KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas State men’s basketball team will tip off the 2020-21 season on Wednesday by hosting the inaugural Little Apple Classic that will feature Colorado, Drake and South Dakota State.
This tournament takes the place of the Cayman Islands Classic, which was canceled on Sept. 30.
The Wildcats have been picked to finish last in the Big 12. The team finished with an 11-21 record in 2019-20 and lost several scholarship players last season.
Head coach Bruce Weber looks forward to the start of the season, although he’s not sure what to expect. Weber said last Friday was the first time the team had enough players to scrimmage five-on-five in 17 days due to injuries and COVID-19 concerns.
“In a way, it’s helped us because that’s how you got to play the game but at the same time, it’s a little scary because you realize how much stuff you haven’t gone through,” he said.
Kansas State will face Drake at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. It’s the first time the teams will play in more than six decades and the first time in a season opener since 1952.
“They’re a pretty well-balanced team, played well in the Missouri Valley Tournament," Weber said. "Both them and Colorado have experienced point guards and I would say that would be the one spot we have the least experience, so it’s a little bit scary for us but we’ll see what happens."
Freshman forward Davion Bradford has made a good impression on the K-State coaching staff. Weber said the future is bright for the St. Louis native.
Bradford looks forward to his first collegiate game on Wednesday.
“I’m very excited but also nervous. I think that comes with everybody — being nervous for their first game,” he said. “ I think I’ll be ready for anything that’s coming towards me because I’ve been working on doing this for six months so I think I’m ready for anything that comes to me.”
The Wildcats will play Colorado on Friday. K-State holds a 96-47 advantage in the all-time series, including a 54-10 mark at home.