Politics, as Charles Dudley Warner told us, makes strange bedfellows. Consider Curtis Redding (above), who was surprised to receive 96 write-in votes for student body president last year after the K-State Collegian gave him a tongue-in-cheek endorsement to show its displeasure with the two leading candidates. Redding's votes cost the Student Government Association $100 in computer time, because a runoff between the two leaders became necessary. And it gave Redding, Brooklyn's favorite son, an idea. "Maybe I will actually run next year," he said. "I'm not interested in politics, but I love to talk."
The irrepressible Redding did win one election; he was named Newcomer of the Year in the Big Eight. It gave Kansas State a sweep as Jack Hartman, Jack Hartman was selected Coach of the Year and Guard Mike Evans Player of the Year. The Big Eight-champion Wildcats finished with a 23-8 record, losing a heart-stopper to Marquette 67-66 in the Midwest Regional. It was a memorable season not only because Kansas State won so often, but also because Redding made the somber Hartman smile so frequently. And the coach is likely to grin a lot again this season.
Kansas State is strongest in the backcourt where Evans, who will soon become the school's and conference's alltime scoring leader, and either Scott Langton or Fred Barton will start; Keith Frazier (Walt's brother) and sharpshooting freshman Thomas Freeman will come off the bench.
But the Wildcats may have trouble getting the ball for their good little men. Larry Dassie and Darryl Winston, the best re-bounders last season, must be replaced. Hartman is hoping 6'11" walk-on Dan Hickert and 6'7" Steve Soldner can help. But most of the frontcourt responsibilities will fall to the 6'5" Redding. He came to Manhattan from unbeaten Canarsie High and averaged 16.6 points. He scored 20 or more 11 times, but he is no gunner. Of the 34 he had in an 86-83 defeat of Kansas, he says, "That was my worst game because I shot 11 for 27."
November 28, 1977
After a spell of homesickness Redding has come to love Kansas. "I never saw a cow outside a zoo before I came here," he says. "But today they're the first thing I smell each morning."
Hartman wrinkles his nose over Kansas State's schedule, particularly the January part, when the Wildcats play the Soviet national team between crucial league dates. "They ought to make a statue of me for playing the Russians," Hartman says. If Redding gets elected, he'll see to it.