Following a 20-13 season which ended in an loss in the second round of the NCAA tournament to the national runner-up Kentucky, the Kansas State Wildcats mens’ basketball team has high expectations for this year.
K-State is predicted to finish fourth in Big 12 and are led by preseason first team All-Big 12 guard Marcus Foster. The Wildcats have welcomed in two new recruits and three transfers, while graduating four players, including three rotation players.
K-State has big non-conference games including Tennessee, Texas A&M, Georgia and the Maui Invitational. They open up conference play on Jan. 3, at Oklahoma State.
“I expect us to finish at least third in the conference,” freshman and KSU fan Cooper Gates said. “We have a pretty solid lineup even though we are still pretty young and we do not have top recruits.”
The Wildcats starting lineup currently consists of Foster, fellow guards Jevon Thomas and Justin Edwards, and forwards Thomas Gipson and Stephen Hurt. Six bench players are expected to play a lot of minutes as well.
“I expect them to have at least 20 wins and make a deep run in the NCAA tournament,” junior Brady McComb said.
K-State won their season opener against Southern Utah 98-68 at Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 14. The Wildcats open play in the Maui Invitational on Monday at 1:30 p.m. against Purdue.