K-State Travels to 16/18 Oklahoma on Saturday
K-State Travels to 16/18 Oklahoma on Saturday
KANSAS STATE (8-7, 1-1 Big 12)
at 16/18 OKLAHOMA (11-3, 2-0 Big 12)
Saturday, January 10, 2015 >> Lloyd Noble Center (11,562) >> 6 p.m. CT
Doug Bell (play-by-play)
Rich Zvosec (analyst)
K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)
Satellite: Sirius 84/XM 84
Stats - http://bit.ly/1yqDy3x
Audio - http://bit.ly/15rNnVB
$10-$30 | $5 (youth)
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 368-183 (17th year)
at K-State: 55-28 (3rd year)
vs. Oklahoma: 3-1
Oklahoma: Lon Kruger (Kansas State ‘75)
Overall: 548-345 (28th year)
at Oklahoma: 69-41 (4th year)
vs. K-State: 5-4
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (8-7, 1-1 Big 12)
G – #1 Jevon Thomas (6.3 ppg., 3.6 apg.)
G – #2 Marcus Foster (13.7 ppg., 2.0 rpg.)
G – #25 Wesley Iwundu (5.1 ppg., 3.4 rpg.)
F – #11 Nino Williams (11.1 ppg., 4.9 rpg.)
F – #42 Thomas Gipson (11.7 ppg., 4.7 rpg.)
16/18 Oklahoma (11-3, 2-0 Big 12)
G - #10 Jordan Woodard (8.3 ppg., 4.9 apg.)
G - #11 Isaiah Cousins (13.4 ppg., 6.4 rpg.)
G - #24 Buddy Hield (15.8 ppg., 5.5 rpg.)
F - #00 Ryan Spangler (9.4 ppg., 8.1 rpg.)
F - #35 Tashawn Thomas (11.8 ppg., 5.8 rpg.)
INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: Oklahoma leads 105-94 (13-9 in Big 12 era)
In Manhattan: K-State leads 57-36 (W, 72-66, 1/14/2014)
In Norman: Oklahoma leads 60-26 (L, 86-73, 2/22/2014)
Last Meeting: Oklahoma, 86-73, 2/22/2014 (Norman, Okla.)
Weber vs. Oklahoma: 3-1 (1-1 on the road)
Kruger vs. K-State: 5-4 (3-1 at home)
Weber vs. Kruger: Weber leads 4-1 (1-1 on the road)
LAST GAME SUMMARY
Kansas State 58, TCU 53
Game 15 * Bramlage Coliseum * January 7, 2015
Sophomore Marcus Foster came off the bench to score a game-high 23 points, as K-State snapped a 3-game losing streak with a 58-53 win over TCU on Wednesday at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats are now 5-0 vs. the Horned Frogs since they joined the Big 12. K-State has now won 6 of its last 8 Big 12 home openers, including 4 in a row. Foster, who went scoreless for the first time in his career at Oklahoma State, posted his 12th career 20-point game and his fourth this season. Ten of his 23 points came from the free throw, as he became the first Wildcat since Will Spradling in nearly 2 seasons to attempt and make 10 or more free throws. He set career highs for makes (10) and attempts (12) in the contest. Fellow sophomore Wesley Iwundu added 9 points and 3 assists, while senior Nino Williams chipped in a game-high 9 rebounds to go with 8 points.
GAME 16 - QUICK HITTERS
• K-State (8-7, 1-1 Big 12) hits the road for Norman, Okla., on Saturday, as the Wildcats play No. 16/18 Oklahoma (11-3, 2-0 Big 12) at the Lloyd Noble Center at 6 p.m. CT. The game will air nationally on ESPNU with Doug Bell (play-by-play) and Rich Zvosec (analyst) on the call.
• The 2 schools share a number of connections, including K-State alums in Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger (1975), assistant Steve Henson (1990) and director of operations Mike Shepherd (1992).
• Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger has a long history with K-State as both a player and coach, twice earning Big Eight Player of the Year honors (1973 & 1974) during his playing career from 1971-74 before serving as an assistant coach from 1977-82 and head coach from 1986-90.
• K-State and Oklahoma will play for the 200th time on Saturday with the Sooners holding a 105-94 advantage in the all-time series. It is the 5th-most played rivalry in school history, following Kansas (279), Missouri (235), Nebraska (219) and Iowa State (218), and dates back to 1920.
• The Sooners hold a 60-26 lead in games played in Norman, including a 7-3 mark in the Big 12 era. However, the Wildcats have won 3 of the last 5 meetings at the Lloyd Noble Center, including wins in 2008, 2010 and 2013.
• K-State snapped a 3-game losing streak in Wednesday’s 58-53 victory over TCU, while also snapping a 2-game skid at home. The 3-game skid was the longest since dropping 4 in a row to end the 2013-14 season.
• K-State is off to its worst start after 15 games since the 2001-02 season, in which, the Wildcats posted a 7-8 mark. The team has not been under .500 this late in the season since a loss to Missouri on Feb. 28, 2004.
• K-State is averaging 66.2 points on 45.8 percent shooting, including 37.3 percent from 3-point range, with 13.6 assists per game. The squad ranks in the Top 25 nationally in FT attempted (17th) and FT made (21st).
• K-State has held 8 straight opponents to 65 points or less, which ties for the longest such stretch under Bruce Weber. The team also held 8 consecutive foes to below 65 points from Nov. 24 to Dec. 31, 2013.
• 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 9 games, allowing just 57.4 points on 43.2 percent shooting from the field.
• K-State is averaging 75.6 points on 52.7 percent shooting, including 46.0 percent from 3-point range, in its 8 wins and 55.4 points on 38.3 percent shooting, including 27.3 percent from long range, in its 7 losses.
THE OPPONENT: OKLAHOMA (11-3, 2-0 Big 12)
• Oklahoma enters Saturday’s game with an 11-3 record after winning its 4th in a row with a 70-49 victory at No. 10/10 Texas on Monday night... The Sooners have won 7 of their last 8 games with 2 of their 3 losses coming to nationally-ranked squads from Wisconsin and Washington... The squad is also a perfect 7-0 at home this season.
• The Sooners are averaging 73.6 points on 44.3 percent shooting, including 33.6 percent from 3-point range, on the season with 40.5 rebounds, 13.1 assists, 7.1 steals and 4.9 blocks per game... They are allowing opponent 58.9 points per game on 35.6 percent shooting, including 28 percent from beyond the arc... The team is shooting 74.1 percent from the free throw line.
• Oklahoma ranks 1st in free throw percentage and defensive rebounds (29.9), 2nd in 3-point field goal percentage, 3rd in scoring offense, field goal percentage defense, rebounding and 3-point field goals per game (6.9) in the Big 12.
• Oklahoma has 5 players averaging 8 or more points this season, including 3 scoring in double figures (Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins and TaShawn Thomas)... Hield ranks 4th in the Big 12 with a 15.8 points per game average on 40.5 percent shooting to go with 5.5 rebounds per game... He is 2nd in the league in 3-point field goals (39) to K-State’s Marcus Foster (41)... Cousins is averaging 13.4 points on 46.9 percent shooting to go with 6.4 rebounds, while Thomas has made an immediate impact with averages of 11.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game... Junior Ryan Spangler paces the squad rebounding (8.1 rpg.) and field goal percentage (57.8), while sophomore Jordan Woodard ranks 2nd in the Big 12 in assists (4.9 apg.).
• Oklahoma returns 11 lettermen, including 4 starters, from a team that finished 23-10 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
• Oklahoma is led by 4th-year head coach Lon Kruger, who has a 69-41 record in his tenure... He has a 548-345 record in his 29th season as a head coach, which includes stints at Pan American (1982-86), Kansas State (1986-90), Florida (1991-96), Illinois (1996-2000), UNLV (2004-11) and now Oklahoma... He is the only coach to take 5 different teams to the NCAA Tournament.
BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
• This will be the 200th meeting between the two schools with Oklahoma leading the series, 105-94... The schools have met at least once every season since 1927, while the series dates to 1920... It is the 5th-most played rivalry in school history.
• Oklahoma is 1 of only 2 Big 12 schools (Kansas) to hold a series advantage over K-State.
• Oklahoma holds a 14-9 mark in the Big 12 era, including a 13-9 mark in the regular season.
• Oklahoma owns a 60-26 record at home against K-State... Since losing 5 straight, the Wildcats have won 3 of last 5 in Norman.
• K-State has won 7 of the last 11 meetings vs. Oklahoma since dropping 8 in a row from 2000-06... The schools split 2 meetings in 2014 with K-State winning 72-66 in Manhattan on Jan. 14 and Oklahoma winning 86-73 in Norman on Feb. 22.
• Lon Kruger is 5-4 all-time vs. Kansas State, including a 3-1 mark in home games.
• Sophomore Marcus Foster has averaged 19.5 points on 51.9 percent shooting in 2 meetings with Oklahoma, while sophomore Wesley Iwundu has averaged 9.5 points on 63.6 percent shooting vs. the Sooners.
• Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger has a long history with Kansas State as a player (1971-74), assistant coach (1977-82) and head coach (1986-90)... He was a two-time Big Eight Player of the Year (1973 and 1974) and is a member of the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. He had his jersey retired in 2006... He served as an assistant to his college coach, Jack Hartman, before succeeding him in 1986 and became the first head coach to lead the Wildcats to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
• Kruger is not the only Oklahoma staffer with Kansas State connections as assistant coach Steve Henson was a four-year player for the Wildcats from 1986-90 and director of operations Mike Shepherd is a former student manager for K-State and a 1992 graduate... Henson, who was inducted into the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012, is the school’s all-time leader in assists (582), free throw percentage (90.0) and minutes played (4,474) and played a school-record 127 consecutive games.
TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
• Kansas State is averaging 66.2 points on 45.8 percent shooting (326-of-712), including 37.3 percent (79-of-212) from 3-point range, to go with 13.6 assists per game... The team has an assist on 62.6 percent of their field goals.
• K-State ranks in the Top 25 nationally in free throw attempts (392/17th) and free throw makes (262/21st).
• 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 free throws made per game (17.5) and 3rd in free throw attempts per game (26.1).
• The team averages 27.1 points in the paint, 19.9 bench points, 15.9 points off of turnovers and 8.0 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 15 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 2-7 when scoring less than 70 points this season and 21-21 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 last 4 games, the Wildcats are averaging just 51.8 points on 39.1 percent shooting, including 26.2 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 4 consecutive games since Feb. 15-26, 1997, in which, the Wildcats scored 58 vs. Iowa State (2/15/97), 57 at Colorado (2/19/97), 58 at Kansas (2/22/97), 58 vs. Baylor (2/26/97)... The last time it happened in 5 consecutive games was Dec. 4-22, 1982 when it was done in 6 straight.
• 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 6th (Foster/13.7 ppg.), 17th (Gipson/11.7 ppg.) and 20th (Williams/11.1 ppg.).
• The trio have combined to lead the Wildcats in scoring in 14 of 15 games with 27 combined double-digit scoring games... They have also combined to score 524 of the 993 points this season while shooting 50.5 percent (168-of-333).
• 2 Wildcats rank in Big 12’s Top 15 in assists at 8th (Jevon Thomas/3.6 apg.) and 14th (Nigel Johnson/2.2 apg.).
• Thomas and Johnson have led K-State in assists in 14 of 15 games and have a combined 87 assists and 38 steals.
• Foster leads the Wildcats in 8 categories, including scoring (13.7 ppg.), field goals (65), field goals attempted (152), 3-point field goals (41), 3-point field goals attempted (92), double-digit scoring games (11), 20-point games (4) and minutes (28.5).
• Foster also ranks in Big 12’s Top 10 in 3-point field goal percentage (44.6/3rd) and 3-point field goals per game (2.7/3rd).
• Williams has scored in double figures in 8 of 13 games played, including 6 of the last 9 games... He ranks in the Big 12’s Top 10 in field goal percentage (51.5/4th) and free throw percentage (76.5/8th)... Prior to the Georgia game, he was averaging 15.2 points on 63.3 percent shooting with 6.3 rebounds per game in the previous 6 games.
• K-State has tallied 79 3-pointers with 8 players collecting at least one trey... Foster leads the way with 41 triples (most in the Big 12) on 44.6 percent shooting, while freshman Tre Harris is connecting on a team-best 50.0 percent (10-of-20).
• K-State has also taken advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, as the Wildcats rank 21st nationally in free throws made (262) and 17th in free throw attempts (392)... The team is shooting 66.8 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 8-3 this season when it has more free throw attempts than its opponent and 30-8 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 40 nationally in free throws made (73/33rd) and attempted (98/38th).
• 2 Wildcats rank in the Big 12’s Top 15 in free throw percentage, including seniors Nino Williams (76.5/8th) and Thomas Gipson (74.5/11th)... Gipson ranks 2nd in makes (73) and attempts (98) to OSU’s Le’Bryan Nash (85-of-112) in the Big 12.
SECOND HALF SIZZLE
• K-State is averaging 37.6 points in the 2nd half this season on 49.6 percent shooting (182-of-367), including 42.1 percent (45-of-107) from 3-point range... The Wildcats are out-scoring their opponents, 564-537, 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 42.5 points on 57.1 percent shooting in the 2nd half of its 8 wins this season.
• K-State has connected on a higher percentage in the 2nd half in 11 of 15 games played, including 7 of 8 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.
• 5 players are averaging 3.0 points or better in the 2nd half led by Marcus Foster (8.3 ppg. on 52%) and Thomas Gipson (7.7 ppg. on 68.1%)... 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 28.6 points in the 1st half this season on 41.7 percent shooting (144-of-345), including 32.4 percent (34-of-105) from beyond the arc... The squad is out-scoring their opponents, 429-411, in the opening half.
• Marcus Foster leads all 1st half scorers at 5.4 points per game on just 33.8 percent shooting.
• K-State is averaging 75.6 points in its 8 wins on 52.7 percent shooting (195-of-370), including 46 percent (52-of-113) from 3-point range, while allowing opponents 62.9 points on 44.6 percent shooting, including 33.9 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 8 wins, including Marcus Foster (16.0 ppg./51.3 FG%), Nino Williams (14.7 ppg./56.6 FG%) and Thomas Gipson (11.6 ppg./68.3 FG%), while 3 others (Stephen Hurt, Nigel Johnson, Justin Edwards) are averaging 7+ points... In all, 5 of the 6 players are shooting better than 50 percent in those 8 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 16.5 assists during its wins compared to just 10.3 assists in its losses.
• Point guards Jevon Thomas and Nigel Johnson have compiled a 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio in the 8 wins, which includes a combined 59 assists to 24 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 239 points off of 307 turnovers in the first 15 games.
• The 239 points represents nearly one-quarter of the 993 points, as the team is averaging 15.9 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.
• 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).
• 36 opponents have been held to 60 points or less in Weber’s 2 seasons as head coach with the Wildcats boasting a 31-5 mark in those contests (losses to Kansas in 2012, Northern Colorado & Kentucky in 2013 and Texas Southern and Georgia in 2014).
• 16 Big 12 opponents have been held to 60 points or less (14 in regular-season Big 12 play) with the Wildcats posting a 15-1 record in those matchups, including a 13-1 mark in Big 12 play (only loss to Kansas in 2012).
• K-State has had a difficult start defensively to start the season, allowing 63.2 points on 45.6 percent shooting, including 34.2 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 (31.5) and blocked shots (2.3).
• Those numbers have improved in the past 9 games, where they are holding opponents to 57.4 points on 43.2 percent shooting, including 28.6 percent from 3-point range, while limiting them to 97 assists and 114 turnovers.
FOSTER CONTINUES WHERE HE LEFT OFF
• Sophomore Marcus Foster leads the way in scoring at 13.7 points per game on 42.8 percent shooting (65-of-152), including 44.6 percent (41-of-92) from 3-point range... He has scored in double figures in a team-best 11 games, including 20-point games vs. Purdue (24), No. 3/4 Arizona (23), Tennessee (23) and TCU (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 6th 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 (11), 20-point games (4), field goals (65), field goals attempted (152), 3-point field goals (41), 3-point field goals attempted (92) and minutes (28.5).
• In the NCAA, Foster ranks 27th in 3-point field goal percentage, 36th in 3-point field goals made (41), 54th in 3-point field goals made (2.7) and 98th in 3-point field goal attempts (92).
• 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 120 3-pointers his K-State career, which ranks 10th on the school’s all-time list.
• Foster has scored in double figures in 38 of his 48 career games, including 12 20-point outings... He led in scoring 22 times.
• Foster failed to scored in game for the 1st time in his career at Oklahoma State (1/3/2015).
• Thomas Gipson has displayed that all important senior leadership, ranking 2nd in both scoring (11.7 ppg.) and rebounding (4.7 rpg.), while shooting a team-best 63.8 percent (51-of-80) from the field and 74.5 percent (73-of-98) 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 11th in free throw percentage.
• In the Big 12, only Oklahoma State’s Le’Bryan Nash has more free throws made (85) and attempted (112).
• Gipson ranks in the Top 40 nationally in free throws made (73/33rd) and free throws attempted (98/38th).
• Gipson, who played in his 100th career game in the opener against Southern Utah, has scored in double figures in 16 of the last 24 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 points.
• 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 54.0 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 (11.1 ppg.) and 1st in rebounding (4.9 rpg.), has scored in double-digits in 8 of his first 13 games, including 6 of the last 9 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 previous 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 (76.5) and 2nd in field goals (52) 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 87 assists (to 50 turnovers) and 38 steals to go with 174 points on 42.2 percent shooting.
• Thomas is 1st in assists (54), 3rd in steals (19) and minutes (26.1), 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 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5), while Johnson is in the Top 15 in both steals (14th/1.3) and assists (14th/2.2).
• The duo is even more impressive in the 8 wins, combining for 59 assists to 24 turnovers (2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio), as Johnson is averaging 7.0 points on 50 percent shooting and Thomas is averaging 6.8 points on 45.5 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.