Jul 03, 2024

K-State to Face Drake in Kansas City December 17

Posted Jul 03, 2024 1:09 PM

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State men’s basketball team will play host to Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champion Drake in the Wildcat Classic on Tuesday, December 17 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.

Season ticket holders can now request tickets for the game during the current ordering and renewal process. Tickets for the public will go on sale this fall.

The matchup will mark the 13th Wildcat Classic game at the T-Mobile Center with K-State winning 10 of the 12 previous Classics, including victories over Nebraska in 2022 and Wichita State last season. The Wildcat Classic dates to 2007 and has included such notable opponents as Alabama, Florida, Texas A&M, UNLV and Vanderbilt.

This will be the 28th meeting between K-State and Drake with 26 of the last 27 matchups coming between 1918 and 1956. The Bulldogs won the most recent meeting, 80-70, at Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 25, 2020.

Drake posted a 28-7 record in 2023-24, including a second-place finish in the MVC standings with a 16-4 mark, and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with an 84-80 win over top-seed Indiana State in the championship game. The Bulldogs will have a new head coach in former Northwest Missouri State coach Ben McCollum, who won 394 games and 4 NCAA Division II Championships (2017, 2019, 2021, 2022) in building the Bearcats into a national powerhouse.

K-State finished the 2023-24 season with a 19-15 record, including an 8-10 mark in Big 12 play, and advanced to the NIT. Among the Wildcats’ 19 victories were 4 over Top 25 teams, including 3 in the Top 10. The team has won 45 games in head coach Jerome Tang’s tenure, including consecutive postseason appearances.

The Wildcats return 3 lettermen (senior David N’Guessan and sophomores Taj Manning and Macaleab Rich) in 2024-25, along with the 10 newcomers, which includes 8 Division I transfers, a junior college All-American (Mobi Ikegwuruka) and a top-50 high school prospect (David Castillo).

The transfer class is considered one of the best in the country and includes notable additions Achor Achor (Samford), Coleman Hawkins (Illinois), Dug McDaniel (Michigan) and Ugonna Onyenso (Kentucky) as well as Baye Fall (Arkansas), Brendan Hausen (Villanova), C.J. Jones (UIC) and Max Jones (Cal State Fullerton).

The rest of the non-conference schedule is still being finalized, but the Wildcats will play a 20-game Big 12 schedule that includes 10 home games with NCAA Tournament teams Arizona, Colorado, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas and Texas Tech as well as Arizona State, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.