Weber says KSU can't 'take a chance' with Wade

Kansas State Wildcats power forward Dean Wade remains unlikely to play in the NCAA tournament because of a lingering right foot injury, head coach Bruce Weber told reporters Thursday.

"I just don't think he'll be able to go," Weber said. "He's doing treatment now. He just ... we can't take a chance. His future is more important than us winning a game."

The 6-foot-10 Wade, the team's second-leading scorer (12.9 points) and leading rebounder (6.2 rebounds), also missed the Big 12 tournament after he "tweaked" his foot multiple times down the stretch of the season, most recently against Oklahoma in the regular-season finale.

Kansas State will open the tournament against No. 13-seeded UC-Irvine in San Jose on Friday. Wade accompanied the team on the trip, hobbling into the SAP Arena with crutches and a boot on his foot Thursday morning.

"Some folks indicated they could be better in some ways without him," UC-Irvine coach Russell Turner said. "We don't know yet whether Dean is going to play yet, but we know they're a different style team without him."

This will be the second year in a row that Wade was injured as Kansas State headed into the NCAA tournament. Last season, Wade suffered a stress fracture in his foot during the Big 12 tournament and played only eight minutes during Kansas State's run to the Elite Eight. This year, he missed a six-game stretch in December and early January with a similar foot injury.

A senior, Wade this year became the second Kansas State player to earn All-Big 12 first-team honors in consecutive seasons. He's only the third player in school history to rank in the top 10 in career scoring and rebounding.