K-State Hoops Starts Practice

MANHATTAN, Kan. - After months of anticipation and high expectations, the 2009-10 Kansas State men's basketball season kicks off tonight as the Wildcats begin practice at Bramlage Coliseum. 

"We are excited about the start of practice," said head coach Frank Martin.  "The coaches and players are ready to finally be able to start preparing as a team for the coming season.  Our plan for the next week will be to continue to build on the foundation we as coaches have tried to prepare the last three years.  We want to strengthen that foundation with how we want to play and be known as a basketball team." 

"As we get deeper into practice in the next three or four days, we will start to implement the ideas we have developed from having guys in the program the last three or four years," said Martin.  "We have a better understanding of their talents and abilities therefore we have been able to be more creative on how to utilize their strengths to win games."

Mentioned in several preseason Top 25 polls, Kansas State returns eight lettermen, including four starters, from a squad that posted its third consecutive 20-win season in 2008-09.  This includes the backcourt of Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen, who combined for nearly 1,000 points a year.  The squad will also benefit from the services of junior Curtis Kelly, who sat out last season after transferring from Connecticut, as well as a five-member recruiting class, including McDonald's All-American Wally Judge, which has been rated among the top 25 by several recruiting services. 

Less than 1,000 season tickets remain for the season, which begins with the exhibition game against Pittsburg State on Sunday, Nov. 8 with a 3 p.m. tipoff.  Several ticket options are available, starting at $320 for bench seating.  Fans are encouraged to purchase season tickets because single-game tickets, particularly during Big 12 play, may not be available.

The Wildcats will host an open scrimmage prior to the Colorado football game on Oct. 24, during which fans will have the opportunity to choose their season ticket location.  Available seats will be marked in sections 2-17 of Bramlage Coliseum with members of the Fan Experience and Sales staff available to assist fans with ticket purchases.  The Northwest and Northeast entrances to the arena will open at 8:30 a.m. with the scrimmage slated to begin at 9 a.m.

The squad opens the regular season on Friday, Nov. 13 against Loyola Chicago at 7 p.m.