K-State faces Xavier Wednesday on ESPN2
K-State faces Xavier Wednesday on ESPN2
Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2007
U.S. Bank Arena (16,202) in
Tipoff: 6:02 p.m. Central
Series: Tied 2-2 (First meeting since Dec. 29, 1996)
Talent: Mark Jones (Play-by-Play) and Fran Fraschilla (Analyst)
Radio: K-State Sports Network (31 affiliates), Yahoo! Radio
Tickets: Available for $28, $32 at arena box office at 513.562.4949
Huggins makes return trip to
The game will be televised nationally by ESPN2 with Mark Jones (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (color) calling the action. It will be the second of a school-record six national broadcasts for the Wildcats this season, which includes two games each on ABC Sports and ESPN’s “Big Monday” and one apiece on ESPN2 and ESPNU. The audio broadcast of the game can also be heard on the 31-station K-State Sports Network (or on the internet at http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/teams/kab) with
Fresh off its first in-season tournament title since 1995,
A Quick Look at the Wildcats
No. Name PPG RPG
5 Clent Stewart (G, 6-4, 190, Jr.) 4.2 1.9
15 David Hoskins (F, 6-5, 230, Jr.) 13.0 5.2
12 Bill Walker (F, 6-6, 225, Fr.) 14.5 5.0
20 Cartier Martin (F, 6-7, 225, Sr.) 15.8 3.8
34 Akeem Wright (G, 6-6, 210, Sr.) 6.9 5.5
No. Name PPG RPG
2 Blake Young (G, 6-2, 190, Jr.) 7.3 2.1
3 Lance Harris (G, 6-5, 205, Sr.) 10.8 3.9
14 Serge Afeli (F, 6-9, 235, Sr.) 2.0 2.4
23 Jermaine Maybank (G, 6-4, 180, Sr.) 3.2 2.5
42 Darren Kent (F, 6-10, 215, So.) 1.0 1.5
50 Luis Colon (C, 6-10, 275, Fr.) 2.9 2.5
55 Jason Bennett (C, 7-3, 255, Fr.) 3.0 3.8
*With its 72-56 win over
*Kansas State’s current six-game winning streak is the longest for the program since the team collected eight consecutive victories to start the 2004-05 season (Nov. 19 to Dec. 21, 2004)... The streak is even more impressive when you consider that only three of the games came at home... It marked the first time since 1995 that the Wildcats have put together a winning streak of more than five games when half of the games have come away from home.
*Senior forward Cartier Martin was named the most valuable player of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic after averaging 16.8 points in four games... He scored a team-high 23 points against the Lobos... Junior David Hoskins was named to the Classic’s all-tournament team after averaging 15.8 points.
Although he has been
For his efforts, his hiring was dubbed the 2006 sports story of the year in the state of
*For the first time in the 19-year history of Bramlage Coliseum all available season ticket packages have been sold... Season tickets went from 6,500 in 2005-06 to 13,000 in 2006-07... The last time K-State could boast a sellout of season tickets was during the 1982-83 season when the Wildcats played in Ahearn Field House, while the previous high for season tickets in Bramlage Coliseum was 11,700 during the inaugural 1988-89 season.
*In addition to the season ticket sales, the school offered courtside seats for the first time in its history and sold out of the available 25 seats at $4,400 apiece with a waiting list... There are also plans in the works for loge boxes in the arena as well as other improvements, including a practice facility.
*Kansas State has or will play six nationally-televised games this season, including two as apart of ESPN’s “Big Monday” package and two on ABC Sports (both are firsts for the program)... It is the most nationally-televised games in a single-season for the Wildcats in school history.
*Kansas State attracted the consensus No. 1 recruiting class in the country in November according to Scout.com, Rivals.com and Sports Illustrated... The class referred to as the greatest-ever for the school included consensus top 10 prospects Michael Beasley and Bill Walker.
Taking Advantage of Turnovers
One of the biggest factors in
The team scored 65 points off a combined 51 turnovers in back-to-back wins over
The current average of 17.2 turnovers forced per game is the highest by a Wildcat squad in nearly 13 years since Dana Altman’s final squad forced an average of 18.4 turnovers en route to a 20-14 overall record and the NIT Final Four.
Offense Taking Flight
After struggling much of the season on the offensive end,
During the first part of the current streak the Wildcats scored 80 or more points in four consecutive games for the first time since the 1990-91 season. In doing so, the squad has shot 50 percent or better from the field in 10 of their last 14 halves of basketball, including 60 percent or better in four times.
Lift From The Bench
The most telling aspect of the recent bench play has been its diversity. The team has gotten significant scoring from nine players, while one player - senior Akeem Wright - earned a starting job after his impressive play off the bench. Senior Serge Afeli collected a career-high 14 points against
Martin, who again starred off the bench against UMES with 23 points, has averaged 20.5 points on 48.4 percent shooting in two games off the bench. In the win over USC, junior Blake Young scored nine points off the bench just 11 days after having knee surgery.
After giving up an average of 81 points in back-to-back losses to
In the win over
After struggling for most of the past five seasons on the road,
The Book on Xavier
Xavier enters Wednesday’s contest with a 9-4 record after earning an impressive 65-59 win over
Xavier is averaging 72.7 points on 46.5 percent shooting with 35.4 rebounds and have a very balanced scoring team with four players averaging in double figures. Senior forward Josh Duncan paces the squad in scoring at 11.9 points per game on 46.8 percent shooting, while junior guard Stanley Burrell follows with an 11.2 points per game average to go with a team-high 22 3-point field goals. Seniors Justin Cage and Justin Doellman each average 10.2 points per game, while the duo ranks 1-2 on the squad in rebounding with Doellman averaging a team-best 6.4 boards and Cage 5.5. Junior and
Head coach Sean Miller has a 47-27 record in his third season as a head coach since taking over for Thad Matta prior to the 2004-05 season. Regarded as one of the best point guards to play in the Big East, Miller guided the Musketeers to the NCAA Tournament last season after winning the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament with a 21-11 overall record. He spent three years as associate head coach under Matta before becoming head coach in 2004, helping the squad to a 78-23 overall record and three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Series versus Xavier
This will be the fifth all-time meeting between
The squads played their first home-and-home series in back-to-back seasons in 1995-96 and 1996-97 with K-State earning a 73-67 win in Manhattan on Dec. 20, 1995 and Xavier posting a 95-54 victory in Cincinnati on Dec. 29, 1996. The last meeting is significant because it ties five other squads for the second-worst loss in school history.
Head coach Bob Huggins is 8-8 all-time against Xavier with all 16 meetings coming during his time at
K-State to retire jersey of Blackman, Knostman
Kansas State Director of Athletics
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Blackman is one of just two players to earn first team All-America honors in consecutive seasons in Kansas State history and one of just three (joining fellow retirees Mike Evans and Lon Kruger) to be named Big Eight Conference Player of the Year (1980). He is also just one of three players to earn first team all-conference honors three times (joining Bob Boozer and Mike Evans) in the program’s history. The school’s second all-time leading scorer with 1,844 points, Blackman was the last Wildcat to be selected as a first team All-American when he was named to the Helms Foundation, The Sporting News, Converse Yearbook and John R. Wooden Award All-American squads as a senior in 1981.
The 6-foot-6 native of
Highly-touted freshman forward Bill Walker has certainly lived up to high expectations so far this season. With just two practices under his belt, he posted 15 points on 6-of-10 field goals against
Walker, who signed a financial aid agreement with the university on Nov. 3, was only able to join the squad on Dec. 16, the first day that a mid-year athlete can become eligible for athletic aid, practice and competition at K-State. He joins the program after exhausting his athletic eligibility at
A 6-foot-6, 225-pound forward from Huntington, W. Va., Walker is one of the most highly-regarded high school recruits to ever join the Kansas State program. A three-year starter at North College Hill, he helped the school to a 26-1 overall record, the state title and a No. 3 final ranking in the USA Today Super 25 High School rankings as a junior in 2005-06. He averaged 21.7 points and 10.1 rebounds en route to earning recognition to the Parade magazine All-America Boys’ Basketball second team. He was also named to the USA Today All-USA High School Boys’ Basketball All-Junior team and to the EA Sports High School Boys’ Basketball First Team. He was named the most valuable player of the 2006 Ohio Division III state tournament, as he averaged 22.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game en route to helping the Trojans to the title.
Hoskins Emerging As A Leader
One of the biggest reasons for
The streak began with a 17-point effort on 6-of-9 shooting against
His play of late is in stark contrast to that of his play in the previous four games against
The Martin of Old
After averaging just 5.5 points on 33.3 percent shooting in the first two games, senior forward Cartier Martin has seemed to return to his old shooting touch that made him a second team All-Big 12 selection a year ago. He has averaged 17.7 points in the last 11 games on 46 percent shooting (69-of-150), including 37.3 percent from 3-point range, to bring his season average to a team-best 15.8 points. Martin has scored in double figures in 10 games during the stretch, including five 20-point outputs. He began his current scoring streak by posting a career-high 28 points on a career-best 10-of-19 field goals against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 18. Martin has also turned in 20-point performances against
Martin Joins 1,000-Point Club
Senior forward Cartier Martin joined an elite fraternity at
He enters Wednesday’s game against Xavier with 1,153 career points, which now ranks 11th in school history, and needs just 32 points to top All-American and jersey retiree Jack Parr (1,184; 1955-58) and crack the school’s top-10. A second team All-Big 12 performer by numerous media outlets last season, Martin became the third player since 1990-91 to top 500 points in a single-season, while his 18.0 scoring average was the highest by a Wildcat since Askia Jones averaged 22.1 points in 1993-94.
After recording his 20th 20-point contest against
Harris Stepping Up His Game
Bob Huggins has always been a coach that has gotten the most out of his talent and senior guard Lance Harris has been a prime example of that influence. Harris has averaged 10.8 points on 48.6 percent shooting, including a team-best 40.4 percent from 3-point range, this season to go with a 3.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.6 steals per game. He paces the squad in both 3-point field goals (23) and 3-point field goal percentage (40.7), while he is fourth in scoring, field goal percentage and rebounding. Harris has scored in double figures in six contests, including three 20-point efforts. He opened the season with 22 points against William & Mary on Nov. 11 before posting a career-high 26 points against
Young Undergoes Successful Knee Surgery
Junior guard Blake Young underwent successful knee surgery on Dec. 11 at
Young has made an immediate impact for the Wildcats this season after transferring from
At no surprise, freshman center Jason Bennett, the tallest player in school history at 7-foot-3, has made an immediate impact on the defensive end of the court with a freshman-school record 27 blocked shots this season, including a season record-tying six in a loss at
With his three-block effort against Kennesaw State, Bennett broke the freshman mark for blocks in a season (24) set by Shawn Rhodes in 1995-96 and now is just 33 away from eclipsing the school record of 59 set by Gerald Eaker in 1995-96. He has recorded a blocked shot in eight of 13 games this year, while his 2.5 per game average ranks him second in the Big 12. Bennett’s four blocks against William & Mary were the most since Dramane Diarra had his school-tying six against S. F. Austin, while it was the most by a true freshman since Travis Canby registered four against
Through 13 games,
Up Next: #11
K-State has posted a 35-24 record in conference openers, including a 12-17 mark when opening league play on the road. The Wildcats have not won a league road opener since beating the Aggies, 53-48, on Jan. 6, 2001.