K-State Declines Postseason Opportunities

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Following the announcement of the NIT field, Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber announced on Sunday night that the Wildcats have opted to not participate in any additional postseason tournament this year.
 
“We fell short this season in reaching our goal of playing in the NCAA Tournament, and although we were disappointed to not be selected for the NIT, I am proud of our players for their hard work and perseverance throughout this season," Weber said. "After we take a short break for our student-athletes to recover physically we will begin preparations for 2016-17, including training for our international trip to Switzerland and Italy in August."

Weber acknowledged and thanked seniors Justin Edwards, Stephen Hurt and Brian Rohleder for providing strong leadership for the Wildcats this season. All three are on track to receive degrees from K-State in May, along with rising senior D.J. Johnson.

K-State, which faced one of the most difficult schedules in school history, posted a 17-16 overall record in 2015-16, finishing eighth in the nation’s top conference – the Big 12. The Wildcats boasted the 19th-best strength of schedule in the country, which included 17 games against teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament, highlighted by wins over eventual No. 2 seed Oklahoma, No. 8 seed Texas Tech and NIT participant Georgia. Of the 16 losses, 15 came to teams bound for the NCAA Tournament, including 14 to teams that are currently ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 poll.
 
The Wildcats will return 13 of 16 players for the 2016-17 season, including six players who earned at least five starts. Among those returning include Third Team All-Big 12 selection Wesley Iwundu, Big 12 All-Newcomer selections Barry Brown and Dean Wade and Johnson and point guard Kamau Stokes.

The only Wildcat to start all 33 games, Iwundu ranked first or second in eight statistical categories, including first in assists (3.7 apg.) and minutes (32.4 mpg.) and second in scoring (11.9 ppg.), double-figure scoring games (25) and steals (1.3 spg.). Wade ranked third on the team in scoring (9.9 ppg.), double-digit scoring games (16) and rebounding (5.1 rpg.), while Brown was tops in both 3-point field goals made (45) and attempted (134) to go with averages of 8.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 25.8 minutes per game. Johnson, who scored in double figures in 10 Big 12 contests, averaged career-bests of 9.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in 32 games played. 

A starter in 21 games, Stokes averaged 9.4 points, 2.8 rebound and 2.7 assists per game before going down an injury on Jan. 30, forcing him to miss the final 13 games of the season.