K-State Hosts TCU in Big 12 Home Opener Wednesday


Game 15
TCU (13-1, 0-1 Big 12)
at KANSAS STATE (7-7, 0-1 Big 12)
Wednesday, January 7, 2014 >> Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)  >> 8 p.m. CT

TELEVISION

ESPNews
Dave Armstrong (play-by-play)
Bryndon Manzer (analyst)
WatchESPN

RADIO
K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)
Satellite: Sirius 135/XM 199

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

TICKETS
kstatesports.com
(800) 221.CATS
$30 (bench), $45 (chairbacks)
Wildcat4Pack: $75 | $15 (12+group)

COACHES
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 367-183 (17th year)
at K-State: 54-28 (3rd year)
vs. TCU: 4-0

TCU: Trent Johnson (Boise State ‘83)
Overall: 259-229 (16th year)
at TCU: 33-44 (3rd year)
vs. K-State: 0-4

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (7-7, 0-1 Big 12)   
G – #23 Nigel Johnson (5.7 ppg., 2.4 apg.)
G – #14 Justin Edwards (6.1 ppg., 3.4 rpg.)
G – #25 Wesley Iwundu (4.8 ppg., 3.5 rpg.)   
F – #11 Nino Williams (11.3 ppg., 4.6 rpg.)
F – #42 Thomas Gipson (12 ppg., 4.5 rpg.)

TCU (13-1, 0-1 Big 12)
G - #5 Kyan Anderson (13.8 ppg., 4.1 apg.)
G - #32 Trey Zeigler (8.1 ppg., 4.0 rpg.)
F - #11 Brandon Parrish (7.1 ppg., 2.5 rpg.)
F - #33 Chris Washburn (7.4 ppg., 5.9 rpg.)
C - #14 Karviar Shepherd (7.4 ppg., 6.5 rpg.)

INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: K-State leads 7-2 (4-0 in Big 12 era)
In Manhattan: K-State leads 4-1 (W, 65-53, 2/19/2014)
In Fort Worth: K-State leads 3-0 (W, 65-47, 1/7/2014)
Last Meeting: K-State, 65-53, 2/19/2014 (Manhattan, Kan.)
Weber vs. TCU: 4-0 (2-0 at home)
Johnson vs. K-State: 0-4 (0-2 on the road)
Weber vs. Johnson: Weber leads 4-0 (2-0 at home)

LAST GAME SUMMARY
Oklahoma State 61, Kansas State 47
Game 14  *  Bramlage Coliseum  *  January 3, 2015
 
Junior Phil Forte III paced four players in double figures with a game-high 20 points to help Oklahoma State to a 61-47 win over K-State on Saturday before 11,185 at Gallagher-Iba Arena. With the Wildcats leading 35-32 with 17:34 to play, the Cowboys used a 15-0 run over a span of 3 minutes and 19 seconds to take control of the game. Forte had five points in the run, including a 3-pointer at the 14:51 mark to give OSU its first double-digit lead at 45-35. The lead ballooned to as many as 17 points late in the second half, as the Cowboys won for the 14th time in 15 meetings against the Wildcats in Stillwater. OSU connected on 52.4 percent (11-of-21) in the second half, while holding K-State to a season-low 18 points on 29.2 percent (7-of-24) shooting after halftime. K-State, which has lost three in a row, was led by senior Thomas Gipson (14) and junior Justin Edwards (11).

GAME 15 - QUICK HITTERS
•    K-State (7-7, 0-1 Big 12) opens the home portion of its Big 12 schedule on Wednesday, as the Wildcats host to TCU (13-1, 0-1 Big 12) at Bramlage Coliseum at 8 p.m. CT. The game will air on ESPNews with Dave Armstrong (play-by-play) and Byndon Manzer (analyst) on the call. 
•    K-State has won its last 5 of its last 7 Big 12 home openers, including 3 in a row dating back to 2012. The last loss in the first Big 12 home game of the season came in a 74-66 loss to Colorado on Jan. 12, 2011, which is also the last season in which the Wildcats started Big 12 play 0-2.
•    K-State leads the all-time series with TCU, 7-2, including 4-0 in the Big 12 era. The Wildcats swept the season series in 2013-14, winning 65-47 in Fort Worth on Jan. 7 and 65-53 at home on Feb. 19. The Horned Frogs’ last win in the series came on March 10, 1999 in the first round of the NIT by a score of 72-71 at Bramlage Coliseum.
•    K-State enters Wednesday’s game on a 3-game losing streak after a 61-47 loss at Oklahoma State on Saturday in Stillwater. The 3-game losing skid is the longest since dropping 4 in a row to end the 2013-14 season.
•    K-State is off to its worst start after 14 games since the 2001-02 season, in which, the Wildcats posted a 6-8 mark. The team has not been under .500 this late in the season since a loss to Missouri on Feb. 28, 2004.
•    K-State’s 7 wins in non-conference play were 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.
•    The Wildcats also enter Wednesday on a 2-game home losing streak after losing back-to-back games to Texas Southern (58-56) and Georgia (50-46). It marked the first back-to-back defeats at Bramlage Coliseum since Feb. 13 & 25, 2012 (Kansas & Iowa State). The squad has not lost 3 straight at home since a 3-game skid in February 2005.
•    K-State is averaging 66.8 points on 46.3 percent shooting, including 37.1 percent from 3-point range, with 13.9 assists per game. The squad ranks in the Top 35 nationally in FT attempted (22nd) and FT made (35th).
•    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 55.4 points on 38.3 percent shooting, including 27.3 percent from long range, in its 7 losses.
•    After allowing 71.8 points on 49.1 percent shooting in the first 6 games, the Wildcats have been much improved on defense in the last 8 games, allowing just 58 points on 43.5 percent shooting from the field.

THE OPPONENT: TCU (13-1)
•    TCU enters Wednesday’s game with a 13-1 record after dropping its first game of the season on Saturday at home to No. 17 West Virginia, 78-67... The Horned Frogs are off to their best start since going 9-0 to open the 1997-98 season... The squad is 10-1 at home this season and 1-0 on the road...The team’s lone road game came in a 66-54 win over Ole Miss on Dec. 4.
•    The Horned Frogs are averaging 74.6 points on 48.1 percent shooting, including 37.3 percent from 3-point range, on the season with 40.1 rebounds, 15.7 assists, 6.1 steals and 6.4 blocks per game... They are allowing opponent 55 points per game on 34.7 percent shooting, including 33.1 percent from beyond the arc... The team is shooting 62.9 percent from the free throw line.
•    TCU ranks 1st in the Big 12 in scoring defense and scoring margin (+19.6), while the squad is 2nd in field goal percentage, field goal percentage defense, 3-point field goal percentage, blocked shots and assists and 3rd in scoring offense.
•    TCU is one of the more balanced scoring teams in the Big 12, as seven players are averaging better than 7.1 points per game led by senior guard Kyan Anderson, who is averaging 13.8 points on 46 percent shooting... He is also averaging team-bests in field goals (57), 3-point field goals (25), assists (58), steals (20) and minutes (28.1)... Sophomore transfer Kenrich Williams is tops in rebounding at 6.6 per game, while connecting on 58.4 percent from the field... Sophomore Karviar Shepherd is second in rebounding (6.5 rpg.) and minutes (24.6) while averaging 7.4 points per game.
•    The roster includes 6 Division I or community college transfers, including senior Trey Zeigler (Pittsburgh), sophomore Chris Washburn (UTEP) and Williams (New Mexico Junior College) who became eligible this season.
•    Zeigler’s father, Ernie, was an assistant coach at K-State from 1999-2000 under former head coach Tom Asbury.
•    TCU returns 9 lettermen, including 4 starters, from a team that finished 9-22 in 2013-14.
•    TCU is led by third-year head coach Trent Johnson, who has a 33-44 record in his tenure... He has a 259-229 record in his 16th 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 0-4 all-time vs. Kansas State, including a 0-2 mark on the road.

BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
•    This will be the 10th meeting in the series with K-State leading, 7-2, since the first game on Dec. 11, 1947... The Wildcats are 4-1 in games played in Manhattan, including a 65-53 win in the last meeting on Feb. 19, 2014. 
•    K-State is 4-0 vs. TCU in the Big 12 era, including season sweeps in 2013 and 2014.
•    K-State has won the last 4 meetings by an average of 13 points, including just 11.5 points in the 2 games in Manhattan.
•    K-State averaged 65 points in the 2 meetings in 2014 on 46.8 percent shooting, including 40 percent from 3-point range, while holding TCU to 50 points on 35.4 percent shooting, including 13.8 percent from beyond the arc.
•    Senior Thomas Gipson averaged 17.5 points on 60 percent shooting in the 2 meetings with TCU last season with 9.5 rebounds, while sophomore Marcus Foster averaged 14.5 points and 4.5 assists per game.
•    Gipson is averaging 12.5 points on 67.9 percent shooting with 5.5 rebounds in 4 career games vs. TCU.

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 66.8 points on 46.3 percent shooting (310-of-670), including 37.1 percent (75-of-202) from 3-point range, to go with 14.4 assists per game... The team has an assist on 62.9 percent of their field goals.
•    K-State ranks in the Top 35 nationally in free throw attempts (363/22nd) and free throw makes (240/35th).
•    In the Big 12, the Wildcats rank 10th in scoring offense, 3rd in field goal percentage and 4th in 3-point field goal percentage.
•    K-State ranks 2nd in the Big 12 in free throws made per game (17.1) and 3rd in free throw attempts per game (25.9).
•    The team averages 27.3 points in the paint, 19.4 bench points, 16.0 points off of turnovers and 8.1 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 Wildcats are 1-7 when scoring less than 70 points this season and 20-21 overall under Bruce Weber.
•    K-State averaged 71.5 points on 48 percent shooting, including 40 percent from 3-point range, in starting the season with a 7-4 record, which included 6 games of at least 70 points and 4 games of more than 80 points.
•    During the team’s 3-game losing streak, the Wildcats are averaging just 49.7 points on 39.4 percent shooting, including 21.9 percent from long range, and have failed to reach the 60-point mark since the Texas A&M game.
•    It marked the first time that K-State has failed to reach the 60-point mark in 3 consecutive games since Jan. 11-18, 2006, in which, the Wildcats scored 42 vs. Nebraska (1/11/2006), 59 at Kansas (1/14/2006) and 58 vs. Texas A&M (1/18/2006)... The last time it happened in 4 consecutive games was Feb. 15-26, 1997 (58 vs. Iowa State, 57 at Colorado, 58 at Kansas, 58 vs. Baylor).
•    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 10th (Foster/13.0 ppg.), 14th (Gipson/12.0 ppg.) and 18th (Williams/11.3 ppg.)... Only Iowa State (with 4) has more players in the Top 20 in scoring, while 5 other schools have 2 players.
•    The trio have combined to lead the Wildcats in scoring in 13 of 14 games with 26 combined double-digit scoring games.
•    2 Wildcats rank in Big 12’s Top 15 in assists at 8th (Jevon Thomas/3.6 apg.) and 14th (Nigel Johnson/2.4 apg.).
•    Thomas and Johnson have led K-State in assists in 13 of 14 games and have a combined 83 assists and 37 steals.
•    Foster leads the Wildcats in 8 categories, including scoring (13.0 ppg.), field goals (60), field goals attempted (141), 3-point field goals (38), 3-point field goals attempted (86), double-digit scoring games (10), 20-point games (3) and minutes (28.4).
•    Foster also ranks in Big 12’s Top 15 in 3-point field goal percentage (45.2/3rd) and 3-point field goals per game (2.7/3rd).
•    Williams has scored in double figures in 8 of 12 games played, including 6 of the last 8 games... He ranks in the Big 12’s Top 15 in field goal percentage (53.3/4th) and free throw percentage (75.5/11th)... 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 75 3-pointers with 8 players collecting at least one trey... Foster leads the way with 38 triples (2nd-most in the Big 12) on 44.2 percent shooting, while freshman Tre Harris is connecting on a team-best 50.0 percent (10-of-20).

FREE POINTS
•    K-State has also taken advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, as the Wildcats rank 35th nationally in free throws made (240) and 35th in free throw attempts (363)... The team is shooting 66.1 percent from the charity stripe.
•    K-State averages 17.1 free throws (2nd) and 25.9 free throw attempts (3rd) per game, which both rank in the Big 12’s Top 3.
•    K-State is 7-3 this season when it has more free throw attempts than its opponent and 29-8 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.
•    Senior Thomas Gipson ranks in the Top 30 nationally in free throws made (72/24th) and attempted (96/28th).
•    2 Wildcats rank in the Big 12’s Top 15 in free throw percentage, including seniors Nino Williams (75.5/11th) and Thomas Gipson (75.0/12th)... Gipson ranks 2nd in makes (72) and attempts (96) to OSU’s Le’Bryan Nash (83-of-108) in the Big 12.

SECOND HALF SIZZLE
•    K-State is averaging 37.7 points in the 2nd half this season on 50.3 percent shooting (173-of-344), including 41.7 percent (43-of-103) from 3-point range... The Wildcats are out-scoring their opponents, 528-503, 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 14 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 Thomas Gipson (7.8 ppg. on 69%) and Marcus Foster (7.7 ppg. on 53.6%)... 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 42 percent shooting (137-of-326), including 32.3 percent (32-of-99) from beyond the arc... The squad is out-scoring their opponents, 407-392, in the opening half.
•    Marcus Foster leads all 1st half scorers at 5.3 points per game on just 31.9 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 55.4 points in its 7 losses on 38.3 percent shooting (131-of-342), including 27.3 percent (27-of-99) from 3-point range, while allowing 63.6 points on 46.8 percent shooting, including 34.6 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 7 losses (Gipson - 11.7 ppg., and Foster - 11.0 ppg.).
•    K-State is averaging 17.6 assists during its wins compared to just 10.3 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 7 losses with a combined 28 assists and 26 turnovers.

POINTS OFF OF TURNOVERS
•    K-State has taken advantage of its opponents’ mistakes, scoring 224 points off of 293 turnovers in the first 14 games.
•    The 224 points represents nearly one-quarter of the 935 points, as the team is averaging 16.0 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 63.9 points on 45.9 percent shooting, including 35.1 percent from 3-point range... The squad ranks 8th in the Big 12 in scoring defense and 10th in field goal percentage defense, 3-point field goal percentage defense, rebounding (31.4) and blocked shots (2.4).
•    Those numbers have improved in the past 8 games, where they are holding opponents to 58 points on 43.5 percent shooting, including 29.8 percent from 3-point range, while limiting them to 87 assists and 100 turnovers.

FOSTER CONTINUES WHERE HE LEFT OFF
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster leads the way in scoring at 13.0 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting (60-of-141), including 44.2 percent (38-of-86) 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 10th in scoring, 3rd in 3-point percentage and 3rd 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 (141), 3-point field goals (38), 3-point field goals attempted (86) and minutes (28.4).
•    In the NCAA, Foster ranks 28th in 3-point field goal percentage, 46th in 3-point field goals made (38), 60th in 3-point field goals made (2.7) and 108th in 3-point field goal attempts (86).
•    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 47 career games, including 11 20-point outings... He led in scoring 21 times.
•    Foster failed to scored in game for the 1st time in his career on Saturday at Oklahoma State.

SENIOR LEADER
•    Thomas Gipson has displayed that all important senior leadership, ranking 2nd in both scoring (12.0 ppg.) and rebounding (4.5 rpg.), while shooting a team-best 64.9 percent (48-of-74) from the field and 75 percent (72-of-96) 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 14th 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 (83) and attempted (108).
•    Gipson ranks in the Top 30 nationally in free throws made (72/24th) and free throws attempted (96/28th).
•    Gipson, who played in his 100th career game in the opener against Southern Utah, has scored in double figures in 16 of the last 23 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 5 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 3rd in scoring (11.3 ppg.) and 1st in rebounding (4.6 rpg.), has scored in double-digits in 8 of his first 12 games, including 6 of the last 8 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 ranks 1st in free throw percentage (75.5) and 2nd in field goals (49) and double-digit scoring games (8).

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 83 assists (to 49 turnovers) and 37 steals to go with 169 points on 42 percent shooting.
•    Thomas is 1st in assists (50), 3rd in steals (18) and minutes (25.8), while Johnson is 2nd in steals (19) and assists (33).
•    Thomas ranks in the Big 12’s Top 15 in 2 categories, including 8th in assists (3.6 apg.) and 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4), while Johnson is in the Top 15 in both steals (14th/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.