Kansas State opened the season with considerable expectations coming off last March’s run to the Elite 8 and it’s entire rotation returning to Manhattan, looking to improve upon an OK season that turned great thanks to a fortuitous tournament path.
The Wildcats, though, are experiencing a heavy dose of adversity at the moment.
Already without All-American candidate Dean Wade, Bruce Weber and Co. will be without guard Kamau Stokes for what could be an extended amount of time after he aggravated a stress fracture he suffered last year.
Without Wade and Stokes, the Wildcats got thrashed by 20 by an inconsistent Texas team, at Bramlage Coliseum, no less, on Wednesday.
“Hopefully (I’ll know more) next week,” Weber said according to the Manhattan Mercury. “And the long-term, we’ll have to see where he’s at.
“Like I said, (I) just hope and pray for his sake that he’s able to finish the season, and have a great senior year.”
Not exactly exuding confidence that it’ll be a short absence for Stokes, whose freshman season ended with knee surgery and has battled a variety of maladies while in Manhattan that have cost him games.
“It’s a young man who has had severe injuries, and it’s a tough thing for him,” Weber said. “He wants to make sure that thing heals up, and (I) just hope and pray that he’s able to go.”
Stokes is averaging 11.7 points and a team-best 3.3 assists per game while shooting 37.9 percent from the field. Under other circumstances, Stokes’ absence would hurt but would probably be manageable. Adding that to Wade being sidelined – without much clarity to when his return might be – makes things a lot more precarious for the Wildcats.