November 14, 2008

Wildcats to open season with FAMU

Kansas State delivered with a rousing win in its lone exhibition game last weekend. The Wildcats made the message clear earlier in the week as they open the season against Florida A&M on Friday night: It's now time for the fans to deliver. Sophomore guard Jacob Pullen, who comes off a game-high 21 points in the exhibition contest, summed it up: "We want your support."

"I just want for them to come out and support us," Pullen said. "I don't want for them to think that since Mike and Bill left there's no reason to come watch K-State basketball, that it's over again and that it's back to losing. It's not going to be that way. We're going to have the same success we had last season."

Frank Martin comes off an impressive first year in which he led the Wildcats to a 21-12 record and a third-place finish in the Big 12 for the program's highest conference finish in 19 years. K-State comes off its first NCAA Tournament appearance in a dozen years and it's first NCAA Tournament win in 20. Martin became just the second head coach in school history to lead a team to the NCAA Tournament in his first campaign.

After an announced crowd of 7,733, including a few thousand students, showed up to watch the Wildcats' 81-57 win against Division II Washburn last Sunday night, Martin e-mailed a letter to the student body, imploring it to fill the seats "so that our kids have the best home-court advantage in the country."

"It was the first game in a K-State uniform for myself and Denis Clemente, so we were expecting a bigger crowd," said redshirt freshman Jamar Samuels, who along with Clemente is expected to make his first career start in the 7:10 p.m. tipoff. "I think Frank was a little mad about it."

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