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K-State vs Washington State: Open Game Thread

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Wildcats take on the Cougars in the Wildcat Classic at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

NCAA Basketball: Barclays Center Classic-Maryland vs Kansas State Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas State Wildcats men’s basketball team is taking a break from Bramlage Coliseum this weekend to venture to the fairly friendly confines of Kansas City’s Sprint Center.

This will be the eighth Wildcat Classic at the Sprint Center, with the last coming in 2014 as last year’s version was held at Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena. The last time the Cats hosted the Wildcat Classic in Kansas City, the Wildcats took down No. 21 Texas A&M 71-64.

This will be the 7th meeting between K-State and Washington State, all in the regular season, and the first since a Frank Martin-coached squad went to Pullman, Wa. and took down the Cougars 63-58 in 2010. A Cougars team led by some dude named Klay Thompson.

Wazzu enters tonight’s game with a 5-4 record, and have yet to play a true road game. The Cougars have dropped two at neutral sites, including a 103-77 loss to Creighton at the Paradise Jam, and two at home. The Cougars have three players averaging in double-digits scoring led by senior forward Josh Hawkinson, who is averaging a double-double with a team-high 15.9 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. Hawkinson is tied for 1st nationally in double-doubles (7), while he is 9th in rebounding. He is joined in double-figures by freshman guard Malachi Flynn and senior guard Ike Iroegbu.

K-State enters tonight’s game at 8-1, and are still led in scoring by Barry Brown despite a down game for the sophomore guard on the trip to Saint Louis. While the Cats are struggling at the line this season, shooting 62.5 percent as a team, the Cats are shooting well from the field as senior D.J. Johnson’s 62.7 percent leads nine who are shooting 50 percent or better. But the real story is the WIldcat defense that has held five opponents to 55 points or less and have not allowed more than 69 points to a regular season opponent. Dean Wade led the Cats against Prairie View A&M with 19 points, 9 rebounds, and five assists.

The game will be broadcast on FSN Kansas City (state of Kansas/Kansas City metro area) and ESPN3 (outside the state of Kansas), as well as available on K-StateHD.TV. Audio, as always, is available on the K-State Sports Network and streaming online at K-StateSports.com.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

Kansas State
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown
G: #25 Wesley Iwundu
F: #32 Dean Wade
F: #4 D.J. Johnson

Washington State
G: #2 Ike Iroegbu
G: #22 Malachi Flynn
G: #23 Charles Callison
F: #24 Josh Hawkinson
C: #42 Conor Clifford

Go Cats!!