Kansas State University

Wesley Iwundu leads Kansas State past Washburn

Kansas State coach Bruce Weber shouts to his team during the first half of an exhibition game against Washburn on Friday in Manhattan.
Kansas State coach Bruce Weber shouts to his team during the first half of an exhibition game against Washburn on Friday in Manhattan. AP

This is the Wesley Iwundu that Kansas State hopes it gets all season.

Iwundu, a senior wing who spent hundreds of hours re-tooling his jump shot over the summer, did everything for the Wildcats during a 73-58 exhibition victory over Washburn on Friday at Bramlage Coliseum.

He scored 21 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, sent out three assists and played solid defense.

Iwundu scored three points in K-State’s exhibition opener against Pittsburg State last week, making a three in the first minute and then missing the remainder of his shots. But he turned things around in a big way against the Ichabods, piling up 15 points and seven rebounds by halftime.

“I just wanted to come out and play with energy.” Iwundu said. “My shot was on early.”

No one was happier to see the bounce-back effort than K-State coach Bruce Weber, who challenged him beforehand.

“His shot is better, but I said, ‘I think you forgot who you are and what you have been,’ ” Weber said. “’I told him, ‘You should have a triple-double somewhere during the year. If you have a motor and do those things you will get your points. You will help us be successful and you will do a lot of good things.’ 

The Wildcats built a 46-27 lead behind him and held off Washburn from there.

Barry Brown was the second-best player in a K-State uniform, finishing with 15 points and three rebounds for his second-straight strong outing. He scored 17 points against Pittsburg State, making him the Wildcats’ top scorer of the exhibition season.

“I am just trying to do whatever I can to help my team,” Brown said. “My teammates are doing a good job of finding me when I am open and I am taking advantage.”

Isaac Clark led Washburn with 15 points.

Weber seemed displeased with the way the Wildcats played in the second half. They dropped off significantly on offense, scoring 27 points on a mere three assists. But they started strong and gave themselves plenty of room for error.

Besides, this was anything but a cutthroat game.

K-State honored Washburn coach Bob Chipman at midcourt before the season with a framed photo of a young Chipman in a K-State basketball uniform. It also presented him with two round-trip flight tickets to any destination of his choosing.

“I will probably go somewhere warm,” Chipman said.

The Wildcats showed Chipman, who will retire after 38 years as Washburn’s head coach at the conclusion of this season, serious hospitality.

“It was a little bit weird, because I am kind of pulling for them to have a great year,” Chipman said. “I just wanted it to be a great game and give them a really good game. I hope they got a lot out of it. I know we did.”

Intensity levels will rise next week when K-State begins the regular season against Western Illinois.

“I have been waiting for this for a (long time), since the end of last season,” Iwundu said. “It’s a great feeling going into it with a positive mindset. We are just ready to go out there and get things started.”

WASHBURN: Skeens 3-6 1-2 7, Salach 5-9 2-2 13, Smith 1-5 2-2 4, Blake 1-4 0-0 2, Wiggins 3-12 0-0 7, Pyle 1-5 0-0 3, Martin 1-4 0-0 2, Martin 1-2 0-0 3, Clark 6-9 2-2 15, Holmes 0-2 0-0 0, Fagins 0-1 2-2 2, Holmberg 0-3 0-0 0, Ogbonna 0-0 0-0 0, Lickteig 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 22-63 9-10 58.

KANSAS STATE: Johnson 2-4 2-4 6, Wade 2-6 0-0 5, Stokes 0-5 3-4 3, Brown 4-7 5-6 15, Iwundu 8-13 4-4 21, Ervin 1-3 0-0 2, Maurice 2-3 2-2 6, Patrick 1-1 0-0 3, Schoen 0-0 0-0 0, Winter 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 1-1 1-2 3, Sneed 3-8 1-2 9, McAtee 0-0 0-0 0, Budke 0-1 0-0 0.

Threes – WU 5-25 (Salach 1-3, Smith 0-2, Blake 0-2, Wiggins 1-7, Pyle 1-5, Huppe 1-1, Clark 1-1, Holmes 0-2, Holmberg 0-2). KSU 7-20 (Wade 1-3, Stokes 0-2, Brown 2-4, Iwundu 1-4, Ervin 0-1, Patrick 1-1, Sneed 2-4, Budke 0-1). Rebounds – WU 31 (Skeens 7, Salach 4, Smith 3, Wiggins 3, Pyle 2, Clark 1, Holmes 1, Holmberg 2, Ogbonna 2), KSU 40 (Johnson 6, Wade 3, Brown 3, Iwundu 11, Ervin 4, Maurice 7, Patrick 1, Sneed 3). Assists – WU 12 (Skeens 2, Smith 6, Blake 2, Wiggins 1, Clark 1), KSU 11 (Wade 1, Stokes 1, Iwundu 3, Ervin 3, Schoen 1, Sneed 1, McAtee 1).

Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett