2015-16 Men's Hoops Schedule Announced

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MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Nine games at Bramlage Coliseum, the CBE Hall of Fame Classic at the Sprint Center and a return to INTRUST Bank Arena for the Wichita Wildcat Classic highlight the 2015-16 Kansas State men's basketball non-conference schedule released on Thursday.

The non-conference slate could include as many as six teams that participated in the postseason a year ago, including three from the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Competition could come from as many as nine different conferences, including the Atlantic 10, ACC, Big Ten, Big Sky, Mountain West and SEC.

The 113th season of K-State men's basketball begins Sunday, November 6 when the Wildcats host Division II foe Fort Hays State in an exhibition game. The season officially gets underway less than a week later on Friday, November 13 when the squad hosts Maryland-Eastern Shore in the first of two opening round games of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.

"We felt with so many new players that we needed to get some home games under our belt early to develop some confidence in our team," said head coach Bruce Weber. "Obviously, we have a nice challenge with the games in Kansas City at the CBE Hall of Fame Classic against a longtime rival in Missouri, a Big Ten team in Northwestern and a national championship contender in North Carolina. We then have a couple of road games to give us some experience in Georgia, who beat us at home last year, and Texas A&M, who has had two of the best recruiting classes in the country the past two seasons.

We finish it off with the game in Wichita against Colorado State, who has been one of the top teams in the Mountain West since Larry (Eustachy) took over, before the home games with Saint Louis and Ole Miss. The Saint Louis game starts a home-and-home series, which will give us the opportunity take D.J. (Johnson) next season. All in all, we feel like we have built a non-conference slate that works well with the make-up of our team."

K-State previously announced several components of its non-conference schedule, including the CBE Hall of Fame Classic on Monday-Tuesday, November 23-24, the Wichita Wildcat Classic contest with Colorado State at INTRUST Bank Arena on Saturday, December 19 and the home game with Ole Miss in the Big 12-SEC Challenge presented by Sonic on Saturday, January 30.

In all, the Wildcats will play at least 18 home games in 2015-16, including the nine-game Big 12 slate with visits from NCAA Tournament teams Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and West Virginia. The complete Big 12 schedule, along with game times and television information, will be released at a later date.

"This type of schedule should be attractive to our fan base with a combined 21 games at Bramlage Coliseum, the Sprint Center and INTRUST Bank Arena," said Weber. "I know that our fan base will again be out in full force to help our young team through a challenging series of games."

The exhibition with Fort Hays State will be the first of four straight home games for the Wildcats, which also includes the opener with Maryland-Eastern Shore and tilts with Columbia on Monday, November 16 and South Dakota on Friday, November 20. There is a possibility of an additional exhibition game, which would be announced at a later date.

K-State will open the season on Friday, November 13 against a Maryland-Eastern Shore team, which won 18 games and advanced to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament a season ago. Columbia will be first Ivy League team to visit Bramlage Coliseum on November 16 and the first Ancient Eight opponent for the Wildcats since playing Pennsylvania in the 1975 NCAA Tournament. K-State is 9-0 all-time against South Dakota, which posted a winning record for the first time since 2010-11 under first-year head coach Craig Smith this past season.

The squad will make the short trek to Kansas City to compete in the championship round of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic on Monday-Tuesday, November 23-24 at the Sprint Center. The field includes five-time NCAA champion North Carolina, former Big 12 foe and current SEC member Missouri and the Big Ten's Northwestern. The semifinals will be held on Monday with the finals taking place on Tuesday beginning with the consolation game, followed by the championship.

K-State has a long history with Missouri, playing 235 times between 1907 and 2012, including on 23 occasions in Kansas City. The Wildcats have also played North Carolina five times with the last meeting coming in 1989, while they have met Northwestern three times with the last match-up coming in 2002.

This will mark the Wildcats' second trip to the CBE Hall of Fame Classic and first since going 1-1 in the 2010 event. K-State knocked off No. 18 Gonzaga, 81-64, in the semifinals before falling to No. 1 Duke, 82-68, in the championship.

Following the tournament, K-State finishes out the month of November with a first-ever match-up against South Carolina State on Sunday, November 29. The school is 25-0 all-time against teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

The Wildcats play their first true road game of the non-conference schedule on Friday, December 4 with a return trip to Georgia, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2014-15 with a 21-12 overall record. The Bulldogs won the first game of the home-and-home series last season on New Year's Eve with a 50-46 victory at Bramlage Coliseum.

After a home game with Coppin State on Wednesday, December 9, the squad makes another trek to SEC country with a return game to Texas A&M on Saturday, December 12. The Wildcats have won three straight over the Aggies, including a 71-64 victory at the Sprint Center this past season. Texas A&M, which has one of the top incoming recruiting classes in the country, posted a 21-12 overall record and advanced to the second round of the NIT in 2014-15.

K-State will resume the Wichita Wildcat Classic basketball series on Saturday, December 19 against Mountain West foe Colorado State. The game will mark the third in Wichita in the last five years, following tilts with West Virginia in 2011 and Gonzaga in 2013. It will be the 13th meeting between the schools and the first at a neutral site. The Rams posted a 27-7 overall record during the 2014-15 season and was one of four No. 1 seeds in the NIT.

Following the trip to Wichita, the school finishes off the month of December with home games against North Dakota on Tuesday, December 22 and Saint Louis on Tuesday, December 29. This will be just the second meeting with North Dakota and the first since an 85-52 win on November 9, 2012 -- the first of the Bruce Weber era at K-State. The Wildcats and Billikens will meet for the first time since 2004 in a highly-competitive series that dates back to 1929.

Season tickets for the 2015-16 season are now available, with a variety of pricing options including a 4-pack of general admission or bench season tickets for $900. The priority deadline to arrange payment, retain seats, or participate in new seat selection using athletic department priority points, for the upcoming season is Friday, July 17.  All upgrade and new full season-ticket requests will be assigned utilizing the K-State Priority Points system, which rewards fans for their history of season ticket purchases and contributions to the Ahearn Fund.

Kansas State continues to possess one of the top home atmospheres in the country as the Wildcats are one of 22 schools nationally to have played in front of an average of more than 12,000 fans for five consecutive seasons. The school has won more than 75 percent of its games in Bramlage Coliseum's 27-year history, including a 127-23 (.847) record over the past nine seasons at home and a 69-5 (.932) mark in non-conference play.

The Wildcats will return seven lettermen, including four players with starting experience, in 2015-16 to go with the influx of six newcomers, including PARADE All-American Dean Wade (St. John, Kansas/St. John) and NJCAA First Team All-American Carlbe Ervin II (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma/Connors State College). Senior guard Justin Edwards (6.3 ppg., 3.3 rpg.) is the team's top returner in both scoring and steals (37), while junior forward Wesley Iwundu (5.8 ppg., 3.5 rpg.) is the leading returner in rebounding (108), assists (61), blocks (20) and minutes (780).

Fans can purchase season tickets in a variety of ways, including toll free at (800) 221.CATS (2287), online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets and in-person at the Athletics Ticket Office located in Bramlage Coliseum.

2015-16 Non-Conference Schedule
 
Friday    Nov. 6    FORT HAYS STATE (Exh.)
Opening Games of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic (Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, Kan.)
Friday    Nov. 13    MARYLAND-EASTERN SHORE
Monday    Nov. 16    COLUMBIA
Friday    Nov. 20    SOUTH DAKOTA
CBE Hall of Fame Classic (Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.)
Monday    Nov. 23    vs. TBA
Tuesday    Nov. 24    vs. TBA
Sunday    Nov. 29    SOUTH CAROLINA STATE
Friday    Dec. 4    @Georgia
Wednesday    Dec. 9    COPPIN STATE
Saturday    Dec. 12    @Texas A&M
Wichita Wildcat Classic (INTRUST Bank Arena, Wichita, Kan.)
Saturday    Dec. 19    COLORADO STATE
Tuesday    Dec. 22    NORTH DAKOTA
Tuesday    Dec. 29    SAINT LOUIS
Big 12-SEC Challenge (Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, Kan.)
Saturday    Jan. 30    OLE MISS

2015-16 Non-Conference Opponents At A Glance

Fort Hays State (Nov. 6)
2014-15 Record: 16-13/9-10 MIAA
Head coach: Mark Johnson
School Record: 284-127/15th season
Top Returning Player:
•    Dom Semec (10.4 ppg., 4.8 rpg.) // Third Team All-MIAA

Maryland-Eastern Shore (Nov. 13)
2014-15 Record: 18-15/11-5 MEAC
Head coach: Bobby Collins
School Record: 18-15/2nd season
Top Returning Players:
•    Devin Martin (14.0 ppg., 4.3 rpg.)
•    Ryan Andino (7.4 ppg.) // MEAC Rookie of the Year

Columbia (Nov. 16)
2014-15 Record: 13-15/5-9 Ivy
Head coach: Kyle Smith
School Record: 76-72/6th season
Top Returning Players:
•    Maodo Lo (18.4 ppg., 4.4 rpg., 2.3 apg.) // First Team All-Ivy League
•    Alex Rosenberg (16.0 ppg., 3.7 rpg.) // First Team All-Ivy League

South Dakota (Nov. 20)
2014-15 Record: 17-16/9-7 Summit
Head coach: Craig Smith
School Record: 17-16/2nd season
Top Returning Players:
•    Casey Kaperbauer (9.9 ppg., 2.4 rpg.)
•    Tre Burnette (7.8 ppg., 5.9 rpg.) // Summit League All-Newcomer Team

Missouri (Nov. 23 or 24)
2014-15 Record: 9-23/3-15 SEC
Head coach: Kim Anderson
School Record: 9-23/2nd season
Top Returning Players:
•    Wes Clark (10.1 ppg., 3.5 rpg., 3.1 apg.)
•    Montaque Gill-Caesar (9.1 ppg., 3.0 rpg.)

North Carolina (Nov. 23 or 24)
2014-15 Record: 26-12/11-7 ACC
Head coach: Roy Williams
School Record: 332-101/13th season
Top Returning Player:
•    Marcus Paige (14.1 ppg., 4.5 apg., 2.9 rpg.) // Third Team All-ACC
•    Brice Johnson (12.9 ppg., 7.8 rpg.) // Third Team All-ACC

Northwestern (Nov. 23 or 24)
2014-15 Record: 15-17/6-12 Big Ten
Head coach: Chris Collins
School Record: 29-36/3rd season
Top Returning Player:
•    Tre Demps (12.5 ppg., 3.0 rpg., 2.6 apg.) // HM All-Big Ten
•    Alex Olah (11.7 ppg., 6.9 rpg., 1.8 bpg.)

South Carolina State (Nov. 29)
2014-15 Record: 11-22/7-9 MEAC
Head coach: Murray Garvin
School Record: 20-43/3rd season
Top Returning Player:
•    Edward Stephens (12.0 ppg., 2.8 rpg., 1.8 apg.) // MEAC Rookie Team
•    Greg Mortimer (8.9 ppg., 2.5 rpg., 1.5 apg.)

Georgia (Dec. 4)
2014-15 Record: 21-12/11-7 SEC
Head coach: Mark Fox
School Record: 106-89/7th season
Top Returning Player:
•    Kenny Gaines (11.7 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 1.6 apg.)
•    Charles Mann (11.2 ppg., 4.9 rpg., 3.6 apg.)

Coppin State (Dec. 9)
2014-15 Record: 8-23/6-10 MEAC
Head coach: Michael Grant
School Record: 8-23/2nd season
Top Returning Player:
•    Sterling Smith (13.9 ppg., 4.9 rpg., 1.6 apg.) // Second Team All-MEAC
•    Christian Kessee (9.6 ppg., 2.0 rpg., 1.6 apg.)

Texas A&M (Dec. 12)
2014-15 Record: 21-12/11-7 SEC
Head coach: Billy Kennedy
School Record: 71-61/5th season
Top Returning Player:
•    Danuel House (14.8 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 2.1 apg.) // First Team All-SEC
•    Jalen Jones (13.7 ppg., 6.6 rpg.) // Second Team All-SEC

Colorado State (Dec. 19)
2014-15 Record: 27-7/13-5 Mountain West
Head coach: Larry Eustachy
School Record: 69-32/4th season
Top Returning Player:
•    Gian Clavell (9.2 ppg., 3.7 rpg., 1.2 apg.)
•    John Gillon (7.9 ppg., 3.2 apg.) // MWC Sixth Man of the Year

North Dakota (Dec. 22)
2014-15 Record: 8-22/4-14 Big Sky
Head coach: Brian Jones
School Record: 127-153/10th season
Top Returning Player:
•    Quinton Hooker (12.8 ppg., 4.3 rpg., 4.2 apg., 1.5 spg.)
•    Terrel de Rousen (8.8 ppg., 2.1 rpg., 2.2 apg.)

Saint Louis (Dec. 29)
2014-15 Record: 11-21/3-15 Atlantic 10
Head coach: Jim Crews
School Record: 66-35/3rd season
Top Returning Player:
•    Milik Yarbrough (10.0 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 1.5 apg.) // Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team
•    Ash Yacoubou (9.1 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 1.4 apg.)

Ole Miss (Jan. 30)
2014-15 Record: 21-13/11-7 SEC
Head coach: Andy Kennedy
School Record: 192-114/10th season
Top Returning Player:
•    Stefan Moody (16.6 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 2.4 apg., 1.7 spg.) // First Team All-SEC
•    Sebastian Saiz (7.6 ppg., 5.5 rpg.)