MANHATTAN (KSNT) – It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year.

Not Christmas, college basketball season, and Kansas State University women’s basketball enters this season as No. 4 in the Big 12.

Standout center Ayoka Lee is back. She graduated in May, in three years, and is getting her master’s. Lee averaged 19.1 points per game this past season.

“Coach Mittie has been really big on me getting more comfortable further outside the paint,” Lee said. “That has been kind of an emphasis for not only me but all of our bigs.”

Another team star, Christianna Carr, did transfer to Syracuse. She averaged 15.2 points per game. However, head coach Jeff Mittie is excited about this year’s team.

“I think every team’s going to be at a different level this year because you’ve got more practice time,” Mittie said. “It has felt more normal. With our young team, we have a fairly young team in some spots, so it was critical that we have good practices here in the fall.”

The Wildcats have some exhibitions beginning Oct. 31, but their first true test is the preseason Women’s NIT starting Nov. 12.