Weber, Players Discuss Season at Big 12 Media Day

Media Day Quotes

KANSAS CITY, Mo.
- Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber and seniors Carlbe Ervin IID.J. Johnson and Wesley Iwundu previewed the upcoming 2016-17 season at the annual Big 12 Men's Basketball Media Day on Tuesday at the Sprint Center.

The quartet answered questions from various media outlets from across the country, including Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe of ESPN.

Under fifth-year head coach Bruce Weber, whose 79 wins are the third-most by a head coach in his first four seasons in school history, K-State returns 72 percent of its scoring (1,688), 71 percent of its rebounding (853), 74 percent of its assists (339), 69 percent of its steals (171) and 74 percent of its minutes (4,970). Overall, five of the team’s top six scorers return from last season highlighted by All-Big 12 Third Team and Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection Wesley Iwundu and All-Newcomer honorees Barry Brown and Dean Wade. Iwundu is the team’s top returner in scoring (11.9 ppg.), assists (3.7 apg.), steals (1.3 spg.) and minutes (32.4 mpg.), while fellow senior D.J. Johnson (9.3 ppg., 5.2 rpg.) is the leader among three returning players (along with Iwundu and Wade) who averaged better than 4 rebounds per contest.

The Wildcats should also be boosted by the return of a healthy Kamau Stokes, who started 20 of the first 21 games in 2015-16, before a knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the year, missing the last 12 games. Stokes, who averaged 9.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.0 steals in 26.9 minutes per game, joined Brown and Wade to become the first Wildcat freshman trio to average at least 8.5 points per game since freshmen became eligible in 1971-72. Overall, the trio is among 13 freshmen to accomplish the feat in school history.

K-State also returns two other players - seniors Carlbe Ervin II and Austin Budke - who saw action in all 33 games. A former community college All-America, Ervin started five games a year ago, averaging 3.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 15.2 minutes per game. Four of his five starts came in Big 12 play after the Stokes injury, providing him valuable experience going into his final season. Budke, a walk-on, provided depth in the front court, averaging 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game.

Weber and his coaching staff welcome back three players (Isaiah Maurice, Dante Williams and Pierson McAtee) who redshirted the 2015-16 season, while they expect immediate help from several newcomers, including freshmen Xavier Sneed (St. Louis, Mo./Hazelwood Central), Brian Patrick (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Boyd Anderson) and James Love III (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./American Heritage). A fourth freshman -- Cartier Diarra (Florence, S.C./West Florence) -- will miss the season after having knee surgery in July.

The Wildcats host the first of two exhibition games on Friday against Pittsburg State at 7 p.m., before officially starting the season on Friday, November 11 against Western Illinois in the second game of a doubleheader at Bramlage Coliseum starting at 8 p.m.