Expectations for K-State hoops at high level

They never have been handed this high of a preseason ranking in the Big 12 Conference.

The Kansas State Wildcats’ men’s basketball team, though, never had two players of this profile, speaking of Michael Beasley and Bill Walker, to raise expectations to another level.

On Wednesday, at Big 12 Media Day at the Marriott on The Country Club Plaza, Walker said the hype, including K-State being picked fourth in the pre-season coaches’ poll, is justified.

“Everybody’s real excited about this season, and they should be,” Walker said. “We want to do great things this year.”

Walker, along with teammates David Hoskins, Clent Stewart and Frank Martin spent more than three hours doing media obligations with print, radio and television.

Martin, who takes over for Bob Huggins, now at West Virginia, is about to begin his first season as a major college head coach. He’s ready. It sounds like his team is, too.

“I’ve been watching our team for the past two months,” Martin said, “and I’m extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made, how our guys have blended with one another, their willingness to learn. And the most important thing to me is how competitive they’ve been and the drive that they have had to succeed.”

K-State, who made it to the second round of the NIT last season and is seeking its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1996, plays an exhibition game Nov. 3 against Fort Hays State at home, and opens the regular season Nov. 9 against Sacramento State.