Madness in Manhattan ran longer than expected last night, so I had to file my story from the event before it ended to meet our print deadline.
Here a few more notes worth passing along.
– Overall, Madness in Manhattan was a success. An estimated crowd of 5,500 turned out for the basketball kickoff party, and fans lined up in long lines before the doors opened at Bramlage Coliseum to get the best seats.
K-State has held October basketball celebrations sporadically in the past. If the dates line up and the Wildcats can have a basketball night on Friday followed by a home football game on Saturday, they consider it. If not, they don’t worry about it.
This was the first Madness in Manhattan of the Bruce Weber era. Does he want to turn it into a yearly event?
“It’s a hard thing,” Weber said. “You obviously don’t make any money from it. It’s more of a fan-friendly thing. The players like it. It’s good for recruiting. We will see. If they want to keep doing it and they are going to be creative, it’s all right.”
Sounds like he hasn’t made up his mind. The event’s future might depend on how well it works as a recruiting tool. K-State had two recruits in attendance on Friday (Marvin Clark and Tre Harris) and if they commit to the Wildcats that will make the event more meaningful. I spoke with both Clark and Harris afterward, and they both said they were impressed by Madness in Manhattan.
Weber offered positive reviews as well.
“I appreciate the administration,” Weber said. “I thought it was really well received and the crowd was good.”
– Senior guard Will Spradling dressed for the event and participated in the evening’s early festivities, but he was scratched from the 15-minute scrimmage.
Weber said Spradling “tweaked his ankle” in practice this week and was withheld for precautionary reasons. Weber said Spradling will play in the team’s first exhibition game next week.
– The Wildcats treated their scrimmage like the NBA all-star game (no defense, lots of dunks and threes) so you couldn’t take much away from the high-scoring affair. But it was obvious this team will be more athletic than last year.
Maine transfer Justin Edwards (seen above winning the dunk contest) looked like the team’s best player. Of course, K-State fans will have to wait a year before they see him in a live game.
“This was his one shining moment this year,” Weber said. “He will have to wait until next November to do it again.”
Freshman Marcus Foster also looked ready for the season. Overall, K-State can push the ball and attack the basket with authority.
“Now we have to get them to do all the other stuff,” Weber said. “We know they can run and jump now we have to get them to guard and pass and do all those things.”
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