K-State starts Big 12 play at Oklahoma Saturday

game information
kansas state at rv/rv oklahoma

Saturday, January 12, 2008
Tipoff: 5:05 p.m. CT
Location: Norman, Okla.
Arena: Lloyd Noble Center (1975)
Capacity: 12,000

Series: Oklahoma leads 101-88
(OU is 59-23 at home in the series)

Television: ESPN Plus/Big 12 Television   
Bob Carpenter (play-by-play)
Paul Splittorff (analyst)
Doc Carothers (producer)

Channels: Kansas City (Metro), Topeka (KSNT), Wichita (KSAS)
Coordinates: Galaxy 11, Transponder 24 K Lower, D/L Freq 12171V

Radio: K-State Sports Network;
Powercat Passport Internet Audio;   
Yahoo! Internet Radio,
Sirius Satellite 143
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)

Tickets: Tickets are available by calling (800) 456.4668.

kansas state wildcats
Record: 10-4 (0-0 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): nr/nr
Coach: Frank Martin
Alma Mater: Florida International, 93
Career Record: 10-4/1
School Record: 10-4/1
vs. Oklahoma: First meeting
06-07 Record: 23-12 (10-6 Big 12)
Last game: Jan. 7, 2008
defeated Savannah State, 85-25
SID: Tom Gilbert
Website: www.k-statesports.com

oklahoma sooners
Record: 12-3 (0-0 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): rv/rv
Coach: Jeff Capel
Alma Mater: Duke, 97
Career Record: 107-59/6
School Record: 28-18/2
vs. Kansas State: 0-1
06-07 Record: 16-15 (6-10 Big 12)
Last game: Jan. 7, 2008
defeated Mount St. Mary’s, 81-57
SID: Mike Houck
Website: www.SoonerSports.com 

projected starters
Kansas State (10-4)
G - #2 Blake Young (6.6 ppg., 2.9 rpg.)
G - #5 Clent Stewart (8.0 ppg., 3.5 rpg.)
F - #4 Andre Gilbert (5.2 ppg., 3.2 rpg.)
F - #12 Bill Walker (15.3 ppg., 6.9 rpg.)
F - #30 Michael Beasley (24.3 ppg., 13.3 rpg.)

Oklahoma (12-3)
G - #5 Tony Crocker (11.4 ppg., 4.8 rpg.)
G - #15 David Godbold (6.5 ppg., 3.2 rpg.)
G - #20 Austin Johnson (9.1 ppg., 2.9 rpg.)
F - #23 Blake Griffin (14.7 ppg., 8.8 rpg.)
F - #30 Longar Longar (12.7 ppg., 6.1 rpg.)

game preview
Kansas State (10-4) opens up the Big 12 portion of its schedule on Saturday afternoon, as the Wildcats travel to Norman, Okla., to face surging Oklahoma (12-3) at the Lloyd Noble Center at 5 p.m. CT.  It will mark the seventh time in the last eight seasons that the team has started Big 12 play on the road, including the fifth straight season.  It will also represent the squad’s first true road contest of the year.

Saturday’s contest will be televised regionally on the Big 12 Network via ESPN Plus (Metro Sports - Kansas City; KSNT - Topeka; KSAS - Wichita) with Bob Carpenter (play-by-play) and Paul Splittorff (analyst) calling the action.  The game is also available nationally on the ESPN Full Court package.  It will the first of six appearances on the network and one of a school-record 29 televised contests. 

The game will be broadcast on the 31-station K-State Sports Network (Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio) with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) behind the mikes.  Fans can also listen to the game on Sirius Satellite 143 with the broadcast team from Oklahoma. 

The program boasts a 48-45 record in conference openers since the formation of the Missouri Valley Conference in 1913, including a 16-29 mark when opening league play on the road.  The squad is 4-7 in league openers since the inception of the Big 12, including a 1-5 mark in road tilts. 

It will mark the first time K-State has opened conference play with Oklahoma since the 1987-88 season and the first time it has done it in Norman since the 1973-74 season.  The Wildcats are 5-7 against the Sooners in league lifters, including an 0-4 mark in games played on the road.  The team has not won a Big 12 opener on the road since winning 53-48 at Texas A&M on Jan. 6, 2001.     

Kansas State is coming off a historic defensive effort in its 85-25 win over Savannah State on Monday.  The squad helped the Tigers set or tie three NCAA records since the introduction of the shot clock in 1986, including lowest field goal percentage in a half (4.3 percent; 1-of-23), fewest points in a half (4) and fewest field goals in half (1). 

The victory also gave the Wildcats’ 10 non-conference wins for the 18th time since the 1972-73 season and for the third time in the last four seasons.  The team has won 38 of its last 50 games against non-conference foes, including a stellar 31-2 mark at home.   

the book on kansas state
After allowing 100 points for the first time since 2002, the Wildcats served up a historic defensive effort in the win over Savannah State.  The 25 points were the fewest allowed by a K-State team in the shot clock era and the fewest since Missouri scored just 14 on March 4, 1944.  The Wildcats set eight Bramlage Coliseum marks for fewest points (25), fewest points in a half (4), fewest field goals made (9), fewest field goals made in a half (1), lowest field goal percentage (15.5 percent), lowest field goal percentage in a half (4.3 percent) and fewest assists (4).  The 60-point margin of victory ranked as the second highest in school history and one point short of the record set in a 115-54 win over Delaware State on Dec. 7, 1991.
 
The team also continued their strong play offensively, topping the 75-point barrier for the 12th time this season, which already has eclipsed the season totals of the past eight seasons, including the 10 recorded by the 2006-07 squad.  It also marked the sixth straight game that the Wildcats have scored 75 or more points, which hasn’t happened since the 1976-77 team did it seven consecutive games to start the season.

Four Wildcats scored in double figures for the fourth time this season led by freshman phenom Michael Beasley, who recorded his 13th double-double and his 10th 20-point contest with team-highs of 25 points and 10 rebounds.  Fellow freshmen Dominique Sutton and Bill Walker each added 12 points, while rookie Fred Brown continued his strong play of late with 10 points.  

The team is averaging 81.2 points on 44.1 percent shooting with 45.1 rebounds, 17.3 assists, 8.3 steals and 4.6 blocks per game, while holding their foes to 67.0 points on 38.8 percent shooting.  A pair of Wildcats are averaging in double figures led by Michael Beasley, who ranks fifth nationally in scoring at 24.3 points per game.

Beasley, who paces the nation in rebounding at 13.3 per game, is shooting 56.0 percent from the field, including 35.3 percent from 3-point range to go with 2.0 blocks, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 30.1 minutes per game.  He has registered a double-double in 13 of 14 games and has posted 30 or more points on five occasions.  Beasley leads the team in 10 categories, including scoring, field goals (126), free throws (76), rebounds, blocks and minutes.  His 13 double-doubles tie Cedric Price (1961), Jack Parr (1956) and Ed Nealy (1981) for sixth place for double-doubles in a single-season.

The team’s hottest player since moving back to the interior six games ago, Bill Walker ranks second to Beasley in numerous categories, including scoring (15.3 ppg.), rebounding (6.9 rpg.), field goals (61), field goal attempts (139), blocks (12), double-digit scoring (nine), and double-doubles (three).  He has now scored in double figures in 13 of 18 career games, including nine of 12 games this season. 

Jacob Pullen and Clent Stewart have also continued to play well for the Wildcats.  Pullen, who started the team’s first nine games at point guard, is first on the team in assists (3.4 apg.) and steals (1.4 spg.) and third in scoring (9.6 ppg.).  The team’s most experienced player with 104 appearances and 78 starts, Stewart has scored in double figures in six of the last eight games.  He ranks second in minutes (27.7 mpg.) and assists (3.2 apg.), while he is fourth in scoring (8.0 ppg.), rebounding (3.5 rpg.) and steals (1.2 spg.).

turning up the offense
Since posting a season-low 59 points against Notre Dame on Dec. 4, Kansas State has turned up its offense in the last six games.  The squad is averaging 87.0 points on 46.2 percent shooting (174-of-377), including 35.0 percent from 3-point range (41-of-117), during that span after averaging 76.9 points on 42.6 percent shooting, including 25.9 from beyond the arc, in the first eight contests.  Most notably, the team is taken better advantage of its opportunites from the free throw line, converting on 71.5 percent (133-of-186) in the last five games compared to 63.6 percent (119-of-187) in first eight.

turning up the offense, part 2
Kansas State has scored 75 or more points in six consecutive games for the first time since the 1976-77 squad opened the season with seven such contests.  The team has already topped the 80-point mark in seven contests, which is one short of the entire total from the 2006-07 season.  It also equals or surpasses the season totals from the previous eight seasons (1998-99 to 2005-06).  The team recorded 90 or more points in consecutive games against Winston-Salem State and Wagner for the first time in over 10 years doing it against Coastal Carolina and Wichita State on Dec. 6 and 10, 1997.

The Wildcats have scored at least 75 points in 12 of its 14 games this season.  The 12 games of at least 75 points equals or surpasses the entire total from the past nine seasons, including the 10 in 2006-07.  The last time the school had more than 12 games of 75 or more points was the 1997-98 season, which produced 14 such contests.   
  
the book on oklahoma (12-3)
Oklahoma (12-3) enters Saturday’s game riding a five-game winning streak after capping its non-conference slate with a decisive 81-57 win over Mount Saint Mary’s on Monday.  The Sooners connected 53.2 percent from the field, including 56.5 percent in the second half, to eclipse the 80-point barrier for the seventh time this year. 

Freshman phenom Blake Griffin led three players in double figures with a career-high 26 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go with seven rebounds, while senior Longar Longar added 11.  The 12 wins during non-league play are the most since the 1999-2000 season.

Oklahoma is averaging 74.6 points on 47.9 percent shooting, including 37.6 percent from 3-point range, with 37.3 rebounds, 15.3 assists, 7.5 steals and 4.2 blocks per game.  The team is holding opponents to 60.3 points per game on 37.9 percent shooting from the field.  Another star freshman, Griffin paces the squad in both scoring (14.7 ppg.) and rebounding (8.8 rpg.), while also leading in field goal percentage (58.9) and steals (1.3 spg.).  Longar is second in scoring (12.7 ppg.) and rebounding (6.1 rpg.), while senior Tony Crocker
averages 11.4 points to go with a team high 29 3-point field goals.

The team is led by second-year head coach Jeff Capel, who has a 107-59 record in six years overall as a head coach and a 28-18 mark in two seasons at Oklahoma.  He spent four years as the head coach at Virginia Commonwealth (2002-06).  Capel was a four-year starter under the legendary Mike Krzyzewski at Duke from 1994-97, where he led the Blue Devils to the 1994 NCAA title game.  

series vs. oklahoma
This will be the 190th all-time meeting between Kansas State and Oklahoma in a series that dates back to 1920.  It is the fifth-longest series in school history behind Kansas (262), Missouri (225), Nebraska (212) and Iowa State (203). 

The Sooners hold a 101-88 advantage in the all-time series, including a 59-23 edge in games played in Norman, Okla.  A series once led by K-State, Oklahoma has now won 36 of the last 52 meetings since 1978, including wins in nine of the last 12 meetings since the start of the Big 12 in 1997.  The Wildcats have not beaten the Sooners at the Lloyd Noble Center since a 75-60 win on Jan. 20, 1996 (a span of five straight losses).  However, the games have been tight between the two squads with a margin of victory of just 6.4 points in the last eight meetings, including four games decided by two points or less.  

last season vs. oklahoma
Senior Cartier Martin celebrated his final regular-season game in Bramlage Coliseum with a career-high 30 points and Kansas State ended an eight-game losing streak to Oklahoma with a 72-61 win.  Junior David Hoskins and senior Lance Harris added 14 and 10 points each for K-State, which sweed up a fourth-place league finish with the win to receive its first-ever Big 12 Tournament bye.

After dropping four in a row at home to the Sooners by two points or less, Kansas State ran out to a 19-point halftime lead and maintained its double-digit edge for most of the final 20 minutes.  The Wildcats connected on 53.2 percent from the field, including 57.9 percent in the second half, and 58.3 percent from 3-point range.

savannah state postgame notes
K-State defense posted a historic effort, helping the Tigers set or tie three NCAA records since the introduction of the shot clock in 1986, including lowest field goal percentage in a half (4.3 percent; 1-of-23), fewest points in a half (4) and fewest field goals in half (1).

K-State picked up its first victory while wearing its black jerseys... It also marked the first time the Wildcats wore black uniforms at home... The team was 0-4 prior to the game in the uniform, which were introduced prior to last season... The squad wore the jerseys at Colorado State (12/2/06), Xavier (1/3/07), Kansas in Big 12 Championship (3/10/07) and against Notre Dame (12/4/07) in the Jimmy V Classic.

K-State connected on a season-best 50.9 percent (28-of-55) from the field... It marked the first time since the Oklahoma game on March 3, 2007 that the team connected on 50 percent or better from the field.

K-State grabbed 50 or more rebounds for the fourth time this year, including third time in the last four games.

non-conference success
The win against Savannah State gave K-State 10 non-conference wins for the third time in the last four seasons and for the second consecutive year.  The squad hadn’t won 10 or more non-conference games in consecutive seasons since the 1992-93 (10-2) and 1993-94 (13-1).  The team has won at least eight non-conference games in 23 of the last 27 seasons, including each of the last six seasons.   

The Wildcats have now won 38 of their last 50 games against non-conference foes, including a remarkable 31-2 mark at home.  The team’s loss to Oregon on Nov. 29 was the team’s first to a home non-conference home opponent since 2004.

not close
Kansas State’s 10 wins this season have come by average of 24.7 points, including four games decided by 30 or more points.  The team nearly set the school record for widest margin of victory with its 85-25 win over Savannah State, which was one point shy of the 115-54 win over Delaware State on Dec. 7, 1991.  Only two wins have come by single-digits, including a 73-71 overtime win over UCF at the Old Spice Classic on Nov. 23 and an 82-75 win over California on Dec. 9.

In comparison, the team’s four losses have come by an average of 12 points, mostly weighed down by the 103-77 loss to Xavier on Dec. 31.  However, two losses have come by single-digits, including an 80-77 overtime setback to Oregon at home on Nov. 29 and a 68-59 loss to Notre Dame on Dec. 4 at the Jimmy V Classic.  

better in the second half
Like its superstar freshman, K-State tends to get better as the game goes on, averaging 43.2 points on 50.7 percent shooting (including 33.6 percent from 3-point range) in the second half this season.  The team has topped 40 or more points in the second half of 10 games, including 50 or more points in three of the last four games.  In fact, the squad is averaging 51.5 points (including a season-best 57 vs. Wagner) in the last four second halves on 55.3 percent shooting. 

In comparison, the team is averaging 36.7 points on 38.1 percent shooting (including 25.4 percent from 3-point range) in the first half this season.  The team has eclipsed the 40-point barrier just four times in the first half and the 50-point barrier just once.

Michael Beasley is averaging 14.0 points on 65.5 percent shooting to go with 5.6 rebounds per game in the second half this season.  He has scored in double figures in 10 of 14 second halves, including 23 points against Western Illinois (11/17) and 24 against George Mason (11/22) and 28 against Winston-Salem State (12/22).  He had a double-double in the second half against WIU with 23 points and 12 rebounds.  In addition, rookies Fred Brown and Bill Walker are shooting better in the second half, connecting on 52.8 and 50.8 percent from the field.

In contrast, Beasley is averaging 9.9 points on 45.3 percent shooting with 7.4 rebounds per game in the first half.  He has scored in double figures in just eight first halves this season, but he did have a double-double (16 points and 17 rebounds) in his first collegiate half in the opener against Sacramento State on Nov. 9.  Brown and Walker are shooting just 40.0 and 39.3 percent from the field in the first half.   

taking advantage of the charity stripe
In recording 80 or more points in five of the last six games, Kansas State has taken advantage of its opportunities from the free throw line.  The team has averaged 22.2 points from the charity stripe (on an average of 31 attempts) during its last six games, while hitting on 71.5 percent of its opportunities.  In comparison, the squad averaged just 14.9 points from the line in the first eight games on 23.4 attempts for just an 63.6 percentage.  During its four-game winning streak, the team posted 20 or more free throws in four consecutive games for the first time in almost 20 years.  The last time the Wildcats did it in three straight contests was during the 1991-92 season.

This season, the Wildcats have hit on 20 or more free throws in eight of 14 games, including a season-high 28 in their 82-75 win over
previously unbeaten California on Dec. 9.  The team is averaging 21.4 points (on 31.2 attempts) from the charity stripe in its 10 wins and just 9.5 points (on 15.3 attempts) in its four losses.  The squad is also 10-0 when they have more free throw attempts than their opponents and 6-1 when they connect on 70 or better percent from the line.

beasley, walker among the best
Freshmen Michael Beasley and Bill Walker are starting to prove they are two of the best players in Big 12.  The pair are the only two rookies to rank in the top-10 in both scoring and rebounding in the Big 12. 

Beasley paces the league in four categories - scoring (24.3 ppg.), rebounding (13.3 rpg.), offensive rebounds (4.4 rpg.) and defensive rebounds (8.9 rpg.) - and is the top-10 in three others - blocked shots (second - 2.0 bpg.), field goal percentage (fourth - 56.0) and free throw percentage (10th - 71.0).  He is also owns the most double-doubles (13) and the most 30-point games (five).

Walker ranks eighth in the Big 12 in scoring (15.3 ppg.) and seventh (6.9 rpg.) in rebounding.  He also places among the top-15 in four other categories, including fourth in offensive rebounds (3.1 rpg.), eighth in free throw percentage (73.5), 13th in field goal percentage (43.9) and 14th in defensive rebounds (3.8 rpg.).

The duo have helped K-State lead the league in rebounding (45.1) and offensive rebounds (17.36) and place third in scoring (81.2 ppg.).

more on beasley and walker
Michael Beasley and Bill Walker became just the fourth duo in Kansas State history (the first freshman duo) to each score 30 or more points at least twice in the same season and the first in 30 years.  The duo joins Bob Boozer (2) and Jack Parr (2) in 1956-57, Mike Evans (2) and Chuckie Williams (4) in 1975-76 and Mike Evans (3) and Curtis Redding (3) in 1977-78.

With his 40-point performance against Winston-Salem State, Beasley now has notched five contests of 30 or more points this year, which ranks fourth all-time at Kansas State for a single-season.  He now just trails Bob Boozer (7, 1958-59), Norris Coleman (7, 1985-86) and Mitch Richmond (6, 1987-88) for the most in a single season.  Beasley also ties Askia Jones (1989-94), Dick Knostman (1950-53) and Curtis Redding (1976-78) for the fifth-most 30-point games in a career.  Boozer is the all-time leader with 10 from 1956-59.

Walker, who has notched his two 30-point games in the last five games, ties seven other players including notable players Bob Boozer, Mike Evans, Steve Henson and Jack Parr for the 13th-most in a single season.  He posted his first career 30-point game against California on Dec. 9 and then topped it with 31 points against Xavier.

newcomers a big part of success
One of the nation’s top recruiting classes has been a big success so far for Kansas State, as the newcomers have posted over 60 percent of the Wildcats’ points (696) and blocks (37) and over 50 percent of the rebounds (350), steals (61) and assists (115). 

Most of these have come from phenom Michael Beasley, who owns over 30 percent of the team’s points (340) and rebounds (186).  In all, four of the top-6 scorers and two of the top-3 rebounders are either freshmen or first-year players in the program.  If you include redshirt freshman Bill Walker, who played just six games last year, the totals increase to over 75 percent of the points (879) and blocks (50) and almost 70 percent of the rebounds (433) and steals (77).

okay, this guy’s pretty good
Freshman Michael Beasley earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors for the second time this season on Dec. 26 after posting a freshman school-record high 40 points in the win over Winston-Salem State on Dec. 22.  He went 14-of-22 from the field, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, with 15 rebounds, three blocks, one assist and one steal in 23 minutes.  He scored 28 of his 40 points in the second half, including 24 of the team’s first 29 of the half. 

Beasley is the first Kansas State player to earn Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors twice in a season since David Hoskins did it twice during the 2005-06 season.  He was earned his first Big 12 Rookie of the Week honor on Nov. 19 after he tallied his second career 20-point/20-rebound effort with 28 points and 22 rebounds in a win over Western Illinois on Nov. 17.  He became the first Wildcat to win Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week accolades since 2005 on Nov. 12 when he averaged 31.0 points and 19.0 rebounds in wins over Sacramento State and Pittsburg State to start the season.

beasley breaks another one
Michael Beasley made history yet again with his 40-point effort against Winston-Salem State on Dec. 22, as he broke fellow rookie Norris Coleman’s mark of 39 points against Colorado on Jan. 18, 1986 for the most by a freshman.  He now owns four school records, including for points by a freshman in a debut (32 vs. Sacramento State), most rebounds by a freshman (24 vs. Sacramento State) and most consecutive double-doubles by a freshman (12).  The 40 points are the most by a Wildcat since Askia Jones tallied a school-record 62 points against Fresno State in the second round of the Postseason NIT on March 24, 1994.  He is the ninth Wildcat in to record a 40-point game, while his 40-point effort ties Mike Evans (40 vs. Colorado, 1/15/77) for the eighth-highest scoring total in a game.

wildcats to score 40 or more points
62 by Askia Jones vs. Fresno State, 3/24/94
*47 by Chuckie Williams vs. Holy Cross, 12/5/75
*46 by Mike Wroblewski at Kansas, 2/7/62
*45 by Bob Boozer vs. Purdue, 12/1/58
*42 by Dick Knostman vs. Oklahoma, 2/14/53
41 by Steve Henson vs. Iowa State, 2/17/90
*41 by Mitch Richmond vs. Oklahoma, 2/13/88
40 by Mike Evans vs. Colorado, 1/15/77
40 by Michael Beasley vs. Winston-Salem State, 12/22/07
 *Was named an All-American following season.

double-double
Michael Beasley will look to become just the sixth player in school history and the first since Gene Williams in 1968-69 to average a double-double for a single-season.  He is averaging 24.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game through 14 games with 13 double-doubles.  He would join Bob Boozer (1956-59), Jack Parr (1955-58), Larry Comley (1960-61), Willie Murrell (1962-64) and Gene Williams (1968-69) to average a double-double for a season.

Remarkably, Boozer and Parr averaged a double-double in three consecutive seasons, while Murrell accomplished it back-to-back seasons.  At his current pace, Beasley could also top the school single-season scoring and rebounding averages held by Bob Boozer (25.6 ppg. in 1958-59) and Jack Parr (14.5 rpg. in 1956-57).

historic beginning
Michael Beasley had a memorable first game as a Wildcat, he set three school records as well as two Big 12 marks in helping Kansas State to a season-opening victory over Sacramento State on Nov. 9.  He posted 32 points on 12-of-20 field goals with 24 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals in 31 minutes. 

Beasley is just the third player in school history to top 30 points and 20 rebounds in a single-game and the first since Bob Boozer (36 points, 23 rebounds) did it against Colorado in 1957.  The 32 points were the most points by a freshman in a debut in both Kansas State and Big 12 history, while the 24 rebounds were the most by a freshman in a single-game and the third-most by a Wildcat in school history.  The 24 rebounds also eclipsed the all-class Big 12 record of 23 held by Kevin Durant (2006) and Nick Collison (2003).

On Nov. 11, Beasley became just the third player in school history (and first freshman) to tally 30 points in back-to-back games in a win over Pittsburg State.  He tallied 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting with 14 rebounds, three assists and one steal in 29 minutes.  He is the first player to top 30 points in consecutive games since Askia Jones did it against Colorado (32) and Oklahoma (31) in January 1994.

first with two 20-point/20-rebound games
Michael Beasley became the first player in Big 12 history to collect two 20-point/20-rebound performances in a single season with his 28-point, 22-rebounds effort against Western Illinois on Nov. 19.  In the first 11 years of Big 12 competition, only nine players had posted 20-point/20-rebound games in their career and none had ever done it more than once in their respective careers.  He is just the second player in school history to accomplish the feat twice in a season and the first since Jack Parr did it twice during the 1955-56 season. 
Beasley turned in his first career 20-point/20-rebound game in the opener against Sacramento State with a freshman-debut high 32 points and 24 rebounds on Nov. 9.

walker back to full strength
The former high school All-American is finally healthy after playing in just six games as a true freshman in 2006-07 before going down with a season-ending ACL injury at Texas A&M in the first Big 12 contest.

Walker is second to Michael Beasley in both scoring (15.3 ppg.) and rebounding (6.9 rpg.), while he is second in steals (1.4 spg.) and free throw percentage (73.5).  He has now scored in double figures in 13 of his 19 career games, including nine of 12 games this season.
Walker might be playing the finest basketball of his young Wildcat career in the team’s last six games.  In gaining the start in each of these contests, he is averaging 19.2 points on 48.1 percent shooting (37-of-77), including 45 percent shooting (9-of-20) from 3-point range, with 7.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.2 minutes per game.  He has connected on 76.2 percent (32-of-42) from the free throw line during the current streak.

After battling through a variety injuries to start the season, Walker has played in nine straight games for the Wildcats, including a career-high 35 minutes of action against California on Dec. 9.  He set or tied career-highs in nine categories against the Bears with 30 points on 7-of-22 field goals with 10 rebounds, two assists and four steals.  He posted his second 30-point outing in the last six games (and third 20-point effort) with his career-best 31-point effort against Xavier (12/31).  He went a career-high 13-of-23 from the field with six rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes.      

After suffering through a variety of aliments to start the season, where he missed two of the first five games, Walker began to turn the corner on the final day of the Old Spice Classic.  He posted his first career double-double against Rider on Nov. 25 with 14 points and a new career-high 10 rebounds.  He continued his impressive play against Notre Dame with a season-tying 14 points on 6-of-11 field goals with six rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

walker named big 12 rookie of the week
Freshman forward Bill Walker earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors on Dec. 10 after averaging 22.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in games against Notre Dame and California.

Walker played arguably his best game as a Wildcat in the team’s 82-75 win over previously unbeaten California on Dec. 9, as he turned in 30 points on 7-of-22 field goals with 10 rebounds.  He also went an impressive 14-of-16 from the free throw line. 

The effort followed a solid outing against Notre Dame, as he tallied 14 points against the Irish on 6-of-11 field goals with six rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 33 minutes.  He scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half on 5-of-8 shooting in playing 20 minutes. 

iron man
A team mainstay the past three seasons, senior guard Clent Stewart has become a guiding force for a young squad.  He has been a steady force during a crucial stretch in the last eight games, averaging 10.0 points on 42.4 percent shooting with 3.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists against the likes of Oregon, Notre Dame and California.  He has been even better in the last six games, scoring in double figures in five games and averaging 10.8 points on 46.3 percent shooting with 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals in 28.7 minutes. 

Stewart continues to move up the career charts in three categories (assists, minutes played and games started), in this, his last season at K-State.  With two assists against Oregon on Nov. 29, he broke his second-place tie with Tyrone Adams (1979-82) for career assists with 318.  With 343 assists, Stewart now trails just leader Steve
Henson (582, 1987-90) on the all-time list. 

Stewart currently sits in fifth place all-time in minutes played with 2,781, passing Ayome May (2,764; 1996-99) in playing 28 minutes against Savannah State on Jan. 7.  He needs 178 minutes to pass Shawn Rhodes (2,958; 1996-99) for fourth place.  At his current pace, he should finish in the top-3 behind only Steve Henson (4,474; 1987-90) and Askia Jones (3,547; 1990-94).  In addition, he now owns seventh place on the games started list with the 78th start of his career against Savannah State.  He is also nine games from breaking into the top-10 for career games played (104).

what brown can do for you
Yet another talented freshman is starting to emerge from the bench, as rookie Fred Brown has posted solid efforts in the past five games.  He is averaging 12.2 points on 57.1 percent shooting in that span with 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.8 assists in 17.2 minutes per game.  Brown has scored 61 of his 71 season point total during this span.

He posted a career-night against Xavier (12/31) with a career-best 25 points on a team season-best 9-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range, in a career-high 24 minutes.  The 25 points were nearly triple his previous season high of nine against Florida A&M (12/17) and Winston-Salem State (12/22).  His 81.8 percent shooting from the field ties for the best by a Wildcat with at least five field goals, while his five 3-point field goals are the most by a Wildcat since Cartier Martin had five against Oklahoma on March 3, 2007. 

After playing a combined 16 minutes in the previous five games, Brown logged 16 minutes of action against Florida A&M with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting and four rebounds.  He followed with nine points against Winston-Salem.  He continued his impressive play against Savannah State, scoring in double figures for the second straight game with 10 points and five rebounds.   

young comes through in clutch
Senior Blake Young came through a pair of big 3-point field goals in the second half of the win over California.  After missing his first field goal attempt, Young hit his first trey with 3:06 remaining to give the Wildcats’ a two-point lead then followed less than a minute later to break a 69-all tie and give the team the lead for good with 2:19 left.  He finished the game with eight points on 2-of-3 shooting with four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 35 minutes.

Young, who ranks sixth on the team in both scoring (6.6 ppg.) and rebounding (2.9 rpg.), elevated his play during the key three-game stretch against Oregon, Notre Dame and California.  He averaged 9.3 points on 50 percent shooting, including 41.7 percent from 3-point range, with 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steals in 35.7 minutes.  He is one of just two players (Michael Beasley) to start all 14 games this season.  He also has the longest active game streak on the team with 49 consecutive games played dating back to last season.

pullen shines at the point
Michael Beasley is not the only true freshman to shine so far this season, as rookie Jacob Pullen has played well in the point guard spot.  The Maywood, Ill., native paces the squad in assists (3.4 apg.) and steals (1.4 spg), is second in 3-point field goals (14), third in scoring (9.6 ppg.) and fifth in minutes played (23.0 mpg.).

He has scored in double figures in eight of the team’s first 14 games, including tying his career-high with 19 points in back-to-back wins over UCF and Rider at the Old Spice Classic.  He combined to go 6-of-14 from 3-point range in those victories, including a season-high four treys against the Knights.  He has also been stellar from the free throw line, going 18-of-23 (78.3 percent) at the Old Spice Classic to rank second on the team at 70.3 percent for the season.  He opened the season with 18 points against Sacramento State in his first collegian game on 7-of-11 shooting to go with a team-high five assists and two steals.  He made it double figures in two of his first three games, scoring 10 points against Western Illinois on Nov. 17.

gilbert not just one-game wonder
Junior college transfer Andre Gilbert broke out against Rider on Nov. 25 and even outshined fellow newcomer Michael Beasley.  The transfer from Mount San Jacinto College in California, nearly doubled his season total for points against the Broncs with a team-high 22 points on 7-of-11 field goals, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, with five rebounds, two assists and one steal in 28 minutes of action.  He followed this performance with yet another stellar effort against Oregon (11/29), posting 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting with four
rebounds and four assists in a season-high 32 minutes.  He averaged 19.0 points on 52.0 percent shooting, including 50.0 percent from
beyond the arc, with 4.5 rebounds in those two games.  Gilbert came into the Rider game with a total of 13 points in the first five games with a previous high of seven against Pitt State on Nov. 11.  The 22 points broke his previous high of 17 against Manhattan on Dec. 20, 2005 when he was redshirt freshman at South Dakota State.