The final opponent that we'll look at in our preview series is the Kansas State Wildcats. To call this a rebuilding year for Bruce Weber would be a bit of an understatement. After a tumultuous offseason that featured numerous transfers, suspensions, and dismissals, the Wildcats will enter this season as a completely different team. TCU and Kansas State split the regular season series, with the home team winning each contest, before the Frogs knocked off the Wildcats in the First Round of the Big 12 Tournament.
Games 26 & 30: Kansas State Wildcats
Date: Tuesday, February 16
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX
Date: Wednesday, March 2
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Bramlage Coliseum - Manhattan, KS
Know the Foe
SB Nation: Bring On The Cats
Big 12 Preseason Ranking: 8th
Location: Manhattan, KS
Head Coach: Bruce Weber
2014-2015 Record: 15-17 (8-10, 8th)
Key Losses: G Marcus Foster, F Nino Williams, F Thomas Gipson
Key Returners: G Justin Edwards, F Wesley Iwundu, F Stephen Hurt
New Additions: F , G Kamau Stokes, G Barry Brown.
Let's recap Kansas State's offseason... Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson both graduated. Marcus Foster transferred to Creighton. Nigel Johnson transferred to Rutgers. Jevon Thomas transferred to Seton Hall. Tre Harris transferred to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. Malek Harris was dismissed from the program. And Brandon Bolden's career ended after a wrist injury. When the dust finally settled, Bruce Weber was left with just five players from which to rebuild his program around. Those five players combined to average just 16.4 points per game last year, barely one-quarter of KSU's total scoring output. Only three of those players - Justin Edwards, Wesley Iwundu, and Stephen Hurt - saw meaningful playing time. The trio each averaged around five points and three rebounds per game last season.
To cope with the mass exodus of talent from last year's 15-17 team, Weber was forced to turn to a handful of JuCo transfers and true freshmen to fill his roster. Austin Budke and Zach Winter join the Wildcats out of Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, while Carlbe Ervin II comes to Manhattan from Connors State College in Oklahoma. As for high school recruiting, seven true freshmen will join the Wildcats this season, highlighted by four-star center Dante Williams. At Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas, Williams averaged 10.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks per game. Kamau Stokes is a three-star guard out of Fork Union Military Academy in Baltimore. At Fork Union, Stokes lit up the scoreboard, averaging 30.5 points and 5.0 assists per game. The other highly-ranked prospect for Kansas State is three-star guard Barry Brown. He averaged 16.7 points per game as a four-year letterman at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, Florida. Bruce Weber will also welcome back D.J. Johnson, who missed the entire 2014-2015 season after suffering a broken foot in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
There's no question that Weber will have a difficult task ahead of him this season. Many questions remain for this Wildcat team, the most pressing being which player will emerge as a scoring leader. With a very young and inexperienced team, Kansas State could struggle to put many wins on the board in Big 12 play this year.
Last Time Around
01/07/15: Kansas State 58 vs. TCU 53
The Frogs hang close with the Cats all night, but cold shooting from the two lines- three and free- means that we're still hunting for our first Big 12 road win.
02/18/15: TCU 69 vs. Kansas State 55
The Horned Frogs are officially on a winning streak.
03/11/15: TCU 67 vs. Kansas State 65 (Big 12 Tournament)
The Frogs built a huge lead in the first half that the Wildcats could never fully overcome as TCU collects their first ever Big 12 Tournament win.
TCU 80, Kansas State 62
Much like last year, the Frogs should possess the talent to blow away the Wildcats in Fort Worth. With a solid defense returning for TCU, Kansas State will have a likely tough time scoring the ball inside against the likes of Chris Washburn and Karviar Shepherd. On the other end, the Frogs' offense should get some scoring opportunities against a very inexperienced KSU defensive unit.
TCU 74, Kansas State 60
Kansas State's offense just doesn't look like it will have enough to get through the TCU defense, even at home. Another solid scoring day for the Horned Frogs should be good enough to pick up a rare road Big 12 win.
Opponent Team Previews:
Game 1: Southeastern Louisiana
Game 2: Houston Baptist
Game 3: South Dakota State
Game 4: Rhode Island
Game 5: Maryland /Illinois State
Game 6: SMU
Game 7: Colgate
Game 8: Washington
Game 9: Prairie View A&M
Game 10: Abilene Christian
Game 11: Bradley
Game 12: Delaware State
Games 13 & 24: Oklahoma State
Games 14 & 25: West Virginia
Games 15 & 20: Texas
Games 16 & 29: Baylor
Games 17 & 23: Kansas
Games 18 & 28: Texas Tech
Games 19 & 27: Iowa State
Game 21: Tennessee
Games 22 & 31: Oklahoma
Games 26 & 30: Kansas State