No. 25 K-State Plays at TCU Tuesday
No. 25 K-State Plays at TCU Tuesday
Jan. 6, 2014
25/rv KANSAS STATE (11-3, 1-0 Big 12)
AT TCU (9-4, 0-1 Big 12)
Tuesday, Jan. 7 >> Daniel-Meyer Coliseum (7,201) >>
Fort Worth, Texas >> 7 p.m. CT
Big 12 Network
Dave Armstrong (play-by-play) >> Reid Gettys (analyst)
KMCI (Kansas City); KMTW (Wichita); KSNT (Topeka)
K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) >> Stan Weber (analyst)
Stats - kstatesports.com/gametracker
Audio - kstatesports.com/allaccess/
$20 (adult), $10 (youth)
12+ group: $5
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee '78)
Overall: 351-166 (16th year)
At K-State: 38-11 (2nd year)
vs. TCU: 2-0
TCU: Trent Johnson (Boise State '83)
Overall: 246-210 (15th year)
At TCU: 20-25 (2nd year)
vs. K-State: 0-2
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (11-3, 1-0 Big 12)
G - #55 Will Spradling (7.1 ppg., 2.5 apg.)
G - #2 Marcus Foster (14.0 ppg., 3.9 rpg.)
G - #1 Shane Southwell (11.1 ppg., 4.9 rpg.)
F - #25 Wesley Iwundu (7.2 ppg., 4.4 rpg.)
F - #42 Thomas Gipson (11.3 ppg., 6.3 rpg.)
TCU (9-4, 0-1 Big 12)
G - #5 Kyan Anderson (16.2 ppg., 5.2 apg.)
G - #22 Jarvis Ray (11.0 ppg., 4.3 rpg.)
F - #4 Amric Fields (15.0 ppg., 6.0 rpg.)
F - #11 Brandon Parrish (10.9 ppg., 3.5 rpg.)
C - #1 Karviar Shepherd (7.8 ppg., 8.2 rpg.)
INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: K-State leads 5-2 (2-0 in Big 12 era)
In Manhattan: K-State leads 3-1 (W, 79-68, 3/5/2013)
In Fort Worth: K-State leads 2-0 (W, 67-54, 1/16/2013)
Last Meeting: K-State, 79-68, 3/5/2013 (Manhattan, Kan.)
Weber vs. TCU: Weber leads 2-0 (1-0 on the road)
Johnson vs. K-State: 0-2 (0-1 at home)
Weber vs. Johnson: Weber leads 2-0 (1-0 on the road)
LAST GAME SUMMARY
Kansas State 74, 6/6 Oklahoma State 71
Game 14 * Bramlage Coliseum * January 4, 2014
Freshman Marcus Foster paced three Wildcats in double figures with 17 points, as K-State ran its winning streak to nine games with a 74-71 win over No. 6/6 Oklahoma State in the Big 12 opener before a sold-out crowd at Bramlage Coliseum. The win was the first against a Top 10 opponent since defeating No. 3 Missouri, 78-68, on Feb. 21, 2012 and the first at home since knocking off No. 7 Missouri, 75-59, on Jan. 7, 2012. It was a closely-contested game the entire way, as the teams battled through 15 lead changes and 10 ties with neither holding more than a five-point lead. Down 60-57 with 5:44 to play, K-State used an 8-0 run over a two-minute stretch to capture the lead for good over OSU. The Cowboys were able to cut the deficit to one point on four occasions, however, the Wildcats knocked down each of their last five free throws to clinch the victory.
GAME 15 - QUICK HITTERS
No. 25 Kansas State (11-3, 1-0 Big 12) makes a quick turnaround with a road trip to Fort Worth, Texas to face TCU (9-4, 0-1 Big 12) at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on Tuesday at 7 p.m. CT. It will be the first of consecutive road games this week, as the Wildcats travel to Lawrence, Kan., to take on No. 18/20 Kansas (9-4, 0-0 Big 12) on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT on ESPN.
K-State owns a 9-game winning streak, which is the longest of head coach Bruce Weber's short tenure. It is the longest winning streak for the school since the Wildcats won 10 in a row from Nov. 22, 2009 to Jan. 3, 2010. This is the third win streak of at least 6 games under Weber.
K-State jumped into The Associated Press Top 25 poll on Monday for the first time this season at No. 25 with 112 points. The team is also receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll. It marks the first time the team has been ranked since finishing the 2012-13 season at No. 12.
K-State is 256-57 (.725) as a ranked team in The Associated Press poll, including 7-1 (.875) as the No. 25 team with five consecutive wins.
Tuesday's game will be the Wildcats' first true road game of the season. The team has posted a 39-31 (.557) record in true road games since 2006-07, including a 31-27 (.534) mark in Big 12 road contests. Last season, the squad snapped a four-game losing streak in Big 12 road openers with a 65-64 win at West Virginia on Jan. 12, 2013. The Wildcats are 7-3 under head coach Bruce Weber on the road, including 6-3 in Big 12 play.
This will be the eighth meeting between the two schools with K-State leading, 5-2, since the first game on Dec. 11, 1947. The Wildcats are 2-0 in games played in Fort Worth, including a 67-54 win on Jan. 16, 2013.
During the 9-game winning streak, the Wildcats are holding foes to 53.8 points on 36.9 percent shooting, including 25.2 percent from 3-point range, while holding a +8.3 rebounding advantage (40.8-32.4). The team has out-rebounded 11 opponents, including each of its last 10 foes.
K-State leads the Big 12 and ranks in the Top 10 nationally in scoring defense (58.8 ppg., 8th) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (26.0, 7th). The Wildcats have held 12 of their last 13 opponents to under their scoring average, including eight to 60 points or less.
The Wildcats have shown remarkable balance across the board with six players leading the team in scoring, five in rebounding and seven in assists. Nine players have at least one double-figure scoring game, while three players - Foster, Gipson and Southwell - are averaging in double figures.
THE OPPONENT: TCU (9-4, 0-1 Big 12)
TCU (9-4, 0-1 Big 12) enters Tuesday's game on a one-game losing streak after dropping the Big 12 opener to West Virginia, 74-69, on Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak by the Horned Frogs, which included a road win at Mississippi State and home victories over UTPA, Grambling State, Tulsa and Texas Southern.
TCU is 5-2 at home this season, including five consecutive wins before the West Virginia loss on Saturday. Overall, the Horned Frogs are 3-0 in road games, including wins at Washington State, Alaska-Anchorage and MSU, and 1-2 at neutral sites.
TCU is averaging 70.2 points on 44 percent shooting, including 35.1 percent from 3-point range, to go with 34.5 rebounds, 13.6 assists, 6.2 steals and 3.5 blocks per game, while allowing 66.4 points per game on 40.2 percent shooting.
Junior Kyan Anderson paces four players in double figures at 16.2 points per game on 52.4 percent shooting, including 36.6 percent from 3-point range. The 2012 Mountain West Freshman of the Year also leads the team in field goals (65), free throws (65), free throw percentage (84.4) and assists (67) and is second in 3-pointers (15) and steals (18). Junior Amric Fields, who was the 2012 MWC Sixth Man of the Year, is averaging 15 points on 52.9 percent shooting with 6.0 rebounds since returning six games ago after suffering a season-ending knee injury on Nov. 15, 2012. Senior Jarvis Ray averages 11 points on 47.9 percent shooting with 4.3 rebounds and a team-best 1.5 steals in 26.2 minutes per game, while freshman Brandon Parrish is averaging 10.9 points on 45.8 percent shooting with 3.5 rebounds per outing and a team-best 21 3-point field goals. Fellow freshman Karviar Shepherd leads the team in rebounding at 8.2 per contest to go with 7.8 points per game.
Amric led three TCU players in double figures with a game-tying 22 points in the 74-69 loss to West Virginia on Saturday, while Parrish added 18 points, including four 3-pointers, to go with Anderson's 12 points and game-tying four assists.
TCU is led by second-year head coach Trent Johnson, who has a 20-25 record in his tenure. He has a 246-210 record in his 15th season as a head coach, which includes stints at Nevada (1999-2004), Stanford (2004-08) and LSU (2008-12). He guided each of those schools to the NCAA Tournament, including trips to the Sweet 16 in 2003-04 (Nevada) and 2007-08 (Stanford).
Trent Johnson is 0-2 all-time vs. Kansas State, including a 0-1 mark at home.
BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
This will be the eighth meeting between the two schools with K-State leading, 5-2, since the first game on Dec. 11, 1947. The Wildcats are 2-0 in games played in Fort Worth, including a 67-54 win in the last meeting on Jan. 16, 2013.
Last season, K-State won both regular season meetings with TCU, including a 67-54 win at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on Jan. 16, 2013 and a 79-68 win at Bramlage Coliseum on March 5, 2013.
K-State averaged 73.0 points in the two meetings in 2013 on 51.3 percent shooting, including 45.7 percent from 3-point range, while holding TCU to 61.0 points on 43.6 percent shooting, including 39.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Departed senior Rodney McGruder led four Wildcats in double figures in the two meetings with TCU last season with 17.0 points on 48.4 percent shooting in 35.5 minutes per game. Angel Rodriguez (12.0 ppg.), Martavious Irving (11.5 ppg.) and Shane Southwell (11.0 ppg.) also averaged double figures in the two meetings.
In addition to Southwell, seven other Wildcats return who played against TCU last season, including Thomas Gipson (7.5 ppg., 1.5 rpg.), Will Spradling (6.0 ppg., 1.0 rpg.), D.J. Johnson (1.0 ppg., 0.5 rpg.), Omari Lawrence (1.0 ppg., 0.5 rpg.), Ryan Schultz (0.0 ppg., 0.0 rpg.), Nino Williams (0.0 ppg., 0.5 rpg.) and Shawn Meyer (0.0 ppg., 0.0 rpg.). Southwell started both games, while Gipson and Spradling started one game each.
ON THE ROAD IN CONFERENCE PLAY
Tuesday's game will be the Wildcats' first true road game of the season. The team has posted a 39-31 (.557) record in true road games since 2006-07, including a 31-27 (.534) mark in Big 12 road contests. Last season, the squad snapped a four-game losing streak in Big 12 road openers with a 65-64 win at West Virginia on Jan. 12, 2013.
K-State is 7-3 under head coach Bruce Weber in road games, including 6-3 in Big 12 play.
K-State's road success of late has been stark in comparison to its road futility from 1996 to 2006. During that 10-year stretch, the Wildcats were a combined 18-89 on the road, including just 10-70 in Big 12 play. Four times (1996-97, 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2001-02) the team lost more than 10 road contests in a season and went winless on the road in Big 12 play on four occasions (1996-97, 1999-2000, 2001-02 and 2002-03).
K-State has tallied a winning road record three times in the last four seasons with a composite 25-14 mark in that span.
K-State is 3-2 away from home this season with neutral site games in San Juan, P.R., at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off (1-2), Wichita, Kan., in the Wichita Wildcat Classic (1-0) vs. Gonzaga and Brooklyn, N.Y., in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival (1-0) vs. Tulane.
AS A RANKED TEAM
K-State has a 256-97 (.725) record as a ranked team in The Associated Press poll since debuting at No. 20 on Jan. 5, 1950.
K-State has a 222-64 (.776) record when ranked and facing an unranked opponent.
K-State has a 7-1 (.875) as the AP's No. 25 team with five consecutive wins dating back to a win over Texas on Jan. 18, 2012.
K-State has a 2-0 record vs. TCU when ranked, including a 67-54 win in Fort Worth as the No. 16 team on Jan. 16, 2013.
SURGING IN DECEMBER
K-State heads into the month of January on a roll after posting a perfect 7-0 record in December. It marked the fifth perfect December in school history, following 1947 (9-0), 1993 (9-0), 1998 (6-0) and 2009 (7-0).
K-State is now 13-1 under head coach Bruce Weber in the month of December.
K-State has now won 35 consecutive home games in December dating back to 2004. The last home loss came to Rutgers (76-66) on Dec. 28, 2004. Overall, the team is 47-8 (.852) in December since 2006.
K-State wrapped up non-conference with a 10-3 record, posting eight consecutive wins and seven straight wins at home.
K-State totaled 10 wins in non-conference play for the eighth consecutive season in 2013 with a composite 81-18 record.
K-State has a 65-3 record at home in non-conference play dating back to 2006-07, including a 63-2 mark during the regular season. The squad has won 54 of its last 55 non-conference home games.
K-State was a stellar 13-1 in non-conference games in 2009-10, while the squad won 12 games each in 2008-09 and 2010-11, 11 games each in 2006-07, 2011-12 and 2012-13 and 10 in 2007-08 and 2013-14.
OKLAHOMA STATE POSTGAME NOTES
K-State extended its winning streak to a season-best 9 games with its win over Oklahoma State... The 9-game winning streak is the longest of the Bruce Weber era and is the longest since winning 10 in a row from Nov. 22, 2009 to Jan. 3, 2010.
K-State is now 51-50 all-time in conference openers, including 35-18 at home... The school is now 7-11 in openers in the Big 12 era, including 5-2 in those at home... The Wildcats have now won five of the last six Big 12 openers at home.
K-State is now 97-219 all-time against ranked teams in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, including 39-116 vs. Top 10 teams. The win was the first against the No. 6 team since defeating No. 6 Missouri, 73-69, on Feb. 29, 1992, snapping a nine-game skid.
K-State has now won 22 games against Top 10 opponents when unranked and the first since beating No. 3 Missouri, 78-68, on Feb. 12, 2012... It was the first at home when unranked since beating No. 1 Kansas, 84-68, on Feb. 14, 2011.
The win was the 12th over a Top 10 opponent at Bramlage Coliseum and the first since knocking off No. 7 Missouri, 75-59, on Jan. 7, 2012... K-State is now 12-24 all-time in Bramlage Coliseum against Top 10 teams.
K-State scored over 70 points for the fifth consecutive game and the second-most points this season with 74.
K-State out-rebounded Oklahoma State, 38-37, marking the 10th consecutive game the Wildcats have out-rebounded their opponent. The team is now 30-2 under head coach Bruce Weber when out-rebounding their opponent.
K-State forced George Washington into 14 turnovers, scoring 10 points off of those miscues... The team has scored double-digit points off of turnovers in 11 games, including eight in a row, and are averaging 13.0 points off turnovers this season.
The Wildcats shot a season-high 35 free throws and made a season-best 25 free throws.
Marcus Foster had a team-leading 17 points on 6-of-13 field goals, including a pair of 3-point field goals, with a season-high 8 rebounds... It marks his 12th double-digit scoring game of his career, including the 12th in the last 13 games.
Nino Williams joined Foster in double digits, posting a season-best 15 points on 4-of-7 field goals and 7-of-9 free throws.
Thomas Gipson recorded his sixth career double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Jevon Thomas scored a season-high 8 points on 4-of-10 field goals and dished out a game-high 5 assists... In three games since becoming eligible on Dec. 21, he has dished out 15 assists with just two turnovers.
WINNING WITH DEFENSE
K-State ranks among the Big 12 leaders in defense, placing first in scoring defense (58.8 ppg.) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (26.0). The team also ranks among the Top 10 in 3-point field goal percentage defense (9th) and scoring defense (7th).
The Wildcats have held 10 of the last 13 opponents to its season low in points, including to 60 or less on eight occasions. Eight opponents have been held below 40 percent shooting, while 12 have shot less than 30 percent from 3-point range.
If you take out the 90-point effort by Georgetown, the team is holding its 13 other opponents to 56.4 points per game on 37.7 percent shooting, including 24.8 percent from 3-point range, while forcing 14.6 turnovers per game.
During the team's current 9-game winning streak, K-State is holding its opponents to just 53.8 points on 36.9 percent shooting, including 25.2 percent from 3-point range, while posting a +8.3 rebounding margin (40.8-32.4).
George Washington was held to 22 points under its scoring average of 77.7 points per game on 47.7 percent shooting. The Colonials had scored 75 or more points in six of 12 games, including wins over Rutgers and Maryland.
K-State held Tulane to a season-low 41 points on 28.6 percent shooting (12-of-42). The Green Wave were held to just 10 points on 13 percent shooting (3-of-23) in the first half. The 41 points were just outside the Top 10 for the fewest by an opponent since the 1946-47 season, while the first half field goal percentage was the third-lowest in a half by an opponent.
K-State held Gonzaga to a season-low 62 points on 48 percent shooting (24-of-50), including 33.3 percent (7-of-21) from 3-point range. The Bulldogs came into the game ranking 11th in scoring offense (87.5 ppg.) and among the Top 5 nationally in field goal percentage (52.6), 3-point field goal percentage (44.4) and total 3-point field goals made (100).
K-State held Ole Miss to a season-low 58 points on 37.9 percent shooting, including 16.7 percent from 3-point range on Dec. 5, while reigning SEC scoring champion Marshall Henderson was held to just 13 points on 4-of-18 field goals.
Long Beach State's 38 points on Nov. 24 tied for the fifth-fewest by an opponent in K-State's modern era, which dates to the 1946-47 season. It was the fewest since Alabama-Huntsville scored 26 on Nov. 13, 2012.
K-State has held 24 opponents to 60 points or less under Bruce Weber with an impressive 22-2 record in those games.
K-State is averaging 67.9 points per game on 41.4 percent shooting, including 29.5 percent from 3-point range. Although the team ranks 10th in all three categories in the Big 12, the squad ranks fifth in assists (14.9 apg.) in the league.
K-State has an assist on a Big 12-best 63.7 percent (209 of 328) of its field goals this season. In fact, only two other Big 12 schools - Iowa State (63.0) and Baylor (61.5) - have an assist on 60 percent of its field goals.
K-State is averaging 69.6 points on 42.3 percent shooting, including 31.8 percent from beyond the arc, during its current 9-game winning streak. The team has an assist on 65.5 percent (146 of 223) of its field goals during its win streak.
In the last five games, K-State has assist on 69 percent (89 of 129) of its field goals, while averaging 72.4 points per game.
K-State is 23-1 under head coach Bruce Weber when scoring 70 or more points, including 8-0 this season.
REBOUNDING AS A TEAM
A big key for K-State during its 9-game winning streak has been its rebounding, where the team has held a +75 edge (367-292) on the glass. The Wildcats have 137 offensive rebounds (15.2 orpg.) and 124 second-chance points (13.8 ppg.) in that span.
With its relatively small team, Bruce Weber has emphasized team rebounding and the Wildcats have responded with at least four players posting at least 4 rebounds in 10 of 11 wins, including at least five players with 4+ rebounds in five games.
K-State is now 30-2 under Bruce Weber when out-rebounding its opponent, including 10-1 this season.
The Wildcats have out-rebounded 11 of 14 opponents this season, including a streak of 10 consecutive games.
K-State posted a season-high 52 rebounds vs. Central Arkansas (12/1), including 23 offensive boards. It was most rebounds since 54 vs. North Florida (11/18/2012) and the most offensive boards since 24 vs. George Washington (12/8/2012).
Five different Wildcats have led the team in rebounding, including seven times by Thomas Gipson, four by D.J. Johnson and twice by Wesley Iwundu and Shane Southwell. Gipson, Iwundu and Johnson have each tallied double-digit boards.
Gipson and Iwundu have both posted two double-doubles on the season with Gipson collecting six in his career.
The Wildcats leads the Big 12 in offensive rebounds at 14.2 per game, while two players - Gipson (5th - 2.6) and Johnson (7th - 2.3) - rank among the Top 15. Iwundu is just outside the Top 15 with 1.8 offensive rebounds per game.
SOUTHWELL CONTRIBUTING IN MANY WAYS
Senior Shane Southwell is finding ways to contribute in nearly every way, ranking first in assists (3.2 apg.) and blocks (1.0 bpg.), second in rebounding (4.9 rpg.), field goals (58) and steals (1.1 spg.) and third in scoring (11.1 ppg.).
Southwell has been the assist leader in five games, scoring leader three times and rebounding leader twice.
Seven times he has scored in double figures with a career-high 21 points vs. George Washington (12/31). It marked his first career 20-point game after tying his career-high of 19 three times, including vs. Central Arkansas (12/1) and Tulane (12/28).
Southwell has scored in double figures 7 times in the last 12 games, including 5 times in the last 8 outings.
Prior to being held to 6 points vs. Oklahoma State, Southwell was averaging 15 points in the previous 5 games and 17 points in the previous 3 games. His 40 points vs. Tulane and George Washington were the most for him in back-to-back games.
Southwell ranks in the Big 12's Top 15 in assists (10th), assist-to-turnover ratio (10th), steals (11th) and blocked shots (14th).
Southwell is one of 22 players in school history (along with Will Spradling) with 200 or more assists in a career, while he adds more than 500 points, 300 rebounds, 70 steals and 50 blocks in 108 career games.
GIPSON RETURNS TO FORM
Junior Thomas Gipson is starting to return to form after an injury sidelined him for the first two games. He is averaging 11.3 points on team-bests in field goal percentage (58.2) and rebounding (6.3 rpg.) since returning vs. LBSU (11/17).
Gipson ranks first in rebounding, second in scoring and blocked shots (7) and third in field goals (53) and free throws (30).
During the current 9-game winning streak, he is the leading rebounder (7.4 rpg.) and second-leading scorer (12.7 ppg.).
132 of his 136 points have been scored in the last nine games with team-highs of 18 points vs. Georgetown (11/22) and Long Beach State (11/24), 17 vs. Central Arkansas (12/1), 15 vs. Ole Miss (12/5), 13 vs. South Dakota (12/10), 14 vs. Gonzaga (12/21), 12 vs. George Washington (12/31) and 10 vs. Oklahoma State (1/4). He is shooting 60.5 percent from the field during this span.
Gipson has scored in double figures in 8 of the last 10 games, including a career-best stretch of 5 consecutive games.
Gipson earned his career sixth double-double vs. Oklahoma State (1/4) with a game-high 11 rebounds to go with 10 points. It was his second of the season after posting a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds vs. Long Beach State (11/24).
EXPERIENCE BIG FOR SPRADLING
Senior Will Spradling brings a great deal of experience to a youthful K-State team, having played in 115 games with 86 starts to go with 873 points, 271 assists and 100 steals. He ranks first on the team in minutes (29.4) and steals (17), second in 3-pointers (20) and assists (35) and fourth in scoring (7.2 ppg.) and field goals (29) and fifth in free throws (22).
Spradling already ranks in the school's Top 10 in seven career categories, including 6th in 3-point attempts (441), 7th in minutes (3,118), 3-pointers (153) and free throw percentage (80.8), 8th in assists (271), 9th in starts (86) and 10th in steals (100).
Spradling has chance to become the fourth Wildcat with 1,000 points, 250 assists and 100 steals, joining Steve Henson, Askia Jones and Jacob Pullen. He is 130 points short of 1,000 after posting above those totals in assists and steals.
FOSTER OFF TO STRONG START
Freshman Marcus Foster is off to strong start to his career, as he paces the Wildcats in scoring at 14 points per game on 38.9 percent shooting, including 34.5 percent from 3-point range. He also leads in field goals (65), 3-point field goals (29) and double-digit scoring games (12). He ranks among the Big 12's Top 15 in three categories, including 5th in 3-point field goals (2.1), 11th in 3-point field goal percentage and 14th in scoring. He is one of two Big 12 freshmen to rank in the Top 15 in scoring.
Foster was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week Jan. 6 after averaging 16 points in wins over George Washington and No. 6/6 Oklahoma State. He is the first K-State freshman to earn the weekly honor since Thomas Gipson on Dec. 12, 2012. n Foster has scored in double figures in 12 of the last 13 games, including a streak of 10 consecutive games from Nov. 13 to Dec. 21. The streak started in the second game vs. Oral Roberts (11/13) and included him leading the team in scoring seven times.
Foster scored a game-high 25 points vs. Oral Roberts (11/13), hitting on 9-of-12 field goals, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range. It was the most points by a freshman since Michael Beasley had 25 vs. Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals on March 14, 2008. He is the first freshman to post a 20-point game since teammate Thomas Gipson in 2011.
Foster has knocked down at least one 3-pointer in 13 straight games, including a season-best four on three occasions.
FRESHMEN A BIG PART
The freshmen trio of Marcus Foster, Wesley Iwundu and Nigel Johnson have combined to lead the Wildcats in scoring in the first four games, marking the first time a rookie has done that since Michael Beasley did it the first four games of 2007-08. n Overall, the freshmen have paced the team in scoring nine times in 14 games, including seven times by Foster. They have also led the team in rebounding and assists on five occasions. They have also combined for 17 double-digit scoring games.
Foster and Iwundu have started together in 13 of the last 14 games, while Johnson is averaging 16.1 minutes off the bench.
The freshmen accounted for 33 of the team's 72 points vs. Gonzaga (12/21) with Foster (35) and Iwundu (33) playing 30 or more minutes. The trio combined for 31 of the team's 61 points vs. Ole Miss (12/5) to go with 20 of the 43 rebounds and seven of the 12 assists, while combining to play 97 minutes. Foster (38) and Iwundu (37) played season-high in minutes vs. the Rebels.
Iwundu became just the third Wildcat true freshman (since they became eligible in 1971-72) to post a double-double in his first career game, posting team-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (10) in 20 minutes off the bench vs. Northern Colorado.
Iwundu registered his second double-double vs. Ole Miss (12/5) with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. He is one of seven players in the Big 12 this time with multiple double-doubles, including two freshmen (West Virginia's Devin Williams).
Johnson scored a team-high 14 points vs. Charlotte (11/21) to go with six rebounds and two steals. He collected his second double-digit scoring game with 13 points vs. Tulane (11/28) on 5-of-9 field goals, including a season-best three 3-pointers.
Three freshmen have accounted for 366 points (an average of 26.1 points per game) on 39.3 percent shooting (116-of-295) with 41 of the team's 80 3-pointers to go with 147 rebounds, 75 assists and 33 steals in a combined 961 minutes.
THOMAS MAKES QUITE THE DEBUT
Freshman Jevon Thomas made his debut vs. Tulane (12/28), leading the team in both assists (4) and steals (3) to go with two points and two rebounds in 19 minutes. He added a team-best 6 assists vs. George Washington (12/31).
Thomas signed as a mid-year enrollee on Feb. 27, 2013 and was granted an initial eligibility waiver by the NCAA. As part of his waiver he was not allowed to practice or play with the team until Dec. 21. Since that was the shootaround for the game with Gonzaga in Wichita, his first official practice was not until Dec. 25.
UP NEXT: AT 18/20 KANSAS (9-4, 0-0 Big 12)
Saturday, Jan. 11 >> Allen Fieldhouse (16,300) >> Lawrence, Kan. >> 1 p.m. CT >> ESPN