It’s Tang Time! And also Mittie Time.
The men are coming off yet another painful Elite Eight loss, which of course is still an Elite Eight loss, so that’s good. The women, meanwhile, have been picked fourth in the Big 12 this year thanks to a ton of returning talent, including two preseason all-conference selections and an honorable mention.
Both teams tip off the 2023-24 season tonight, and you can watch them both back-to-back. Here’s the details!
(Men’s details below.)
The Kansas State Wildcats (0-0, 19-17/5-13 Big 12 last year) host the Presbyterian Blue Hose (0-0, 13-17/9-9 Big South last year).
This is the first-ever meeting between the Cats and the visitors from the Big South Conference. Mind-blowing fact: K-State is 0-1 all-time against Big South members, having lost to Radford 74-61 in a neutral-site game in Minneapolis on December, 1988. Of course, Radford went 25-7 that year and made the WNIT while K-State went 18-11 and went nowhere; that was the Dark Era between Lynn Hickey and Deb Patterson.
Radford, coincidentally, handed Presby their last loss, ending the Blue Hose season with a 69-68 win on March 2. Presby is led by Alaura Sharp, in her sixth season; she has a 55-87 career record, all at Presbyterian, but last year represented her highest win total. The Blue Hose have only had three winning seasons in their entire residence in Division I, which followed a run of four NCAA tournaments in five years shortly before beginning their transition from Division II.
K-State suffered a disappointing 2022-23 campaign, as Ayoka Lee missed the entire year while recovering from knee surgery. A 2022 second-team All-American, three-time all-Big 12 honoree, and the current holder of the NCAA’s single-game scoring record for women (61 vs Oklahoma, January 23, 2022), Lee’s absence was keenly felt despite an all-Big 12 first team performance by Gabby Gregory. Gregory was second in the league in both points scored and points per game, and chose to return for her super senior year for the chance to play alongside Lee.
Junior Serena Sundell returns and is already 12th all-time on K-State’s career assist leaderboard, and is second in assists-per-game. She’s a preseason Big 12 honorable mention. Jaelyn and Brylee Glenn, who combined for 19.6 points per game, also return; essentially, this is last year’s top four players plus Lee.
That will probably make a huge difference.
Monday, November 5, 6:30pm CT at Bramlage Coliseum (11,000) in Manhattan.
Tickets are still available from the box office. $12-15 for reserved seats, $8 for general admission.
K-State Sports Network with Matt Walters and Kindred Orpin (Wesemann).
The Kansas State Wildcats (0-0, 26-10/11-7 Big 12 last year) face the USC Trojans (0-0, 26-8/14-6 Pac 12 last year) in the Hall of Fame Series Las Vegas.
K-State and USC have met five times previously, the last being the 80-67 win over the Trojans in the 2008 NCAA Tournament — the final Wildcat Victory for one Michael Beasley. The Cats lead the series 4-1, the only loss being an 81-80 setback in Nashville in December 1975. This is the fifth time the two teams will meet on a neutral court; the only home game for either team was their first meeting in 1960, played in Los Angeles and resulting in a 65-57 win for K-State.
With the suspension of Nae-Qwan Tomlin, K-State returns nobody who scored more than 6.4 points per game, and only 18.9 points per game total from last season. The “stars” of the team in the official game notes are David N’Guessan and Cam Carter. But there’s still hope; highly-anticipated recruits Taj Manning, Dai Dai Ames, and R.J. Jones are suited up, transfers Tylor Perry and Arthur Kaluma are expected to be a big part of things, and sophomore Jerrell Colbert contributed 13 points in K-State’s 102-68 exhibition win over Emporia State so he’s worth keeping an eye on.
USC lost several players to transfer after last season, but did pick up DJ Rodman (yes, his son) from Washington State and landed Bronny James and five-star Isaiah Collier as recruits, although USC has announced that James will not be playing tonight as he continues recovering from a summer cardiac event.
The Trojans went 3-0 on an exhibition tour of Greece and Croatia in August, with super senior Boogie Ellis leading the team in scoring all three games.
Monday, November 5, 9:00pm CT at T-Mobile Arena (18,000) in Las Vegas, not Kansas City.
If you’re in Vegas, you can get in the door for this session (which includes the LSU-Colorado women’s game at 6:30 CT) for an average of $30 a pop.
USC opened as a 2.5 point favorite, and DraftKings now has them at -3 with the over at 146, which projects out to 75-72 USC. The money line is -166 for the Trojans, +140 for K-State.
TNT with Spiro Dedes, Grant Hill, and Allie LaForce.
K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson and Stan Weber.
The TNT broadcast will stream on MAX, meaning you’ll need a subscription to MAX but there is no add-on fee (which they will be adding for the Bleacher Report tier in 2024). Audio available via kstatesports.com. Live stats provided by StatBroadcast.
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