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February 2011 Archives

Wildcats, Longhorns on "Big Monday"

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Can the trend continue - that's K-State's handling of the Longhorns of Texas?

• K-State has defeated Texas in football in each of the last three meetings.

• K-State has won in each of its last two trips to Austin for basketball.

Wildcats De-Stripe Tigers, 80-70

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Yes, Kansas State needs Jacob Pullen to be a great team, but Saturday in an 80-70 victory over No. 20 Missouri, the Wildcats showed to be pretty good with No. 0 on the bench.

"That's why you call it a team and not players. You have a team," said K-State coach Frank Martin of the play of his bench that had a scoring stretch of 16-2 late in the game. "That's what this game is all about. I was proud of those kids for getting the job done without Jacob in there."

Wildcats Deserving, But are They In?

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - At this point, every single game is a must win for Deb Patterson's Kansas State women's basketball team.

Tonight at 7, that next game is against Iowa State in Bramlage Coliseum. And after that, it's a home date with No. 5 ranked Texas A&M on Wednesday, followed by a regular season finale at Kansas one week from today.

The NCAA bracketologists have mixed reviews on the 8-5, 18-8 Wildcats, but as Patterson says, "Those guys are not the ones picking the teams. It's just too early to know, but I like our chances as much as Iowa State being in there."

New 'Pinch Offense' Fits Wildcat Roster

Editor's Note: "Sports Extra" concludes a two-part look at coach Frank Martin's decision to change offenses as mid-season going from, in Wildcat terminology, a "box set" to a "pinch post" system. Yesterday, Martin visited about the whys of the rather dramatic mid-season move, while today assistant coach Brad Underwood explains why it better fits K-State's current roster.

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Getting a coach to change philosophies at mid-stream is like ... well, paddling up that stream.

First, coaching egos will normally not allow such a notion, and secondly, it seldom works in the middle of a 30-game season - certainly not in the heat of competition of a league like the Big 12.

Wildcat Weekend Includes Groundbreaking and 'Pink Zone'

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The next step to the K-State Basketball Training Facility becomes a reality Saturday morning at 9 with a groundbreaking ceremony on the $17 million structure that is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2012.

Of the facility to be located on the east side of Bramlage Coliseum, K-State athletics director John Currie said, "This facility will make a statement that we're going to be a high-level competitive basketball program, and not an afterthought. It makes a statement to prospective student-athletes that we are making a commitment to our men's and women's basketball teams, and it makes a statement to our coaches."

Wildcats Go from "Box Set" to "Pinch Post"

Editor's Note: "Sports Extra" begins a two-part look at coach Frank Martin's decision to change offenses at mid-season going from, in Wildcat terminology, a "box set" to a "pinch post" system. Today, we visit with head coach Martin on why he opted to make the rather dramatic move, and Saturday assistant coach Brad Underwood will explain how the offense fits Kansas State's current roster.

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - It was January 12 and Kansas State had just lost to Colorado for the first time in the last 10 meetings, and the first time in Bramlage Coliseum since 2005.

But more than just the 74-66 loss was the fact the Wildcats played so poorly - 40 percent shooting, 33 percent from 3-point range and 15 turnovers to fall to 0-2 in Big 12 play.

"I was sick to my stomach," said K-State coach Frank Martin. "I didn't like the direction we were headed."

Money Speaks in Big 12 Track and Field

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By Mark Janssen 

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Cliff Rovelto stresses that it is not an excuse, "... but just a fact. There is a really high correlation between budgets and where people are expected to place."

So when the starting gun fires on the Big 12 Indoor Championships on Friday, it will be Texas A&M, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Baylor expected to make up the top division of the standings.

Mega-Game for Wildcats, Cornhuskers

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - It's interesting how Kansas State and Nebraska have ended up here in the middle of the pack in the Big 12 Conference six weeks into the year, and with four games yet to play entering tonight's game at 8 in the Devaney Center on ESPNU.

• K-State was picked to win the league but finds itself at 6-6; Nebraska was selected to be 10th, but finds itself at 6-6.

• K-State is 5-1 at home, but just 1-5 on the road; Nebraska is 5-1 at home, but just 1-5 on the road.

Krais Becoming Best She can be as a Wildcat

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Ryann Krais wonders herself, "Why didn't I consider Kansas State to begin with?"

A product of Eagleville, Pa., a suburb of Norristown in northern Philadelphia, Krais said, "I think my mom talked to coach (Cliff) Rovelto once, but I never did."

She openly adds, "Why didn't I consider Kansas State? I have no idea."

Childs, Wildcats Face Tall Challenge

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - What will be the dominating factor: K-State has hope; Baylor will be irate?

On Saturday, Baylor, ranked No. 1 in women's basketball, lost at Texas Tech, 56-45. Wednesday at 7 in Waco, Texas, the Wildcats will be the Lady Bears next opponent.

Yes, the Brittney Griner-led Lady Bears can be beaten giving Deb Patterson's Wildcat hope, but how peeved will the ladies of Kim Mulkey be in losing their No. 1 national ranking, and how hungry will they be leading the Big 12 by just one game with their 11-1 record?

Pullen Joins Elite Company

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Askia Jones can say, "So what?"

Michael Beasley can say, "Big deal!"

And Chuckie Williams can say, "So what ... what's the big deal?"

Wildcats Thump Oklahoma, 77-62

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By Mark Janssen

How fast can a team score 10 points? K-State went for the world record Saturday dashing Oklahoma's run to get back in the game by scoring 10 points in a span of ... get this ... 44 seconds.
In a 77-62 Wildcat victory in Bramlage Coliseum Saturday, Oklahoma closed the difference to five, 55-50, when Carl Blair of the Sooners was tooted for a technical foul.

From 1 to 800 in 43 Years

Editor's Note: With its next women's basketball win, Kansas State University will hit the 800th all-time win milestone in women's basketball. Yesterday and today, "Sports Extra" has been taking a look at that 43-year history of the women's game at K-State with several of the coaches who have contributed to this remarkable accomplishment. The Wildcats play for that 800th win tonight at 7:05 at the University of Nebraska. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Midwest.

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Judy Akers was Kansas State's coach for all sports in all seasons starting in the late 1960s through the 1970s.

If it had to do with a ball, Akers was the one to initiate the program whether on the club level, or eventually Big 8 Conference competitive level at K-State.

Lesson Learned for Wildcats - They Hope

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The buzzer had sounded, the love fest on the floor of Bramlage Coliseum had been completed, and the Wildcats had skipped and pranced to their locker room following Monday's 84-68 victory over No. 1-ranked Kansas.

That's when the jovial disposition turned serious.

"We looked around and guys had those Doberman Pinscher faces on that people were talking about last year," said junior Jamar Samuels.

From 1 to 800 in 43 Years

Editor's Note: With its next women's basketball win, Kansas State University will hit the 800th all-time win milestone. Today and tomorrow "Sports Extra" will take a look at that history of the women's game at K-State with several of the coaches who have contributed to this remarkable accomplishment.

By Mark Janssen 

MANHATTAN, Kan - An exact date for the initial game played in 1969 - win No. 1 - is not even recorded, but Kansas State defeated Bethel in the first-ever competitive women's basketball game in the school's history, 38-25.

Now as K-State prepares to play at Nebraska on Saturday at 7:05, the Wildcats are poised to join an elite sorority of 12 previous NCAA Division I women's basketball teams with 800 all-time victories. In its 43-year history, K-State's record stands at 799-474 for a winning percentage of .628.

Letter from A.D. John Currie - February 17

Good Afternoon Wildcat fans!

First off, congratulations to both Coach Martin and Coach Patterson for great basketball wins this week. The men's team showed great courage Monday night with a tremendous win over No. 1 KU in front of a terrific and intense Bramlage Coliseum crowd, marking the program's fourth all-time victory against a top-ranked team (and second in as many years). 

Then last night the women's team handily defeated Colorado, 78-51, for the 799th win in program history! With our next victory K-State will become just the 13th school in women's basketball history and second in the Big 12 to record 800 wins!

Wildcat Baseball Opens Out West

By Mark Janssen
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State's baseball team is dome-ready.

With four, six, eight inches of snow on the grounds at Tointon Family Stadium, the Wildcat baseball team is poised to open the 2010 season in Stockton, Calif., Friday (8 p.m.), Saturday (4 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) against Pacific after spending only three days outdoors during the preseason. Those days were this past Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wildcats Hope to Ride the "Energy, Emotion"

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - It's over and done with, and while it only counts as a single victory in the win column, this past Monday's 84-68 win over Kansas was humongous to the Kansas State basketball year.

This isn't to say it's one of the greatest Wildcat "W's" in school history, but, yet it was.

Greenawalt Toughens Patterson's Team

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Mention the name Scott Greenawalt to members of the Kansas State women's basketball team and no matter the individual, there's a "good grief" roll of the eyes.

"I was scared of him my freshman year," said K-State junior Jalana Childs. "His workouts were awful ... pain ... I want to go home. That's what I remembered saying every day. I was petrified the entire summer. I dreaded those days."

Then, she gave a reflective laugh.

K-State Stuns No. 1 Kansas

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - As Jim Wooldridge once said after defeating the University of Kansas, "Can you believe it?"

The signs in Bramlage Coliseum said it all Monday night:

"Never Say Never"

"Keep The Faith"

Letter from A.D. John Currie - February 14

Good Morning Wildcat fans!

It's another Big Monday in Manhattan! We are looking forward to tonight's game with KU and know the nation will witness a loud and energetic Bramlage Coliseum tonight.

And while we are excited for tonight's Sunflower Showdown, Saturday's 3 p.m. matchup with Oklahoma will also be an exciting day with the annual K-State Proud student campaign adding to the activities surrounding the game. The family environment and spirit here at K-State is what makes our University and community so special and this event is a creative and unique way for K-Staters to showcase their pride and support.

In its fifth year, K-State Proud is designed for students to take part in their own philanthropic efforts in order to help fellow students. K-State Proud t-shirts can be purchased at the KSU Student Union or any GTM location with the proceeds going towards the campaign. Show your support of K-State students by wearing your K-State Proud shirt to the game on Saturday and creating a Blackout in Bramlage! If you would like more information on the event, visit www.k-stateproud.org.

Wildcats Play No. 1 for 17th Time

By Mark Janssen
For the second time in a 12-month period, Kansas State is playing a No. 1-ranked University of Kansas team.
That happens tonight on an ESPN "Big Monday" telecast from Bramlage Coliseum starting at 8.

K-State Eyes Revenge against No. 1 KU

By Mark Janssen

Rebounding ... in more than one way ... has been one of the buzz words in the Kansas State basketball camp in the last 24 hours.
That's recuperating from Saturday's got-a-victory, no-you-don't heartbreaker at Colorado, and of course, simply rebounding missed shots against the Kansas Jayhawks in tonight's "Big Monday" contest on ESPN from Bramlage Coliseum. Tipoff time is 8 p.m.

Coaches Marvel at K-State's Improvement

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The mark of good coaching is the betterment of players. The mark of good coaching is winning more games than expected. The mark of good coaching is doing the most with the talent you have.

According to the Big 12 Conference coaching fraternity, Kansas State women's coach Deb Patterson has done all of the above this season in leading her Wildcats to a 6-3 Big 12 record and 16-6 mark overall. 

Martin Only Focused on Win "No. 5"

Editor's Note: Before we tackle the Kansas State - Colorado game, "Sports Extra" thanks Jeff Anderson from Overland Park for putting us on to the sicovers.com web site. We found five Wildcats to have ever graced the cover of SI with those being: Larry Brown as a Washington Redskin in November of 1972; Rolando Blackman at the NCAA Tournament in March of 1981; Darren Sproles with the San Diego Chargers in January of 2009; and, Jordy Nelson with the Green Bay Packers this week. Jacob Pullen also made a "regional" cover on this year's college basketball preview issue. If we missed one, let us know. Oh, nope ... we couldn't find Mitch Richmond.

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - A big game? Yes.

A crucial game? To that phrase coach Frank Martin says, "The only thing that is crucial is that the good Lord allows you to wake up the next day. If that happens, then you have a chance to get better."

That's the approach Martin and his Kansas State Wildcats take to Boulder, Colo., today when they take on the Colorado Buffaloes in an 8 p.m. tipoff. The game will be telecast on ESPNU.

Saluting Wildcats Past and Present

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Here are some notes and honors on several Kansas State student-athletes, past and present, that may have fallen through the cracks for some K-State fans.

For Jordy Nelson, for being one of the stars in the Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl victory over Pittsburgh. The 2007 consensus All-American for the Wildcats pulled in nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown last Sunday.

Just wondering, have there been any other K-Staters make the cover of a nationally distributed edition of Sports Illustrated other than Rolando Blackman, and now Nelson?

Potuzak Having the Time of His Life

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Alex Potuzak estimates the population of Agenda to be "less than 100," and Cuba to be "less than 200," and Clyde to be "600 to 800."

In other words, one section of Bramlage Coliseum could hold them all, plus their pets and livestock.

So, which one of those dots on the map does Potuzak (POE-dah-zhawk) call home?

Wildcats Proving Coaches Wrong

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - It's February 9, which means another month of regular-season hoops remains before the Big 12 Championships tipoff in Kansas City on March 8.

Now consider this about the 6-2 and 16-5 Kansas State women's basketball team. Last year the team won a total of five Big 12 games (5-11), and was in the victory column just 14 times overall (14-18).

Yes, already that's a one-game improvement in league play with eight games to play, and a two-game improvement overall with a minimum of 10 games remaining.

Big 12 Recognizes Pullen, Chambers

By Mark Janssen 

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State's Jacob Pullen is on a surge like few before him have enjoyed.

In the last 13 games Pullen has played, the Wildcat senior has averaged just a smidge over 20 points per game, which has included a pair of 24 point efforts, plus another five games of at least 20 points. Oh yes, in 12 of those 13 starts K-State's No. 0 has been No. 1 in scoring.

K-State and the Early Bracketology

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Let me give you one phrase and it's just three words: Strength of Schedule.

Let it be said there's another month of the regular season to be played, but as of today, here's where the phrase comes into play for Kansas State.

Nelson Reaches Super Bowl

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - How many times do you think Jordy Nelson has thanked himself for thinking big?

Earlier this fall, "Sports Extra" sat down with the former Kansas State wide receiver and learned this never before told story: "I came so close to going to Washburn or Emporia State and playing football and basketball. For whatever reason, I just told myself, 'If you're going to do it, go do it big. Do it at the highest level and see what happens.' I don't know if it was the Man upstairs who told me, but I just know things happen for a reason."

Wildcats Eye Strong Second Half - Starting Today

By Mark Janssen
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State thrives on being the underdog, and that's where it is for the rest of this 2010-11 Big 12 basketball year.

The first half 3-5 league record has put the Wildcats in a hole that will take some digging to see NCAA daylight as the second stage of the season begins this afternoon at Iowa State in a 12:30 p.m., start.

Simply put, going 6-2 in the second set of eight games would really be nice; going 5-3 is an absolute must, and would likely still take at least two wins in the Big 12 Championships to go "dancing."

Chambers, Karr Growing into One

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Remember Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen and how when one thought of one, the other was automatic?

Well, that's the reputation that Brittany Chambers and Taelor Karr are developing on the women's side of Kansas State basketball.

Just 52 games into their K-State careers, the duo - Chambers, a 5-8 product of Jordan, Minn., and Karr, a 5-8 native of Paola, Kan. - has played in all 52 of those games, which includes 48 as backcourt co-starters.

Wildcats Blitz Cornhuskers, 69-53

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Funny game this sport of round ball and round rim is.

Kansas State spanked the University of Nebraska in Bramlage Coliseum Wednesday night, 69-53. That's the same Cornhusker team that defeated Texas A&M on Saturday, 57-48, and, the same team that played Kansas to within three, 63-60, just two weeks ago.

On this night, Kansas State, which lost to A&M by eight and to KU by 24, opened a 5-4 lead and never looked back in rolling the Cornhuskers.

Snyder Pleased with Recruiting Harvest

By Mark Janssen

For additional information on the recruiting class of 2011, please click here.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State's locker room has been replenished with big guys and little guys, offensive guys and defensive guys, plus a kicker, who make up the recruiting class of 2011.

On the general makeup of the class, coach Bill Snyder echoed his words from 1991, and 2001, and now 2011: "You hope you've done your homework and have made some good choices on capabilities and values, but you never know until a couple years down the road. That's when you get a chance to really define the quality of the class collectively."

Letter from A.D. John Currie - February 2

Good Morning Wildcat fans!

I hope everyone has had a safe week so far and managed to stay warm during the frigid weather that a majority of the country has endured these last few days. Here are a few updates as we work towards getting back to our normal routines.

Cats to Face Big 12's Best Defense

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The phrase Nebraska basketball normally doesn't strike fear to those that follow the game, but the word from Kansas State coach Frank Martin is, "respect them."

Don't believe it, you say? Ask Texas A&M.

While the "Big Red" football gladiators have the famed "Black Shirts" on defense, coach Doc Sadler has his own on-the-court version.

Judge Leaves Wildcat Camp

By Mark Janssen

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Frank Martin was right to the point Monday in an informal gathering of the media: "Wally (Judge) quit the team today. He says he's not happy. I've kind of seen it coming with some of his emotional situations, he just has not been enjoying it. He told me this morning he thinks it's time for a change."

Judge becomes the second front-line Wildcat to quit in the last three weeks as Freddy Asprilla left the team in mid-January and plans to continue his career at Canisius.

Martin said that the 6-foot-9 Judge, a four-star talent and McDonald's All-American out of Washington D.C., gave no indications of his future playing plans.

Of the decision, Martin said, "Why do something if you're not enjoying it? He's been here a year-and-a-half and if he's not enjoying the moment, he's doing the right thing. I'm not going to stay where I'm not happy."

Saying that the door was open for Judge to return, Martin said, "I wish him nothing but the best. He's a beautiful kid."

Judge had played in 17 of K-State's 22 games this year with 11 of those being early-season starts averaging 15 minutes per game, 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

In Big 12 play, Judge had averaged 11 minutes of play with the production slipping to 2.0 points and 2.5 rebounds. In Saturday's game with Kansas, Judge played 17 minutes, but made just 1-of-7 from the field, captured two rebounds and fouled out.

A year ago, Judge, who came to K-State as a higher profile recruit than KU's Morris twins (Markus and Markieff), averaged 3.3 points and 3.0 rebounds.

As to what prevented Judge's progress as a player, Martin said, "I don't know. If I knew that answer, he'd probably still be here."

Asked if the rest of the team was still true to the program, Martin offered, "We'll find out. I think so, but you never know."

The Kelly Report
In Saturday's 24-point loss to Kansas, Wildcat Curtis Kelly was limited to 10 minutes, all in the first half.

In explaining his benching of Kelly, Martin said, "I wasn't pleased with him, his demeanor, his body language, so I just chose to go a different way."

Martin added, "It's been hard to get him focused in on the moment. When he does, he plays well and helps us. When he doesn't play as well, we don't play as well as a team. He's a big part of who we are."

Kelly starred for the Wildcats in a 64-56 loss to Texas A&M two weeks ago when he enjoyed a double-double of 15 points, 11 rebounds, plus six blocked shots while playing 34 minutes.

The 6-foot-8 senior is averaging 9.7 points and 5.0 rebounds this year after posting numbers of 11.5 and 6.2, respectively, last year. That included a stretch run in the NCAA Tournament when he averaged 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in the final four games of the season.

A lot of that success, Martin said, "... was due to the unbelievable leadership that team had."

Now What
With the departure of the 6-10 Asprilla and 6-9 Judge, K-State's front line includes only the 6-8 Kelly, 7-0 Jordan Henriquez-Roberts and 6-7 Jamar Samuels as scholarship players.

Along with Kelly's numbers dropping, so have those of Samuels (11.0 points to 9.6; 4.9 rebounds to 5.9), while Henriquez-Roberts has only maintained from his freshman year (2.1 points to 3.3; 2.5 rebounds to 3.7).

In moving forward with a depleted front line, Martin said, "It is what it is. It's a team effort."

On his own welfare through this turbulent season, Martin said, "I'm good. I enjoy this team. We got ambushed the other night and didn't respond real well, but this team has come back and practiced well. We're upbeat."

He added, "I try not to dwell on the negative, I deal with the issues and move forward."

Martin says when he looks in a mirror, he might blame himself for dealing with too many in-house distractions early in the year rather than focusing on the players "... staying the course and trying to move forward."

He then told the story of coaching legend Rick Pitino visiting one of his high school practices.

"He approached me afterward and said, 'I'm not telling you how to do your job, but you're spending a lot of time worrying about three guys in practice.' Those are the three who weren't doing what I was asking them to do. With the other 12 who were really trying, I was not giving any love," said Martin.

Early in this season, he said, "I was committing energies dealing with issues rather than committing energies to coaching this team to get better. I kept begging for leadership, and the guys capable of doing it were begging me to help them. I was neglecting them because I was dealing with the other stuff."

He concluded, "if I realized that too late, that's on me; if I didn't, then we can get back on track, which I think we are."