K-State Heads To Lawrence For 278th Sunflower Showdown Saturday

By: K-State Sports Information
By: K-State Sports Information
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Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber calls out a play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against TCU, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, in Fort Worth, Texas. Kansas State won 67-54. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber calls out a play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against TCU, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, in Fort Worth, Texas. Kansas State won 67-54. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

GAME 16

25/rv KANSAS STATE (12-3, 2-0 Big 12)

AT 18/20 KANSAS (10-4, 1-0 Big 12)

Saturday, Jan. 11 >> Allen Fieldhouse (16,300) >> Lawrence, Kan. >> 1 p.m. CT

TELEVISION

ESPN

Jon Scambi (play-by-play) >> Fran Fraschilla (analyst)

Scott Gustafson (producer)

WatchESPN Link http://es.pn/MBK-KSUvsKU

NATIONAL RADIO

ESPN Radio

Bill Rosinski (play-by-play) >> Bob Valvano (analyst)

Sirius 85

RADIO

K-State Sports Network

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

Sirius 91/XM 91

LIVE STATS/AUDIO

kstatesports.com

Stats – www.kstatesports.com/gametracker

Audio – www.kstatesports.com/allaccess/

COACHES

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

Overall: 352-166 (16th year)

At K-State: 39-11 (2nd year)

vs. Kansas: 0-4 (0-1 on the road)

Kansas: Bill Self (Oklahoma State ’85)

Overall: 517-168 (21st year)

At Kansas: 310-63 (11th year)

vs. K-State: 18-3 (9-1 at home)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

Kansas State (12-3, 2-0 Big 12)

G – #55 Will Spradling (6.9 ppg., 2.5 apg.)

G - #2 Marcus Foster (14.1 ppg., 3.9 rpg.)

G - #1 Shane Southwell (10.8 ppg., 5.0 rpg.)

F - #25 Wesley Iwundu (7.0 ppg., 4.4 rpg.)

F - #42 Thomas Gipson (11.9 ppg., 6.5 rpg.)

Kansas (10-4, 1-0 Big 12)

G - #10 Naadir Tharpe (8.3 ppg., 2.3 rpg.)

G - #1 Wayne Selden, Jr. (9.6 ppg., 2.7 rpg.)

G - #22 Andrew Wiggins (15.3 ppg., 5.4 rpg.)

F - #34 Perry Ellis (13.8 ppg., 6.9 rpg.)

C - #21 Joel Embiid (10.5 ppg., 7.2 rpg.)

INSIDE THE SERIES

Overall: Kansas leads 186-91 (38-3 in Big 12 era)

In Manhattan: Kansas leads 84-35 (W, 59-55, 1/22/2013)

In Lawrence: Kansas leads 75-45 (W, 83-62, 2/11/2013)

Last Meeting: Kansas, 70-54, 3/16/2013 (Kansas City, Mo.)

Weber vs. Kansas: 0-4 (0-1 on the road)

Self vs. K-State: 18-3 (9-1 at home)

Weber vs. Self: Self leads 5-1 (2-0 at home)

LAST GAME SUMMARY

25/rv Kansas State 65, TCU 47

Game 15 * Daniel-Meyer Coliseum * January 7, 2014

Junior Thomas Gipson scored a game-high 19 points, as No. 25 Kansas State ran its winning streak to 10 games with a 65-47 win over TCU at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on Tuesday. The team connected on a season-high 52.5 percent (21-of-40) from the field, including 46.7 percent (7-of-15) from beyond the arc. The Wildcats broke open a tight contest with 12-4 spurt midway through the first half to push the lead to double figures. The Horned Frogs closed to within 36-33 with 13:54 left before the Wildcats used a 17-6 run to again push their advantage into double digits. Gipson was joined in double figures by freshman Marcus Foster, who scored 16 points with a season-tying four 3-pointers. K-State held TCU to a season-low 47 points on 34.7 percent shooting, which marked the 11th time in the last 14 games that the squad has held an opponent to its season-low.

GAME 16 - QUICK HITTERS

· No. 25 Kansas State (12-3, 2-0 Big 12) makes the short trip down I-70 to renew the school’s oldest rivalry on Saturday afternoon, as the Wildcats face No. 18/20 Kansas (10-4, 1-0 Big 12) at historic Allen Fieldhouse at 1 p.m. CT on ESPN. It will be 278th meeting between the two schools.

· The two schools have met at least once every season since 1921, while the series dates to 1907. It ranks as the 8th-longest continuously played rivalry in the country, while it ties for the 6th-most games played.

· Kansas leads the series, 186-91, including a 75-45 mark at home. The Jayhawks hold a 38-3 mark in the Big 12 era and have won 9 of the last 10 meetings, including five in a row. The Wildcats have lost seven straight at Allen Fieldhouse with the last win (59-55) coming on Jan. 14, 2006.

· K-State owns a 10-game winning streak, which is the longest of head coach Bruce Weber’s short tenure and ties six others for the ninth longest in school history. It is the longest winning streak since the Wildcats also won 10 in a row from Nov. 22, 2009 to Jan. 3, 2010. The team has not won more than 10 straight since an 11-game streak from Feb. 2-March 12, 1977.

· K-State jumped into The Associated Press Top 25 poll on Monday for the first time this season at No. 25 with 112 points. The team is also receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll. The Wildcats have been ranked at least once each of the last five seasons, which is the longest stretch since earning a national ranking in six consecutive seasons from 1972-78.

· K-State is 257-97 (.726) as a ranked team in The Associated Press poll, including 8-1 (.889) as the No. 25 team with six consecutive wins. The Wildcats are 34-32 (.515) in match-ups of Top 25 teams in school history.

· During the 10-game winning streak, the Wildcats are holding foes to 53.1 points on 36.7 percent shooting, including 24 percent from 3-point range, while holding a +9.1 rebounding advantage (40.4-31.3). The team has out-rebounded 12 opponents, including each of its last 11 foes.

· K-State leads the Big 12 and ranks in the Top 10 nationally in scoring defense (58 ppg., 9th) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (25.1, 5th). The Wildcats have held 13 of their last 14 opponents to under their scoring average, including nine to 60 points or less.

· The Wildcats have shown remarkable balance across the board with six players leading the team in scoring, five in rebounding and seven in assists. Nine players have at least one double-figure scoring game, while three players - Foster, Gipson and Southwell - are averaging in double figures.

THE OPPONENT: 18/20 KANSAS (10-4, 1-0 Big 12)

· No. 18/20 Kansas (10-4, 1-0 Big 12) enters Saturday’s game on a modest one-game winning streak after posting a 90-83 win at Oklahoma on Wednesday night. The Jayhawks, who boast the nation’s toughest schedule, has wins over Duke, Iona, Towson, Wake Forest, UTEP, New Mexico, Georgetown and previously unbeaten Toledo this season. Three of the four losses have come away from home, including road losses at Colorado and Florida and a neutral site setback to Villanova.

· Kansas is 6-1 at home this season with its lone loss coming to nationally-ranked San Diego State, 61-57, on Jan. 5.

· Kansas is averaging 78.6 points on 49.6 percent shooting, including 34.1 percent from 3-point range, to go with 38.3 rebounds, 15.6 assists, 5.6 steals and 5.6 blocks per game, while allowing 69.3 points per game on 41 percent shooting.

· Freshman Andrew Wiggins paces three players in double figures at 15.3 points per game on 43.9 percent shooting, including 30.4 percent from 3-point range. He also boasts averages of 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals in a team-best 31.4 minutes per game. Wiggins is joined in double figures by sophomore Perry Ellis (13.8 ppg.) and fellow freshman Joel Embiid (10.5 ppg.), while three others are averaging better than seven points (Wayne Selden - 9.6 ppg., Naadir Tharpe - 8.3 ppg. and Frank Mason - 7.5 ppg.). Ellis is connecting on 58.2 percent of his field goals to go with 6.9 rebounds per game. Embiid is tops on the team in rebounding (7.2 rpg.) and blocked shots (2.4 bpg.) and is connecting on 65.4 percent from the field.

· Selden and Ellis each posted 20-point games in the win at Oklahoma with Selden posting 24 points, including 5 3-pointers, with Ellis added 22 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Tharpe chipped in 17 points and a team-high 3 assists.

· Kansas is led by 11th-year head coach Bill Self, who has a 310-63 record in his tenure. He has a 517-168 record in his 21st season as a head coach, which includes stints at Oral Roberts (1993-97), Tulsa (1997-2000) and Illinois (2000-03).

· Bill Self is 18-3 all-time vs. Kansas State, including a 9-1 mark at home.

BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES

· This will be the 278th meeting between the two schools with Kansas leading the series, 186-91, including a 75-45 mark at home. The two schools have met at least once every season since 1921, while the series dates to 1907. It ranks as the eighth-longest continuously played rivalry in the country, while it ties for the sixth-most games played.

· Kansas holds a 38-3 mark in the Big 12 era and have won 9 of the last 10 meetings, including five in a row.

· Kansas has won seven straight in the series at home with the last K-State win coming on Jan. 14, 2006 (59-55).

· K-State has a 3-12 (.200) record vs. Kansas when both teams are ranked, including a stretch of seven consecutive losses... The last time the Wildcats defeated the Jayhawks when both team were ranked came in a 84-75 win at home on Jan. 30, 2008... The team has not won a match-up of Top 25 teams in Lawrence since a 79-75 double-overtime win on Feb. 3, 1958.

· Last season, K-State lost all three meetings with Kansas, including 59-55 at home on Jan. 22, 83-62 on the road on Feb. 11 and 70-54 on March 16 in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

· K-State averaged 57 points in the three meetings in 2013 on 36.5 percent shooting, including 31.5 percent from 3-point range, while Kansas averaged 70.7 points on 47.8 percent shooting, including 39.6 percent from beyond the arc.

· Departed senior Rodney McGruder led three Wildcats in double figures in the three meetings with Kansas last season with 17.0 points on 43.9 percent shooting in 38 minutes per game. Angel Rodriguez (13.0 ppg.) and Shane Southwell (12.3 ppg.) also averaged double figures in the three meetings, while then senior Jordan Henriquez averaged a team-best 5.0 rebounds.

· In addition to Southwell, seven other Wildcats return who played against Kansas last season, including Thomas Gipson (3.7 ppg., 4.3 rpg.), Will Spradling (3.3 ppg., 1.7 rpg.), Nino Williams (0.7 ppg., 0.3 rpg.), D.J. Johnson (0.0 ppg., 1.0 rpg.), Omari Lawrence (0.0 ppg., 0.5 rpg.), Ryan Schultz (0.0 ppg., 0.0 rpg.), and Shawn Meyer (0.0 ppg., 0.0 rpg.). Southwell and Spradling started all three games, while Gipson and Williams played in all three games.

ON THE ROAD IN CONFERENCE PLAY

· Saturday’s game will be the Wildcats’ second true road game of the season, following Tuesday’s 65-47 win at TCU. The team has posted a 40-31 (.557) record in true road games since 2006-07, including a 32-27 (.534) mark in Big 12 road contests.

· K-State is 8-3 under head coach Bruce Weber in road games, including 7-3 in Big 12 play.

· K-State has tallied a winning road record three times in the last four seasons with a composite 25-14 mark in that span.

· K-State’s road success of late has been stark in comparison to its road futility from 1996 to 2006. During that 10-year stretch, the Wildcats were a combined 18-89 on the road, including 10-70 in Big 12 play. Four times (1996-97, 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2001-02) the team lost more than 10 road contests in a season and went winless on the road in Big 12 play on four occasions.

· K-State is 4-2 away from home this season with neutral site games at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off (1-2), Wichita Wildcat Classic (1-0) vs. Gonzaga and Brooklyn, N.Y., in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival (1-0) vs. Tulane to go with the win at TCU on Tuesday.

AS A RANKED TEAM

· K-State has a 257-97 (.726) record as a ranked team in The Associated Press poll since debuting at No. 20 on Jan. 5, 1950.

· K-State is 34-32 (.515) in games between Top 25 teams. The Wildcats are 20-9 (.690) vs. No. 18 with three wins in a row.

· K-State has an 8-1 (.889) as the AP’s No. 25 team with six consecutive wins dating back to a win over Texas on Jan. 18, 2012.

· K-State has been ranked at least once each of the last five seasons, which is the longest stretch since earning at least one national ranking in six consecutive seasons from 1972-78.

SURGING IN DECEMBER

· K-State heads into the month of January on a roll after posting a perfect 7-0 record in December. It marked the fifth perfect December in school history, following 1947 (9-0), 1993 (9-0), 1998 (6-0) and 2009 (7-0).

· K-State is now 13-1 under head coach Bruce Weber in the month of December.

· K-State has now won 35 consecutive home games in December dating back to 2004. The last home loss came to Rutgers (76-66) on Dec. 28, 2004. Overall, the team is 47-8 (.852) in December since 2006.

NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS

· K-State wrapped up non-conference with a 10-3 record, posting eight consecutive wins and seven straight wins at home.

· K-State totaled 10 wins in non-conference play for the eighth consecutive season in 2013 with a composite 81-18 record.

· K-State has a 65-3 record at home in non-conference play dating back to 2006-07, including a 63-2 mark during the regular season. The squad has won 54 of its last 55 non-conference home games.

TCU POSTGAME NOTES

· K-State extended its winning streak to a season-best 10 games with its win over TCU... The 10-game winning streak is the longest of the Bruce Weber era and is the longest since also winning 10 in a row from Nov. 22, 2009 to Jan. 3, 2010.

· With the win, Bruce Weber now has the second-best record after 50 games (39-11) as K-State coach and the best since Zora Clevenger posted a 43-7 mark from 1916-19... He has six more wins than third-place Lon Kruger (34-16).

· K-State won its road opener in Big 12 play for the second straight season and moved to 32-27 in Big 12 road play since 2007.

· K-State is now 257-97 as a ranked team in The Associated Press poll, including 223-64 when facing an unranked opponent.

· K-State connected on a season-high 52.5 percent (21-of-40) from the field and 46.7 percent (7-of-15) from 3-point range. The 57.9 percent (11-of-19) shooting in the second half was also a high for the season.

· K-State out-rebounded TCU, 37-21, marking the 11th consecutive game the Wildcats have out-rebounded their opponent. The team is now 31-2 under head coach Bruce Weber when out-rebounding their opponent, including 11-1 this season.

· K-State’s 18 turnovers were the second-most this season, but gave up just eight points off of turnovers.

· Thomas Gipson led the team in scoring (19) and rebounding (8) vs. TCU... He went 7-of-10 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line in 33 minutes... It marked the third time this season he has led the team in both categories (along with Georgtown and Long Beach State)... He has now led the team in scoring five times and in rebounding on eight occasions this season... He has now scored in double figures 31 times in his career and nine times this season.

· Marcus Foster also scored in double figures with 16 points, including tying his season-high with 4 3-pointers... It marks his team-leading 13th double-digit scoring game of his career, including the 13th in the last 14 games.

· Shane Southwell filled up nearly every stat line with 7 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal in 34 minutes.

· Jevon Thomas scored 5 points to go with a season-high 4 rebounds, two assists and a steal in a season-best 28 minutes... In four games since becoming eligible on Dec. 21, he has dished out 17 assists with just four turnovers.

WINNING WITH DEFENSE

· K-State ranks among the Big 12 leaders in defense, placing first in scoring defense (58.0 ppg.) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (25.1). The team also ranks among the Top 10 in 3-point field goal percentage defense (5th) and scoring defense (9th).

· K-State has held 25 opponents to 60 points or less under Bruce Weber with an impressive 23-2 record in those games.

· The Wildcats have held 11 of the last 14 opponents to its season low in points, including to 60 or less on nine occasions. Nine opponents have been held below 40 percent shooting, while 13 have shot less than 30 percent from 3-point range.

· If you take out the 90-point effort by Georgetown, K-State is holding its 14 other opponents to 55.7 points per game on 37.5 percent shooting, including 23.9 percent from 3-point range, while forcing 14.2 turnovers per game.

· During the team’s current 10-game winning streak, K-State is holding its opponents to just 53.1 points on 36.7 percent shooting, including 24 percent from 3-point range, while posting a +9.1 rebounding margin (40.4-31.3).

· Oklahoma State was held to 15 points under its scoring average of 86.8 points per game on just 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).

· George Washington was held to 22 points under its scoring average of 77.7 points per game on 47.7 percent shooting. The Colonials had scored 75 or more points in six of 12 games, including wins over Rutgers and Maryland.

· K-State held Tulane to a season-low 41 points on 28.6 percent shooting (12-of-42). 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 since the 1946-47 season, while the first half field goal percentage was the third-lowest in a half by an opponent.

· K-State held Gonzaga to a season-low 62 points on 48 percent shooting (24-of-50), including 33.3 percent (7-of-21) from 3-point range. The Bulldogs came into the game ranking 11th in scoring offense (87.5 ppg.) and among the Top 5 nationally in field goal percentage (52.6), 3-point field goal percentage (44.4) and total 3-point field goals made (100).

· 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.

EFFICIENT OFFENSE

· K-State is averaging 67.7 points per game on 41.9 percent shooting, including 30.4 percent from 3-point range. Although the team ranks 10th in all three categories in the Big 12, the squad ranks fourth in assists (15.0 apg.) in the league.

· K-State has an assist on a Big 12-best 64.5 percent (225 of 349) of its field goals this season. In fact, only two other Big 12 schools - Iowa State (63.4) and Baylor (60.3) - have an assist on 60 percent or higher of its field goals.

· K-State is averaging 69.1 points on 43 percent shooting, including 33 percent from beyond the arc, during its current 10-game winning streak. The team has an assist on 66.4 percent (162 of 244) of its field goals during its win streak.

· In the last six games, K-State has assist on 70 percent (105 of 150) of its field goals, while averaging 71.2 points per game.

· K-State is 23-1 under head coach Bruce Weber when scoring 70 or more points, including 8-0 this season.

REBOUNDING AS A TEAM

· A big key for K-State during its 10-game winning streak has been its rebounding, where the team has held a +91 edge (404-313) on the glass. The Wildcats have 145 offensive rebounds (14.5 orpg.) and 127 second-chance points (12.7 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 11 of 12 wins, including at least five players with 4+ rebounds in 6 games.

· K-State is now 31-2 under Bruce Weber when out-rebounding its opponent, including 11-1 this season.

· The Wildcats have out-rebounded 12 of 15 opponents this season, including a streak of 11 consecutive 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 eight times by Thomas Gipson, four by D.J. Johnson and twice by Wesley Iwundu and Shane Southwell. Gipson, Iwundu and Johnson have each tallied double-digit boards.

· Gipson and Iwundu have both posted two double-doubles on the season with Gipson collecting six in his career.

· The Wildcats ranks second in the Big 12 in offensive rebounds at 13.8 per game, while two players - Gipson (7th - 2.6) and Johnson (11th - 2.2) - rank among the Top 15. Iwundu is just outside the Top 15 with 1.8 offensive rebounds per game.

SOUTHWELL CONTRIBUTING IN MANY WAYS

· Senior Shane Southwell is finding ways to contribute in nearly every way, ranking first in assists (3.3 apg.), steals (1.1 spg.) and blocks (1.1 bpg.), second in rebounding (5.0 rpg.) and third in scoring (10.8 ppg.), field goals (59) and 3-pointers (17).

· Southwell has been the assist leader in 6 games, scoring leader 3 times and rebounding leader 2 times.

· Seven times he has scored in double figures with a career-high 21 points vs. George Washington (12/31). It marked his first career 20-point game after tying his career-high of 19 three times, including vs. Central Arkansas (12/1) and Tulane (12/28).

· Southwell has scored in double figures 7 times in the last 13 games, including 5 times in the last 9 outings.

· Prior to being held to 6 points vs. Oklahoma State, Southwell was averaging 15 points in the previous 5 games and 17 points in the previous 3 games. His 40 points vs. Tulane and George Washington were the most for him in back-to-back games.

· Southwell ranks in the Big 12’s Top 15 in assists (10th), assist-to-turnover ratio (10th), steals (11th) and blocked shots (14th).

· 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, 70 steals and 50 blocks in 110 career games.

GIPSON RETURNS TO FORM

· Junior Thomas Gipson is starting to return to form after an injury sidelined him for the first two games. He is averaging 11.9 points on team-bests in field goal percentage (59.4) and rebounding (6.5 rpg.) since returning vs. LBSU (11/17).

· Gipson also ranks second in scoring, field goals (60) and blocks (8) and third in field goals (53) and free throws (35).

· During the current 10-game winning streak, he is the leading rebounder (7.5 rpg.) and second-leading scorer (13.3 ppg.).

· 151 of his 155 points have been scored in the last 10 games with 18 points vs. Georgetown (11/22) and Long Beach State (11/24), 17 vs. Central Arkansas (12/1), 15 vs. Ole Miss (12/5), 13 vs. South Dakota (12/10), 14 vs. Gonzaga (12/21), 12 vs. George Washington (12/31),10 vs. Oklahoma State (1/4) and 19 vs. TCU (1/7). He has led the team in scoring five times.

· Gipson has scored in double figures in 9 of the last 11 games, including a career-best stretch of 5 consecutive games.

· Gipson earned his career sixth double-double vs. Oklahoma State (1/4) with a game-high 11 rebounds to go with 10 points. It was his second of the season after posting a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds vs. Long Beach State (11/24).

EXPERIENCE BIG FOR SPRADLING

· Senior Will Spradling brings a great deal of experience to a youthful K-State team, having played in 116 games with 87 starts to go with 877 points, 273 assists and 100 steals. He ranks first on the team in steals (17), second in 3-pointers (21) and assists (37), third in minutes (28.9), fourth in field goals (30) and fifth in scoring (6.9 ppg.) and free throws (23).

· Spradling already ranks in the school’s Top 10 in seven career categories, including 6th in 3-point field goals (154) and attempts (443), 7th in minutes (3,140) and free throw percentage (80.6), 8th in assists (273), 9th in starts (87) and 10th in steals (100).

· 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 is 123 points short of 1,000 after posting above those totals in assists and steals.

FOSTER OFF TO STRONG START

· Freshman Marcus Foster is off to strong start to his career, as he paces the Wildcats in scoring at 14.1 points per game on 39.4 percent shooting, including 36.7 percent from 3-point range. He also leads in field goals (69), 3-point field goals (33) and double-digit scoring games (13). He ranks among the Big 12’s Top 15 in 4 categories, including 4th in 3-point field goals (2.1), 8th in 3-point field goal percentage, 12th in scoring and 15th in free throw percentage (73.2).

· Foster is one of just 4 true freshmen leading a Top 25 team in scoring this season, joining Duke’s Jabari Parker (19.8 ppg.), Kentucky’s Julius Randle (17.4 ppg.) and Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins (15.3 ppg.).

· Foster has scored in double figures in 13 of the last 14 games, including a streak of 10 consecutive games from Nov. 13 to Dec. 21. The streak started in the second game vs. Oral Roberts (11/13) and included him leading the team in scoring seven times.

· Foster has knocked down at least one 3-pointer in 14 straight games, including a season-best four on three occasions.

· Foster was named the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week (CBSSports.com/USBWA) and Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week on Jan. 6 after averaging 16 points in wins over George Washington and No. 6/6 Oklahoma State. He is the first Wildcat freshman to earn the Big 12’s weekly honor since Thomas Gipson on Dec. 12, 2012.

· 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.

FRESHMEN A BIG PART

· The freshmen trio of Marcus Foster, Wesley Iwundu and Nigel Johnson have combined to lead the Wildcats in scoring in the first four games, marking the first time a rookie has done that since Michael Beasley did it the first four 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 nine times in 15 games, including seven times by Foster. They have also led the team assists on seven occasions and in rebounding four times. They have also combined for 18 double-digit scoring games.

· Foster and Iwundu have started together in 14 of the last 15 games, while Thomas (23.8) and Johnson (15.7) are averaging more than 15 minutes off the bench. They are both the top minute producers among all reserves.

· The freshmen accounted for 33 of the team’s 72 points vs. Gonzaga (12/21) and 31 of the 61 points vs. Ole Miss (12/5).

· 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, posting team-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (10) in 20 minutes off the bench vs. Northern Colorado.

· 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).

· The four freshmen have accounted for 405 points (an average of 27 points per game) on 39 percent shooting (130-of-333) with 46 of the team’s 87 3-pointers to go with 168 rebounds, 96 assists and 37 steals in a combined 1,113 minutes.

THOMAS MAKES QUITE THE DEBUT

· Freshman Jevon Thomas made his debut vs. Tulane (12/28), leading the team in both assists (4) and steals (3) to go with two points and two rebounds in 19 minutes. He added a team-best 6 assists vs. George Washington (12/31).

· Thomas signed as a mid-year enrollee on Feb. 27, 2013 and was granted an initial eligibility waiver by the NCAA. As part of his waiver he was not allowed to practice or play with the team until Dec. 21. Since that was the shootaround for the game with Gonzaga in Wichita, his first official practice was not until Dec. 25.

UP NEXT: vs. OKLAHOMA (12-3, 1-1 Big 12)

Tuesday, Jan. 14 >> Bramlage Coliseum (12,528) >> Manhattan, Kan. >> 6 p.m. CT >> ESPN2

_______________________________________________
Quotes:

Kansas State Men’s Basketball Press Conference – January 9, 2014

Head Coach Bruce Weber
On the biggest challenge going into the KU game. . .
“It is different than last year in that they had so much experience. They had pretty talented guys, but the main thing was their experience, their defensive mindset, their toughness and their belief that they were the champions and nobody was beating them. This year, you have a lot of talent, probably three NBA first-round picks at least, on the roster. Last year, they had two guys (Withey and McLemore) in the NBA and I do not know if there was anyone else. So you have a lot of talent, but you do not have quite the experience. We do not have quite the experience either. We had veteran guys that went in there. It is not always who you are playing, but when you are playing them. Obviously when we went there, we were not playing them at a good time. They had lost three in a row and did not want us to get another on them, so we caught their best shot. They are beatable, but they are very, very talented. We are going to have to play a really good game. It takes discipline and it takes execution. I thought San Diego State did a great job to just keep playing. They are going to block shots, they are going to dunk on you and they are going to make good plays. It is like Oklahoma State, you have to keep playing. You cannot just stand there and freeze because they dunked on you. You have to go make the next play and take it to them and see if you can get to the hoop. It is going to be a tough game, but we will learn a lot about our guys by 3 o’clock Saturday.”

On the challenge of KU’s inside players. . .

“They have so much depth. Last year, they had a few guys that could maybe get one substitution or so. This year, you have Tarik Black, who is a veteran starter from Memphis, and some days, he plays five to seven minutes. If they do get into foul trouble, you know he is coming in. They just have so much depth there. Obviously the freshman big kid is so special with his post moves and his mobility.”

On the noise of the crowd . . .

“We will see. It does matter, it always matters, but you are going to have to play whether it is there, Oklahoma State, Iowa State or Baylor. I hope it motivates them. The biggest thing is that you have to keep your poise, just try to play and just keep coming at them. Again, that is what San Diego State did, they just kept coming at them and same with Villanova, they just out toughed them. Colorado did the same thing, it was back and forth. They continued to make them play at the end of the game. That is probably usually how you are going to beat good teams anyway.”

On the importance of knocking down the crowd . . .

“We actually played okay at the beginning. It was more like seven or eight minutes into it and it was just like a landslide that we could not stop. I know of other games that they have struggled early and that is important, but we watched Toledo go in there and they scored between 70 and 80 points somewhere in there. I am sure we are going to get a really good shot. I am sure they are going to be motivated. It is good any time you are on the road not to get in a hole, but we have to do what we do. That was our emphasis today, to not be distracted by the magnitude of the game or what is going on with the crowd. You just have to do what made us successful. We guard, we play hard, we rebound and we take care of the ball. That is a pretty good formula.”

Senior Guard Shane Southwell
On what he needs to improve on in his final season…
“Everything. Just keep fighting, keep getting these younger guys ready for what we are about to step into, not only just for Saturday, but for the whole rest of the year. We have a target now and we had a target going into game one. You saw how Oklahoma State came out, they wanted to beat us because they know that we just had the Big 12 championship. Now they need to understand that they are the defending champions and they just got thrown into it. I just have to keep reminding them that we are the guys that everyone is looking for to win against.“

On getting 21 points against George Washington. . .
“It felt good. During the game, I do not know when, in the second half maybe around the 10 minute mark, I had 19 points and I was thinking again that it is not going to happen. So just let me keep playing well and get rebounds and assists, because it is not going to happen obviously, I have been on 19 for awhile. But it did happen and I was pretty excited.“

On what comes to mind when thinking about KU …
“Discipline and bigs, they always have really good bigs. Now they have good bigs and good wings. I just think of a good program, they are always one of the better teams in the country and they always play hard. It is going to be a bar fight.”

On how important is it to get a win this week .…
“It is crucial. I never won there or even got close to winning there. I want to get a win there. It is going to be hard to look back on my life and say I did not get a win in that arena.”

Junior Forward Thomas Gipson

On guiding the freshman to KU…

“I told them it was going to be loud, but I feel like it is going to be loud anywhere we go. This is probably the toughest crowd that we are going to be in, so I just told them to not worry about the crowd and just play hard and focus on the court. “

On the artificial sound during practice...

“We did not do that last year, because coaches did not even know it was going to be that loud. Today, we handled it pretty well. We were still focused and people were still communicating and trying to talk over the music and system. I feel like we did well. “

On proving people wrong about him going against KU’s forwards …

“I am always going to go up against people who are taller than me. It happens, I am not worried about him, I am just going to go out and play. It is whatever, it does not really matter to me.”


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