No. 12 Kansas State looks to keep momentum going vs. Lehigh
After winning an in-season tournament for the first time in seven years with an 82-67 victory over Missouri in the final of the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands, Kansas State returns home Saturday to host Lehigh (4-1).
The 12th-ranked Wildcats (5-0) boast a balanced attack, led by Paradise Jam MVP Dean Wade at 15.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
"I have been on him a little bit," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. "It's really his personality. We started practice with contested and uncontested shots. I think he was 22 of 24 on uncontested shots. I said, 'Please shoot the ball, Dean.'
"There's not a lot of guys that you beg to shoot the ball, but he's just such a team guy, and he listens to me when I tell the team to be patient.
"I don't want him to listen. I want him to shoot the ball. He's a special player. I don't think people nationwide know how good he is, but he has to do that consistently."
Wade is joined in double figures by Barry Brown (15.6) and Xavier Sneed (13.0). Kamau Stokes (8.8), Makol Mawien (6.4) and Levi Stockard (6.0) also have contributed on the offensive end.
Austin Trice has helped the Wildcats reverse last season's rebounding woes. He's second behind Wade with 6.0 rebounds per game.
The Wildcats have outrebounded their five opponents by nearly eight per game.
After winning the tournament title, Kansas State's next challenge is to keep the intensity that led to three convincing victories in four days.
"It takes a little maturity to keep moving forward, and that'll be my big challenge to them: come and play well again Saturday in Bramlage," Weber said. "Play at a high level all the time. One goal was to win it.
"Another goal, obviously, is, if you win it, to have a great record in non-conference. Win some big games and you're going to have a good power rating and a chance down the road to be a high seed."
Lehigh (4-1) has a three-game winning streak after beating Marist, Princeton and Siena. Their lone loss was at Miami (Fla.).
Kyle Leufroy paces four players in double figures at 16.2 points per game on 60.9 percent shooting, including 58.3 percent from 3-point range. He's also averaging 7.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
Pat Andree is averaging 15.4 points on 49 percent shooting, including 51.7 percent from long range, to go with 7.4 rebounds per game.
Leufroy and Andree are responsible for more than half of the Mountain Hawks' 3-point field goals.
Lance Tejada (11.2 ppg) and Jordan Cohen (11.0 ppg) also average in double figures.
"I thought we had great bench production," Lehigh coach Brett Reed said after an 80-69 victory over Siena. "Jeameril Wilson came into the game and gave us a huge spark, knocked down some shots, had some tough finishes and essentially made a game-winning play on the defensive end of the floor where he made a rotation and knocked the ball away to help us secure the win.
"When you start considering that Kyle was 8-for-11, Jordan 5-for-8, Jeameril 4-for-6 and Marques (Wilson) 5-for-6 from the floor, it shows you a really high efficiency. We had a lot of players who were unselfish and were passing the ball and giving their teammates opportunities to make plays."
The Mountain Hawks will be looking for similar production against the Wildcats.
Updated November 23, 2018