An Exciting Week for K-State Basketball

With the women's team taking on SIU-Edwardsville at 5:30 p.m., and the men's team taking on Southern Utah at 8 p.m., fans can count on an exciting evening filled with basketball.
The Wildcat women's team is coming off of back-to-back exhibition wins over Emporia State (54-50) and Newman (80-30). Growing more and more every time it steps on the court, head coach Jeff Mittie and his team got what they wanted out of exhibition play and are excited to get the 2014-15 season kicked off.
"At the end of the day, execution and effort are going to be the two things we're talking about," said Mittie on the upcoming game, "and if we do those things we think the rest will take care of itself."
For an extra look at tomorrow's women's game, click here
Coming off of a 68-56 win over Washburn in its solo exhibition game, the men's team is ready to tip off the 2014-15 season as well.
"It's definitely a different feeling than Sunday's game," said sophomore guard Marcus Foster, who led the team with 17 points against Washburn.  "We were excited to play (against Washburn), but this one has more of a meaning. It's kind of the start of our resume for the (NCAA) tournament."
Men's head coach Bruce Weber said his focus right now is to start the new season strong and not give up any early games like his team did last season. 
"Right now, our goal is to get this first one," the coach explained. "We didn't do that last year, and our goal is to do the things we didn't do last year. So, one of them is that, and another is (to win) the road game coming up. We didn't win a road game non-conference last year because we didn't have any. This will be our opportunity, these first seven and eight days, to do something we didn't do a year ago."
Following tomorrow evening's game, the men's team will head to Long Beach, California, for a game at Long Beach State on Friday, Nov. 21, prior to the Maui Invitational.
K-State announced the signing of three players to National Letters of Intent (NLI) during the Fall National Signing period yesterday. Guards Kayla Goth and Anna Hammaker and center Cheyenne Hooper all signed with K-State yesterday and are ready join the team for the 2015-16 season. 
Here's what Mittie had to say about each of his signees:
Kayla Goth, 6-foot guard from DeForest, Wisconsin (DeForest High School)
"Kayla is versatile, and the size of the player is what I liked about her. She's going to be one that, I think throughout her career will be able to fill up the stat sheets. I don't know that she'll ever be a huge scorer, but she's capable of filling every stat out there." 
Anna Hammaker, 5-foot-9 guard from Knoxville, Tennessee (Christian Academy)
"Anna Hammaker is a really good three-point shooter and has really excellent range. She has some athletic ability to the bucket as well. I really like her ability to make plays, not only from the three-point line, but the mid-range jumper as well."
Cheyenne Hooper, 6-foot-6 center from Knoxville, Tennessee (Christian Academy)
"Hooper is a kid that is, defensively, a great shot blocker. We feel like Hooper can come in and make an immediate impact and, with her, we feel like we will have some pretty good depth at the front line spot." 
Mittie's overall thoughts on this year's signing class:
"I like the three we've got. We really feel like they are the right fit for us... I'm excited about it, these are all players that we believe have a tremendous up side and I'm really excited to see them play." 
For the full release on the three signees, click here.  
Yesterday afternoon the K-State men's basketball team also announced the signing of three standout high school players as guard Barry Brown, forward Dean Wade and center Dante Williams all signed with the K-State men's basketball program during the Fall National Signing period.
Here is what K-State head coach Bruce Weber had to say about his new signees:
Barry Brown, 6-foot-3 St. Petersburg, Florida (Gibbs High School)
"Guard wise, with five returning guards and all our guards underclassmen (right now) we thought it was going to be tough to get somebody, but we were able to get Barry and he was excited. He gives us a little bit of versatility, you hope you can have somebody in Barry that can play point guard, he can also play the two, he shoots the ball and also he can defend. So I think the best thing about him is his versatility."
Dean Wade, 6-foot-8 forward, Saint John, Kansas (Saint John High School)
"We were excited to get a Kansas kid in Dean Wade. He has some length, some jumping ability and is a good quality kid. He's got great Kansas State ties; his dad played some football here and he's been a K-State fan for a long time. It's good to have a person like that come in your program that really, really wants to be here. 
Dante Williams, 6-foot-11 center, Arlington, Texas (Bowie High School)
"To get somebody who is pretty close to seven foot, in Dante Williams from Dallas, I think he's a lot like Jordan Henriquez (2009-13), he's a shot blocker and that's probably his No. 1 attribute right now. We're excited about him."
Weber's overall thoughts on his signing class:
"I'm excited about all three, it gives us a small, medium and big kind of, and they're all good quality kids too, so that's a positive."
For the full release on men's basketball's three signees, click here.
Earlier this summer, Bramlage Coliseum had a makeover.
From a new high-definition Panasonic center-hung video board to six additional LED displays around the arena to state-of-the-art, innovative lighting and sound systems, the dramatic improvements have highly enhanced the arena's atmosphere.
"I think the whole thing adds a new element," said Weber. "When you walk in there, it feels like a new arena, it's bright, it's shiny and I like that they've lightened the floor. I think it just gives you a nice, bright glow, and hopefully it's intimidating along with our team."
The $2.4 million project marked the first improvements to Bramlage Coliseum since the construction of the $18 million Basketball Training Facility on the east side of the arena in August 2012, and the first to the interior of the arena since the addition of the Loge Boxes in 2007. 
"It's a big scoreboard," said women's head coach Jeff Mittie, "and I have to believe, for the fans, it really enhances the environment in there."
Having already played two exhibition games in the new atmosphere, women's basketball senior guard Haley Texada said she is excited to play her final year under the new, bright lights.
"We had to get used to it," laughed Texada. "We were in there practicing before the first exhibition game and I took a layup, and it was so bright. We did get used to it though, and we love the board. It's beautiful. It's definitely a lot of fun to look at because it's just huge."
Men's basketball senior Thomas Gipson is also excited to spend the season playing in Bramlage.
"It's really bright, I can say that," said Gipson. "It's a good experience, and it's great knowing K-State has come a long way with things like that. I'm just excited to play out there."
As Bramlage Coliseum already boasts one of the top home atmospheres in college basketball - the men's and women's teams combined have won nearly 75 percent of their games in the arena's 26-year history - the upgrades and improvements will only add to the gameday experience.
"I think you walk in there, you're in awe of it, it's unbelievable," said Weber. "It's great for the fans. It adds a whole new dynamic to the arena, there's not doubt about it."

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.