Mens team gets ready for season, looks to build on last year’s success


    The K-State men’s basketball team officially will begin the 2008-09 season this weekend with games against the Florida A&M Rattlers and the Southeast Missouri Redhawks.
    K-State begins the season with four of its first five games in Manhattan.
    “For the past four weeks, we have been beating up on each other in practice,” head coach Frank Martin said. “We are ready for some live action.”
    The Wildcats had an exhibition game against Washburn, which K-State won 81-57. K-State will begin the season with three games in the first six days of the season.
    “I like to schedule games like that,” Martin said. “It will help us down the road when we have to play back-to-back games in Las Vegas. And it will make us tougher when Big 12 play starts.”
    For the first game of the weekend, K-State welcomes Florida A&M to Bramlage Coliseum on Friday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
    Florida A&M returns its three best players from last year’s team that went 15-17 last season. Head coach Eugene Harris enters his second season on the bench.
    “Harris is one of the classiest coaches in the NCAA,” Martin said. “He has some good players returning from last year’s team and he also welcomes in a bunch of freshman.”
    One of those freshman, guard Dale Hughes, already has made his presence known this season. In the Rattlers’ exhibition game against Warner Southern College, Hughes made seven of 13 3-pointers and scored 30 points — FAMU won 79-71.
    Senior forward Lamar Twitty and junior guard Brandon Bryant had 17 and 11 points respectively and were the only other players in double digits for FAMU.
    “Harris always gets his kids to play hard,” Martin said. “They will be ready to go.”
    The second game of the weekend for the Wildcats is against the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks. This is also a home game for K-State and tipoff is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday.
    Southeast Missouri State opens its season Friday at New Mexico. The Redhawks were 12-19 last season, but they have gone 2-0 in their exhibition games.
    Martin said that he is excited to get the season started.
    “We need to show some growth and continuity this weekend,” he said.  “We need to do the things we do in practice and become more consistent.”