K-State Receives Highest Preseason Poll Ranking Since 2004-05

MANHATTAN, Kansas - Kansas State women’s basketball will enter its 2016-17 season with high expectations, as the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll has ranked the team with a fifth place finish in an announcement by the league office on Wednesday. This is the highest preseason ranking for the program since the 2004-05 season when the Wildcats were slotted in third.

Entering the 2016-17 season, K-State head coach Jeff Mittie returns nine letter winners from the 2015-16 squad that recorded a 19-13 overall record and reached the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

K-State was slotted for a seventh place finish in the 2015-16 poll and exceeded the expectation by one place, finishing sixth with an 8-10 league mark. The eight league wins were the most by K-State since the 2011-12 season. The Wildcats have exceeded their preseason predicted finish in 14 of the previous 19 seasons that have featured a preseason poll and a final standing.

Baylor was named the preseason favorite, receiving nine of 10 first-place votes (coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams). Second-place Texas received the other first-place vote while Oklahoma was chosen third. West Virginia and Kansas State rounded out the top five. TCU was picked sixth while Iowa State and Texas Tech tied for seventh. Oklahoma State was chosen ninth, followed by Kansas.

The Wildcats will be led into the 2016-17 season by Preseason All-Big 12 selection Breanna Lewis and 2016 All-Big 12 Second Team selection Kindred Wesemann. Overall, K-State returns 75 percent of its scoring and assists and 87 percent of its rebounding.

Joining Lewis and Wesemann as returning letter winners are seniors Jessica Sheble, Kelly Thomson and Erica Young; juniors Shaelyn Martin and Kaylee Page; sophomores Kayla Goth and Anna Hammaker.

In addition to the returning letter winners, Kansas State welcomes in five newcomers for the 2016-17 season including: junior guard Karyla Middlebrook, redshirt freshman forward Lanie Page, freshman guard Mercedes Brooks, freshman forward Peyton Williams and freshman forward Eternati Willock.

Kansas State will begin its 2016-17 season with an exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 4, against Washburn at 5:30 p.m. The Wildcats will begin the non-conference schedule on Friday, Nov. 11, against Chicago State at 5:30 p.m.

Single game tickets for K-State women’s basketball are available now. Prices for single game tickets this season are: $5 for general admission youth military and senior citizens, $8 general admission adult, $9 for reserved bench/cushion seating and $12 for chairback. New this season are discounted general admission tickets when purchased before gameday. Advance GA tickets are only $5, a savings of $3.

Ticket packages are available now for the K-State-Connecticut matchup. A $20 chairback ticket package that includes an exclusive t-shirt is available until Tuesday, December 1 or while supplies last.

Bench and Cat Cushion tickets to the UConn game are available now for only $5 from October 3 until gameday, December 11. With two months remaining, all general admission tickets have been purchased and over 7,500 tickets have already been sold for the game. Any remaining tickets will be sold on gameday at regular price: $12 for chairback, $9 for Cat Cushion, and $5 for youth, military and senior citizens.

Season tickets remain available for the 18-game home schedule. To purchase K-State women’s basketball tickets through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office by calling (800) 221-CATS, by visiting www.kstatesports.com/tickets or by stopping by the K-State Athletics Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum.