MANHATTAN — Like many casual college basketball fans, Dominique Sutton has seen the letters "IUPUI" countless times, but has no idea what they stand for.
"Indiana something?" Sutton said. "I'm not going to lie. I don't know."
Maybe the Kansas State junior guard should have kept going. He was on the right track. IUPUI is Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
It's a mouthful of a name, to be sure. But Sutton doesn't need an IUPUI fact sheet to respect the team the Wildcats play at 3:05 p.m. today at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
One look at the Jaguars in the video room was all the Wildcats needed.
"IUPUI is no slouch," junior guard Jacob Pullen said. "They're very good."
Added sophomore forward Jamar Samuels: "They have a great, great team. It's going to be a good test for us early in the season."
IUPUI (5-1) enters today's game with two road wins and two neutral-site wins. And though its roster isn't blessed with the same kind of talent K-State saw against Mississippi and Dayton in its recent trip to Puerto Rico, it likely won't be intimidated by the Wildcats or the Sprint Center's purple-clad crowd.
For that reason, K-State coach Frank Martin said his team can't overlook its opponent with a funny name.
"We have to approach IUPUI with the same sense of urgency that we approached Dayton," Martin said. "That's how we have to play. For us to be good, that's how we have to be every day."
The Jaguars have been successful away from home because of a balanced offensive attack. Forwards Robert Glenn and Alex Young each average more than 15 points and guard Leroy Nobles is averaging 16.8.
K-State will need a good defensive effort against those players during the Cats' only visit to the Sprint Center before March's Big 12 Tournament. It's the second straight year K-State has played a non-conference game in the arena.
When the Big 12 Tournament begins, Martin wants his team to feel at home in Kansas City.
"When you've found success in that building before, there's a sense of comfort that we've been here before," Martin said. "It goes a long ways with having a peace of mind and being able to go out and do your job."