K-State Announces Non-Conference Slate

MANHATTAN, Kan. A first-ever trip to Puerto Rico and high-profile games against Alabama, UNLV, Washington State and Xavier highlight the 15-game 2009-10 Kansas State men’s basketball non-conference schedule released by athletic department officials on Tuesday.

 

“We have put together what I think is a strong non-conference schedule,” said head coach Frank Martin.  “Anytime you can play eight teams that won 20 or more games a year ago, including seven that went to the postseason, you have put together a slate of games that will challenge your ballclub.  This is particularly important when you play in such a formidable league as the Big 12.  Our conference will once again be one of the best, if not the best, in the entire country. ”

 

Eight of Kansas State’s potential opponents won 20 or more contests during the 2008-09 campaign, while seven Cleveland State, Dayton, George Mason, UNLV, Villanova, Washington State and Xavier advanced to the postseason (including four to the NCAA Tournament).

 

The non-conference slate also includes nine home games, including contests against postseason participants Cleveland State, Washington State and Xavier.  Including anticipated games against Big 12 foes, K-State will face nine teams at Bramlage Coliseum that advanced to the postseason in 2008-09, including seven that went to the NCAA Tournament. 

 

In addition to the nine-game non-conference home schedule, Kansas State fans will be able to watch their team at the home of the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, the Sprint Center, for the third consecutive year.  The Wildcats will meet first-time foe IUPUI on Saturday, Nov. 28.  The Jaguars return four starters from a squad that posted a 16-14 overall record in 2008-09 under longtime head coach Ron Hunter.  K-State knocked off Florida A&M, 87-60, in its inaugural game at the Sprint Center in 2007 before beating Southern Miss, 74-55, last season.

 

One of the highlights of the non-conference season will be K-State’s participation in the third annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off, which is set for Nov. 19-22 at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in the Hato Rey district of San Juan.  The impressive field includes Boston University (17-13), Dayton (27-8), George Mason (22-11), Georgia Tech (12-19), Mississippi (16-15), Indiana (6-25) and 2009 Final Four participant Villanova (30-7).  The bracket-format tournament will feature 12 games in three days.  Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format.  The two teams that remain undefeated throughout will face off in the championship game on Sunday, Nov. 22.

 

Kansas State opens its 107th season of basketball, including the third under Martin, when the Wildcats host Pittsburg State in an exhibition game on Sunday, Nov. 8.  The season officially gets underway on Friday, Nov. 13 when the squad hosts Loyola (Ill.) in the first of two home games in three days.   The squad will play Western Illinois on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Following the O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tipoff and the Sprint Center game, K-State will return home for the first of three consecutive games at Bramlage Coliseum, beginning with Fort Hays State on Tuesday, Dec. 1.  The squad will follow with a contest against Washington State in the third edition of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series on Saturday, Dec. 5.  The Cougars, who will be led by first-year head coach Ken Bone, posted a 17-16 overall record and advanced to the NIT in 2008-09.  This will be the fifth meeting between the schools and the first since 2005 with the all-time series tied at two wins each.

 

K-State completes the homestand with a game against Xavier on Tuesday, Dec. 8.  The Musketeers, who have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in eight of the past nine seasons, return two starters from a squad that posted a 27-8 record and advanced to the East Regional semifinals in 2008-09.  The game will complete a three-game series between the schools, which began in 2006-07.  Xavier won the first two games, 76-66 on Jan. 3, 2007 and 103-77 on Dec. 31, 2007 at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

The Wildcats will travel to Las Vegas for the third time in four years on Saturday, Dec. 12 where they will begin a two-game series with UNLV at the Orleans Arena.  The second game will be played in 2010-11 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. 

 

The Running Rebels, led by former Wildcat player and coach Lon Kruger, return two starters from a squad that posted a 21-11 record and advanced to the NIT in 2008-09.  Kruger, whose jersey was retired by K-State in 2006, led the school to a pair of NCAA Elite Eight appearances and two Big Eight regular season titles from 1971-74.  The Big Eight Player of the Year in 1973 and 1974, he returned as coach in 1986, guiding the school to an 81-46 overall record and four trips to the NCAA Tournament from 1986-90.  The UNLV staff also includes three others with K-State ties in assistant coaches Greg Grensing and Steve Henson and director of basketball operations Mike Shepherd.

 

K-State has played four games at the Orleans Arena in two of the past three seasons, winning the Findlay Toyota Holiday Classic with victories over USC and New Mexico in December 2007 and dropping games to Kentucky and Iowa at the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Invitational in November 2008. 

 

The Wildcats will follow with a contest against Alabama in the Coors Classic at the 10,000-seat Mitchell Center in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday, Dec. 19.  The game will be a part of a doubleheader, which will also include host South Alabama against an opponent to be determined.  Led by first-year head coach Anthony Grant, the Crimson Tide will return four starters from a squad that totaled an 18-14 record in 2008-09.  This will be just the second meeting between the schools and the first since 1994.

     

The team will return for the first of three consecutive home games, beginning on Monday, Dec. 21 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.  The squad will follow with a contest against Cleveland State on Tuesday, Dec. 29.  The Vikings return two starters from a team that posted a 26-11 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 23 years.  The game will complete a three-game series between the schools, which began in 2006-07.  The Wildcats have won the first two games, 93-60 at home on Dec. 5, 2006 and 69-59 in Cleveland on Nov. 22, 2008. 

     

K-State kicks off the New Year with its final non-conference game on Saturday, Jan. 3 against South Dakota, which posted a 20-9 record in the first year of its transition to Division I in 2008-09.  The Wildcats, who hold a 6-0 record in the all-time series, will be meeting the Coyotes for the first time since 1986.

 

K-State will return four starters and eight lettermen from a squad that produced a 22-12 overall record and finished in a tie for fourth place in the Big 12 in 2008-09.  The Wildcats advanced to the second round of the NIT, where they lost to top-seeded San Diego State.  In addition, the team will welcome a five-man recruiting class that has been judged to be amongst the top 20 in the nation by several outlets.

 

Season tickets for Kansas State’s 17-game home schedule will go on sale in mid-July.  Details regarding the Sprint Center contest as well as other single-game tickets will be released at a later date.  The most convenient way to order tickets is online at www.k-statesports.com.  Tickets may also be purchased in person at the K-State Athletic Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum or by calling toll-free, (800) 221.CATS.

 

The Big 12 portion of Kansas State’s schedule will be released at a later date.

2009-10 Kansas State Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule

Sunday      Nov. 8     PITTSBURG STATE (Exh.) 
Friday      Nov. 13    LOYOLA (Ill.) 
Sunday      Nov. 15    WESTERN ILLINOIS
 

O’REILLY AUTO PARTS PUERTO RICO TIPOFF (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
(Boston University, Dayton, George Mason, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas State, Mississippi and Villanova)
Thursday    Nov. 19    vs. TBA 
Friday      Nov. 20    vs. TBA 
Sunday      Nov. 22    vs. TBA
 

Saturday    Nov. 28    IUPUI# 

Tuesday     Dec. 1     FORT HAYS STATE
 

BIG 12/PAC-10 HARDWOOD SERIES
Saturday    Dec. 5     WASHINGTON STATE 


Tuesday     Dec. 8     XAVIER 
Saturday    Dec. 12    at UNLV% 


COORS CLASSIC (Mobile, Ala.)
Saturday    Dec. 19    vs. Alabama 


Monday      Dec. 21    ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF 
Tuesday     Dec. 29    CLEVELAND STATE 


Sunday      Jan. 3     SOUTH DAKOTA
  

Big 12 home opponents Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M.


Big 12 road opponents Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas Tech.


Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship is set for March 10-13 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

#Played at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
%Played at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.