"Now is the time when you can get better. We need to get better," said Bill Self.
"I am also happy we get some time off -- nine days may be too long. We can walk through situations for two hours so we can maybe run it for two or three possessions in a game. Up until now we haven't had time to do that."
KU looks to bolster its lineup against the Wildcats, as junior guard Michael Lee hopes to return after missing the last nine games with a broken right collarbone. Lee hopes to add some punch to the Jayhawks' perimeter game, as the team is shooting just 27.9 percent from three-point range through its first 11 games.
The Wildcats (8-3) bounced back from a disappointing loss at Saint Louis on Jan. 3 to rout visiting Savannah State, 92-51, on Saturday night in Bramlage Coliseum.
"I watched their entire second half against St. Louis and that was a heartbreaker because they really played well ."
Wednesday's meeting will be the 254th all-time between Kansas and Kansas State, with the Jayhawks holding a 165-88 series lead. This marks the 98th straight year the two teams have hooked up on the hardwood, and KU has won the last 26 meetings overall.
"It is an amazing streak and hopefully it will be one that continues," said Self.
"From what I understand and from what I have seen on tape, this probably is the most talented team K-State has had in several years. Jim (Wooldridge) can coach. I have known him for a long time and he can coach."
K-State scores 73.5 points per game on 45.4 percent shooting from the floor. The Wildcats are led by Jeremiah Massey, who scores 14.5 points per game on 47.4 percent shooting from the field. Marques Hayden chips in with 10.5 points and a team-best 8.5 rebounds per game.
"He has a lot of young guys and they will continue to get better," said Self. I do think Kansas State will have a much better team this year, and in the future, than what they have had in the past few years."
Last week Kansas defeated the Colorado Buffaloes, 77-62, at the Coors Events/Conference Center in Boulder. The win marked KU's 13th straight conference-opening victory and improved its record to 9-2, while the Buffaloes fell to 6-4.
The 'Hawks limited Colorado to 31.0 percent shooting and outscored the Buffaloes 18-4 in the paint during the first stanza.
Simien led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field and pulled down a team-high 14 rebounds. Junior guard Keith Langford added 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting and grabbed six rebounds. Freshman forward J.R. Giddens chipped in with 15 points, while junior guard Aaron Miles scored 12 points and dished out six assists.
Padgett is sitting out Wednesday's game with KSU due to a stress fracture in his left foot, so senior Jeff Graves will step into the starting lineup.