MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State release) OPENING TIP
No. 12/11 Kansas State (0-0) will officially open its 115th season on Friday night, as the Wildcats play host to Atlantic Sun member Kennesaw State (1-0) at 7 p.m., CT at Bramlage Coliseum. The opener will be the first of two games in a three-day span for K-State, as the team hosts Summit League foe Denver (0-0) in the second game of the men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader at 8 p.m., CT on Monday.
Friday’s opener represents the start of a Wildcat Weekend in the Little Apple, as K-State hosts Kansas in the Dillon’s Sunflower Showdown at 11 a.m., CT on Saturday followed by a volleyball match against Baylor at 6 p.m., CT. Fans can purchase a $5 general admission ticket for Friday’s game by showing their football ticket.
K-State is 89-25 (.781) all-time in season openers dating back to the first season in 1903, including a 77-9 (.895) mark at home. The Wildcats have a 24-2 (.923) record in season openers played at Bramlage Coliseum, which includes a 16-game winning streak from 1995 to 2012. The two losses in that span have come to Southern Miss (74-60 on Nov. 27, 1993) and Northern Colorado (60-58 on Nov. 8, 2013). Overall, the team is 26-4 (.867) at Bramlage Coliseum in home openers.
The Wildcats have won 23 consecutive games against non-conference opponents at Bramlage Coliseum since the start of the 2015-16 season. Overall, the school has an 95-6 (.941) record at home in non-conference play since 2006-07, including 93-5 (.950) in the regular season, and has won 84 of their last 89 non-conference home games. The team went 11-2 in non-conference action in 2017-18, including 8-1 at home venues. The lone home loss came to Tulsa, 61-54, on Dec. 9, 2017 in Wichita.
K-State, which has won 14 of its last 15 home openers, earned an 83-45 win over American in last season’s opener on Nov. 10, as Dean Wade paced five Wildcats in double figures with a game-tying 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Cartier Diarra came off the bench to score 13 points with a career-best 4 treys, while Makol Mawien nearly recorded a double-double with 12 points and game-high 9 rebounds. The 45 points by American were the fewest in a home opener since 1986.
Head coach Bruce Weber is 18-2 (.900) in his 20-year head coaching career in season openers (Southern Illinois, Illinois and K-State), including an 18-1 (.947) mark in home openers. He is 5-1 (.833) in season openers at K-State.
K-State played just one exhibition game, using a stellar defensive effort to defeat Pittsburg State, 79-39, on Nov. 2 at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats held the Gorillas to 39 points on just 19.7 percent (13-of-66) shooting, including 17.2 percent (5-of-29) from 3-point range. The 39 points tied for the fewest allowed in an exhibition game in school history, matching the 39 points scored by the University of Windsor (Canada) on Nov. 29, 1979.
Senior Kamau Stokes and Dean Wade led a balanced offensive attack in the exhibition win, scoring a game-tying 14 points in limited minutes, as 12 of the 13 available players connected on at least one field goal. Senior Barry Brown, Jr., did not play as a precautionary move due to injury.
NOTES ON KENNESAW STATE
Kennesaw State returns seven lettermen, including three starters (Tyler Hooker, Isaac Mbuyamba and Kyle Clarke, from a squad that posted a 10-20 overall record and finished sixth in the Atlantic Sun Conference with an 8-6 mark in 2017-18. The Owls also welcome eight newcomers, including Division I transfers Danny Lewis (UCF) and Drew Romich (Longwood).
Kennesaw State was picked seventh in the nine-team Preseason Atlantic Sun Conference coaches and media polls, ahead of Steton and North Alabama. Lipscomb was picked to win the league in both polls.
Kennesaw State opened the season on Wednesday night with a 68-57 win over Division II Oglethorpe College at home. Junior guard Tyler Hooker scored a game-high 25 points on 8-of-16 field goals to go with an 8-of-10 effort from the line, while Ugo Obineke and Kosta Jankovic added 17 and 17 and 12 points, respectively. The Owls won their only exhibition game, 81-78, over Clayton State on Nov. 1, as Hooker poured in a game-high 36 points.
A season ago, the Owls averaged 72.7 points per game on 45.5 percent shooting, including 36.5 percent from 3-point range, with 32.9 rebounds, 14.9 assists, 7.2 steals and 3.1 blocks per game, while allowing opponents to average 77.6 points on 47.8 percent shooting, including 32.6 percent from long range. The team connected on 69 percent from the free throw line.
Hooker is the lone returner to average double digits in 2017-18, averaging 10.8 points on 41.1 percent shooting to with 2.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 26.1 minutes per game. He led the Owls in free throws made (81) and attempted (114). Other returning starters - Clarke and Mbuyamba - averaged 4.2 and 3.1 points per game, while Jankovic averaged 7.0 points.
Head coach Al Skinner enters his 26th season as a head coach with a 421-349 (.547) overall record, including a 36-58 (.383) mark in his fourth season at Kennesaw State. Skinner has also served as head coach at Rhode Island (1988-97) and Boston College (1997-2010), guiding the schools to 12 trips to the postseason, including nine NCAA Tournaments.
Interestingly enough, Skinner has nearly as many wins (421) as Kennesaw State has in its entire basketball history (464), which started competition in 1985-86 and joined Division I in 2005-06. The Owls did win the Division II national championship with 35-4 record in 2004 under Tony Ingle.
K-State and Kennesaw State have met once in their respective histories with the Wildcats, earning an 82-54 victory on Dec. 17, 2006. The team raced out to a 55-19 halftime lead on 61.3 percent shooting and never led in the second half by fewer than 28 points.
The game provides an interesting footnote to K-State history, as it served as the debut of freshman Bill Walker, who became eligible just two days prior to the game and scored 15 points off the bench in 22 minutes. David Hoskins led three Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while Cartier Martin added 12 points.
K-State is 8-0 all-time against teams from the Atlantic Sun Conference with all eight wins having come at Bramlage Coliseum. The wins include three over North Florida (2010, 2011, 2012), two over Lipscomb (2002, 2003) and USC Upstate (2012, 2017) and one over Kennesaw State (2006).
LAST TIME OUT
K-State used a stellar defensive effort to win its lone exhibition game, 79-39 on Nov. 2, as the Wildcats held Division II Pittsburg State to 39 points on just 19.7 percent (13-of-66) shooting from the field, including 17.2 percent (5-of-29) from 3-point range. The school has won 24 consecutive exhibition games at Bramlage Coliseum dating back to 2004.
The 39 points tied for the fewest allowed in an exhibition game in school history, matching the 39 points scored by the University of Windsor (Canada) on Nov. 29, 1979. The Gorillas’ 19.7 field goal percentage was the lowest by an exhibition opponent, surpassing the 25 percent by Emporia State in 2015.
The defensive effort was even more impressive considering the Wildcats played without Big 12 All-Defensive member and Preseason All-Big 12 pick Barry Brown, Jr., was held out as a precautionary move after sustaining a foot injury earlier in the week at practice.
With Brown out, K-State used a starting lineup of redshirt freshman Cartier Diarra, senior Kamau Stokes, junior Xavier Sneed, senior Dean Wade and junior Makol Mawien.
On the offensive end, the Wildcats connected on 50 percent (32-of-64) from the field, including 63.6 percent (28-of-44) inside the 3-point arc. The team held a 50-8 advantage in points in the paint.
Seniors Kamau Stokes and Dean Wade led the way with 14 points each, as 12 of the 13 available players scored at least one field goal in the game, including seven dunks, and no player logged more than 26 minutes of action. Stokes added a game-high 6 assists in 20 minutes, while Wade barely missed a double-double with 9 rebounds in just 19 minutes.
The Wildcats grabbed 63 rebounds in the contest, which was the most in an exhibition game since posting 66 against Michigan AAU on Nov. 15, 1991. Junior Austin Trice led all players with 12 boards, as seven players had at least 4 rebounds in the contest.
K-State is now 67-20 all-time in exhibition play, including 52-9 in home exhibition games dating back to 1964. The Wildcats are 46-9 in exhibition games at Bramlage Coliseum with 24 consecutive wins dating back to 2003. Overall, the team has won 7 straight exhibition since 2016.
HISTORY IN SEASON OPENERS
K-State is 89-25 (.781) all-time in season openers dating back to the first season in 1903. The Wildcats have a 77-9 (.895) record in season openers played at home, including 24-2 (.923) at Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State will open the season at home for the 16th consecutive season on Friday night with the Wildcats holding a 14-1 (.933) record in that span. The lone loss in that span came in a 60-58 loss to Northern Colorado on Nov. 8, 2013, which snapped the school’s 16-game winning streak in home openers. The last time K-State opened the season away from home came in 2002-03 when the squad played in the Paradise Jam, Nov. 23-25, 2002.
K-State won 16 consecutive home openers from 1995 to 2012, which spanned the only two season-opening losses at Bramlage Coliseum history. The Wildcats lost a 74-60 decision to Southern Miss on Nov. 27, 1993 to start the 1993-94 campaign before the Northern Colorado loss in 2013.
Overall, K-State is 26-4 (.867) in openers at Bramlage Coliseum. Aside from the Southern Miss (1993) and Northern Colorado (2013) defeats, the Wildcats lost to Fresno State, 60-58, on Dec. 2, 1989 and to Northwestern, 59-55, on Nov. 30, 2002, but each of those were not in a season opener.
Since the Northern Colorado loss in 2013, K-State has won its last four home openers (Southern Utah, UMES, Western Illinois and American) by an average of 30.5 points per game, while averaging 85.7 points per game.
Head coach Bruce Weber is 18-2 (.900) in season openers in his 20-year head coaching career (Southern Illinois, Illinois and K-State), which includes an 18-1 (.947) mark in home openers. His two losses have come at Murray State, 65-62, on Nov. 14, 1998 while at Southern Illinois and at home to Northern Colorado, 60-58, on Nov. 8, 2013 at K-State. He is 5-1 in season openers at K-State, including four consecutive wins.
K-State has a 98-6 (.942) record at home venues (includes home games played at Bramlage Coliseum, INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita and the Sprint Center in Kansas City) in non-conference play dating back to the 2006-07 season, including a 90-5 (.947) mark at Bramlage Coliseum
The Wildcats have won 85 of their last 89 non-conference home games, including a 23-game winning streak at Bramlage Coliseum. The last home non-conference loss came against Georgia, 50-46, on Dec. 31, 2014.
K-State has posted a 130-33 (.798) record in non-conference play since the 2006-07 season, which includes an 11-2 (.846) mark in 2017-18. The team has posted double-digit non-conference wins in 11 of the last 12 years.
Since going 7-6 in non-conference in 2014-15, which included back-to-back losses to Texas Southern and Georgia, the Wildcats has won double-digit non-conference games each of the past three seasons and is 33-6 (.846) in non-conference play since the start of 2015-16 season.
A LOOK AT THE 23 STRAIGHT NON-CONFERENCE WINS AT BRAMLAGE COLISEUM
A closer look at K-State’s current 23-game non-conference winning streak at Bramlage Coliseum, which dates to the start of the 2015-16 season. During this span, the Wildcats have averaged 76.5 points per game, while holding their opponents to 57.5 points and winning by 19 points per game.
11/13/15 -- Maryland-Eastern Shore, 80-53
11/16/15 -- Columbia, 81-71
11/20/15 -- South Dakota, 93-72
11/29/15 -- South Carolina State, 68-66
12/9/15 -- Coppin State, 83-58
12/22/16 -- North Dakota, 63-49
12/29/16 -- Saint Louis, 75-47
1/30/16 -- Ole Miss, 69-64 (Big 12/SEC Challenge)
11/11/16 -- Western Illinois, 82-55
11/15/16 -- Omaha, 81-68
11/20/16 -- Hampton, 89-67
11/22/16 -- Robert Morris, 61-40
11/30/16 -- Green Bay, 80-61
12/6/16 -- Prairie View A&M, 74-55
12/21/16 -- Gardner-Webb, 67-54
11/10/17 -- American, 83-45
11/14/17 -- UMKC, 72-51
11/17/17 -- UC Irvine, 71-49
11/20/17 -- Northern Arizona, 80-58
11/29/17 -- Oral Roberts, 77-68
12/5/17 -- USC Upstate, 86-49
12/16/17 -- SE Missouri State, 89-71
1/27/18 -- Georgia, 56-51 (Big 12/SEC Challenge)
HISTORY AT BRAMLAGE COLISEUM
K-State has posted a 366-116 (.759) all-time record at Bramlage Coliseum since its opening during the 1988-89 season. The 366 wins are the second-most at a home venue for the Wildcats, trailing the 378 wins at Ahearn Field House (1950-88). It is the school’s third home venue.
K-State has registered a 165-36 (.821) record at home over the past 12 seasons, including a 72-31 (.699) mark in Big 12 play. The 165 wins rank fourth among all Big 12 schools in that span, while the 72 league victories at home are only surpassed by Kansas and Texas. In all, the program has earned double-digit victories in 25 of its 30 seasons in the arena, including a current streak of 17 straight seasons.
K-State has a 226-59 (.793) record at home, including a 132-10 (.930) mark in non-conference action, since the 2001-02 season for an average of just over 13 home wins (13.3) per season in that span.
Head coach Bruce Weber has tallied an 81-20 (.802) record at Bramlage Coliseum since taking over at K-State in 2012-13 with non-conference home losses to Northern Colorado (2013), Texas Southern (2014) and Georgia (2014). The 20 losses (17 of which have come in Big 12 play) have come by a grand total of 140 points or just 7.0 points per game.
MORE ABOUT K-STATE
The Wildcats return 10 lettermen, including six players (Barry Brown, Jr., Cartier Diarra, Makol Mawien, Xavier Sneed, Kamau Stokes and Dean Wade) that combined to start all 37 games a season ago, for a team that posted a 25-12 overall record (10-8 in Big 12 play) and advanced to the Elite Eight for the 12th time in school history and the first time since 2010. It marked just the sixth 25-win campaign in school history, including the second under head coach Bruce Weber, while the school advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in six seasons and 30th time overall.
K-State returns 185 combined starts from 2017-18, which is the most of any Division I team in the country, and ahead of other schools which return all of its starts, including George Mason (165), Iowa (165), Lipscomb (165) and North Florida (165).
K-State returns 93.2 percent (2,452 of 2,630 points) of its offense from 2017-18, which ranks 11th among Division I teams (trailing George Mason, Harvard, Wofford, Washington, Brown, Iowa, Wisconsin, UC Irvine, Syracuse and St. Francis). The Wildcats also returns more than 90 percent of their field goals made (869/92.7%), 3-point field goals made (232/91.3%), free throws made (482/96%), assists (476/93.3%) and steals (266/90.5%) as well as 80 or better percent of their minutes (6,558/85%), rebounds (905/80%) and blocks (98/89%).
K-State returns seven of its top-8 scorers from last season, including three with double-digit averages [Wade (16.2 ppg.), Brown (15.9 ppg.) and Sneed (11.1 ppg.). Other returners include Kamau Stokes (9.0 ppg.), Cartier Diarra (7.1 ppg.), Makol Mawien (6.8 ppg.) and Mike McGuirl (3.3 ppg.). The Wildcats return their individual leader in scoring (Wade), rebounding (Wade), assists (Brown), steals (Brown) and blocks (Mawien).
‘CATS EARN PRESEASON RANKINGS
K-State will open the 2018-19 season in the Top 15 in both major polls, as the Wildcats earned a No. 11 ranking in the preseason USA Today Coaches poll to go with a No. 12 ranking in the preseason Associated Press poll.
It marks the first time that K-State has started with preseason rankings in both major polls since the 2010-11 campaign when the school opened at No. 3 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches polls.
K-State appeared in the Preseason AP poll for the 17th time in school history, while it was the highest preseason ranking since starting the 2010-11 campaign at No. 3. It was also the 12th time debuting in the AP Top 15 (1951-52, 1952-53, 1953-54, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1961-62, 1964-65, 1965-66, 1975-76 and 2010-11).
The Wildcats have received several preseason rankings, including No. 11 by NBCSports.com, Yahoo! Sports, Street & Smith’s, Lindy’s and Athlon, No. 12 by ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, USA Today, Stadium, No. 13 by The Athletic, Blue Ribbon Yearbook and No. 14 by SI.com.
K-State was one of four Big 12 teams to place in both Top 25 polls, as Kansas was the unanimous No. 1 team. West Virginia was No. 13 in both polls, while TCU was ranked No. 20 (Coaches) and No. 21 (AP), respectively.
‘CATS PICKED SECOND IN BIG 12 PLAY;
WADE NAMED PRESEASON POY
K-State was picked to finish second by the league coaches in the annual Big 12 Preseason poll released on Oct. 19, as the Wildcats received 72 points and two first-place votes. Kansas was selected first for the eighth consecutive season, while West Virginia, TCU and Texas rounded out the Top 5.
The second-place selection was the second-highest by a K-State team in the history of the poll, following the 2010-11 team which was picked to finish first with 119 points. In fact, the Wildcats have been picked to finish fifth or better on just six other occasions in the poll, including fourth in 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2014-15 and fifth in 2006-07, 2012-13 and 2013-14.
Senior Dean Wade became just the second Wildcat to ever be selected the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year by the league coaches, while Wade and Barry Brown, Jr., were both named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. The duo was joined on the team by Kansas’ Dedric Lawson, Iowa State’s Lindell Wigginton and West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate.
Wade’s selection marked the second time that a K-State player has been named the preseason Player of the Year and the first since Jacob Pullen in 2010-11. It also was just the second time that two Wildcats appeared on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team, following Pullen and Curtis Kelly in 2010-11. Wade and Brown are just the sixth and seventh players in school history to earn recognition to the Preseason All-Big 12 (since 1996-97), following Manny Dies in 1998-99, Kelly and Pullen in 2010-11, Rodney McGruder in 2012-13 and Marcus Foster in 2014-15.
NEXT UP: DENVER (1-0)
K-State will make a quick turnaround from Friday’s game to play Denver (1-0) in the second game of men’s and women’s doubleheader on Monday. The Pioneers opened the season with a 63-50 win over Maine on Tuesday night at home, as Creighton transfer Ronnie Harrell, Jr., posted a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Denver returns six lettermen and three starters from a squad that posted a 15-15 overall record and finished third in the Summit League with an 8-6 record in 2017-18. The Pioneers were picked third in the preseason poll and earned one first-place vote, while senior Joe Rosga (15.3 ppg., 4.1 rpg.) was selected to the Preseason All-Summit League First Team.