If you are a fan of Kansas State men’s basketball, you have likely heard the name Kamau Stokes. The senior guard is a team leader, averaging 9.1 points and 3.3 assists per game.
The Wildcats recently returned from Wisconsin after their first loss of the season against Marquette last Saturday. They now look ahead a matchup with the University of Tulsa on Saturday.
Last season, K-State lost to Tulsa 61-54 and will look to avenge that loss this time around.
During a break in practice on Thursday, Stokes spoke to the Tulsa matchup, the trajectory of the season thus far as well as the effects of last year’s NCAA Tournament run.
In preparation for Saturday’s game, Stokes said the Wildcats will approach the Golden Hurricanes differently than last year.
“They play zone pretty much the whole game, we’re just getting ready for that,” Stokes said. “Last year we didn’t move well against the zone, we couldn’t attack it.”
As for how the season has gone to this point, K-State is 6-1.
“It can get better than that, but that’s a pretty good start for the season,” Stokes said. “We got some tough games coming up and we got to keep this going. We all need to stay humble and get better every day.”
At the beginning of the season, K-State was ranked 12th in the country and looked destined to go far into this year’s NCAA Tournament after advancing to the Elite Eight last year.
Stokes said he thought the team should have ranked higher, given they had just made it to the Elite Eight.
Despite suffering an 83-71 loss to Marquette last time out, the Wildcats sit at No. 16 in the AP Top 25.
Stokes feels that the Wildcats cannot let rankings get to their head, saying “We gotta go out there and show it on the court.”
During the offseason while Stokes was practicing and working out to the tunes of Migos or Meek Mill, he tried to push out the Elite Eight loss to Loyola-Chicago and work on consistency and toughness.
“During the offseason we put an emphasis on playing hard and being the toughest team,” Stokes said. “We wanted to focus on being as consistent as we were in the tournament.”
Stokes also had nothing but smiles and good things to say about head coach Bruce Weber.
“He’s a great coach,” Stokes said. “He fights for us everyday. When we’re down he picks us up, when we’re not doing the right thing he gets on our ass.”
Stokes and the Wildcats are set to tip at 3:35 p.m. on Saturday. Tulsa is currently 6-3 on the season.