MANHATTAN — The week of celebration is over, and it's back to work for the Kansas State men's basketball team.
After winning the Paradise Jam championship on Monday in the Virgin Islands and spending Friday digesting their Thanksgiving dinners, the No. 12-ranked Wildcats take on Lehigh at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Bramlage Coliseum.
"It takes a little maturity to keep moving forward, and that'll be my big challenge to them," K-State coach Bruce Weber said following an 82-67 victory over Missouri in the Paradise Jam final. "Come and play well again Saturday in Bramlage. Play at a high level all the time and get everybody playing."
Saturday's game was moved to the afternoon so that fans could then watch K-State's regular-season football finale at Iowa State, which starts at 6 p.m.
The Wildcats (5-0) face Lehigh (4-1), from Patriot League, for the first time ever. The Mountain Hawks are coming off an 80-69 victory at Siena, and their lone loss was an 83-62 setback at Miami.
Lehigh has four players averaging in double figures, led by guard Kyle Leufroy with 16.2 points per game. Forward Pat Andree adds 15.4 points and is tied with Leufroy for the rebounding lead with 7.4.
"One goal was to win (the Paradise Jam)," Weber said. "Another goal, obviously, is if you win, have a great record in nonconference and win some big games.
"You're going to have a good power rating and a chance, hopefully, down the road to be a high (NCAA Tournament) seed. Lehigh, we've got to get mentally ready for every game and use it to get better."
For K-State, senior forward Dean Wade was the Paradise Jam most valuable player and leads the Wildcats with 15.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Barry Brown, another all-tournament selection, averages 15.6 point and 4.8 rebounds, with Xavier Sneed contributing 13 points.
After the Lehigh game, the Wildcats go on the road on Dec. 1 to Marquette, then play on Dec. 8 at Tulsa.