Bob Huggins doesn't mind taking his teams on the road. He just wouldn't mind doing it a little later in the season.
Instead, Kansas State will have just one home game under its belt before traveling to Piscataway, N.J., for Wednesday night's game against Rutgers.
"You sign a contract, you honor a contract," the Wildcats' first-year coach said Monday, during a conference call with reporters from his office in Manhattan. "I'd like to play this one probably a little later in the year, though."
Television obligations made that impossible, Huggins said.
"This is kind of the only place we could put the game," he said.
Most Kansas State games will be televised this season. That's a perk of hiring Huggins, who took over in March after Jim Wooldridge was fired and brought along the buzz that comes with taking Cincinnati to 14 straight NCAA appearances and one Final Four in 16 years there.
Huggins' road strategy for future seasons is geared toward keeping the Wildcats on TV and making sure he can get other teams to Manhattan, too.
"You've got to get on television," he said. "We're going to do what we need to do to get on television, but we're also not going to play anyone that's not a home-and-home situation."
The Rutgers game, scheduled in August, was the last one added to Kansas State's 2006-2007 schedule. It completes a home-and-home deal that began in 2004.
Huggins won't get into such agreements with just anyone, though.
"We're going to try to go to areas where we recruit," he said. "We're not going to go on the road just to go on the road."
This season, Kansas State starts home-and-home agreements with Cleveland State and California and a two-for-one deal with Xavier - two games in Cincinnati and one in Manhattan.
Besides Rutgers, the Wildcats will also complete home-and-home agreements with three other road games: New Mexico on Nov. 21, Colorado State on Dec. 2 and North Dakota State on Dec. 9.
Wednesday's game will be Rutgers' season opener. Kansas State beat William & Mary, 70-60, on Saturday in Huggins' debut, and on Monday, Huggins was still not thrilled by a 10-point victory against a mid-major program that won only eight games last year.
"We've got a long way to go to get where we want to go defensively, and we've got some work to do on rebounding the ball," he said. "We got good shots. Our execution wasn't terrific, but we got good shots. We've just got to start making some."
The Wildcats are still learning Huggins' schemes, though.
"Remember when you were back in kindergarten, first grade, when you were reading, 'Run, Sally, run?"' he said. "That's about where we are."
Huggins also said he wants senior swingman Cartier Martin, who played only 12 minutes and scored five points against William & Mary because of early foul trouble, to shrug off his 2-for-9 shooting performance Saturday.
"I just told him after the game that he needs to keep shooting," Huggins said. "He's unquestionably our best shooter. He just needs to keep shooting the ball until it starts going in."