Locker Room Chats | Part 3
From veteran leaders ready to return to Bramlage Coliseum and make an impact to exciting, new faces who have yet to play a game in the Octagon of Doom, this year's roster is one filled with promise.
While K-State Sports Extra introduced the Wildcat newcomers throughout the summer (links to those stories are provided below), leading up to the season, readers have the opportunity to get to know the returning players on a whole new level through this fall's "Locker Room Chats" series.
While the first "Locker Room Chats" highlighted junior forward D. J. Johnson, senior guard Brian Rohleder and redshirt freshman Jack Karapetyan (you can click here to view that story), and the second featured the Wildcat senior class (click here), today, Wildcat fans will get to know redshirt junior Justin Edwards, redshirt sophomore Brandon Bolden and sophomore Jevon Thomas.
A native of Whitby, Ontario, Edwards transferred to K-State from the University of Maine before the 2013-14 season and, due to NCAA rules, sat out one year. During his two seasons at Maine, Edwards saw action in 58 of 60 games. Leading his team in six categories (scoring, field goals, field goals attempted, free throws, free throws attempted and steals) Edwards totaled 887 points, 312 rebounds, 196 assists and 96 steals in his two years with the Black Bears. His experience goes far beyond the courts of Maine, however, as Edwards has competed with his national team as a member of the 2013 Canadian National Team training camp roster.
Like Edwards, Bolden, a native of Sumter, South Carolina, transferred to K-State before the 2013 season and also spent a year on the sidelines. Bolden transferred to K-State after playing his freshman season at Georgetown where he helped the team to a 25-7 overall finish and earned a share of the 2013 BIG EAST title with a 14-4 mark in league play. Bolden enjoyed a successful high school career at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he was rated one of the top center prospects in the country, ranked as the No. 81 player in the Rivals150.
Though he had to sit out the first half of the 2013-14 season due to eligibility issues, Thomas made his debut performance with the Wildcats on Dec. 28, 2013, where he helped K-State to a 74-41 win over Tulane at the Brooklyn Winter Hoops Festival at the Barclays Center. Thomas finished the game with a team-high four assists and a team-high tying three steals. He went on to lead the team in steals five times in his 21 games during the 2013-14 season. Though he only played half the season, Thomas ranked fifth on the team with 55 assists, and his 3.5 assists per game average was the Wildcats' second-best last season.
The Wildcats began official practices on Friday, Oct. 3, and return nine lettermen, including five players with starting experience from a squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a school-record fifth consecutive season in 2013-14.
"For a coaching staff, it is a fun time of the year," said head coach Bruce Weber last Thursday before the team's first practice. "You are trying to figure things out in your system. Hopefully it is a fun time for the players, too... It is all a build up one day at a time. We have 30 days of practice until we can play a game. People always talk about how habits are taught in a month, and we will have a month of practice habits before we play that first game. Hopefully we make some progress."
The 2014-15 Wildcat basketball season tips off in Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 11, with an exhibition game against Washburn followed by a matchup with Southern Utah on Nov. 14. For the full 2014-15 season schedule, click here.
K-State Sports Extra highlighted this year's newcomers with features throughout the summer. To view those features, click the below links:
Season tickets for the upcoming men's basketball season are a hot item with bench tickets completely sold out and fewer than 750 cushion and chairback seats remaining for the 17-game home schedule. Mini-plans and the non-conference single-game tickets will go on sale, if available, to Ahearn Fund members and current season ticket holders on Wednesday, Oct. 1, with public sales opening on Monday, Oct. 6.
Single-game tickets for the Big 12 slate will go on sale in early December. For more ticket information, call 1-800-221-CATS, visit the K-State ticket office in Bramlage Coliseum, or visit www.kstatesports.com/tickets.