While the K-State volleyball team is trying to protect the home court of Bramlage Coliseum, the your Kansas State Wildcats men’s basketball team will be in St. Louis for their first true road game of the season to take on the Saint Louis Billikens.
This is a return trip from a scheduled home-and-home agreement that brought the Billikens to Manhattan last year, a match-up that K-State won 75-47. It will also be a homecoming game for senior D.J. Johnson and freshman Xavier Sneed, who are both natives of St. Louis. It’s also a chance for a game in the heart of a K-State pipeline, as Bruce Weber has recruited four players, including current K-State signee Levi Stockard, from the greater St. Louis area and coached five during his time at K-State.
The Cats and the Billikens will be meeting for the 19th time and the first time in St. Louis since a 65-64 Billikens win in early 2004, and Wildcats are 4-6 all-time at Saint Louis. But these aren’t Rick Majerus’ Billikens. Jim Crews took over for the late-Majerus in 2012, and was fired at the end of last season following two consecutive 11-21 campaigns. But the new coach of the Billikens will be very familiar to the Wildcats.
Travis Ford, previously at Oklahoma State, took over in Saint Louis this season. But his Billikens have started 2-4, and after winning 2 of their first 3 home games, they have dropped their last three including neutral court losses to BYU and Alabama, and a loss on Tuesday at home to Samford, 68-64. The Billikens are led by sophomore guard Jermaine Bishop and junior guard Davell Roby, who are both averaging just over 12 points per game.
The Wildcats rebounded from their first loss of the season with an 80-61 win over Green Bay on Wednesday. Sophomore guard Barry Brown continues to pace the Cats in scoring, and notched his 7th-straight regular season game this season (and 9th including the exhibition games) scoring double-digits. But K-State has largely relied on stellar on defense, holding opponents to 59 points on 37 percent shooting while forcing just over 16 turnovers per game. The team ranks 15th in scoring defense and 18th in field goal percentage defense.
The game will be broadcast on FSN Kansas City (state of Kansas/Kansas City metro area) and FSN Midwest Plus (Illinois, Missouri and Iowa). K-State was informed this morning that contrary to previous reports, the game will not be available on ESPN3, but you may be able to watch on the FoxSportsGo app if you have that available (and needed if you are in Bramlage watching the VolleyCats play). Also, no K-StateHD.TV for this one since it’s a road game. Audio, as always, is available on the K-State Sports Network and streaming online at K-StateSports.com.
Since the VolleyCats are on ESPN3, you’ll be able to split-screen these games (if you aren’t in Bramlage watching the VolleyCats play) and watch both K-State teams play.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown
G: #25 Wesley Iwundu
F: #32 Dean Wade
F: #4 D.J. Johnson
G: #5 Davell Roby
G: #11 Jermaine Bishop
G: #32 Mike Crawford
F: #33 Elliott Welmer
F: #35 Reggie Agbeko