Kansas State will play host to Missouri State in an exhibition men’s basketball game at noon on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum to benefit the American Red Cross’ hurricane relief efforts. That’s according to a release from K-State Athletics.
In lieu of admission, K-State Athletics is suggesting fans contribute $5 per person to the Red Cross’ on-going disaster relief. The Fan Experience and Sales department will staff the northwest and northeast entrances to accept cash donations. Coach Bruce Weber and his wife, Megan, will match the donations collected up to $10,000.
In addition, shopping carts will be provided at the at the northwest and northeast entrances for fans who are bringing non-perishable food items for the annual Cats for Cans benefit drive.
“This is a great opportunity for our basketball program to help those devastated by the recent hurricanes,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “We encourage all K-Staters to come out and support our team on Saturday and do our part to help those Americans suffering due to these storms.”
The exhibition will tip off three hours prior to the football team’s Homecoming tilt with No. 9/9 Oklahoma set for 3 p.m. CT at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Just like a normal football gameday, the doors to the northwest and northeast entrances of Bramlage Coliseum will open at 10 a.m., with the basketball teams beginning their warm-ups at 11 a.m., for the noon tip-off.
Parking priority at the Kansas State Sports Complex for fans wishing to attend the exhibition will be given to those holding football parking passes. The east and west parking lost surrounding Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Bramlage Coliseum are reserved for donors to the Ahearn Scholarship Fund. Fans holding football parking passes will be admitted into those lots and allowed to park in their reserved spaces as is the normal custom for a football game when the lots open at 10 a.m.
K-State received a special waiver from the NCAA to host a third exhibition game with all proceeds benefiting the on-going hurricane relief efforts. Saturday’s exhibition will operate like a normal college basketball game with two 20-minute halves and regular media timeouts with exception of a 10-minute halftime. Due to the football pregame show, there will be no radio broadcast of the game.
Led by seventh-year head coach Paul Lusk, Missouri State returns five lettermen, including four starters from a squad that posted a 17-16 overall record and finished in a tie for sixth place in Missouri Valley play in 2016-17. The Bears return six of their top-7 scorers from a year ago highlighted by MVC Newcomer of the Year Alize Johnson, who averaged a double-double of 14.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. The team also returns senior guard Ronnie Rousseau III, who averaged 11.6 points per game before missing the final 18 games.
MSU welcomes six newcomers, including a pair of Division I transfers in New Mexico State’s Tanveer Bhullar and Howard’s J.T. Miller and two community college additions.
The coaching staff have a long association with each other, as both head coaches have ties to legendary Purdue head coach and K-State alum Gene Keady. Lusk, who played two seasons alongside current K-State associate head coach Chris Lowery at Southern Illinois from 1992-94, served as an assistant coach at Purdue from 2004-11 for Keady and Matt Painter before assuming the reins at Missouri State. Current K-State assistant coach Brad Korn was an Lusk’s assistant at MSU for three seasons (2013-16) before returning to Manhattan in May 2016, while current director of player development Jermaine Henderson also spent three seasons on Lusk’s staff from 2012-15.
Saturday’s exhibition will be the first of seven straight home games for the Wildcats to start the 2017-18 season. The team returns eight lettermen, including three starters, from last season’s NCAA Tournament squad.