Kansas State forward Thomas Gipson (42) dunks the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Florida, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in Manhattan, Kan. Gipson had 23 points and 12 rebounds as Kansas State won 79-68 in overtime. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
21/15 GONZAGA (10-1, 0-0 West Coast)
AT KANSAS STATE (7-3, 0-0 Big 12)
Wichita Wildcat Classic
Saturday, Dec. 21 >> INTRUST Bank Arena (14,362) >> Wichita, Kan. >> 2:32 p.m. CT
Carter Blackburn (play-by-play) >> Sean Farnham (analyst) >> Matt Bartley (producer)
K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) >> Stan Weber (analyst)
Sirius 112/XM 191
Stats - pressbox.kstatesports.com
Audio - kstatesports.com/allaccess/
$12 (upper ends), $20 (upper corner)
$35 (lower-level midcourt & ends)
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (7-3)
G - #55 Will Spradling (8.2 ppg., 2.6 apg.)
G - #2 Marcus Foster (14.4 ppg., 3.7 rpg.)
G - #1 Shane Southwell (9.8 ppg., 5.6 rpg.)
F - #25 Wesley Iwundu (6.4 ppg., 5.2 rpg.)
F - #42 Thomas Gipson (11.8 ppg., 5.8 rpg.)
G - #11 David Stockton (5.8 ppg., 4.9 apg.)
G - #4 Kevin Pangos (18.7 ppg., 3.1 rpg.)
G - #5 Gary Bell, Jr. (14.5 ppg., 3.5 rpg.)
F - #35 Sam Dower, Jr. (14.6 ppg., 7.4 rpg.)
C - #24 Przemek Karnowski (9.8 ppg., 8.1 rpg.)
INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: K-State leads 2-1
vs. West Coast: K-State leads 13-7 (1-2 at neutral sites)
In Manhattan: K-State leads 1-0 (W, 66-64, 3/22/1994)
In Spokane: n/a
Last Meeting: Gonzaga, 68-52, 12/15/2012 (Seattle, Wash.)
Weber vs. Gonzaga: Weber leads 3-2 (last meeting: 12/15/2012)
Weber vs. Few: Weber leads 3-2 (last meeting: 12/15/2012)
LAST GAME SUMMARY
Kansas State 72, Troy 43
Game 10 n Bramlage Coliseum n December 15, 2013
Senior Will Spradling and freshman Marcus Foster each scored 14 points, as K-State used a balanced attack to post a 72-43 win over Troy on Sunday to wrap up a four-game homestand. With the win, the Wildcats ran their winning streak to a season-best five games, while they have won six consecutive home games since losing the opener. Spradling and Foster were among 11 Wildcats to score in the game, including walk-ons Brian Rohleder and Ryan Schultz. K-State turned in another stellar effort on the defensive end, holding Troy to a season-low 43 points on 36.2 percent shooting, including 15.8 percent from 3-point range. The Wildcats forced the Trojans into 16 turnovers, scoring 20 points off those miscues, and held a 44-27 advantage on the glass, including 17 offensive rebounds. The squad also scored 30 points in the paint and got 22 from its bench.
· Kansas State (7-3) will make the 2-hour trek to Wichita on Saturday, as the Wildcats will play No. 21/15 Gonzaga (10-1) in the Wichita Wildcat Classic at INTRUST Bank Arena (14,362) at 2:30 p.m. CT.
· Saturday’s game will be a rematch of the State Farm Battle in Seattle won 68-52 by No. 14/14 Gonzaga on Dec. 15, 2012 at KeyArena. This game completes a two-year agreement between the two schools.
· This will be the fourth meeting between the two schools and third in the last four seasons. The Wildcats are 2-1 against the Bulldogs, including a 66-64 win at home in the Postseason NIT on March 22, 1994 and an 81-64 victory in the CBE Classic at the Sprint Center on Nov. 22, 2010.
· K-State will be playing in Wichita for the 21st time in school history, which includes 15 games vs. state foe Wichita State and four in the NCAA Tournament at Levitt Arena. The school is 8-12 in those contests with the last win coming against the Shockers, 79-66, on Dec. 7, 2002.
· It will be the second match-up in the 4-year-old INTRUST Bank Arena after dropping a dramatic 85-80 double-overtime game to current Big 12 foe West Virginia before a sold-out crowd of 15,004 on Dec. 8, 2011.
· The Wildcats will face their first ranked opponent of the season, as the school enters Saturday with a 95-219 record all-time vs. ranked teams. The squad is 0-3 all-time vs. teams ranked 21st in the Associated Press poll.
· K-State owns a season-best five-game winning streak, while the team has won six consecutive home games since losing the opener to Northern Colorado. It was the first season-opening loss since 2003 (a 10-game streak) and its first in a home opener since 1993 (a 19-game streak).
· During the current 5-game winning streak, the Wildcats are holding foes to 51.0 points on 36 percent shooting, including 22.7 percent from 3-point range, while holding a +12.8 rebounding advantage (43.8-31.0).
· K-State leads the Big 12 and ranks in the Top 10 nationally in scoring defense (59.4 ppg., 9th) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (24.9, 4th). The Wildcats have held eight of their last nine opponents to under their scoring average, including six to 60 points or less.
· Freshman Marcus Foster ranks in the Top 10 in four Big 12 categories, including a team-leading 14.4 points per game. He is one of two freshmen (KU’s Andrew Wiggins) to rank in the Big 12’s Top 10 in scoring. He has scored in double figures in nine consecutive games. His current average is the second-best by a K-State freshmen in the last 15 seasons.
THE OPPONENT: 21/15 GONZAGA (10-1)
· No. 21/15 Gonzaga (10-1) enters Saturday’s game on a six-game winning streak after dispatching of South Alabama, 68-59, in its last outing on Dec. 14 in the Battle in Seattle. The Bulldogs’ lone loss came to Dayton, 84-79, in the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
· Gonzaga is averaging 87.5 points on 52.6 percent shooting, including 44.4 percent from 3-point range, to go with 37.4 rebounds, 15.8 assists, 6.7 steals and 3.6 blocks per game, while allowing 70.7 points per game on 40.5 percent shooting.
· The Bulldogs rank among the nation’s Top 5 in field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and total 3-point field goals made (100), while they are 11th nationally in scoring offense and 13th in scoring margin (+16.7).
· All-American candidate Kevin Pangos paces three Gonzaga players in double figures at 18.7 points per game, while connecting on 47.4 percent from both the field and from 3-point range. Sam Dower averages 14.6 points on a team-best 60.4 percent shooting to go with 7.4 rebounds per game, while Gary Bell, Jr. averages 14.5 points on 54.5 percent shooting. David Stockton leads in assists at 4.9 per outing, while Przemek Karnowski is the leading rebounder at 8.1 per game.
· The winningest active Division I head coach, Mark Few is 384-94 (.803) in his 15th season at Gonzaga. Few has led the Bulldogs to at least 23 wins in each season to go with 12 West Coast Conference regular season championships and 10 tournament titles.
BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
· This will be the fourth all-time meeting between K-State and Gonzaga and the third in the last four seasons. The Wildcats are 2-1 vs. the Bulldogs, winning 66-64 at home in the Postseason NIT on March 22, 1994 and 81-64 in the semifinals of the CBE Classic at the Sprint Center on Nov. 22, 2010 before dropping a 68-52 decision in the State Farm Battle in Seattle on Dec. 15, 2012.
· Gonzaga blew open a one-point game at halftime last season to post a 68-52 win over K-State. The Bulldogs held the Wildcats to 33.3 percent shooting from the field, including 27.3 percent in the second half. Kelly Olynyk led all scorers with 20 points on 10-of-13 field goals, while Angel Rodriguez was lone Wildcat in double figures with 14 points. Other returners to score included Will Spradling (8), Shane Southwell (7), D.J. Johnson (4), Omari Lawrence (4) and Nino Williams (2).
· Head coach Bruce Weber is 3-2 vs. Gonzaga, including 2-2 at neutral sites. His Illinois team posted wins in 2004 (89-72) in Indianapolis, 2010 (73-61) in Seattle and 2011 (82-75) in Champaign, while his losses came in 2010 (85-83) in Chicago and last season. This marks the fifth consecutive season that a Weber-coached team has met the Bulldogs.
· K-State is 13-7 all-time against current members of the West Coast Conference, including a 7-2 mark at neutral sites.
TROY POSTGAME NOTES
· K-State improved to 64-3 at home in non-conference play dating back to the 2006-07 season... The Wildcats have now won 53 of their last 54 non-conference home games... The team has won 34 consecutive home games in December since 2004.
· K-State has now held eight of 10 opponents to below 65 points this season, including Troy to a season-low 43 points on 36.2 percent shooting, including 15.8 percent from 3-point range. The 43 points were the second-fewest allowed this season.
· K-State out-rebounded Troy, 44-27, marking the sixth straight game the Wildcats have out-rebounded their opponent.
· K-State forced Troy into 16 turnovers, scoring a season-high 20 points off those miscues... The team has scored double-digit points off of turnovers in eight games this season, including five in a row, and averaging 13.2 points off turnovers this season.
· K-State recorded a season-high 24 assists on 28 field goals made... It was the most assists since posting 28 vs. TCU (3/5/13).
· K-State had 22 points from its bench with six reserves posting at least one field goal make led by Nino Williams’ 7 points.
· Freshman Marcus Foster scored in double figures for the ninth consecutive game with a game-tying 14 points in just 20 minutes of action... He also led the team in scoring for a team-leading fifth time.
· Senior Will Spradling scored a season-best 14 points to go with a career-tying 4 3-point field goals... It marked the team-best 38th time he has scored in double figures, including the third time this season.
WINNING WITH DEFENSE
· K-State ranks among the leaders in defense in the Big 12, placing first in scoring defense (59.4 ppg.) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (24.9) and tied for fourth in field goal percentage defense (40.1). The team also ranks among the Top 10 in 3-point field goal percentage defense (4th) and scoring defense (9th).
· The Wildcats have held seven of the last nine opponents to its season low in points, including to 60 or less on five occasions. Six opponents have been held below 40 percent shooting, while nine have shot less than 31 percent from 3-point range.
· If you take out the 90-point effort by Georgetown, the team is holding its nine other opponents to 56 points per game on 37.5 percent shooting, including 23.1 percent from 3-point range, while forcing 15.3 turnovers per game.
· K-State held Ole Miss to a season-low 58 points on 37.9 percent shooting, including 16.7 percent from 3-point range on Dec. 5, while reigning SEC scoring champion Marshall Henderson was held to just 13 points on 4-of-18 field goals.
· 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. n K-State has held 22 opponents to 60 points or less under Bruce Weber with an impressive 20-2 record in those games.
REBOUNDING AS A TEAM
· A big key for K-State during its 5-game winning streak has been its rebounding, where the team has held a +64 edge (219-155) on the glass. The Wildcats have 80 offensive rebounds (16.0 orpg.) and 68 second-chance points (13.6 ppg.) in that span.
· With its relatively small team, Bruce Weber has emphasized team rebounding and the Wildcats have responded with at least four players posting at least 4 rebounds in each win, including at least five players with 4+ rebounds in the last three games.
· K-State is now 26-2 under Bruce Weber when out-rebounding its opponent, including 6-1 this season.
· The Wildcats have out-rebounded seven of 10 opponents this season, including six consecutive games where they hold a +68 edge (251-183) on the glass. The team is averaging 41.8 rebounds in the last six games.
· K-State posted a season-high 52 rebounds vs. Central Arkansas (12/1), including 23 offensive boards. It was most rebounds since 54 vs. North Florida (11/18/2012) and the most offensive boards since 24 vs. George Washington (12/8/2012).
· Five different Wildcats have led the team in rebounding, including four times by Thomas Gipson, three times by D.J. Johnson and twice by Wesley Iwundu and Shane Southwell. Gipson, Iwundu and Johnson have each tallied double-digit boards.
· K-State ties for fifth in the Big 12 in rebounding at 38.1 per game and rebounding margin at +3.8.
· The Wildcats rank second in the Big 12 in offensive rebounds at 14.2 per game, while three players - Gipson (5th - 2.6), Johnson (9th - 2.5) and Iwundu (12th - 2.1) - rank among the league’s Top 15 in offensive boards.
GIPSON RETURNS TO FORM
· Junior Thomas Gipson is starting to return to form after an injury sidelined him for the first three games. He is averaging 11.8 points on a team-best 58.1 percent shooting with 5.8 rebounds in 22.4 minutes per game since returning vs. LBSU (11/17).
· Gipson was the leading scorer (12.7 ppg.) and rebounder (5.3 rpg.) during the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, as he connected on 62.5 percent (15-of-24) from the field and 80 percent (8-of-10) from the free throw line in three games.
· 90 of his 94 points this season have been scored in the last six games after posting a team-high 18 points vs. Georgetown (11/22) and Long Beach State (11/24), 17 vs. Central Arkansas (12/1), 15 vs. Ole Miss (12/5) and 13 vs. South Dakota (12/10). During this six-game span, he is averaging 15 points on 61.4 percent shooting to go with 7.2 rebounds in 25.3 minutes per game. He became the first upperclassmen to lead the team in scoring (vs. Georgetown) as a freshman led in the first four games.
· Gipson has scored in double figures in five of the last six games, which marks the longest such stretch in his career.
· Gipson earned his fifth double-double vs. Long Beach State (11/24) with a game-high 18 points on 8-of-12 field goals and 10 rebounds. It was his first double-double since his 14-point, 12-rebound effort vs. Texas Southern on Dec. 18, 2012.
FOSTER OFF TO STRONG START
· Freshman Marcus Foster is off to strong start to his career, as he paces the Wildcats in scoring at 14.4 points per game on 38 percent shooting, including 34.9 percent from 3-point range. He also leads the team in field goals (46), 3-point field goals (22) free throws (30) and minutes (30.3). He ranks among the Big 12’s Top 10 in four categories and Top 15 in five total, including 5th in 3-point field goals (2.2) and free throw percentage (78.9), 6th in minutes, 9th in scoring and 11th in 3-point field goal percentage (34.9). He is one of two Big 12 freshmen (along with Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins) to rank in the Top 10 in scoring.
· Foster has scored in double figures in nine consecutive games, while he has led the team in scoring five times.
· His 42 combined points vs. Oral Roberts (11/13) and Long Beach State (11/17) were the most in back-to-back games by a Wildcat freshman since Michael Beasley scored 46 against USC and Wisconsin in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
· Foster scored a game-high 25 points vs. Oral Roberts (11/13), hitting on 9-of-12 field goals, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. It was the most points by a freshman since Michael Beasley had 25 vs. Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals on March 14, 2008. He is the first freshman to post a 20-point game since teammate Thomas Gipson in 2011.
· Foster has knocked down at least one 3-pointer in nine straight games, including a season-best four on three occasions.
· Foster became just the 17th true freshmen to start an opener since 1973-74, including the eighth since 2003-04.
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 four games, marking the first time a freshman has done that since Michael Beasley did it the first four games of 2007-08. Overall, the freshmen have paced the team in scoring seven times in 10 games, including five times by Foster.
· Foster and Iwundu have started together in nine of the last 10 games, while Johnson is averaging 18.5 minutes off the bench (tops among players with zero starts). The trio rank first (Foster), fourth (Iwundu) and sixth (Johnson) in minutes played.
· The freshmen accounted for 31 of the team’s 61 points vs. Ole Miss (12/5) to go with 20 of the 43 rebounds and seven of the 12 assists, while combining to play 97 minutes. Foster (38) and Iwundu (37) played season-high in minutes vs. the Rebels.
· Iwundu became just the third Wildcat true freshman (since they became eligible in 1971-72) to post a double-double in his first career game, joining Norris Coleman (1985) and Michael Beasley (2007). Iwundu was one of two players in double figures against Northern Colorado (11/8) with team-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (10) in 20 minutes off the bench.
· Iwundu registered his second double-double vs. Ole Miss (12/5) with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. He is one of seven players in the Big 12 this time with multiple double-doubles, including two freshmen (West Virginia’s Devin Williams).
· Johnson came off the bench to post a team-high 14 points vs. Charlotte to go with six rebounds and two steals in 23 minutes. He has been key in the last three games, averaging 6.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.0 steal in 18 minutes per game.
· Three freshmen have accounted for 258 points (an average of 25.8 points per game) on 38 percent shooting (81-of-213) with 30 of the team’s 52 3-pointers to go with 116 rebounds, 57 assists and 25 steals in a combined 713 minutes.
EXPERIENCE BIG FOR SPRADLING
· Senior Will Spradling brings a great deal of experience to a youthful K-State team, having played in 111 games with 82 starts to go with 855 points, 262 assists and 94 steals. He ranks first on the team in steals (11), second in 3-pointers (15) and assists (26), third in minutes (28.7) and fourth in scoring (8.2 ppg.), field goals (24) and free throws (19).
· Spradling already ranks among the school’s Top 10 in five career categories, including 7th in free throw percentage (81.9) and 3-point field goals (148), 8th in minutes played (2,994), ninth in games started (82) and 10th in steals (94).
· Spradling has chance to become the fourth Wildcat with 1,000 points, 250 assists and 100 steals, joining Steve Henson, Askia Jones and Jacob Pullen. He has 262 assists in his career, while he is 145 points short of 1,000 and six steals short of 100.
SOUTHWELL CONTRIBUTING IN MANY WAYS
· Senior Shane Southwell is finding ways to contribute in nearly every way for K-State in 2012-13, ranking first on the team in assists (3.2 apg.) and blocks (0.9 bpg.), second in rebounding (5.6 rpg.) and minutes (28.9 mpg.) and third in scoring (9.8 ppg.).
· Southwell has been the assist leader in fourth games, rebounding leader twice and scoring leader once.
· Four times he has scored in double figures with a career-tying 19 vs. Central Arkansas (12/1).
· Southwell is one of 22 players in school history (along with Will Spradling) with 200 or more assists in a career, while he adds more than 500 points, 300 rebounds, 60 steals and 50 blocks in 105 career games.
WEBER ANNOUNCES THE SIGNINGS OF HARRIS, HURT
· Head coach Bruce Weber announced the signing of Tre Harris (Edwardsville, Ill./Fishburne Military) and Stephen Hurt (Murfreesboro, Tenn./Northwest Florida State Junior College) on Nov. 13.
· A 6-foot-10, 275-pound forward, Hurt was the Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year after averaging 11.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in 2012-13 before transferring to Northwest Florida State College. He was named Florida Junior College Player of the Week on Dec. 3 after averaging 11.2 points on 63.6 percent shooting with 6.3 rebounds in 16.4 minutes in two games.
· A 6-foot-5, 185-pound shooting guard, Harris is averaging 19.7 points on 57 percent shooting for the top-ranked Fishburne Military Prep in Waynesboro, Va. He finished No. 4 on the Edwardsville High School scoring list with 1,460 points.
NEXT UP: vs. TULANE (5-6)
Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival Presented by Honda
Saturday, Dec. 28 >> 4 p.m. CT >> FOX Sports 1