K-State Begins Homestand Wednesday vs. Texas Tech
K-State Begins Homestand Wednesday vs. Texas Tech
TEXAS TECH (10-6, 0-3 Big 12)
at KANSAS STATE (9-7, 2-1 Big 12)
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 >> Bramlage Coliseum (12,528) >> 7 p.m. CT
Dave Armstrong (play-by-play)
Bryndon Manzer (analyst)
WatchESPN link - http://es.pn/14i9GNd
K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)
Satellite: Sirius 135/XM 199
Stats - http://bit.ly/1yqDy3x
Audio - http://bit.ly/15rNnVB
$30 (bench), $45 (chairbacks)
Wildcat4Pack: $75 | $15 (12+group)
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 369-183 (17th year)
at K-State: 56-28 (3rd year)
vs. Texas Tech: 5-0
Texas Tech: Tubby Smith (High Point ‘73)
Overall: 535-250 (24th year)
at Texas Tech: 24-24 (2nd year)
vs. K-State: 0-2
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (9-7, 2-1 Big 12)
G – #1 Jevon Thomas (6.1 ppg., 3.8 apg.)
G – #2 Marcus Foster (13.7 ppg., 1.9 rpg.)
G – #25 Wesley Iwundu (5.1 ppg., 3.4 rpg.)
F – #11 Nino Williams (10.9 ppg., 4.7 rpg.)
F – #42 Thomas Gipson (11.6 ppg., 4.8 rpg.)
Texas Tech (10-6, 0-3 Big 12)
G - #0 Devaugntah Williams (11.1 ppg., 3.3 rpg.)
G - #14 Robert Turner (8.7 ppg., 2.9 rpg.)
G - #20 Toddrick Gotcher (6.6 ppg., 2.8 rpg.)
F - #11 Zach Smith (5.4 ppg., 4.6 rpg.)
F - #32 Norense Odiase (7.8 ppg., 4.8 rpg.)
INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: K-State leads 20-10 (15-10 in Big 12 era)
In Manhattan: K-State leads 12-2 (W, 66-58, 1/28/2014)
In Lubbock: Tied 7-7 (W, 60-56, 2/25/2014)
Last Meeting: K-State, 60-56, 2/25/2014 (Lubbock, Texas)
Weber vs. Texas Tech: 5-0 (3-0 at home)
Smith vs. K-State: 0-2 (0-1 on the road)
Weber vs. Smith: Weber leads 8-3 (5-1 at home)
LAST GAME SUMMARY
K-State 66, 16/18 Oklahoma 63 [OT]
Game 16 * Lloyd Noble Center * January 10, 2015
Sophomore Marcus Foster hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left in overtime to lift K-State to a 66-63 win over No. 16/18 Oklahoma on Saturday before 12,426 at the Lloyd Noble Center. Foster scored the final four points of regulation, including a lay-up over the outstretched hands of Oklahoma’s Ryan Spangler with 6 seconds remaining. He then scored five of the Wildcats’ 11 points in overtime, including a lay-up to tie it at 59-all at the 3:06 mark and the game-winning trey. In all, nine of his 14 points came in final 5:35 of the game after playing just a total of 21 minutes due to foul issues. Foster was joined in double figures by junior Stephen Hurt, who came off the bench to post season-highs in both points (15) and rebounds (8), and senior Thomas Gipson, who added 10 points. The team is now 7-1 when 3 or more players score in double figures.
GAME 17 - QUICK HITTERS
• Kansas State (9-7, 2-1 Big 12) returns to action on Wednesday for the first of back-to-back home games, as the Wildcats play host to Texas Tech (10-6, 0-3 Big 12) at 7 p.m. CT. The game will air nationally on ESPNews with Dave Armstrong (play-by-play) and Bryndon Manzer (analyst).
• K-State leads the all-time series with Texas Tech, 20-10, including a 12-2 mark at home. The Wildcats have won 9 in a row over the Red Raiders dating back to 2009, including 5 straight at Bramlage Coliseum.
• Head coach Bruce Weber is 39-5 at home in his tenure, including 7-2 this season. The 5 losses have come by a total of 14 points.
• K-State ran its winning streak to 2 games on Saturday with a 66-63 win in overtime at No. 16/18 Oklahoma. It was the Wildcats’ first road win of the season and the first against a ranked team on the road under head coach Bruce Weber. It also marked the first over a ranked team on the road since a 78-68 win over No. 3 Missouri on Feb. 21, 2012.
• Marcus Foster was named ESPN.com and Lute Olson National Player of the Week as well as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week on Monday for his effort last week. He averaged 18.5 points on 50 percent shooting, including a 23-point performance in the win over TCU.
• Nine of Foster’s 14 points at Oklahoma came in the last 35 seconds of regulation and overtime, as he not only tied it with 6 seconds left in regulation, but also hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds.
• Foster was 1 of 3 players to score in double figures vs. Sooners, as the Wildcats moved to 7-1 when hitting the mark. The Wildcats are averaging 78.4 points in those 8 games on 53.1 percent shooting.
• K-State is averaging 66.2 points on 45.8 percent shooting, including 36.8 percent from 3-point range, with 13.7 assists per game. The squad ranks in the Top 40 nationally in FT attempted (25th) and FT made (37th).
• K-State has held 9 straight opponents to 65 points or less, which is the longest such streak in school history since the Wildcats did it in 17 straight games from Nov. 27, 1982 to Jan. 29, 1983.
• 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 10 games, allowing just 58.0 points on 42.9 percent shooting from the field.
• K-State is averaging 74.6 points on 51.6 percent shooting, including 44.4 percent from 3-point range, in its 9 wins and 55.4 points on 38.3 percent shooting, including 27.3 percent from long range, in its 7 losses.
THE OPPONENT: TEXAS TECH (10-6, 0-3 Big 12)
• Texas Tech enters Wednesday’s game with a 10-6 record after dropping its 5th game in its last 6 outings, including its 3rd in a row at Kansas, 86-54, on Saturday... The youthful Raiders started the season winning 9 of their first 10 games... The squad is 10-2 at home this season, but a combined 0-4 on the road (0-2) and at neutral sites (0-2).
• The Red Raiders are averaging 67.4 points on 43.2 percent shooting, including 31.1 percent from 3-point range, on the season with 36.7 rebounds, 11.7 assists, 6.9 steals and 4.6 blocks per game... They are allowing opponent 61.6 points per game on 39.5 percent shooting, including 32.6 percent from beyond the arc... The team is shooting 64.6 percent from the free throw line.
• Texas Tech has 6 players averaging 6 or more points this season led by junior Devaugntah Williams’ 11.1 points on 42.3 percent shooting... Williams paces the Red Raiders in 7 categories, including field goals (60), field goals attempted (142), 3-point field goals (26), free throw percentage (74.4) and assists (2.0 apg.)... Freshman Norense Odiase is tops in rebounding (4.8 rpg.) to go with a 7.8 points per game average on 55.7 percent shooting, while fellow rookie Zach Smith leads the way in blocks (1.6 bpg.) and minutes (24.9 mpg.) to go with 5.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
• Texas Tech returns 8 lettermen, including 2 starters, from a team that finished with a 14-18 overall record in 2013-14.
• Texas Tech is led by 2nd-year head coach Tubby Smith, who has a 535-250 record in his 24th season in coaching... He has led four schools - Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota - to the NCAA Tournament, including a NCAA Championship in his first season at Kentucky in 1997-98... He has 17 NCAA Tournament appearances in 23 seasons, including 9 trips to the Sweet 16.
BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
• This will be the 33rd meeting between the two schools with K-State leading the series, 20-12.
• K-State leads the series, 20-10, if you remove 2 forfeited Texas Tech wins from the 1996-97 season.
• K-State leads the series, 14-11, in the Big 12 era with a 13-10 mark in regular-season meetings.
• K-State has won 10 of the last 12 meetings, including a current streak of 9 straight wins dating back to 2009.
• K-State is 12-2 at home in the series, including 8-2 at Bramlage Coliseum... The Wildcats have won 5 in a row at home.
• Head coaches Bruce Weber and Tubby Smith have a long history with one another, having faced off against each other 10 times during their stints at Illinois and Minnesota... Weber holds a 7-3 advantage vs. Smith in their respective careers.
• Wesley Iwundu has averaged 11.5 points in 2 career games vs. Texas Tech on 53.8 percent shooting with 4.5 rebounds per game, while Thomas Gipson has averaged 10.3 points in 6 career games vs. Tech with 5.0 rebounds per game.
K-STATE/TEXAS TECH CONNECTIONS
• Three players - Marcus Foster (Wichita Falls), Thomas Gipson (Cedar Hill) and Wesley Iwundu (Houston) - hail from the Lone Star State... Gipson’s father, Thomas, played basketball for Texas from 1987-88 before transferring to Sam Houston State.
• Two members of the staff - assistant coach Alvin Brooks III (Houston) and strength coach Jimmy Price - also hail from the state of Texas... Brooks, the son of former Houston coach Alvin Brooks II, also coached in the state at Midland College and Sam Houston State... Price is a 2001 graduate of Texas Tech and served as an assistant strength coach at Texas Tech from 2001-03.
TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
• Kansas State is averaging 66.2 points on 45.8 percent shooting (356-of-778), including 36.8 percent (82-of-223) from 3-point range, to go with 13.7 assists per game... The team has an assist on 61.5 percent of their field goals.
• K-State ranks in the Top 40 nationally in free throw attempts (400/25th) and free throw makes (400/37th).
• In the Big 12, the Wildcats rank 10th in scoring offense, 3rd in field goal percentage and 3rd in 3-point field goal percentage.
• The team averages 27.3 points in the paint, 20.2 bench points, 15.8 points off of turnovers and 8.1 second-chance points.
• K-State has used 6 different starting line-ups this season, including a different starting 5 in each of the last 5 games... No one player has started all 16 games, but Thomas Gipson and Jevon Thomas have started 15 games.
• 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 16 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 3-7 when scoring less than 70 points this season and 22-21 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.
• After averaging 51.8 points on 39.1 percent shooting in 4 games from Dec. 28 to Jan. 7, the Wildcats scored 66 points on 45.5 percent shooting in the win over No. 16/18 Oklahoma on Saturday... It marked the first time since the Texas A&M game (12/20/14) that the squad eclipsed the 60-point barrier... Three Wildcats scored in double figures, while 3 others had 6 or more points.
• K-State failed to reach the 60-point mark in 4 consecutive games from Dec. 28 to Jan. 7 for the first time since Feb. 15-26, 1997, in which, the Wildcats scored 58 vs. Iowa State (2/15), 57 at Colorado (2/19), 58 at Kansas (2/22) and 58 vs. Baylor (2/26).
• K-State is 7-1 when 3+ players score in double figures... The Wildcats are averaging 78.4 points on 53.1 percent shooting in these 8 games on 53.1 percent shooting, including 43.2 percent from 3-point range... 3 players (Marcus Foster/16.1 ppg., Nino Williams/14.0 ppg., Thomas Gipson/12.0 ppg.) are averaging in double figures, while 5 others (Stephen Hurt/9.5 ppg., Justin Edwards/7.9 ppg., Jevon Thomas/7.8 ppg., Nigel Johnson/6.3 ppg.,Tre Harris/6.2 ppg.) are averaging 6+ points.
MISCELLANEOUS TEAM NOTES
• 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/11.6 ppg.) and 20th (Williams/10.9 ppg.).
• The trio have combined to lead the Wildcats in scoring in 14 of 16 games with 29 combined double-digit scoring games... They have also combined to score 556 of the 1059 points this season while shooting 49.7 percent (183-of-368).
• Jevon Thomas ranks in the Big 12’s Top 10 in both assists (3.8/8th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6/10th).
• Thomas and Nigel Johnson have led K-State in assists in 15 of 16 games and have a combined 95 assists and 39 steals.
• Foster leads the Wildcats in 8 categories, including scoring (13.7 ppg.), field goals (71), field goals attempted (163), 3-point field goals (43), 3-point field goals attempted (95), double-digit scoring games (12), 20-point games (4) and minutes (28.0).
• Foster also ranks in Big 12’s Top 10 in 3-point field goal percentage (45.3/2nd) and 3-point field goals per game (2.7/4th).
• Williams has scored in double figures in 8 of 14 games played, including 6 of the last 10 games... He ranks in the Big 12’s Top 10 in field goal percentage (49.6/5th) and free throw percentage (76.5/7th)... 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 82 3-pointers with 8 players collecting at least one trey... Foster leads the way with 43 triples (2nd-most in the Big 12) on 45.3 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 37th nationally in free throws made (265) and 25th in free throw attempts (400)... The team is shooting 66.3 percent from the charity stripe.
• K-State averages 16.6 free throws (3rd) and 25.0 free throw attempts (4th) per game, which both rank in the Big 12’s Top 5.
• 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 55 nationally in free throws made (73/51st) and attempted (98/54th).
• 2 Wildcats rank in the Big 12’s Top 15 in free throw percentage, including seniors Nino Williams (76.5/7th) 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 36.8 points in the 2nd half this season on 48.4 percent shooting (193-of-399), including 41.1 percent (46-of-112) from 3-point range... The Wildcats are out-scoring their opponents, 588-562, 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 40.4 points on 53.8 percent shooting in the 2nd half of its 9 wins this season.
• K-State has connected on a higher percentage in the 2nd half in 11 of 16 games played, including 7 of 9 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 (8.0 ppg. on 50.6%) and Thomas Gipson (7.4 ppg. on 64.7%)... 5 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 28.8 points in the 1st half this season on 42.6 percent shooting (159-of-373), including 32.1 percent (35-of-109) from beyond the arc... The squad is out-scoring their opponents, 460-441, in the opening half.
• Marcus Foster leads all 1st half scorers at 5.4 points per game on just 35.4 percent shooting.
• K-State is averaging 74.6 points in its 9 wins on 51.6 percent shooting (225-of-436), including 44.4 percent (55-of-124) from 3-point range, while allowing opponents 62.9 points on 44.1 percent shooting, including 33.8 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 9 wins, including Marcus Foster (15.8 ppg./51.7 FG%), Nino Williams (13.7 ppg./52.3 FG%) and Thomas Gipson (11.4 ppg./62.3 FG%), while 5 (Stephen Hurt, Justin Edwards, Jevon Thomas, Nigel Johnson and Tre Harris) are averaging 6+ points... In all, 5 of the 8 players are shooting better than 50 percent.
• 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 16.3 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 9 wins, which includes a combined 67 assists to 28 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 252 points off of 220 turnovers in the first 16 games.
• The 252 points represents nearly one-quarter of the 1059 points, as the team is averaging 15.8 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 45.2 percent shooting, including 34.1 percent from 3-point range... The squad ranks 9th in the Big 12 in scoring defense and 3-point field goal percentage defense and 10th in field goal percentage defense, rebounding (32.1) and blocked shots (2.4).
• Those numbers have improved in the past 10 games, where they are holding opponents to 58 points on 42.9 percent shooting, including 29.1 percent from 3-point range, while limiting them to 101 assists and forcing 127 turnovers.
• K-State has held 9 consecutive opponents to 65 points or less, which is the longest such streak in school history since the team did it 17 straight games from Nov. 27, 1982 to Jan. 29, 1983.
FOSTER CONTINUES WHERE HE LEFT OFF
• Sophomore Marcus Foster leads the way in scoring at 13.7 points per game on 43.6 percent shooting (71-of-163), including 45.3 percent (43-of-95) from 3-point range... He has scored in double figures in a team-best 12 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, 2nd in 3-point percentage and 4th in 3-pointers.
• Foster leads the Wildcats in 8 categories, including scoring, double-digit scoring games (12), 20-point games (4), field goals (71), field goals attempted (163), 3-point field goals (43), 3-point field goals attempted (95) and minutes (28.0).
• In the NCAA, Foster ranks 18th in 3-point field goal percentage, 38th in 3-point field goals made (43), 59th in 3-point field goals made (2.7) and 114th in 3-point field goal attempts (95).
• Foster earned ESPN.com and Lute Olson National Player of the Week as well as Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honors on Monday after helping K-State to wins over TCU and No. 16/18 Oklahoma last week... It was his 1st career Big 12 Player of the Week honor after wining Rookie of the Week twice last season... He is the 2nd Wildcat to win the honor this season.
• Foster averaged 18.5 points on 50 percent shooting in the pair of wins, while connecting on 10-of-12 free throw attempts... He scored a game-high 23 points vs. TCU (1/7/15) in 29 minutes off the bench, while 9 of his 14 points vs. Oklahoma (1/10/15) came in the final 35 seconds of regulation and overtime... He tied the game with a lay-up with 6 seconds left in regulation before hitting the game-winning 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left in overtime.
• 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 122 3-pointers his K-State career, which ranks 10th on the school’s all-time list.
• Foster has scored in double figures in 39 of his 49 career games, including 12 20-point outings... He led in scoring 22 times.
• Thomas Gipson has displayed that all important senior leadership, ranking 2nd in scoring (11.6 ppg.) and 1st in rebounding (4.8 rpg.), while shooting a team-best 60.9 percent (56-of-92) 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 17th in the Big 12 in scoring and 11th in free throw percentage.
• Gipson, who played in his 100th career game in the opener against Southern Utah, has scored in double figures in 17 of the last 25 games (including 8 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 (10.9 ppg.) and 2nd in rebounding (4.7 rpg.), has scored in double-digits in 8 of his first 14 games, including 6 of the last 10 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 (56) 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 95 assists (to 54 turnovers) and 39 steals to go with 178 points on 42.2 percent shooting.
• Thomas is 1st in assists (60), 2nd in steals (20) and minutes (26.9), while Johnson is 2nd in assists (35) and 3rd in steals (19).
• Thomas ranks in the Big 12’s Top 10 in 2 categories, including 6th in assists (3.8 apg.) and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6).
• Thomas and Johnson have led K-State in assists in 15 of 16 games with Thomas dishing out a team-high in assists 10 times.
• The duo is even more impressive in the 9 wins, combining for 67 assists to 28 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.