K-State To Face Iowa State In Big 12 Tournament Opener

By: K-State Sports Information
By: K-State Sports Information
K-State (20-11, 10-8 Big 12) begins postseason play on Thursday, as the Wildcats play No. 16/16 Iowa State (23-7, 11-7 Big 12) in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at 11:30 a.m.

Kansas State forward Thomas Gipson slams against TCU's Hudson Price (21) and Brandon Parrish (11) during the first half of an NCAA basketball game in Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

KANSAS STATE (20-11, 10-8 Big 12)

vs. 16/16 IOWA STATE (23-7, 11-7 Big 12)

Thursday, March 13 >> Sprint Center (18,972) >> Kansas City, Mo. >> 11:30 a.m. CT

TELEVISION

ESPN2

Brent Musburger (play-by-play) >> Fran Fraschilla (analyst) >> Holly Rowe (sideline reporter)

WatchESPN Link – http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/id/1656884/Phillips-66-Big-12-Basketball-Tournament-(Quarterfinal-1)

RADIO

K-State Sports Network

Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) >> Stan Weber (analyst)

Sirius 94/XM 193

LIVE STATS/AUDIO

www.kstatesports.com

Stats – www.kstatesports.com/gametracker

Audio – www.kstatesports.com/allaccess/

TICKETS

www.Big12Sports.com

Sold out

COACHES

Kansas State: Bruce Weber (UW-Milwaukee ’78)

Overall: 360-174 (16th year)

at K-State: 47-19 (2nd year)

vs. Iowa State: 3-2 (0-0 at neutral site)

Iowa State: Fred Hoiberg (Iowa State ’95)

Overall: 85-46 (4th year)

at Iowa State: 85-46 (4th year)

vs. K-State: 5-5 (0-0 at neutral site)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

Kansas State (20-11)

G – #55 Will Spradling (8.0 ppg., 2.9 apg.)

G – #2 Marcus Foster (15.4 ppg., 3.3 rpg.)

G – #25 Wesley Iwundu (6.8 ppg., 4.3 rpg.)

F – #11 Nino Williams (6.5 ppg., 3.6 rpg.)

F – #42 Thomas Gipson (11.8 ppg., 6.6 rpg.)

Iowa State (23-7)

G – #11 Monte Morris (6.1 ppg., 3.7 apg.)

G – #50 DeAndre Kane (17.1 ppg., 6.7 rpg.)

F – #3 Melvin Ejim (18.2 ppg., 8.6 rpg.)

F – #22 Dustin Hogue (10.4 ppg., 8.6 rpg.)

F – #31 Georges Niang (16.2 ppg., 4.3 rpg.)

INSIDE THE SERIES

Overall: K-State leads 136-81 (ISU leads 1-0 at Big 12 Championship)

In Manhattan: K-State leads 79-25 (W, 80-73, 3/1/2014)

In Ames: K-State leads 50-47 (L, 75-81, 1/25/2014)

Last Meeting: K-State, 80-73, 3/1/2014 (Manhattan, Kan.)

Weber vs. Iowa State: 3-2 (0-0 at a neutral site)

Hoiberg vs. K-State: 5-5 (0-0 at a neutral site)

Weber vs. Hoiberg: Tied 2-2 (0-0 at a neutral site)

LAST GAME SUMMARY

Baylor 76, Kansas State 74

Game 31 * Bramlage Coliseum * March 8, 2014

Kansas State saw its 15-game home court winning streak come to an end on Saturday, as junior Kenny Chery scored a season-high 29 points to propel Baylor to a 76-74 victory at Bramlage Coliseum and complete a season sweep of the Wildcats. Down 56-46 with 5:22 to play, the Wildcats rallied to within 76-74 and forced a critical Bear turnover with 0.3 seconds remaining, but senior Will Spradling’s full-court pass was intercepted by Cory Jefferson to stave off the comeback. Freshman Marcus Foster, who hit four of his season-best seven 3-pointers in the last 4:52 of the game, led three Wildcats in double figures with 29 points. It was his seventh 20-point game of the season, including his sixth in Big 12 play. Junior Thomas Gipson also tallied double figures with 16 points, while junior Nino Williams collected his first double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

GAME 32 - QUICK HITTERS

· K-State (20-11, 10-8 Big 12) begins postseason play on Thursday, as the Wildcats play No. 16/16 Iowa State (23-7, 11-7 Big 12) in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at 11:30 a.m. CT on ESPN2. The contest will be the 1st of 4 quarterfinal games at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

· K-State finished in 5th place in the Big 12’s regular season standings and received a bye to the conference quarterfinals for the 8th consecutive season, joining Kansas as the only Big 12 schools to accomplish this feat.

· K-State has recorded its school-record 8th consecutive 20-win season, while it posted double-digit conference wins for the 7th time in the last 8 seasons, including the 5th straight season. Prior to the 2006-07 season, K-State had not recorded more than 3 straight 20-win seasons (done twice), while its last 10-win season in conference play came in 1987-88.

· K-State is one of 8 teams with 7 Top 50 RPI wins, including No.1 Kansas, No. 9 Iowa State, No. 18 Oklahoma, No. 21 Gonzaga, No. 23 Texas, No. 24 Oklahoma State and No. 32 George Washington. Currently, the Wildcats have an NCAA RPI of 47 and a rating of 41 in Sagarin and 48 in ESPN BPI.

· K-State is 31-35 (.470) all-time at the Big 8/12 Championship dating back to 1977, including an 11-17 (.393) mark in the 17-year history of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. The Wildcats have won 2 titles (1977, 1980), while they have advanced to the finals on 5 other occasions.

· K-State is 30-30 (.500) all-time when the championship is held in Kansas City, including 4-5 (.444) in the Sprint Center (2008, 2010-13).

· This will mark the 4th time that K-State has been the No. 5 seed at the championship (1985, 1993 and 2012) with a 2-3 mark in those previous appearances. The last time the Wildcats were a 5-seed they lost to 4-seed Baylor, 82-74, in the 2012 quarterfinals.

· K-State is 2-1 vs. Iowa State at the championship (0-1 in Big 12 era), defeating the Cyclones in the 1st round in 1977 and 1980 before losing in the 1st round in 2004. ISU owns a 9-7 edge in neutral site meetings.

· K-State ranks in the Top 55 in scoring defense (64.9 ppg., 53rd), field goal percentage defense (40.5, 42nd) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (28.8, 6th). The Wildcats have held 14 foes to 60 points or less.

· The Wildcats have shown balance with 7 different players leading the team in scoring, rebounding and assists. Nine players have at least one double-figure scoring game, while only 2 players - Marcus Foster and Thomas Gipson - are averaging in double figures.

AT PHILLIPS 66 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP

· K-State is 31-35 all-time in the Big Eight/12 Championship dating back to its inception in 1977, including an 11-17 mark in the 17-year history of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship... The Wildcats have won 2 championships (1977, 1980), while they have advanced to the finals on 5 other occasions (1978, 1981, 1993, 2010 and 2013), including twice in the Big 12 era.

· This will marked the 4th time that K-State has been the No. 5 seed at the championship (1985, 1993 and 2012), including the 2nd time in the Big 12 era, with a 2-3 mark in those previous 3 appearances. The last time that squad was a 5-seed they lost to 4-seed Baylor, 82-74, in the 2012 quarterfinals... The best finish as a No. 5 seed came in 1993 at the Big Eight Tournament, as the Wildcats advanced all the way to the finals, losing to No. 7 seed Missouri, 68-56, at Kansas City’s Kemper Arena.

· K-State is 2-3 all-time (0-1 in the Big 12 era) vs. No. 4 seed at the league championship with the last appearance coming in 2012... The Wildcats are 2-1 vs. Iowa State at the championship, including 0-1 in the Big 12 era, defeating the Cyclones in the first round in 1977 (97-62) and 1980 (101-87) before losing in the first round in 2004 (78-64).

· Overall, K-State is 30-30 all-time when the championship is held in Kansas City, including 4-5 in the Sprint Center (2008, 2010-13)... The Wildcats are 10-8 all-time in the Sprint Center, including consecutive losses to Kansas and La Salle last season.

THE OPPONENT: 16/16 IOWA STATE (23-7, 11-7 Big 12)

· No. 16/16 Iowa State (23-7, 11-7 Big 12) snapped a 2-game skid with an 85-81 come-from-behind win in overtime over surging Oklahoma State on Saturday to finish 15-1 at home... Prior to the 2-game losing streak, the Cyclones had won 4 in a row.

· Iowa State is 8-6 away from home (4-0 on neutral sites) with wins over Northern Iowa, George Mason, Akron and Boise State.

· Iowa State is averaging a Big 12-best 82.5 points on 46.7 percent shooting, including 33.9 percent from 3-point range, to go with 39.1 rebounds, 18.6 assists, 6.0 steals and 3.1 blocks per game, while allowing 73.5 points per game on 40.9 percent shooting. n Iowa State ranks 1st in the Big 12 in scoring offense, assists, assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8) and defensive rebounds (28.9), while is 2nd in 3-point field goals and 3rd in field goal percentage and scoring margin (+10.6).

· Iowa State is one of the most prolific scoring teams with 7 players averaging better than 6 points per game, including 4 in double figures led by Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Year Melvin Ejim’s 18.2 points per game average, who finished 2nd for the scoring title to West Virginia’s Juwan Staten (18.4 ppg.)... Ejim connects on 51.3 percent from the field, including 32.7 percent from 3-point range, to go with a team-tying 8.6 rebounds per game... Big 12 Newcomer of the Year DeAndre Kane paces the team in assists (5.9 apg.), steals (1.3 spg.) and minutes (34.0 mpg.) and is 2nd in scoring (17.1 ppg.) and 3rd in rebounding (6.7 rpg.)... All-Big 12 Third Team selection Georges Niang is 3rd in scoring at 16.2 points per game on 46.8 percent shooting, while junior Dustin Hogue is tied for the rebounding (8.6 rpg.) lead and 4th in scoring (10.4 ppg.) on 54.4 percent shooting.

· Iowa State has 7 players with double-digit 3-point field goals, including a team-best 51 by sophomore Naz Long.

· Iowa State is led by 4th-year head coach Fred Hoiberg, who has a 85-46 record and has led the Cyclones to an expected third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament... He led the school to 78 wins and 3 NCAA Tournaments as a player from 1991-95.

· Hoiberg is 5-5 all-time vs. Kansas State with this being the 1st meeting on a neutral court.

BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES

· This will be the 218th meeting between the 2 schools with K-State leading the series, 136-81.

· The 2 teams have met at least twice a season since 1918 with the series dating back to a K-State win in Manhattan in 1909.

· Iowa State is 9-7 in match-ups at neutral sites, including a 2-1 record at Big Eight/12 Championship (1977, 1980 and 2004).

· The series is tied 19-all since the inception of the Big 12 with Iowa State holding a 1-0 edge at the Big 12 Championship... The Wildcats have won 12 of the last 17 meetings, however, the Cyclones have won 5 of the last 9 in the series.

· The schools will meet for the 3rd time in a season for the 1st time since 2004 and just the 2nd time in the Big 12 era.

· Senior Will Spradling has averaged 9.4 points in 8 career games vs. Iowa State on 47.1 percent shooting, including 47.4 percent from 3-point range... He tied his career-high for the 6th time with 4 3-pointers vs. the Cyclones on Jan. 25, 2014... Fellow senior Shane Southwell has averaged 7.1 points in 8 career games vs. ISU on 44.9 percent shooting.

NOTES FROM THE FIRST 2 MEETINGS

· The schools split their 2 regular season meetings in 2014 with both winning on their home court, as Iowa State won 81-75 at Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 25 and K-State won 80-73 at Bramlage Coliseum on March 1.

· Iowa State shot 48.1 percent from the field, including 50 percent from 3-point range, in its win... 4 players scored in double figures led by Ejim’s 20 points... K-State connected on 42.2 percent from field and was led by freshman Marcus Foster’s 20.

· K-State scored a season-high 22 points off of turnovers against Iowa State in the 1st meeting.

· K-State used stellar defense to win the 2nd meeting, holding Iowa State to 34.8 percent shooting, including 25.9 percent from 3-point range... Five players scored in double figures led by Shane Southwell’s team-high 13 points.

· K-State posted a season-high 38 points from its reserves in 2nd meeting and out-scoring Iowa State, 38-2, from its bench.

· K-State averaged 77.5 points on 42.3 percent shooting (52-of-123), including 39 percent (16-of-41), with 37.5 rebounds, 16.5 assists, 6.0 steals and 4.0 blocks, while Iowa State averaged 77 points on 40.8 percent shooting (49-of-120), including 35.6 percent (16-of-45) from beyond the arc... The Wildcats averaged 16.5 points off of turnovers in the 2 meetings.

· Foster led 3 Wildcats in double figures in the 2 meetings, averaging 15.5 points on 37.5 percent shooting, including 33.3 percent from 3-point range, while Southwell (13.5 ppg.) and Sprading (10 ppg.) also averaged double figures... Freshman Wesley Iwundu averaged 8.5 points and 6.5 rebounds, while junior Thomas Gipson averaged 8 ppg and a team-best 7.5 rebounds per game... Sophomore D.J. Johnson connected on a team-best 87.5 percent of his field goals with 8.0 points per game.

K-STATE VS. RANKED TEAMS

· K-State is 101-221 (.312) all-time against ranked teams, including a 59-159 (.267) mark against those in AP Top 15.

· K-State is 6-2 vs. Top 25 teams with wins coming against No. 21 Gonzaga, No. 6 Oklahoma State, No. 25 Oklahoma, No. 15 Texas, No. 7 Kansas and No. 15 Iowa State and losses at No. 18 Kansas and No. 16 Iowa State.

· K-State is 4-9 all-time vs. the AP’s No. 16 team, having lost 3 in a row.

· K-State is 5-17 all-time vs. Top 25 teams at the conference championship, including 1-1 last season.

IN THE MONTH OF MARCH

· K-State has a 22-21 record in March over the last 7 seasons, including a 11-11 mark at neutral sites during that span.

· K-State is 4-5 at the Sprint Center in March, including a 2-2 record last season.

· K-State is 5-5 under head coach Bruce Weber in March, including a 2-2 record at neutral sites.

BAYLOR POSTGAME NOTES

· K-State finished off the regular season with a 76-74 loss to Baylor at home on Saturday... The loss snapped the Wildcats’ 15-game home winning streak, which was the longest in Bramlage Coliseum history and the longest at home since a 20-game winning streak at Ahearn Field House from Jan. 28, 1981 to Jan. 30, 1982.

· It marked the 1st defeat at home in the month of March since an overtime loss to Iowa State on March 6, 2010.

· K-State still leads the series, 16-14, including 9-6 at home... Baylor leads 14-13 in the Big 12 era.

· K-State connected on 42.9 percent from the field, including 38.9 percent from 3-point range, and shot 70.4 percent from free throw line... Baylor made 50 percent of its field goals and connected on 71.9 percent from the charity stripe.

· The 76 points scored by Baylor were the most given up at home in regulation and 2nd-only to the 82 scored by Kansas (2/10).

· Baylor was a stellar 14-of-14 from the free throw line in the last 5 minutes of the game.

· K-State out-rebounded Baylor, 33-26, and scored 17 second-chance points off of 14 offensive rebounds.

· K-State held the advantage in points in the paint (28-26), points off of turnovers (12-11) and second-chance points (17-13).

· Freshman Marcus Foster paced 3 Wildcats in double figures with 29 points on 9-of-16 field goals, including 7-of-11 from beyond the arc... The 29 points were his 2nd-most this season, only trailing the 34 scored vs. Texas (2/8).

· Foster’s 7 3-point field goals were a season-high and tied for the 3rd-most in a conference game in school history.

· Junior Thomas Gipson scored in double figures for the 20th time with 16 points.

· Junior Nino Williams collected his 1st career double-double with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

· Senior Will Sprading’s 8 assists were a season-high and the most since dishing out 9 vs. North Florida (12/11/11).

HOME VS. ROAD

· K-State has a stark contrast in its record at home and on the road, as the Wildcats boasted a 15-2 record in the friendly confines of Bramlage Coliseum, but are just 5-9 away from home (including 2-7 in true road contests).

· K-State averaged 72 points on 43.8 percent shooting, including 34.3 percent from 3-point range, in its 17 home games, while its limited its opponents to just 61.5 points on 38.1 percent shooting, including 25.1 percent from beyond the arc.

· During its 9 home Big 12 games, the Wildcats averaged 74.2 points on 45.1 percent shooting, including 39.1 percent from 3-point range, while holding its opponents to 65.8 points on 37.2 percent shooting, including 27.3 percent from 3.

· K-State is averaging 65.9 points on 42.5 percent shooting, including 31.5 percent from 3-point range, in its 14 games away from home, while allowing opponents to 69.1 points on 43.4 percent shooting, including 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.

· During its 9 true road games, the Wildcats averaged 66.9 points on 43.5 percent shooting, including 31.5 percent from 3-point range, while allowing opponents 74.2 points on 45.2 percent shooting, including 34 percent from 3.

· Freshman Marcus Foster is the leading scorer regardless of venue, but his home stats are markedly better, as he averages 16.5 points on 44.9 percent shooting, including 44.2 percent from 3-point range, in 17 games at Bramlage Coliseum and 17.7 points on 49.1 percent shooting, including 50 percent from beyond the arc, in the 9 Big 12 home games.

· Foster averages 14 points on 38.1 percent shooting, including 34.1 percent from 3-point range, in the 14 games away from home, including 15.4 points on 39.8 percent shooting, including 36.4 percent from beyond the arc, in 9 true road contests.

· Junior Thomas Gipson tends to play better away from home, averaging 12.6 points on 59.7 percent shooting with a team-best 6.0 rebounds in the 14 games away from home, including 13.1 points on 58.8 percent shooting with 6.3 rebounds in the 9 true road games... He averaged 11.0 points on 52.1 percent shooting with 7.1 rebounds in the 17 home games.

WINNING WITH DEFENSE

· K-State ranks among the Big 12 leaders in defense, placing 1st in scoring defense (64.9 ppg.) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (28.8) and 3rd in field goal percentage defense (40.5)... In Big 12 play, the squad ranked 2nd in scoring defense (70.0), field goal percentage defense (41.1) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (30.7).

· K-State ranks in the Top 55 nationally in all 3 categories, placing 6th in 3-point field goal percentage defense, 43rd in field goal percentage defense and 53rd in scoring defense.

· The Wildcats have held 14 opponents to its season-low in points, including to 60 or less on 14 occasions... 16 foes have been held below 40 percent shooting, while 20 have shot less than 30 percent from 3-point range.

· K-State has held 30 opponents to 60 points or less under Bruce Weber with an impressive 28-2 record in those games.

· Under Weber, K-State has held a Big 12-best 27 opponents to less than 60 points with a 26-1 record in those games.

· If you take out the 7 games it has yielded 80+ points (Georgetown, Kansas, ISU, West Virginia, Baylor and Oklahoma), K-State is holding its 24 other opponents to 59.1 points per game on 37.7 percent shooting, including 26 percent from 3-point range.

· In 17 home games, K-State held its opponents to 61.5 points on 38.1 percent shooting, including 25.1 percent from 3-point range... The team held its 9 Big 12 foes to 65.8 points on 37.2 percent shooting, including 27.3 percent from 3, at home.

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE ACCOLADES

· Long Beach State’s 38 points on Nov. 24 tied for the fifth-fewest by an opponent in K-State’s modern era, which dates to the 1946-47 season... It was the fewest since Alabama-Huntsville scored 26 on Nov. 13, 2012.

· K-State held Gonzaga to a season-low 62 points on 48 percent shooting, including 33.3 percent from 3-point range... The team came into the game ranking 11th in scoring offense (87.5 ppg.) and in the Top 5 in 3-point field goal percentage (44.4).

· K-State held Tulane to a season-low 41 points on 28.6 percent shooting... The Green Wave were held to just 10 points on 13 percent shooting (3-of-23) in the first half... The 41 points were just outside the Top 10 for the fewest by an opponent.

· George Washington was held to 22 points under its scoring average of 77.7 points on 47.7 percent shooting.

· Oklahoma State was held to 15 points under its scoring average of 86.8 points on 40.4 percent shooting, including 21.4 percent from beyond the arc... The Cowboys ranked among the Top 10 in scoring offense (8th) and field goal percentage (8th).

· K-State held Oklahoma, the Big 12’s top scoring offense, to 66 points (21 points below their average) on a season-low 33.3 percent shooting from the field, including 30.4 percent from 3-point range... It marked the Sooners’ second-lowest point total.

· West Virginia was held to nearly 24 points under its scoring average of 79.9 points on a season-low 32.7 percent (16-of-49) from the field, including 26.7 percent (4-of-15) from 3-point range... The 56 points were a season-low for the Mountaineers.

· K-State held Texas to its lowest point total at 57 points on its 2nd-lowest field goal percentage at 32.7 percent (18-of-55)... The Wildcats also forced the Longhorns into a season-high 18 turnovers, scoring a season-best 26 points off of those miscues.

· K-State held Texas Tech to 57 points in 2 meetings on 35.2 percent shooting, including 26.1 percent from 3-point range.

· K-State held Iowa State to its 2nd-lowest field goal percentage (34.8) in its win, including 25.9 percent (7-of-27) from 3.

EFFICIENT OFFENSE

· K-State is averaging 69.2 points per game on 43.2 percent shooting, including 33 percent from 3-point range... Although, the Wildcats rank near the bottom in scoring offense (8th), field goal percentage (8th) and 3-point field goal percentage (7th), the team is 2nd in assists (15.5 apg.)... The squad is 28th in assists, 30th in assists per game and 56th in assist-to-turnover ratio.

· K-State eclipsed the 2,000-point barrier for the 8th consecutive season with its 80-point output vs. Iowa State (3/1).

· K-State has scored 70+ points in 18 games this season, including 15 times in the last 21 games.

· K-State ranked 3rd in field goal percentage (44.3) and 6th in 3-point field goal percentage (35.5) in Big 12 play.

· K-State is 28-6 under head coach Bruce Weber when scoring 70 or more points, including 13-5 this season.

· K-State is 5-0 this season with 4 or more players score in double figures... The team also had notable balance in other wins, including 8 players with at least 5 points in the win over Kansas, 7 vs. West Virginia and 6 vs. George Washington and Ole Miss.

· K-State has an assist on a Big 12-best 64.0 percent (479 of 749) of its made field goals this season... In fact, only 1 other Big 12 school - Iowa State (63.8) - has an assist on 60 percent or higher of its field goals.

· K-State ranked 2nd in the Big 12 (to Iowa State) in assists on made field goals in league play at 63.4 percent (281 of 443).

· K-State has an assist on 70 percent of its field goals in 14 games, including a season-best 89.3 percent vs. Baylor (2/15).

· K-State has posted at least 20 assists in 5 games, including 3 times in Big 12 play, with a season-best 25 vs. Baylor (2/15).

BENCH POINTS

· K-State has gotten valuable production from its bench, as the reserves have accounted for 556 points or 17.9 per game.

· Reserves have accounted for 20+ points in 12 games, including 30+ points vs. Iowa State (38, 3/1) and Kansas (30, 2/10).

· The 38 bench points vs. Iowa State (3/1) were the most since tallying 45 vs. Texas on Jan. 30, 2013.

· In fact, the bench has produced double-digit points in all but 4 games (Ole Miss, at Texas, at West Virginia and at Texas Tech).

· K-State averaged 17.5 points from its bench in Big 12 play, including 19.2 points in its 10 Big 12 wins.

· The bench has produced 11 double-digit scoring games this season, including 3 times each by Nino Williams (Texas Tech, at Kansas and Oklahoma State) and Nigel Johnson (Charlotte, Tulane and Oklahoma) and once each by Wesley Iwundu (Northern Colorado), Omari Lawrence (LBSU), Thomas Gipson (LBSU), Shane Southwell (Iowa State) and D.J. Johnson (Iowa State).

· Prior to his start vs. Baylor (2/15), Williams had been averaging 6.8 points on 50 percent shooting in the previous 11 games with 3.2 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game... This stretch included 4 double-digit scoring games, including 15 vs. OSU (1/4).

· Johnson has averaged 5.2 points on 64.3 percent shooting with 3.7 rebounds in 15.2 minutes per game in last 9 games.

REBOUNDING AS A TEAM

· A key stat to K-State’s success this season has been its ability to win the rebounding battle, which the Wildcats have done in 13 of 20 wins this season... Overall, the Wildcats have out-rebounded 19 opponents, including 18 times in the last 27 games.

· To demonstrate how important rebounding is to its success, K-State is 33-7 under Bruce Weber when out-rebounding its foes, including 13-6 this season, while just 13-12 in the last two seasons and 7-5 this year when being out-rebounded.

· 7 players have led in rebounding, including 15 times by Thomas Gipson, 6 by Nino Williams, 5 by Wesley Iwundu and D.J. Johnson, 4 by Marcus Foster, 2 by Shane Southwell and 1 by Will Spradling.

· Gipson has 4 double-doubles (vs. LBSU, Oklahoma State (twice) and TCU) this year and 8 in his career.

· Iwundu had 3 double-doubles (vs. Northern Colorado, Ole Miss and Oklahoma State) this season.

· Williams collected his 1st career double-double vs. Baylor (3/8) with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

SOUTHWELL CONTRIBUTING IN MANY WAYS

· Senior Shane Southwell is finding ways to contribute in nearly every way, ranking 1st in blocks (1.0 bpg.), 2nd in rebounding (4.3 rpg.), assists (2.8 apg.) and steals (0.8 spg.) and 3rd in scoring (9.5 ppg.) and minutes (26.8 mpg.).

· Southwell and Will Spradling are looking to become the 3rd senior class to advance to 4 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, joining Steve Henson (1986-90) and former teammates Rodney McGruder, Jordan Henriquez and Martavious Irving.

· Southwell missed the Baylor (2/15) and TCU (2/19) due to a foot injury, snapping a 51-game playing streak... He has missed just 8 games in his K-State career, playing in 124 games, and was the 1st miss since the George Washington game in 2012.

· Southwell came off the bench to score a team-high 13 vs. Iowa State (3/1), playing 30 minutes for 1st time since Jan. 25.

· Southwell is tied with Askia Jones for 7th in career games (124), while he is 3 assists shy of breaking into career Top 10.

· Southwell ranks 9th on the career assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.63 (268 assists to 164 turnovers).

· Southwell has been the leader in blocks 13 times, steals 8 times, assists 6 times, scoring 5 times and rebounding 2 times.

· 12 times he has scored in double figures with a career-high 21 points vs. George Washington (12/31)... He recorded his 1st career 20-point game in Big 12 play with a team-tying 20 vs. West Virginia (1/18) to go with 4 3-pointers.

EXPERIENCE BIG FOR SPRADLING

· Senior Will Spradling brings tons of experience to a youthful team, having played in 132 games with 102 starts... He ranks 1st in assists (90), steals (42) and minutes (29.2), 2nd in 3-pointers (47) and 4th in scoring (8.0 ppg.) and field goals (75).

· Spradling earned his 1st career postseason accolades, earning All-Big 12 honorable mention from the league coaches.

· Spradling ranks in the Top 10 in 10 career categories in school history, including 3rd in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.08), 4th in games played (132), minutes (3,639), 3-point attempts (515), assists (326) and steals (125), 5th in starts (103) and 3-pointers (180), 6th in free throw percentage (80.9) and 9th in wins (92)... He is the 9th player to tally at least 90 wins in a career.

· Spradling and fellow senior Shane Southwell have compiled a 92-41 mark in their career, including 44-26 in Big 12 play.

· Only 3 other players in school history have played more minutes than Spradling... Those include Steve Henson (4,474, 1987-90), Jacob Pullen (3,978, 2007-11) and Rodney McGruder (3,708, 2009-13).

· Spradling became the 6th player in school history with 100 starts vs. Texas Tech (2/25), joining Ed Nealy (118), Steve Henson (118), Rolando Blackman (116), Jacob Pullen (116) and Rodney McGruder (102).

· Spradling became the 25th player in school history and the 1st since Rodney McGruder (2012) to score 1,000 points with his 10 points at Texas Tech (2/25)... He eclipsed the mark with his 3-pointer from the corner at the 4:34 mark of 2nd half.

· Spradling is just the 4th Wildcat with 1,000 points, 300 rebounds, 300 assists and 100 steals, joining Henson, Jones and Pullen.

· With 5 assists vs. No. 7/7 Kansas, Spradling became the 6th Wildcat (1st since Jacob Pullen) to tally 300 assists in a career.

· Spradling is averaging 9.5 points in the last 13 games (since at Texas) on 46.5 percent shooting (40-of-86), including 39.7 percent (23-of-58) from 3-point range... He is also averaging 3.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 32.5 minutes per game.

· Spradling ranks 4th in the Big 12 in steals (1.4), 10th in 3-point field goal percentage (34.3) and 12th in 3-point field goals (1.6) and assists (2.9)... He also ranked among the Top 15 in those 4 categories in Big 12-only games.

· Spradling was named to the Academic All-Big 12 Second Team for 2nd straight year in 2014.

GIPSON RETURNS TO FORM

· Junior Thomas Gipson has returned to form after an injury sidelined him for the first 2 games... He is averaging 11.8 points per game on team-bests in field goal percentage (55.9) and rebounding (6.6 rpg.) since returning vs. LBSU (11/17).

· Gipson is also 2nd in scoring, double-digit scoring games (20), field goals (132) and free throws (77) and 3rd in blocks (15).

· Gipson earned his 1st postseason accolade, earning All-Big 12 honorable mention honors from the league coaches.

· Gipson has led the team in scoring 8 times and a team-best 15 times in rebounding... He also leads in charges taken (13).

· Gipson ranked 1st in rebounding (6.9) and 2nd in scoring (11.9 ppg.) and field goal percentage (53.6) in Big 12-only games.

· Gipson posted consecutive 20-point games for the 1st time in his career, including a career-high 24 points at Texas (1/21).

· 337 of 339 points have been scored in the last 26 games, including 18 points vs. Georgetown (11/22), 15 vs. Ole Miss (12/5), 14 vs. Gonzaga (12/21), 19 vs. TCU (1/7) & West Virginia (2/1), 20 vs. West Virginia (1/14), 24 at Texas (1/21) and 16 vs. TCU (2/19).

· Gipson earned his career 8th double-double at Oklahoma State (3/3) with team-highs in both points (10) and rebounds (13).

· Due to his off-season weight loss, Gipson has played 30+ minutes 12 times... Prior to this year, he had only done that twice.

FOSTER AMONG THE NATION’S BEST FRESHMEN

· Freshman Marcus Foster has placed his name among the best freshmen in the country, as he paces the Wildcats in scoring (15.4 ppg.), double-digit scoring games (25),20-point games (7), field goals (162), 3-point field goals (75), free throws (78) and free throw percentage (72.9)... He ranks among the Top 15 in the Big 12 in 5 categories, including 5th in 3-point field goals (2.3), 6th in 3-point field goal percentage (39.7), 11th in scoring, 14th in field goal percentage and 15th in free throw percentage.

· Foster was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team by league coaches and The Associated Press... He joined Michael Beasley as the only true freshmen in school history to earned recognition to 1 of the 3 teams, while he was 1 of just 3 Big 12 freshmen to garner a spot in 2013-14... He also became just the 2nd player in school history to be named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team.

· Foster has scored in double figures in 25 games (14 in Big 12 play) and has led the Wildcats in scoring a team-best 15 times.

· In all, Foster has 7 games of 20 or more points this season with 6 of those coming in the last 12 games (all in Big 12 play).

· Foster has knocked down at least one 3-pointer in 28 of 31 games... He has 2+ treys in 21 games and 4+ treys in 8 contests with a season-best 7 vs. Baylor (3/8)... The 7 treys tied for the 3rd-most in a conference game in school history and the most since Cartier Martin also had 7 at Texas (2/3/2007)... He broke the freshman school record for 3-pointers at Iowa State (1/25).

· Foster averaged a team-best 16.6 points in Big 12 play with 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 29.3 minutes per game.

· Foster was twice been named the CBSSports.com/USBWA Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week (Jan. 7 & Feb. 11) and Phillips 66 Big 12 Newcomer of the Week (Jan. 6 & Feb. 10)... He won the awards for the 1st time after averaging 16 points in wins over George Washington and No. 6/6 Oklahoma State then a 2nd time after his 34-point effort vs. No. 15/18 Texas.

· Foster became just the 5th true freshman in school history to post a 30-point game with his season-high 34 points vs. No. 15/18 Texas (2/8) on 13-of-16 field goals, joining Mike Evans (1), Curtis Redding (4), Norris Coleman (7) and Michael Beasley (13) in that exclusive company... Only 6 freshmen in Big 12 history have scored more points in game.

· Foster’s 34-point effort was the most by a Wildcat since Jacob Pullen went for 38 points vs. Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament on March 19, 2011, while it was the most by a freshman since Michael Beasley scored 39 points vs. Kansas on March 1, 2008.

· Foster already ranks in the freshman Top 10 in 10 categories, including 1st in 3-pointers, 2nd in 3-point field goal percentage, 5th in minutes, 6th in points, field goals, field goals attempted and free throws, 7th in assists and 9th in free throw percentage.

· Foster has started in all 31 games this season, which trails Beasley (33) for the most starts by a freshman in school history.

FRESHMEN A BIG PART

· The freshmen trio of Marcus Foster, Wesley Iwundu and Nigel Johnson combined to lead the Wildcats in scoring in the first 4 games, marking the first time a freshmen has done that since Michael Beasley did it the first 4 games of 2007-08.

· A fourth freshmen was added to the mix on Dec. 21 when Jevon Thomas became eligible after sitting out the first semester.

· Overall, the freshmen have paced the team in scoring 18 times in 31 games, including 15 times by Foster... They have also led the team in assists on 18 occasions and in rebounding 6 times... They have also combined for 36 double-digit scoring games.

· The freshmen have accounted for 40+ points 2 times (OU - 43 & Texas - 42), 30+ points in 13 others (OSU - 34, ISU - 33 (twice), Charlotte - 33, Gonzaga - 33, Texas Tech - 33, ORU - 33, OU - 32, WVU - 32, Ole Miss - 31, Tulane - 30, Kansas - 30 and Baylor - 30).

· Foster and Iwundu have started together in 30 of the last 31 games, while Thomas (17.6) and Johnson (13.3) are averaging more than 13 minutes off the bench... They rank 1st and 4th, respectively, in minute producers among all reserves.

· Iwundu became just the 3rd Wildcat true freshman (since they became eligible in 1971-72) to post a double-double in his 1st career game, posting team-highs in points (14) and rebounds (10) in 20 minutes off the bench vs. Northern Colorado (11/8).

· Iwundu had his 3rd double-double at Oklahoma State (3/3) with 10 points and 10 rebounds... He is 1 of 24 players in the Big 12 with multiple double-doubles, including 5 freshmen... He has scored in double figures 8 times, including 5 in Big 12 play.

· Johnson was key in wins vs. Texas (2/8) and Kansas (2/14) and has 3 double-digit scoring games, including 11 at OU (2/22).

· Thomas made his debut vs. Tulane (12/28), leading in both assists (4) and steals (3) to go with 2 points and 2 rebounds in 19 minutes... He had led the team in assists 7 times in 19 games played with a season-best 8 assists vs. West Virginia (1/18).

· The 4 freshmen have accounted for 845 points (an average of 27.3 points per game) on 40.1 percent shooting (281-of-701) with 99 of the team’s 185 3-pointers to go with 316 rebounds, 233 assists and 68 steals in a combined 2,347 minutes.

WILLIAMS AN IMPACT AS A STARTER AND RESERVE

· Junior Nino Williams earned his 7th straight start vs. Baylor (3/8)... He had a career-high 20 points and 8 rebounds at Baylor (2/15), while he had 11 points vs. TCU (2/19) and his 1st career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds vs. Baylor (3/8).

· Williams is averaging 9.4 points on 51.9 percent shooting with 5.9 rebounds in his last 7 starts in 23.6 minutes per game.

· Prior to the start, Williams had become a significant presence off the bench, averaging 7.0 points in the last 14 games.

· K-State boasts a 9-4 record in games in which Williams scores in double figures, including 4-3 this season.

· Williams has scored in double figures in 7 of the last 18 games, including 15 points vs. No. 6/6 Oklahoma State (1/4), 12 points at No. 18/20 Kansas (1/11),10 points vs. No. 25 Oklahoma (1/14), 13 points vs. Texas Tech (1/28) and 11 points vs. TCU (2/19).

· Williams has solid from the free throw line in the last 5 minutes, knocking down 14-of-18 opportunities... He hit the game-clinching free throws in wins vs. Oklahoma State (3 in a row in last 13 seconds) and Oklahoma (4 straight in last 23 seconds).

--www.kstatesports.com--


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