Season Preview: Kansas State
Last Season: 21-14, NCAA 1st Round
Key Losses: Wesley Iwundu, D.J. Johnson
Key Additions: Nigel Shadd, Levi Stockard
After finishing sixth in the Big 12 last year with an 8-10 in conference record, Kansas State defeated Baylor before narrowly losing to West Virginia in the semifinals. This helped them earn tournament bid for a play-in game where they defeated Wake Forest, but the hype was short-lived as they lost to Cincinnati in the first round of the tournament. Wesley Iwundu lead the way for the Wildcats last year, averaging 13 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He said goodbye to the program though, after he was drafted by the Orlando Magic in the second round.
Although Iwundu has moved on to the NBA, there are still plenty of key talents left on the roster in Kamau Stokes, Barry Brown, and Dean Wade, all of which were threats to put up at least ten points in any given game. One thing that is known about this Wildcat team, is that they pride themselves in having every player in the lineup become an important part of the system, therefore not having a wide range in the number of points their best players score compared to the other starters.
Head coach Bruce Weber instilled a system on this team in which any player can have the ball in their hand to run the floor throughout the game. In the upcoming year, Kansas State welcomes a few recruits to their program, including two 6’8” forwards in Nigel Shadd and Levi stockard, who are very comparable in abilities on the floor. After the way things played out last year and all things considered this year, Kansas State probably does not have the greatest shot at making the NCAA tournament, but can finish in the top half of the Big 12 if some of their younger players step up.
Projected Starting Lineup:
PG: Kamau Stokes
SG: Barry Brown
SF: Xavier Sneed
PF: Dean Wade
C: Dante Williams