December 28, 2007

Wildcats ready to return to action

While Kansas State received two post-Christmas gifts with the addition of Dominique Sutton and Jamar Samuels, first-year coach Frank Martin was equally ecstatic about how little holiday rust the Wildcats showed in three practices leading to a meeting with Wagner at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum. His team bursting with energy, Martin called the Dec. 26th night practice "the best post-Christmas practice I've been a part of."

"It was just great and (Thursday) we were really good and today we were good again," Martin said on Friday. "I'm happy with our kids' approach. They've been good."

And now for more good news: K-State gets two games in three days, which means plenty for a team seeking consistency and eager to head into the Big 12 Conference schedule.

Immediately after facing Wagner, the team will board a flight for Cincinnati to face Xavier at the U.S. Bank Arena on Monday. K-State has faired well in quick turnarounds in going 4-1 with a pair of wins against Sacramento State and Pittsburg State (Nov. 9 and 11), and it came off a 87-77 loss to George Mason on Nov. 22 to capture wins against UCF (73-71 in overtime) and Rider (82-69) on Nov. 23 and 25 in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.

The Wildcats will next play two games in a three-day stretch when they visit Colorado on Jan. 23 and face Iowa State in Manhattan on Jan. 26. The brunt of the Big 12 schedule in February will regularly feature three-day turnarounds.

"It's about time we start playing again," Martin said. "I feel like we've been playing once every two weeks over the last two months. Final exams and just the break-up in the schedule, it's been hard to get some consistency as far as game time goes. These guys (the Wagner Seahawks) are good, then we've got to immediately be ready for Xavier. They were ranked No. 13 like 10 days ago."

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