K-State Opens Big 12 Play Saturday at OSU

Game 14
KANSAS STATE (7-6, 0-0 Big 12)
at OKLAHOMA STATE (10-2, 0-0 Big 12)
Saturday, January 3, 2014 >> Gallagher-Iba Arena (13,611)  >> 11 a.m. CT

TELEVISION
ESPNU
Anish Shroff (play-by-play)
Reid Gettys (analyst)
WatchESPN link - http://es.pn/1GzmnR8

RADIO
K-State Sports Network
Brian Smoller (play-by-play)
Satellite: Sirius 138/XM 199

STATS/AUDIO
kstatesports.com
Stats - http://bit.ly/1yqDy3x
Audio - http://bit.ly/15rNnVB

TICKETS
okstate.com
(877) ALL-4-OSU
tickets@okstate.edu
$20 (bench)

COACHES
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee '78)
Overall: 367-182 (17th year)
at K-State: 54-27 (3rd year)
vs. Oklahoma State: 4-2

Oklahoma State: Travis Ford (Kentucky `94)
Overall: 325-225 (18th year)
at Oklahoma State: 135-79 (7th year)
vs. K-State: 5-7

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (7-6)    
G - #23 Nigel Johnson (5.6 ppg., 2.4 apg.)
G - #2 Marcus Foster (14.0 ppg., 2.2 rpg.)
G - #25 Wesley Iwundu (5.2 ppg., 3.8 rpg.)    
F - #11 Nino Williams (12.0 ppg., 4.8 rpg.)
F - #42 Thomas Gipson (11.8 ppg., 4.5 rpg.)

Oklahoma State (10-2)
G - #12 Anthony Hickey, Jr. (9.6 ppg., 3.2 apg.)
G - #13 Phil Forte III (17.1 ppg., 2.3 rpg.)
G - #22 Jeff Newberry (5.2 ppg., 1.8 rpg.)
F - #2 Le'Bryan Nash (17.9 ppg., 6.5 rpg.)
F - #20 Michael Cobbins (8.7 ppg., 6.2 rpg.)

INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: K-State leads 75-50 (OSU leads 15-8 in Big 12 play)
In Manhattan: K-State leads 37-15 (W, 74-71, 1/4/2014)
In Stillwater: Oklahoma State leads 31-24 (W, 77-61, 3/3/2014)
Last Meeting: Oklahoma State, 77-61, 3/3/2014 (Stillwater, Okla.)
Weber vs. Oklahoma State: Weber leads 4-2 (0-2 on the road)
Ford vs. K-State: 5-7 (4-1 at home)
Weber vs. Ford: Weber leads 3-2 (0-2 on the road)

LAST GAME SUMMARY
Georgia 50, Kansas State 46
Game 13  *  Bramlage Coliseum  *  December 31, 2014
 
Kansas State saw its rally from a 15-point second half come up short, as Georgia held on to post a 50-46 win on New Year's Eve before a sold-out crowd of 12,528 at Bramlage Coliseum. After the Wildcats had rallied to take a 46-43 lead with 2:49 to play, the Bulldogs scored the game's final 7 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer from senior Nemanja Djurisic at 1:07 mark. The team went 3-of-4 from the free throw line to close out the game. K-State, which dropped consecutive non-conference home games for the first time in Bramlage Coliseum history, was led by senior Thomas Gipson, who posted game-highs of 19 points and 9 rebounds. The teams set 3 Bramlage Coliseum marks, including fewest combined points (96), fewest combined points in a half (32) and fewest points in a half (K-State/12). The 12 first-half points were the second-fewest in school history.

GAME 14 - QUICK HITTERS
•    K-State (7-6) will tip off Big 12 play on Saturday, as the Wildcats travel to Stillwater, Okla., to face Oklahoma State (10-2) at Gallagher-Iba Arena at 11 a.m. CT. The game will air nationally on ESPNU with Anish Shroff (play-by-play) and Reid Gettys (analyst) on the call.
•    K-State is 50-51 all-time in conference openers dating back to Missouri Valley play in 1914, including 7-11 in the Big 12 era. The team is 16-32 when opening league play on the road, including 2-9 in the Big 12 era. The Wildcats have lost 3 in a row in Big 12 openers on the road with the last win coming in an 84-82 victory at Oklahoma on Jan. 12, 2008.
•    K-State will open conference play vs. Oklahoma State for the 13th time with the Wildcats holding an 8-4 mark in those match-ups. Saturday's game will mark the 4th time in the past 5 seasons that the 2 schools have opened Big 12 play with K-State holding a 2-1 record with the Wildcats winning at home in 2013 (73-67, 1/5/2013) and 2014 (74-71, 1/4/2014).
•    The last time the 2 teams met in a Big 12 opener at Gallagher-Iba Arena, Oklahoma State knocked off No. 17 K-State, 76-62, on Jan. 8, 2011. The Wildcats have won just once in their last 14 trips to Stillwater since 1994 with the last win coming on Jan. 21, 2012 by a score of 66-58.
•    Overall, K-State leads the all-time series with Oklahoma State, 75-50, with the Cowboys owning a 31-24 mark at home. The 2 schools have met at least once every season since 1958.
•    K-State enters Big 12 play on a 2-game losing streak after dropping non-conference home games to Texas Southern (58-56) and Georgia (50-46). It marked the 1st time that the Wildcats have lost back-to-back home game since February 13 & 25, 2012 (Kansas & Iowa State) and consecutive non-conference home games since December 8 & 17, 1987 (Missouri State and Southern Miss) in the final season of Ahearn Field House.
•    K-State's 7 wins in non-conference play are the fewest since the 2001-02 squad posted a 6-5 mark. The school had totaled at least 10 wins in non-conference play in each of the last 8 seasons.
•    K-State is averaging 68.3 points on 46.9 percent shooting, including 37.6 percent from 3-point range, with 14.2 assists per game. The squad ranks in the Top 25 nationally in FT attempted (14th) and FT made (23rd).
•    K-State is averaging 78.1 points on 54.6 percent shooting, including 46.6 percent from 3-point range, in its 7 wins and 56.8 points on 38.4 percent shooting, including 27.5 percent from long range, in its 6 losses.

THE OPPONENT: OKLAHOMA STATE (10-2)
•    Oklahoma State enters Saturday's game with a 10-2 record after rebounding from its first home loss of the season to Maryland with a 74-72 overtime win against Missouri at Kansas City's Sprint Center... The Cowboys have won 3 of their last 4 games and are 6-1 at home this season... Prior to the loss to Maryland, the team was winning its home games by an average of 26.8 points.
•    The Cowboys are averaging 73.7 points on 45.5 percent shooting, including 33.5 percent from 3-point range, on the season with 37.2 rebounds, 11.8 assists, 9.8 steals and 4.9 blocks per game... They are allowing opponent 59.2 points per game on 36.9 percent shooting, including 30.8 percent from beyond the arc... The team is shooting 70.0 percent from the free throw line.
•    Oklahoma State is led by the 1-2 scoring punch of senior Le'Bryan Nash (17.9 ppg.) and junior Phil Forte (17.1 ppg.), who rank No. 1 and No. 2 in scoring in the Big 12... Nash is also averaging a team-best 6.5 rebounds per outing to go with a Big 12-bests in free throws made (82) and attempted (106), while Forte is tops in field goals (58), 3-point field goals (32), free throw percentage (82.6), steals (3.0 spg.) and minutes (32.3 mpg.)... LSU transfer and point guard Anthony Hickey averages 9.6 points and a team-best 3.2 assists per game, while senior Michael Cobbins, who was injuried most of 2013-14, averages 8.7 points on a team-high 71.1 percent shooting with 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.
•    Oklahoma State returns 8 lettermen, including 2 starter, from a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2013-14.
•    Oklahoma State is led by 7th-year head coach Travis Ford, who boasts a 135-79 record in his tenure with 5 20-win seasons... He has a 325-225 record in his 18th season as a head coach, which includes stints at Campbellsville (1997-2000), Eastern Kentucky (2000-05) and Massachusetts (2005-08)... Ford is 5-7 all-time vs. K-State, including a 4-1 mark at home.

BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
•    This will be the 126th meeting between the two schools with K-State leading the series, 75-50, since that first meeting on Jan. 21, 1922... The Cowboys are 31-24 at home vs. the Wildcats, including wins in 13 of the last 14 meetings in Stillwater.
•    Oklahoma State leads the series, 15-10, during the Big 12 era, including a 10-1 mark at home... Since OSU rattled off wins in 10 of 11 meetings from 1997-2007, K-State has won 7 of the last 12 games in the series, including 5 of the last 7.
•    The teams split their 2 meetings in 2014 with K-State winning 74-71 at home on Jan. 6 before Oklahoma State won 77-61 at home March 3... The Wildcats averaged 67.5 points in those 2 meetings on 35.6 percent shooting, including 22.2 percent from 3 point range, while the Cowboys averaged 74 points on 43.8 percent shooting, including 32.3 percent from beyond the arc.
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster led 3 Wildcats who averaged in double figures vs. Oklahoma State in 2014 with a 13.0 points per game average on 34.5 percent shooting, while seniors Nino Williams (11.5 ppg.) and Thomas Gipson (10.0 ppg.) also averaged in double figures... Gipson averaged a double-double against the Cowboys last season with a 12.0 rebounds per game.
•    Williams is averaging 8.8 points on 48.4 percent shooting and 4.4 rebounds in 5 career games with Oklahoma State, while Gipson has averaged 7.4 points on 51.2 percent shooting with 5.4 rebounds in 7 career contests vs. the Cowboys.

CONFERENCE OPENERS
•    K-State is 50-51 in conference openers dating back to Missouri Valley play in 1914, including 16-32 in openers on the road... The Big 12 is the fifth league following the MVC (1914-28), Big Six (1929-47), Big Seven (1948-58) and Big Eight (1959-96).
•    K-State is 7-11 all-time in Big 12 openers, including a 2-9 mark in those openers on the road... The squad has lost 7 of its last 8 Big 12 openers on the road, including 3 in a row, with the last win coming at Oklahoma (84-82) on Jan. 12, 2008... The game marks the 12th time K-State has opened Big 12 play on the road since 1997.  
•    K-State and OSU will be opening league play for the 13th time with the Wildcats holding an 8-4 mark in those previous match-ups, including 4-4 record on the road... The two teams have met 4 times in Big 12 openers, including 3 times in the last 4  seasons. The teams have split those match-ups with OSU winning at home in 1999 (75-69) and 2011 (76-62) and K-State winning at home in 2013 (73-67) and 2014 (74-71)... This is K-State's first Big 12 opener at Gallagher-Iba Arena since a 76-62 loss on Jan. 8, 2011.

NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS
•    K-State finished non-conference play with a 7-6 mark, which was its worst mark since going 6-5 in 2001-02.
•    K-State had totaled at least 10 wins in non-conference play in each of the last 8 seasons, including 13 in 2009-10.
•    K-State lost back-to-back home non-conference games for the first time in Bramlage Coliseum... It marked the first time with consecutive home losses in non-conference play since December 8 & 17, 1987 (Missouri State & Southern Miss).
•    K-State has a 97-27 record in non-conference play dating back to 2006-07, including 71-5 at home.
•    The Wildcats are now 28-11 in non-conference play under head coach Bruce Weber, including 18-3 in home games.

TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
•    Kansas State is averaging 68.3 points on 46.9 percent shooting (293-of-625), including 37.6 percent (73-of-194) from 3-point range, to go with 14.5 assists per game... The team has an assist on 62.7 percent of their field goals.
•    K-State ranks in the Top 25 nationally in free throw attempts (347/14th) and free throw makes (229/23rd).
•    In the Big 12, the Wildcats rank 10th in scoring offense, 3rd in field goal percentage and 3rd in 3-point field goal percentage.
•    K-State ranks 2nd in the Big 12 in both free throw attempts per game (26.7) and free throws made per game (17.6).
•    The team averages 27.7 points in the paint, 20.0 bench points, 16.5 points off of turnovers and 8.3 second-chance points.
•    K-State has connected on 50 percent or better from the field in 6 games and shot better than 50 percent from 3-point range on 4 occasions... The team has also scored 80 or more points in 4 contests, the most through 13 games since 2009-10.
•    The Wildcats are 6-0 when scoring 70 or more points this season and 34-7 during Bruce Weber's tenure.
•    The 98 points in the season opener against Southern Utah (11/14/14) were the most in the Bruce Weber era, surpassing the 87 against Central Arkansas (12/1/13), and the most since scoring 100 against North Florida (12/31/10)... The 98 points were also the most in an opener since scoring 103 vs. Texas-San Antonio (11/23/91) and the 4th-most overall a season opener.
•    K-State connected on a Bruce Weber era-best 61.5 percent (24-of-39) from the field in the win over Texas A&M (12/20/14), which is the best by a Wildcat team since also connecting on 61.5 percent vs. Cleveland State (12/5/06) and highest since posting a 62.8 percentage vs. Nebraska (2/4/04)... The team shot 82.4 percent (14-of-17) in the first half vs. the Aggies, which ranks as the 3rd-highest in school history and the highest since connecting on 85 percent (17-of-20) vs. Oklahoma (2/19/94).
•    The Texas A&M game (12/20/14) marked the second time this season that the Wildcats have set the mark for highest field goal percentage in the Weber era, surpassing the 58.7 percent vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14)... K-State has posted the top 4 field goal percentages of the Weber era this season, including Texas A&M, Southern Utah, Savannah State (58.5) and UMKC (58.3).
•    The Wildcats also set Weber era highs in 4 categories in the opener vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14), including points (98), 3-point field goal percentage (55.6), free throws made (34) and attempted (48).

INDIVIDUAL OFFENSIVE NOTES
•    K-State has 3 players averaging in double figures (Marcus Foster, Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson), while 9 players have had at least one double-digit scoring game this season... 6 players scored in double figures in the opener vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14), which was the most since 6 also scored in twin figures against North Carolina Central (2/17/09).
•    All 3 rank in the Big 12's Top 20 in scoring at 7th (Foster/14.0 ppg.), 13th (Williams/12.0 ppg.) and 16th (Gipson/11.8 ppg.)... Only Iowa State (with 4) has more players in the Top 20 in scoring, while 5 other schools has 2 players.
•    3 Wildcats also rank in Big 12's Top 15 in assists at 8th (Thomas/3.8 apg.), 14th (Johnson/2.4 apg.) and 15th (Foster/2.2 apg.).
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster leads the team in 8 categories, including scoring (14.0 ppg.), field goals (60), 3-point field goals (38), double-digit scoring games (10), 20-point games (3) and minutes (29.5).
•    Foster ranks in Big 12's Top 15 in 5 total categories, including 2nd in 3-point field goal percentage (45.2) and 3-point field goals per game (2.9), 7th in scoring, 14th in field goal percentage (43.8) and 15th in assists.
•    Williams has scored in double figures in 8 of 11 games played, including 6 of the last 7 games... He has led in scoring a team-best 4 times... He ranks in the Big 12's Top 15 in field goal percentage (5th/54.0) and free throw percentage (11th/75.5)... Prior to the Georgia game, he was averaging 15.2 points on 63.3 percent shooting with 6.3 rebounds per game in previous 6 games.
•    K-State has tallied 73 3-pointers with 8 players collecting at least one trey... Foster leads the way with a Big 12-leading 38 triples on 45.2 percent shooting, while freshman Tre Harris is connecting on a team-best 52.6 percent (10-of-19).
•    In the NCAA, Foster ranks 19th in 3-point field goal percentage and 23rd in 3-point field goals/game (3.2).
•    Sophomore Jevon Thomas ranks in the Big 12's Top 15 in assists (8th/3.8 apg.) and assist-to-turnover ratio (12th/1.6).

FREE POINTS
•    K-State has also taken advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, as the Wildcats rank 23rd nationally in free throws made (229) and 14th in free throw attempts (347)... The team is shooting 66.0 percent from the charity stripe.
•    K-State averages 17.6 free throws (2nd) and 26.7 free throw attempts (1st) per game, which ranks 2nd in the Big 12.
•    K-State is 7-2 this season when it has more free throw attempts than its opponent and 29-7 under head coach Bruce Weber.
•    The 34 free throws and 48 attempts vs.  Southern Utah (11/14/14) were not only the most in the Bruce Weber era, but both were one shy of the Top 10 in school history... Both totals are the most since a game at Colorado (1/6/2010), in which, the squad connected on 38 free throws on 54 attempts... The totals at Colorado rank 4th (makes) and 3rd (attempts) in school history.
•    2 Wildcats rank in the Big 12's Top 15 in free throw percentage, including seniors Nino Williams (11th/75.5) and Thomas Gipson (12th/74.2)... Gipson ranks 2nd in makes (66) and attempts (89) to OSU's Le'Bryan Nash (82-of-106) in the Big 12.

SECOND HALF SIZZLE
•    K-State is averaging 39.2 points in the 2nd half this season on 51.9 percent shooting (166-of-320), including 43 percent (43-of-100) from 3-point range... The Wildcats are out-scoring their opponents, 510-469, in the 2nd half.
•    K-State has connected on better than 50 percent from the field in the 2nd half of 8 games, including 60 percent or better on 5 occasions... The team is averaging 43.4 points on 59.6 percent shooting in the 2nd half of its 7 wins this season.
•    K-State has connected on a higher percentage in the 2nd half in 10 of 13 games played, including 6 of 7 wins.
•    K-State connected on 70 percent (14-of-20) of its field goals in the 2nd half in the win over Savannah State (12/14/14), which marked the 19th time in school history that a Wildcat team has connected on 70 percent or better from the field... It marked the highest field goal percentage in a 2nd half since shooting 71.4 percent (15-of-21) at Iowa State on Jan. 7, 2006.
•    6 players are averaging 3.0 points or better in the 2nd half led by Marcus Foster (8.3 ppg. on 55.2%) and Thomas Gipson (8.1 ppg. on 71.9%)... 6 of the 11 players to score in the 2nd half are shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
•    In comparison, K-State is averaging 29.1 points in the 1st half this season on 41.6 percent shooting (127-of-305), including 31.9 percent (30-of-94) from beyond the arc... The squad is out-scoring their opponents, 378-365, in the opening half.
•    Marcus Foster leads all 1st half scorers at 5.7 points per game on just 32.9 percent shooting.

WIN/LOSS COMPARISON
•    K-State is averaging 78.1 points in its 7 wins on 54.6 percent shooting (179-of-328), including 46.6 percent (48-of-103) from 3-point range, while allowing opponents 64.3 points on 45.1 percent shooting, including 35.6 percent from beyond the arc.
•    In contrast, K-State is averaging 56.8 points in its 6 losses on 38.4 percent shooting (114-of-297), including 27.5 percent (25-of-91) from 3-point range, while allowing 64.0 points on 46.5 percent shooting, including 33.7 percent from beyond the arc.
•    3 Wildcats are averaging in double figures in the 7 wins, including Nino Williams (16.0 ppg./61.4 FG%), Marcus Foster (15 ppg./52.3 FG%) and Thomas Gipson (12.3 ppg./71.4 FG%), while 4 others (Stephen Hurt, Nigel Johnson, Justin Edwards and Jevon Thomas) are averaging 7+ points... In all, 6 of the 7 players are shooting better than 50 percent in those 7 wins.
•    Only 2 Wildcats are averaging in double figures in the 6 losses (Foster - 12.8 ppg., and Gipson - 11.3 ppg.).
•    K-State is averaging 17.6 assists during its wins compared to just 10.2 assists in its losses.
•    Point guards Jevon Thomas and Nigel Johnson have compiled a 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio in the 7 wins, which includes a combined 55 assists to 23 turnovers... The duo has a 1.37 ratio in the 6 losses with a combined 26 assists and 19 turnovers.

POINTS OFF OF TURNOVERS
•    K-State has taken advantage of its opponents' mistakes, scoring 214 points off of 180 turnovers in the first 13 games.
•    The 214 points represents nearly one-quarter of the 888 points, as the team is averaging 16.5 points per game off of turnovers.
•    K-State has scored 20 or more points off of turnovers in 3 games, including back-to-back games to start the season vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14) and UMKC (11/17/14)... It marked the first time that K-State has tallied 20 or more points off of turnovers in consecutive games since posting 20 vs. TCU (1/16/13) and 26 vs. Oklahoma (1/19/13) during the 2012-13 season.
•    The 30 points scored off of turnovers against Southern Utah (11/14/14) in the season opener were the most since scoring 33 against Texas (1/30/13) and tied for the 9th-most since the stat began being kept in 2000-01.
•    The Wildcats averaged 12.2 points off of turnovers in 2013-14, including just 3 games of 20 or more points.

GETTING DEFENSIVE
•    K-State has put up some impressive defensive numbers under head coach Bruce Weber, leading the Big 12 in scoring defense each of the past 2 seasons (60.4 ppg. in 2012-13 and 65.4 ppg. in 2013-14).
•    35 opponents have been held to 60 points or less in Weber's two seasons as head coach with the Wildcats boasting a 30-5 mark in those contests (losses to Kansas in 2012, Northern Colorado & Kentucky in 2013 and Texas Southern and Georgia in 2014).
•    15 Big 12 opponents have been held to 60 points or less (13 in regular-season Big 12 play) with the Wildcats posting a 14-1 record in those matchups, including a 12-1 mark in Big 12 play (only loss to Kansas in 2012).
•    K-State has had a difficult start defensively to start the season, allowing 64.2 points on 45.7 percent shooting, including 34.8 percent from 3-point range... The squad ranks 9th in the Big 12 in scoring defense and 10th in field goal percentage defense, 3-point field goal percentage defense, rebounding (31.8) and blocked shots (2.5).
•    Those numbers have improved in the past 7 games, where they are holding opponents to 57.6 points on 42.8 percent shooting, including 28.2 percent from 3-point range, while limiting them to 80 assists and 87 turnovers.

FOSTER CONTINUES WHERE HE LEFT OFF
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster leads the way in scoring at 14.0 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting (60-of-137), including 45.2 percent (38-of-84) from 3-point range... He has scored in double figures in a team-best 10 games, including 20-point games vs. Purdue (24), No. 3/4 Arizona (23) and Tennessee (23)... It is the 4th time has had 20+ points in consecutive games.
•    Foster ranks in the Big 12's Top 15 in 5 categories, including 7th in scoring, 2nd in 3-point percentage and 2nd in 3-pointers.
•    Foster leads the Wildcats in 8 categories, including scoring, double-digit scoring games (10), 20-point games (3), field goals (60), field goals attempted (137), 3-point field goals (38), 3-point field goals attempted (84) and minutes (29.5).
•    In the NCAA, Foster ranks 19th in both 3-point field goal percentage and 3-point field goals made (38), 23rd in 3-point field goals made (3.2) and 56th in 3-point field goal attempts (81).
•    Foster tied a career-high with 7 treys at Tennessee (12/6/14), which he also hit against Baylor (3/8/14) last season... The 7 triples tie for the 4th-most in a game in school history and the most in a non-conference game since Rodney McGruder made 7 vs. UMKC (12/23/2010)... Four of Foster's 7 3-pointers came in the last 57 seconds of the game.
•    It marked the 4th time he has had 4 or more 3-pointers in a game this season, including 6 vs. No. 3/4 Arizona (11/25/14), 5 vs. Purdue (11/24/14) and 4 vs. UMKC (11/17/14)... He has had 4+ 3-pointers in 13 career games.
•    Foster now has 117 3-pointers his K-State career, which ranks 10th on the school's all-time list.
•    Foster has scored in double figures in 37 of his 46 career games, including 11 20-point outings... He led in scoring 21 times.

SENIOR LEADER
•    Thomas Gipson has displayed that all important senior leadership, ranking 3rd in scoring (11.8 ppg.) and 2nd in rebounding (4.5 rpg.), while shooting a team-best 66.7 percent (44-of-66) from the field and 74.2 percent (66-of-89) from the charity stripe.
•    Gipson became the 26th Wildcat to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier with his first field goal vs. Texas Southern (12/28/14), while he is the 12th player with at least 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.
•    Gipson ranks 16th in the Big 12 in scoring and 12th in free throw percentage.
•    In the Big 12, only Oklahoma State's Le'Bryan Nash has more free throws made (82) and attempted (106).
•    Gipson, who played in his 100th career game in the opener against Southern Utah, has scored in double figures in 16 of the last 22 games (including 7 times this season)... He saw his streak of 12 double-digit scoring games in a row end against Purdue (11/24/14)... He has led in scoring in 3 games... Ironically, he has scored 9 points in 3 other games this season.
•    Gipson collected his 5th career 20-point game vs. UMKC (11/17/14) with a team-high 21.
•    Gipson rebounded from a poor performance vs. Texas Southern (12/28/14) to pace the team in scoring (19) and rebounding (9) vs. Georgia (12/31/14)... He scored 17 of his 19 points in the 2nd half, going 5-of-6 from the field and 7-of-9 from the line.
•    Gipson's career 54.1 field goal percentage ranks 6th on the school's Top 10 list and highest since Tony Kitt (54.5, 1998-2000).

BACK IN THE FOLD
•    Senior Nino Williams made his return to the court vs. Long Beach State (11/21/14) after missing the exhibition and the first 2 games due to a knee injury... It marked just the second time in the last 3 seasons that he missed a game due to injury.
•    Williams, who ranks 2nd in scoring (12.0 ppg.) and 1st in rebounding (4.8 rpg.), has scored in double-digits in 8 of his first 11 games, including 6 of the last 7 games... He posted a career-tying 20 points vs. Savannah State (12/14/14).
•    Prior to the Georgia game, Williams was averaging 15.2 points on 63.3 percent shooting in the last 6 games with a team-high 6.3 rebounds... During the 3-game winning streak, he averaged team-bests in scoring (17.0 ppg.) and rebounding (7.0 rpg.).
•    Williams collected his 2nd career double-double in the win over Bradley (12/9/14) with team-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (12)... It was his 1st double-double since a 15-point, 10-rebound vs. Baylor (2/15/14).
•    For his efforts in the wins vs. Bradley and Savannah State, Williams earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the 1st time after averaging 17 points on 56.3 percent shooting (9-of-16) to go with 9.5 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per game... He also shot a stellar 88.9 percent (16-of-18) from the free throw line... He also led in scoring and rebounding in both games.
•    Williams also ranks 2nd on the team in field goals (47), double-digit scoring games (8) and free throw percentage (75.5).

TWO BETTER THAN ONE
•    Sophomore point guards Nigel Johnson and Jevon Thomas make an impressive 1-2 punch for the K-State backcourt... The duo have combined for 81 assists (to 42 turnovers) and 35 steals to go with 158 points on 41.7 percent shooting.
•    Thomas is 1st in assists (50), 3rd in steals (17) and minutes (26.5), while Johnson is 2nd in steals (18) and assists (31).
•    Thomas ranks in the Big 12's Top 10 in 2 categories, including 8th in assists (3.8 apg.) and 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6), while Johnson is in the Top 15 in both steals (15th/1.4) and assists (14th/2.4).
•    The duo is even more impressive in the 7 wins, combining for 55 assists to 23 turnovers (2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio), as Johnson is averaging 8.0 points on 51.5 percent shooting and Thomas is averaging 7.0 points on 43.3 percent shooting.
•    Johnson scored in double figures in the first 2 games, including a career and team-best 18 points in the opener vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14) and Thomas collected back-to-back double-digit scoring vs. Omaha (12/2/14) and Tennessee (12/6/14)... Thomas dished out a season-best 9 assists vs. UMKC (11/17/14) and had season-high 4 steals vs. Texas Southern (12/28/14).

`CATS PICKED 4TH IN BIG 12 PRESEASON POLL
•    Kansas State was selected to finish fourth in the preseason 2014-15 Big 12 Conference coaches' poll released by the league office on Oct. 9. The Wildcats received 53 points to earn the nod in fourth place, just two points ahead of fifth-place Iowa State (51). The fourth-place prediction was the highest since the squad was selected as the preseason favorite in 2010-11.
•    K-State was also chosen fourth in the preseason polls of 2007-08 and 2009-10.
•    Kansas was picked as the conference favorite with 78 points and six first-place votes by the league coaches. Texas was a close second with 74 points and three first-place votes, while Oklahoma voted third with 67 points and the final first-place vote.

FOSTER NAMED PRESEASON CANDIDATE FOR WOODEN, NAISMITH
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster was named one of 50 preseason candidates for the prestigious John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy's announced by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Nov. 17... He followed that distinction up by being named to the 50-player Watch List for the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T on Dec. 3.
•    Foster becomes the third Wildcat in the last four seasons to be selected as a preseason Top 50 candidate for the Wooden Award, joining Jacob Pullen (2010) and Rodney McGruder (2012), while he joins Pullen and McGruder has the third Wildcat to receive mention for the Naismith Trophy... Both Pullen (2010) and McGruder (2012) made the Naismith Top 30 list.
•    Foster was one of 10 Big 12 players selected to the Wooden Watch List and was one of nine named to the Naismith list.
•    Foster was also recently selected to the Lute Olson Award Watch List, which is presented to the nation's top Division I players who has played at least two seasons with his respective team. He is one of four Big 12 players on the list.

FOSTER NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 TEAM
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster was selected to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team released by the conference office on Oct. 2.
•    Foster is the first Wildcat named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team since Rodney McGruder was selected to the squad in 2012. It marks just the fifth time that a Wildcat men's basketball player has been named to the preseason team, joining Manny Dies in 1998-99, Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly in 2010-11 and McGruder in 2012.
•    The honor marks the fourth of the preseason for Foster, as he was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team by a number of publications, including Athlon, Blue Ribbon Yearbook and The Sporting News.
•    Foster was joined on the 5-man preseason team by unanimous choices Perry Ellis (Kansas) and Juwan Staten (West Virginia), along with Buddy Hield (Oklahoma) and Georges Niang (Iowa State).
•    Staten was voted as the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year and Bryce Dejean-Jones (Iowa State) was the Preseason Newcomer of the Year, while Cliff Alexander (Kansas) and Myles Turner (Texas) were selected as the Preseason Freshmen of the Year.