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K-State Young And 'Grown Up' For 2013-14 Season
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By Wendell Barnhouse | wendell@big12sports.com
Big12Sports.com Correspondent


Story line
Injuries forced Kansas State to play the second half of last season with just seven – and sometimes six – healthy players and without a player over six-feet tall. The Wildcats earned an invitation to the WNIT and reached the semifinals before losing. This year's team must replace do-it-all guard Brittany Chambers but there's height, talent and experience. If the grit and determination displayed last season carries over, it's quite likely K-State will do what most K-State teams do and make a mockery of the preseason polls. The Wildcats are picked to finish ninth in the Big 12.

Coach: Deb Patterson, 339-207 in 18 seasons.
Last season: 19-18 overall, 5-13 in Big 12, tied eighth.
NCAA Tournament: Did not participate; reached semifinals of WNIT.

Top players
Senior guard/forward Chantay Caron; sophomore guard Bri Craig; senior forward Katya Leick; junior guard Haley Texada; redshirt freshman guard Kelly Thomson; freshman guard Leticia Romero; freshman forward Breanna Lewis; freshman forward Erica Young; freshman forward Jessica Sheble.

Coach Patterson says
"I think that the main momentum from that great postseason run for last year's team was just the example that it serves for those young players coming in about the standard of excellence and resiliency and toughness, and the potential there is to succeed every day of the opportunity to compete. I think that was a great message for our team."

Notable
Kansas State attempted a program-record and Big 12 record 1,077 3-pointers. Sophomore Bri Craig attempted 229 of her 347 shots from behind the 3-point line. She had just 23 free throw attempts and hopes to attack the basket more this season. … K-State has made at least one 3-point field goal in 211 consecutive games, dating back to Feb. 7, 2007. … This will be K-State's youngest roster since the 1977-78 season. The average age is 19 years, eight months. … During her time in Manhattan, coach Deb Patterson has directed the program to nine NCAA Tournament appearances, nine 20-win seasons, two Big 12 regular season titles (2004 and 2008) and one postseason WNIT crown (2006).

Season Opener
Nov. 8 vs. Tennessee State

Top nonconference games
Nov. 20 vs. Wichita State
Nov. 28 vs. SMU (Junkanoo Jam)
Dec. 28 vs. North Carolina State (Surf and Slam Classic)

Conference opener
Jan. 2 vs. Baylor
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