Men’s basketball set to tip off season against American University

Sophomore forward Xavier Sneed looks to pass the ball during the game against Emporia State at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan. on Nov. 3, 2017. (Photo by Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State men’s basketball team will begin its 2017-2018 season tonight with a season opener at home against American University at 8 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum.

K-State is coming in hot after going 3-0 in its preseason exhibition games. The Wildcats beat Missouri State 78-62, Fort Hays State 79-56 and Emporia State 77-44.

The projected starting lineup for the Wildcats will be junior guards Kamau Stokes and Barry Brown Jr., sophomore forward Xavier Sneed, junior forward Dean Wade and graduate forward Mawdo Sallah.

K-State will lose four players from last year’s squad who saw plenty of time on the court before graduating: forward Wesley Iwundu, forward D.J. Johnson, guard Carlbe Ervin II and forward Austin Budke.

K-State will likely rely on Stokes, Brown and Wade, who are all in their third season of starting. Brown and Stokes averaged double-digit points per game last year, both at 11.7. Wade almost made double digits, averaging 9.3 points per game.

There will be plenty of new faces for the Wildcat faithful to grow accustomed to. Fans will finally get to see the play of redshirt freshman guard Cartier Diarra, who missed all of last season due to a knee injury. Junior transfer Amaad Wainright should also see time as a guard for K-State.

Sallah will have some help from sophomore forward Makol Mawien. The Wildcats will also have a pair of freshman forwards to play in the post, Nigel Shadd and Levi Stockard III.

The Wildcats will be guided by head coach Bruce Weber. This will be Weber’s sixth season at K-State and his 20th season overall as a head coach. Weber is 17-1 in season openers at home.

The next game for K-State will be Tuesday at home against the University of Missouri—Kansas City.