K-State Continues Homestand vs. Idaho State

Game Information

Kansas State (9-3) vs. Idaho State (4-10)

Date: Saturday, January 3, 2008

Tipoff: 1:10 p.m. CT

Location: Manhattan, Kan.

Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (1988)

Capacity: 12,528

Series: First meeting

(K-State is 10-4 vs. Big Sky Conference)

Television: FOX Sports Kansas City/ESPN Full Court/ESPN360

Ben Boyle (play-by-play)

Stan Weber (analyst)

Max Leinwand (producer)

Satellite Channels: DirecTV 672, Dish Network 447

Radio: K-State Sports Network; Powercat Passport Internet Audio;                       
Yahoo! Internet Radio; Sirius Satellite 122

Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)

Matt Walters (analyst)

Tickets: There are several Holiday Ticket Packs available by calling (800) 221-CATS or online at www.k-statesports.com.      


Kansas State Wildcats

Record: 9-3 (0-0 Big 12)

Ranking (AP/Coaches): --/--

Coach: Frank Martin

Alma Mater: Florida International, 93

Career Record: 30-15/1

School Record: 30-15/1

vs. Idaho State: 0-0

07-08 Record: 21-12 (10-6 Big 12)

Last game: Dec. 30, 2008

Defeated Wagner, 82-53

SID: Tom Gilbert

Website: www.k-statesports.com


Idaho State Bengals

Record: 4-10 (1-0 Big Sky)

Ranking (AP/Coaches): --/--

Coach: Joe O’Brien

Alma Mater: Monmouth, 77

Career Record: 29-46/3

School Record: 29-46/3

vs. Kansas State: 0-0

07-08 Record: 12-19 (8-8 Big Sky)

Last game: Jan. 1, 2009

Defeated No. Colorado, 62-61, OT

SID: Frank Mercogliano

Website: www.isubengals.com


Projected Starters

Kansas State (9-3)

G - #0 Jacob Pullen (6-0, 200, So.)

G - #21 Denis Clemente (6-1, 175, Jr.)

F - #23 Dominique Sutton (6-5, 210, So.)

F - #42 Darren Kent (6-11, 230, Sr.)

F - #50 Luis Colon (6-10, 265, Jr.)

Idaho State (4-10)

G - #1 Amorrow Morgan (6-5, 210, Jr.)

G - #2 Kal Bay (6-0, 175, Jr.)

G - #31 Matt Stucki (6-6, 210, Sr.)

F - #25 Chron Tatum (6-8, 220, Jr.)

C - #33 Deividas Busma (7-0, 240, Jr.)


Game Preview

Kansas State (9-3) continues its season-long six-game homestand on Saturday, as the Wildcats host Big Sky foe Idaho State (4-10) at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 1 p.m.  The contest will be apart of a men’s and women’s doubleheader on Saturday, as the 18th-ranked women’s team (12-0) hosts Central Arkansas (4-8) at 6 p.m.

K-State capped off the 2008 portion of its schedule on a four-game winning streak, as the Wildcats posted an 82-53 win over Wagner on Tuesday night.  The team began the game on a 12-0 run and held the Seahawks without a field goal for the first 9:38 en route to registering leads of 24-2 and 37-8 in the first half.  The squad connected on 53.7 percent from the field, including a season-best 62.5 percent in the first half, as well as 53.3 percent from 3-point range. 

Sophomore Jacob Pullen led another balanced scoring effort, as five players scored seven or more points led by his 24 points.  Fellow sophomore Dominique Sutton enjoyed a career night with highs in six categories, including points (21) and rebounds (10), en route to tallying his first career double-double.  Junior Denis Clemente chipped in 15 points, a team-high four assists and a pair of steals.

Sutton became the sixth different Wildcat to post a 20-point outing this season.  The incredibly balanced team has had seven different leading scorers, nine different assist leaders and six different leading rebounders.  Right now, six players are averaging eight or more points, while five players are averaging five or more rebounds.  There have been 41 double-digit scoring games by eight players.  Of the eight players, six have done it five or more times this season.

The Wildcats have also been stout on the defense end, allowing just 60.8 points per game on 38.1 percent shooting.  The team has held seven of its 12 opponents to 60 points or less, while holding its foes to below 40 percent shooting nine times.  Each of the last four opponents have been held to 55 points or less, while allowing the quartet to shoot a combined 33.2 percent from the field.  It is the fewest points allowed in a four-game stretch since the 1982-83 season.

The contest against Idaho State will be televised on FOX Sports Kansas City (DirecTV 672 and Dish Network 447) with Ben Boyle (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) calling the action.  Fans will also be able to watch the contest on the ESPN Full Court package as well as ESPN360.com.  For more information on ESPN’s Full Court package as well as ESPN360.com, fans should consult ESPN’s website at http://proxy.espn.go.com/ncb/fullcourt/. It will be the sixth of 12 appearances on the FSN Kansas City for the Wildcats this season.

Fans will also be able to listen to the audio broadcast on the 29-station K-State Sports Network (Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio; Sirius Satellite 122) with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Matt Walters (analyst) on the call.

Holiday Ticket Specials
K-State is offering three Holiday Ticket Packs with special pricing on three men’s basketball games and one women’s game during this holiday season.  For just $60, fans may purchase four tickets to any one of two men’s games including contests against Idaho State and Chicago State on Monday.  That’s a savings of $20 from for each game.  Also, for $20 fans can purchase four tickets to the women’s game with Central Arkansas on Saturday.  Best of all is the Ultimate Holiday Pack.  Fans may purchase four tickets to all three games for just $130.  The Packs can be purchased online, at the Athletics Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum or by calling (800) 221.CATS.

Cats in January

Kansas State is 358-299 (.545) all-time in the month of January, including wins in 16 of its last 25 games dating back to 2006.  The Wildcats have won 12 consecutive games in January, including their current eight-game homecourt winning streak, dating back to an 85-81 win at Missouri on Jan. 13, 2007.  The team’s last loss in the month came at home to Texas Tech, 62-52, on Jan. 8, 2007.  K-State has won eight straight home non-conference contests dating back to a 70-64 loss to Long Beach State on Jan. 4, 2000. 

Last season, K-State posted its seventh perfect mark in the month of January and first since 1970 by turning in a 6-0 mark.  The squad opened the month with an 85-25 win over Savannah State then earned five straight Big 12 wins against Oklahoma (84-82), No. 10 Texas A&M (75-54), Colorado (72-56), Iowa State (82-57) and No. 2 Kansas (84-75).  The team also went undefeated in 1919 (4-0), 1951 (5-0), 1952 (5-0), 1958 (4-0), 1959 (6-0) and 1960 (6-0).

Explosive Offense...

Kansas State has shown the ability to score early and often, as the Wildcats have totaled 959 points in their first 12 games, an average of almost 80 points per game.  The team has scored 70 or more points in 10 of 12 games, including 80 or more points six times.  The squad has already posted two games of 90 or more points, including a 107-point output against Gardner-Webb on Dec. 14, which ranks as the most in a non-conference game since 1994 and the highest point total since the Wildcats scored 111 against Missouri on Jan. 3, 1998.  The 96 points scored against Florida A&M on Nov. 14 tied three other teams for the fifth-most in an opener and most since 1991.

The 959 points are the fourth-most through 12 games in school history, trailing just the 1997-98 (1,008), 1952-53 (979) and 1986-87 (977) and just ahead of the 1976-77 (934) squad.  In fact, this year’s team joins four other squads as the only ones in Kansas State’s 118-year history to score 800 or more points in the first 10 games. The Wildcats have scored 80 or more points in six of their first 12 games for just the fourth time in its history, which also includes the 1976-77 (six), 1981-82 (six) and 1997-98 (seven) seasons. 

Since Frank Martin’s arrival in 2007, K-State has shown the ability to score points, totaling two of the most prolific scoring teams in school history.  Last year, the Wildcats set the school mark with 2,574 points, while also posting the second-most field goals attempted (2067) and the third-most field goals (916) and 3-point field goals made (210) as well as the third-highest scoring average (78.0).  The 2,467 points in 2006-07 rank as the fourth-most in school history.

And Stellar Defense

K-State has shown the ability to play solid defense as well, holding its 12 opponents thus far to an average of 60.8 points per game.  The Wildcats have held 10 opponents to less than 70 points, including seven to 60 points or less.  In addition, the squad has held its last four opponents to 55 points or less for the first time since the 1982-83 team held Clemson (54), SMU (53), Southern Illinois (49) and Texas (43) from Dec. 28, 1982 to Jan. 8, 1983.  

The 729 points yielded are the fewest through 12 games in the last 25 seasons and fewest since the 1984-85 team allowed just 699 points.  The 75 points scored by Oregon on Dec. 6 are the most allowed by the team this season, which is the fewest through 12 games since the 2005-06 team also gave up 75 to Northern Illinois on Dec. 20, 2005.  This season, nine opponents have been held to below 40 percent shooting for the contest, while seven foes have been held to below 30 percent from 3-point range.  The Wildcats set a low for opponent field goal percentage against Gardner-Webb, allowing just 30.8 percent.   

Diverse Offense

Unlike last season when consensus All-American Michael Beasley paced the squad at 26.2 points per game, the 2008-09 team has shown a lot more diversity with its scoring output thus far. 

Through 12 games, all 13 players have tallied at least four points with 11 totaling double-digit points and six in triple digits.  Two players - sophomore Jacob Pullen and junior Denis Clemente - are averaging in double figures led by Pullen’s 15.2 points per game.  Six players are averaging eight or more points, including redshirt freshman Jamar Samuels (9.3 ppg.), sophomore Dominique Sutton (9.0 ppg), senior Darren Kent (9.0 ppg.) and sophomore Fred Brown (8.9 ppg.). 

Since statistics became available during the 1950-51 season, there has been just six teams to have four players average in double figures with the last coming in 2004-05.  Just one team - the 1955-56 squad - has had six players average eight or more points in a season. 

There have already been seven different leading scorers in 12 games, including a league-best six players with 20-point outings.  In all, there have been 41 double-digit scoring games with Pullen doing it a team-best eight times in 12 games.  Eight players have scored in double figures with five of those players doing it at least five times. 

Brown, Clemente and Pullen are the only players to repeat as leading scorer, as Brown had a team-high 21 points against SE Missouri State on Nov. 16 then tied Sutton with 14 points each against Emporia State on Nov. 22.  Clemente led the squad with 19 points against Florida A&M on Nov. 14 then again with 16 points against Cleveland State on Nov. 22.  He also had a team-high 19 points against Oregon Dec. 7 before tying Samuels with 20 points against Gardner-Webb Dec. 14.  Pullen paced the Wildcats with four 20-point scoring games against Oakland, Kentucky, Iowa and Wagner.  Colon and Kent led the team in scoring in two other games with Colon posting a team-high 18 points against Southern Miss on Dec. 11 and Kent collecting a career-high 24 points against Centenary on Dec. 20.

Rebounding Still a Strength

Most critics wondered how Kansas State would replace two of the best Big 12 rebounders - Michael Beasley and Bill Walker - after the duo helped the program average 41.3 rebounds a year ago.  The duo plus departed seniors Clent Stewart and Blake Young averaged over 25 boards per game.  Despite their absence, rebounding still seems to be a strength with seven players averaging at least two boards per game.

Through 12 games, K-State is averaging 40.2 rebounds, including a Big 12-best 16.3 on the offensive end, with five players averaging five or more boards per game.  The team ranks among the best in the Big 12 in four rebounding categories, including first in rebounding defense (32.1) and rebounding margin (+8.2) and second in rebounds.  Four players - Ron Anderson, Luis Colon Darren Kent and Dominique Sutton - have grabbed double-digit rebounds seven times with Kent averaging a team-best 5.9 rebounds per game. 

has a team-leading three double-doubles thus far with 15 points and 12 rebounds against SE Missouri State on Nov. 16, 14 points and 10 rebounds against Cleveland State on Nov. 22 and 24 points and 10 rebounds against Centenary on Dec. 20.  Anderson, Colon and Sutton each have one with Anderson tallying 10 points and 10 rebounds against Emporia State on Nov. 19, Colon grabbing his first one against Southern Miss with 18 points and 11 rebounds on Dec. 11 and Sutton capturing his first with 21 points and 10 rebounds against Wagner.


Pressure is the Key

The core of Frank Martin’s coaching philosophy is pressure, whether its on offense or defense.  His theory is the more pressure you apply on a team, the more difficult you make it for your opponent. 

Pressure has been a big key for the Wildcats so far, as the team has scored 282 points (30 percent of their season total of 959 points) off 235 opponent turnovers.  K-State has scored 20 or more points off opponent turnovers in nine of the team’s 12 games, including 30 or more points twice with a season-best 41 against Gardner-Webb.  In its nine wins, the squad has outscored its foes, 226-104, in points off turnovers.  In all, the Wildcats have forced six foes into 20 or more turnovers.  The team is averaging 7.6 steals per contest with eight players grabbing at least five led by Jacob Pullen’s 24 steals.

Dynamic Duo

After dominating the paint a year ago with the likes of Michael Beasley and Bill Walker, Kansas State’s strength has shifted to the backcourt where the Wildcats start two of the best at their positions in junior Denis Clemente and sophomore Jacob Pullen.

The duo, which has started all 12 games, have combined for 331 points on 41.3 percent shooting (117-of-283), including 36.4 percent from 3-point range (47-of-129), with 81 of the team’s 192 assists.  Pullen ranks first on the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game on 40 percent shooting with team-highs in field goals made (62), 3-point field goals made (28), assists (47), steals (24) and minutes (347).  Clemente is second in scoring at 12.4 points per game on 43 percent shooting, while is also second in assists (34), minutes (271) and free throw percentage (76.9) and third in 3-point field goals (19).

Ironically, the two have scored in double figures six times in the same game with a combined 36 points against Florida A&M on Nov. 14, 31 against both Cleveland State on Nov. 22 and Kentucky on Nov. 28, 45 against Oakland on Nov. 25, 34 against Gardner-Webb on Dec. 14 and 39 against Wagner on Dec. 30.  Both have led the team in scoring four times with Clemente posting a season-best 20 points against Gardner-Webb and Pullen totaling career-best 26 against Oakland.

Sutton Steals the Show

After getting a late start to his time at K-State, sophomore Dominique Sutton has become an all-around factor for the Wildcats this season.  He is one of four players that have hit on 50 percent or better from the field, while he is second in steals (1.1 spg.) and third in rebounds (5.5 rpg.) and minutes (23.1 mpg.) and fourth in scoring (9.0 ppg.).

Sutton posted a career night against Wagner on Dec. 30, collecting a career-highs in six categories, including points (21), rebounds (10), field goals made (7), field goals attempted (11), free throws (6) and free throws attempted (8).  He has scored in double figures five times and has grabbed six or more rebounds six times so far.

Samuels an Impact off Bench

An unknown but talented player, redshirt freshman forward Jamar Samuels has become an impact player off the bench for the Wildcats.  Despite starting only one game this season, he is third in scoring at 9.3 points on 56.7 percent shooting with 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 blocks in 20.5 minutes per game.  Samuels ranks second to Pullen (eight) in the number of double-figure scoring games with seven, including a season-high 20 points against Gardner-Webb. 

Samuels scored in double figures in four consecutive games to start the season and has collected 10 or more points in three of the last six contests.  He has five or more rebounds seven games, including a season-best eight on three occasions.  Samuels was solid all-around in his first start against Centenary with eight points, eight rebounds, six assists and a career-tying three blocks in 27 minutes.

Kent Stepping up as a Senior

One of the bright spots for the Wildcats this season has been the play of senior forward Darren Kent.  Kent, the team’s only senior, has been a force on the boards, ranking first with 5.9 rebounds per game.  He is also averaging 9.0 points on 42.9 percent shooting (33-of-77) to go with 1.2 assists and 0.6 steals in 20.5 minutes per game. 

Kent, who entered the year averaging 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in his career, has totaled a team-best three double-doubles so far this year.  He had 15 points and 12 rebounds against SE Missouri State on Nov. 16 before posting 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds in a win at Cleveland State on Nov. 22.  Kent grabbed his third on a career day against Centenary on Dec. 20 with career-best 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting to go with a team-best 10 rebounds. 

Colon a Force in the Middle

A starter down low in the post, junior Luis Colon is starting to come into his own this season.  He is averaging 6.3 points on a team-best 62.5 percent shooting with 5.3 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game.  His 76 points are over half his entire total from his first two seasons, while his 63 rebounds are more than his entire total from 2007-08.  Colon had a career night against Southern Miss on Dec. 11, posting highs in points (18), rebounds (11) and minutes (27) en route to becoming the first Wildcat since 2002 to go 9-of-9 from the field.  

Idaho State Update

IdahoState enters Saturday’s game with a 4-10 overtime record after winning consecutive games for the first time this season in its 62-61 overtime win over Northern Colorado on Jan. 1. Junior center Deividas Busma’s last gasp tip at the buzzer gave the Bengals their second straight come-from-behind win.  The team shot 52.4 percent from the field, including 66.7 percent in the overtime period, to win its Big Sky Conference opener.  Three players scored in double figures led by junior guard Amorrow Morgan’s 18-point effort.  

The Bengals are averaging 63.7 points through 14 games on 43.2 percent shooting, including 30.7 percent from 3-point range, with 32.6 rebounds, 12.8 assists, 5.6 steals and 3.9 blocks per game.  The team averages over four 3-point field goals made per game.

Idaho State is a balanced scoring squad with five players averaging six or more points led by Amorrow Morgan’s 13.8 points per game.  Senior Matt Stucki is second in scoring at 11.2 points to go with a team-best 4.0 assists per game, while junior Demetrus Monroe is third at 8.5 points per game to go with a team-best 7.0 rebounds per contest.  Junior transfer Kal Bay, who leads the team with 20 3-point field goals, is fourth in scoring at 6.9 points per game.

Idaho State returns eight lettermen, including four starters, from a team that finished the 2007-08 season with a 12-19 overall record and a 8-8 mark in Big Sky Conference play.

The team is led by head coach Joe O’Brien, who is one of only three coaches to ever win three junior college national championships.  He is 28-46 (.378) in his third season at Idaho State.  O’Brien was 339-158 (.682) in 13 seasons at the junior college ranks, including winning three national titles at Southeastern Iowa Community College.  He is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame.  O’Brien coached with former K-State head coach Jim Wooldridge at Central Missouri State from 1984-89.

Series Information

This will be the first meeting between Kansas State and Idaho State in their respective histories.  In fact, this will be the first meeting for K-State with a team from the state of Idaho.  The Wildcats are 10-4 all-time against teams from the Big Sky Conference.

Closing out 2008 Strong

Kansas State closed out the month of December strong, winning four straight and running its homecourt winning streak in the month to 16 games.  The Wildcats have won 28 of their last 29 games at home in December dating back to the 2002-04 season.

Most November Wins

Kansas State finished the month of November with a 5-2 record, which tied the 1998-99 (5-2) and 2007-08 (5-2) squads for the most in the month in school history.  In all, the Wildcats are 76-23 (.768) in the month, including wins in 25 of its last 31 games.  The team has won 21 of its last 22 games at home in November dating back to the 2003-04 season.  The team saw its 17-game homecourt winning streak in the month end in an 80-77 overtime loss to No. 17 Oregon on Nov. 29, 2008.  It was the first November home loss since 2002.

Recruiting Class Praised

The four-man recruiting class that Kansas State pulled down on Nov. 12 has been rated among the best in the country.  The class, which includes ESPNU100 prospect and power forward Wally Judge, has been rated the 17th-best class by ESPN Scouts, Inc., as well as 21st- best class by Rivals.com.  The quartet includes Judge, fellow high school teammate Rodney McGruder, Dallas (Texas) point guard Nick Russell and prep school forward Jordan Henriquez.

Young Cats

Kansas State enters the 2008-09 season with one its youngest teams in recent history, as senior forward Darren Kent is the lone senior on a roster of 15 players.  When you factor in that four of the six juniors are either transfers from another Division I school or a junior college, the Wildcats are one of the youngest teams in its history.  Dating back to the 1981-82 season, there has been just one team - the 1983-84 squad which had no seniors - with fewer seniors on its roster.  The 1996-97 also had just one senior on its roster.

Martin Inks Stellar Class

Kansas State head coach Frank Martin announced the signing of four high school seniors to National Letters of Intent on the second day of the fall signing period on Nov. 13.

The four-man recruiting class, which was ranked 16th nationally by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and 21st by Rivals.com, includes prep school standout Jordan Henriquez (Winchendon [Mass.] School/Port Chester, N.Y.) and high school seniors Wally Judge (Arlington (Fla.) Country Day/Washington, D.C.), Rodney McGruder (Arlington (Fla.) Country Day/Washington, D.C.) and Nick Russell (Grace Preparatory Academy/Arlington, Texas).

The headliner of this class, Wally Judge is a 6-foot-9, 220-pound power forward originally from Washington, D.C., who is entering his second year at Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Fla.  Considered one of the top power forwards in the high school ranks, Judge was rated as a top 25 recruit by several recruiting services, including the No. 17 prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 23 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  He was also rated as an ESPNU Top 100 recruit.  In addition, he is ranked among the top-10 at his position, including No. 6 by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 9 by Rivals.com.   

Judge is in his second year at Florida powerhouse, Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, where he helped the Apaches to their fourth consecutive Class 2A state title with a 24-6 record in 2007-08.   Judge averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds and was named second team Class 2A All-State by the Florida Sports Writers Association.

A teammate of Judge at Arlington Country Day, Rodney McGruder is considered one of the best shooting guards in the country.  The 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard is rated among the top players in the country, including the No. 89 overall prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 91 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  McGruder is also ranked among the top-35 at the position by a number of outlets, including No. 23 by Rivals.com and No. 31 by ESPN Scouts, Inc.

McGruder transferred to Arlington Country Day in the off-season from Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C.  As a junior, he averaged 21.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals in leading the Lions to a 16-10 overall record and an appearance in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) semifinals in 2007-08.  He was named to the Washington Post All-Met first team. 

One of the top point guard prospects in the country, Nick Russell comes to K-State from Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington, Texas.  The 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard is rated among the top players in the country, including the No. 89 overall prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 114 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  Russell is also ranked among the top-40 at his position by a number of outlets, including No. 20 by Rivals.com and No. 36 by ESPN Scouts, Inc.  In addition, he is rated the No. 4 player in the state of Texas for the Class of 2009 by Texashoops.com.

Russell helped Grace Prep to a 26-12 overall record, including a 7-3 mark in league play, as a junior in 2006-07.  He helped the Lions to a runner-up finish at the TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parachial Schools) Class 5A state tournament, where they lost to Midland Christian, 74-60.  Russell averaged 23 points, six assists and five rebounds as a junior.  He was named first team TAPPS Class 5A all-state as well as co-most valuable player of the District 1-5A and first team all-district.

Jordan Henriquez comes to Kansas State from The Winchendon School in Winchendon, Mass., where he is playing a postgraduate year in 2008-09.  The 6-foot-11, 220-pound center from New Rochelle, N.Y. signed with the Wildcats this past May after finishing his career at Port Chester High School in Port Chester, N.Y.  As a senior, he led the team to an 18-6 record and an 8-0 mark in league play en route to a runner-up finish at the Section I Championship.  In averaging a team-best 15.3 points, Henriquez scored in double figures in 21 of 22 games in 2007-08, including six 20-point contests.

The recruiting class will join a loaded Kansas State squad in 2009-10, as the Wildcats will return all but one player.  They will be joined by junior forward Curtis Kelly, who is sitting out the 2008-09 season after transferring from University of Connecticut this past summer.