'Cats Host Chicago State Monday

Game Information

Kansas State (10-3) vs. Chicago State (8-7)

Date: Monday, January 5, 2009

Tipoff: 7:10 p.m. CT

Location: Manhattan, Kan.

Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (1988)

Capacity: 12,528

Series: K-State leads 1-0 (K-State is 1-0 at home)

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 446

Radio: K-State Sports Network; Powercat Passport Internet Audio;                       

Yahoo! Internet Radio; Sirius Satellite 121

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: 10-3 (0-0 Big 12)

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

Coach: Frank Martin

Alma Mater: Florida International, 93

Career Record: 31-15/1

School Record: 31-15/1

vs. Chicago State: 0-0

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

Last game: Jan. 3, 2009

Defeated Idaho State, 83-57

SID: Tom Gilbert

Website: www.k-statesports.com


Chicago State Cougars

Record: 8-7

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

Coach: Benjy Taylor

Alma Mater: Richmond, 89

Career Record: 19-24/2

School Record: 19-24/2

vs. Kansas State: 0-0

07-08 Record: 11-17

Last game: Jan. 3, 2009

Defeated Eastern Michigan, 79-61

SID: Corey Miggins

Website: www.gocsucougars.com


Projected Starters

Kansas State (10-3)

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.)

Chicago State (8-7)

G - #1 Mike Wilson (6-1, 205, Sr.)

G - #3 David Holston (5-8, 160, Sr.)

G - #23 John Cantrell (6-2, 175, Sr.)

F - #21 Carl Montgomery (6-7, 210, So.)

F - #34 Tawrence Walton (6-6, 195, Sr.)


Game Preview

Kansas State (10-3) concludes its tough stretch of three games in a seven-day period on Monday night, as the Wildcats host Chicago State (8-7) at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 7 p.m.  It will be the team’s final tune-up before opening Big 12 play against No. 4 Oklahoma (13-1) at home on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 12:30 p.m. 

K-State ran its winning streak to five games on Saturday, as the squad used another balanced scoring effort and stiflying defense to post an 83-57 win over Idaho State.  The Wildcats broke open the game with a 10-3 run over the last four minutes of the first half to take a commanding 40-22 lead before coasting to their seventh win of 20 or more points.  The team converted 19 Bengal turnovers into 28 points, marking the 10th time in the first 13 games that K-State has scored 20 or more points off opponent turnovers.  

Redshirt freshman Jamar Samuels led a season-high five players in double figures with a game-high 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting, while sophomore Jacob Pullen totaled double-digit points for a team-best ninth time with 12 points.  Junior Buchi Awaji and freshman Justin Werner each added 11 points, while sophomore Dominique Sutton had 10 points and tied the school single-game mark with eight steals.

Kansas State is the definition of balance with seven different leading scorers, nine different assist leaders and six different rebounding leaders.  Right now, six players are averaging eight or more points, while five players are averaging five or more rebounds.  There have been 46 double-digit scoring games by 10 players.  Of the 10 players, six have done it five or more times this season.  

The Wildcats have also been stout on the defense end, allowing just 60.5 points per game on 38.3 percent shooting.  The team has held eight of its 13 opponents to 60 points or less, while holding its foes to below 40 percent shooting nine times.  Each of the last five opponents have been held to 60 points or less for the first time since the first of five games of the 2005-06 season.

The contest against Chicago State will be televised on FOX Sports Kansas City (DirecTV 672 and Dish Network 446) 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 the seventh 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 121) with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Matt Walters (analyst) on the call.

Ticket Information

Season tickets are still available this season in a variety of ticket packages, which can be viewed online at www.k-statesports.com.  There is still a holiday ticket special available for Monday’s game as fans can purchase four tickets to the game for just $60.  The special plus single-game tickets are available at the Athletics Ticket Office, by calling (800) 221.CATS and online at www.k-statesports.com.

Cats in January

Kansas State is 359-299 (.545) all-time in the month of January, including wins in 17 of its last 26 games dating back to 2006.  The Wildcats have won 13 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 nine 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 1,042 points in their first 13 games, an average of just over 80 points per game.  The team has scored 70 or more points in 11 of 13 games, including 80 or more points seven times.  The squad has 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 1,042 points are the fourth-most through 13 games in school history, trailing just the 1986-87 (1,091), 1997-98 (1,070) and 1952-53 (1,046) and just ahead of the 1976-77 (991) squad.  It is the fourth fastest team in school history to collect 1,000 points in a season.  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 seven of their first 13 games for just the second time in its history, which also includes the 1997-98 season. 

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 13 opponents thus far to an average of 60.5 points per game.  The Wildcats have held 11 opponents to less than 70 points, including eight to 60 points or less.  In addition, the squad has held its last five opponents to 60 points or less for the first time since the start of the 2005-06 season when they held the first six foes - Georgia Southern (58), New Mexico (56), Stephen F. Austin (54), Cal State Fullerton (59), Washington State (58) and Longwood - to 60 points or less. 

The 786 points yielded are the fewest through 13 games in the last 25 seasons and fewest since the 1982-83 team allowed just 683 points.  The 75 points scored by Oregon on Dec. 6 are the most allowed by the team this season, which is the fewest through 13 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 13 games, all 13 players have tallied at least four points with 12 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 14.9 points per game.  Six players are averaging eight or more points, including redshirt freshman Jamar Samuels (9.8 ppg.), sophomore Dominique Sutton (9.1 ppg), senior Darren Kent (8.9 ppg.) and sophomore Fred Brown (8.8 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 has already been seven different leading scorers in 13 games, including a league-best six players with 20-point outings.  In all, there have been 46 double-digit scoring games with Pullen doing it a team-best nine times.  Ten players have scored in double figures with five of those players doing it at least five times. 

Clemente and Pullen have each led the Wildcats in scoring four times, while the duo joins Brown and Samuels as the only players to repeat as leading scorer.  Clemente has led the team against Florida A&M, Cleveland State and Oregon and Gardner-Webb, while Pullen paced the squad in three consecutive games against Oakland, Kentucky and Iowa then again against Wagner with 20-point outings.  Brown led the team in back-to-back games against SE Missouri State and Emporia State, while Samuels did it against Gardner-Webb and IdahoState.

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 40.4 rebounds, including a Big 12-best 16.4 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 offensive rebounds, rebounding defense (32.1) and rebounding margin (+8.5) 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 5.8 rebounds per game. 

Kent 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 the offensive or defensive end of the floor.  His theory is the more pressure you apply on a team, the more difficult you make it for your opponent.  In other words, pressure causes breakdowns.

Pressure has been a big key for the Wildcats so far, as the team has scored 310 points (30 percent of their season total of 1042 points) off 254 opponent turnovers.  The squad has also outscored its opponents 154-70 on fast-break opportunities.

Kansas State has scored 20 or more points off opponent turnovers in 10 of the team’s 13 games, including 30 or more points twice with a season-best 41 against Gardner-Webb.  In its 10 wins, the squad has outscored its foes, 254-111, in points off turnovers.  In all, the team has forced seven opponents into 20 or more turnovers.  The team is averaging 7.8 steals per contest with eight players grabbing at least five led by Jacob Pullen’s team-high 25 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 12 of 13 games, have combined for 343 points on 41.4 percent shooting (119-of-287), including 37.1 percent from 3-point range (49-of-132), with 84 of the team’s 209 assists.  Pullen ranks first on the team in scoring at 14.9 points per game on 40.3 percent shooting with team-highs in field goals made (64), 3-point field goals made (30), assists (50), steals (25) and minutes (368).  Clemente is second in scoring at 12.4 points per game on 43 percent shooting, while is also second in assists (34), minutes (298) 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 (1.6 spg.) and third in rebounds (5.3 rpg.) and minutes (23.1 mpg.) and fourth in scoring (9.1 ppg.).

Sutton tied the school single-game record for steals against Idaho State with eight, matching a mark first set by Lynn Smith against South Dakota on Nov. 29, 1986 then followed by Elliot Hatcher against Wichita State on Jan. 2, 1996.  He 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 six times. 

Samuels an Impact off the 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 9.8 points on 58.9 percent shooting with 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 blocks in 20.5 minutes per game.  Samuels ranks second to Pullen (nine) in the number of double-figure scoring games with eight, including a season-high 20 points against Gardner-Webb.  He scored in double figures in four consecutive games to start the season and has collected 10 or more points in four of the last seven contests.  He has five or more rebounds seven times, 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 5.8 rebounds per game.  He is also averaging 8.9 points on 42.7 percent shooting (35-of-82) to go with 1.3 assists and 0.5 steals in 20.2 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 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 at Cleveland State on Nov. 22.  He grabbed his third one on a career day against Centenary on Dec. 20 with career-best 24 points 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 5.8 points on 56.6 percent shooting with 5.3 rebounds in 18.5 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 the 2007-08 season.  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.  

Chicago State Update

ChicagoState enters Monday’s game with an 8-7 overall record after grabbing its fifth win in its last six games in a 79-61 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday.  The Cougars shot 60.7 percent from the field in the second half, including 58.3 percent from 3-point range, to break open a 27-all tie at the break.  Four players scored in double figures led by senior guard Mike Wilson’s 18-point outing, while senior guard David Holston added a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists.

The high-flying Cougars are averaging 79.1 points through 15 games on 44.7 percent shooting, including 35.2 percent from 3-point range, with 36.2 rebounds, 15.2 assists, 10.1 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.  The team averages over eight 3-point field goals per game. 

Chicago State is led by one of the nation’s most prolific scorers in David Holston, who ranks second nationally at 26.2 points per game.  He has converted on 44.3 percent of his field goal attempts (129-of-291), including 40.1 percent (77-of-192) from 3-point range.  He is also averaging 5.3 assists and 3.1 steals per game in nearly 35 minutes.  He is one of six players averaging six or more points for the Cougars, including senior guard John Cantrell, who is second in scoring at 17.3 points per game.  Sophomore forward Carl Montgomery averages 9.7 points and a team-best 7.3 rebounds per contest.   

Chicago State returns 10 lettermen, including four starters, from a team that finished the 2007-08 season with an 11-17 overall record.  The 11 wins were one shy of the Division I school record for wins.  

The team is led by second-year head coach Benjy Taylor, who has posted a 19-24 overall mark at the helm.  A Chicago, Ill., native, Taylor spent two years as an assistant at Tulane before taking the job.

Series Information

K-State and Wagner have met just once in their respective histories with the Wildcats posting a 73-36 win over the Cougars on Jan. 22, 2007.  Cartier Martin came off the bench to score 25 points for the Wildcats, while Jason Bennett set a school-record with eight blocked shots in helping the team hold CSU to the second-fewest points in school history.  K-State is 8-1 all-time against independent teams.

1-22-07     K-State 73-36     Manhattan

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.