The next week will provide Kansas State basketball players with a simulation of what it’s like to be professional athletes.
The Wildcats will play four games in seven days, including a trip to Brooklyn for the Barclays Center Classic, and they won’t attend a single class while K-State students are on Thanksgiving break.
“They should love it,” K-State basketball coach Bruce Weber said.
K-State players were all smiles when the hectic week began on Sunday with an 89-67 victory over Hampton. They will return to Bramlage Coliseum at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Robert Morris. Then it’s off to New York on Wednesday to begin preparations for tournament games against Boston College (Friday) and either Maryland or Richmond (Saturday).
Basketball will be their only focus.
“No class makes it a lot easier,” K-State senior Wesley Iwundu said. “We will get a lot of time to be off our feet, not walking from class to class, not doing any school work. It will be good just focusing on basketball, the task at hand. I think it will really help us going into these games and getting prepared.”
Added freshman wing Xavier Sneed: “We get a lot more rest than in a normal day when we are walking back and forth from class. It should help us out a lot.”
The Wildcats haven’t been tested this season, winning their first three games by an average of 20.6 points.
That could change if they reach the championship game of the Barclays Center Classic and face Maryland, which is 3-0 and receiving votes for the top 25. An undefeated week would validate K-State’s hot start.
“This is championship week,” Weber said. “Four games, two at home, two in Brooklyn. Last year we had the same scenario, won two home games, beat Missouri and then lost to North Carolina in a close game. Now, can we make the next step? But you have got to win Tuesday. That’s important. Then you have to win Friday and give yourselves a chance in the championship.”
That’s the goal.
K-State has already taken its first step toward reaching it. Step two, three and four will be here before you know it.
“I talked to them since day one that we had to prepare for this week,” Weber said, “to be ready for whatever they throw at us, to be ready to play four games in a week, to have the conditioning, all that stuff we will see. This is a good test.”
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett