Kansas State men’s basketball came just one win away from reaching the Final Four for the first time in more than 50 years during the 2017-18 season.
The deep NCAA Tournament run for coach Bruce Weber and the Wildcats was a pleasant surprise for fans in Manhattan, Kan. who had modest expectations heading into the season. Those who fear that Kansas State missed out on a prime opportunity, however, shouldn’t be too worried about the future.
The Associated Press released its way-too-early preseason top 25 rankings last week, and the Wildcats checked in at No. 15 on the list. Kansas (2) was the only Big 12 team higher on the list.
K-State, however, will have a slightly differently look than the team that reached the Elite Eight last month. The Wildcats will be without point guard Barry Brown Jr. after he announced last Monday that he would declare for the 2018 NBA Draft. K-State guard Amaad Wainright was also suspended from the team indefinitely last week following an arrest.
Aside from that cloud of uncertainty, virtually everyone from the 2017-18 campaign is expected to return next year — highlighted by forward Dean Wade, who led the Wildcats in scoring during the regular season. Kansas State is also set to add a JUCO forward transfer in the form of Austin Trice.
The Big 12 Conference had plenty of depth from top to bottom last season. As of now, it appears that could be the case once again for the 2018-19 campaign.