’s last.

The gears will continue to turn next season, after all.

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502 | Copyright 2017