Kamau Stokes doesn’t have much to say about Wake Forest.
He knows the Demon Deacons are a good team and that Kansas State will play them at 8:10 p.m. Tuesday in the First Four. Beyond that, though, the sophomore guard can’t tell you much.
“I really haven’t seen a whole lot on them,” Stokes said Monday at UD Arena. “I can’t speak on their backcourt, their frontcourt, anything. I haven’t watched them all year.”
Scouting and preparation are two of the biggest challenges facing K-State this week. The Wildcats learned their NCAA Tournament assignment Sunday night and traveled to Dayton on Monday.
There hasn’t been much time for video study.
“We’ve got to become the best-prepared team on the court tomorrow night,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said. “I think that will be a key. They saw the film for the first time before practice today. We did some walk-through, we’ll get back together tonight and watch the scout tapes again.”
Weber will try and give players the best condensed preview of Wake Forest he can.
“You can’t go through everything,” Weber said. “You just don’t have enough time. But hopefully we’re prepared because of all the teams we played.”
Slowing down Collins
D.J. Johnson and Dean Wade know they will need to be at their best defensively to slow Wake Forest forward John Collins, a 6-foot-10 sophomore who is averaging 18.9 points and 9.8 rebounds.
“They are a high-powered offense and they score a lot of points,” Wade said. “They have got a really good big in Collins. It will be a tough matchup, but I think it will be fun.”
Johnson will probably start out defending Collins, but he could rotate with Wade if he picks up early fouls. Either way, he is looking forward to the matchup.
“I imagine he is on the NBA Draft board, right?” Johnson said. “He is, just like (Baylor forward) Johnathan Motley, same guy averaging 21 and 12. The Big 12 has prepared us for this.”
Help off the bench
Carlbe Ervin and Isaiah Maurice have provided K-State with unexpected lifts in recent games.
The reserves did little during the regular season, but helped the Wildcats upset Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament and then push West Virginia.
Ervin has come off the bench to provide a total of nine points and eight rebounds in his past two games, while Maurice has added 12 points and four rebounds. Both will likely be called upon against Wake Forest.
“They bring in guys off their bench that give them a chance to have success,” Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said. “And defensively, they’re one of the better defensive teams in the country.”
High-praise for Iwundu
After studying K-State, Manning thinks it’s obvious Wake Forest will need to contain K-State senior Wesley Iwundu in order to win.
“Wesley, in my opinion, is their best player,” Manning said. “He does it all, scores at all three levels — defends, gets deflections, rebounds. I think he’s a terrific player.”
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett