K-State Travels To Missouri For Big Monday Affair

Freshman Will Spradling posted seven points and a career-high five assists against Texas Tech.

Jan. 16, 2011

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Kansas State (13-5, 1-2 Big 12)
at 15/12 Missouri (15-3, 1-2 Big 12)

Date: Monday, January 17, 2011  |  Tipoff: 4:35 p.m. CT
Location: Columbia, Mo.  |  Arena: Mizzou Arena (15,061)  |  Live Stats: www.k-statesports.com  |  Internet: ESPN Full Court/ESPN3.com
Television: ESPN Big Monday presented by Bud Light (Dave Pasch, play-by-play; Fran Fraschilla, analyst; Eric Posman, producer)
Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, play-by-play; Stan Weber, analyst)
Head Coaches: Kansas State - Frank Martin (Florida International ‘93) is 85-37 (.697) in his fourth season as a head coach and at the school.  Missouri - Mike Anderson (Tulsa ‘82) is 192-90 (.681) in his ninth season as a head coach and 103-49 (.678) in his fifth season at the school.
Series: K-State leads 116-115 (40-64 on the road)  |  Martin vs. Missouri: 3-3 (0-3 on the road)  |   Martin vs. Anderson: 3-3 (0-3 on the road) 
Last Time Out:  K-State knocked off Texas Tech, 94-60, at home on Saturday, while Missouri lost in overtime, 91-89, at Texas A&M on Saturday.
Rankings: K-State was No. 21 (AP) and No. 20 (USA Today/ESPN) polls on Jan. 10, while Missouri was No. 12 and No. 15, respectively, in the polls. 
Tickets: Sold out.

K-State hits the road to play Missouri on Big Monday
No. 21/20 Kansas State (13-5, 1-2 Big 12) wraps up a tough stretch of three games in a six-day span on Monday afternoon, as the Wildcats travel to Columbia, Mo., to face the Tigers (15-3, 1-2 Big 12) at 4:30 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.  The squad began the stretch on Wednesday with a 74-66 loss at home to Colorado before getting back on track on Saturday with a 94-60 dismantling of Texas Tech at Bramlage Coliseum.  Monday’s game will be broadcast nationally as apart of ESPN’s Big Monday telecast with Dave Pasch (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) on the call.  It will be the first contest of a Big 12 doubleheader on the network with unbeaten Kansas playing at Baylor at 8:30 p.m. 

K-State and Missouri will renew one of the oldest rivalries in the country, as the two teams will meet for the 232nd time on Monday, including the 105th meeting in Columbia.  The series dates all the way back to 1907 with the teams playing at least twice a season since 1913.  Although, the schools disagree on the all-time results, K-State records show a 116-115 advantage in the series, which includes a 40-64 mark in games played in Columbia.  Missouri holds a 17-13 edge since the start of Big 12 play, including a 12-2 mark at home.  The Wildcats have lost three in a row at Mizzou Arena, including a 74-68 loss last season in the conference opener.  The last win came in Bob Huggins’ lone season as head coach in 2006-07 when the Wildcats posted an 85-81 victory on Jan. 13, 2007.  The teams have split their last six meetings.

The Wildcats snapped a two-game losing streak on Saturday, as they tallied an impressive 94-60 win over Texas Tech at home.  After starting Big 12 play 0-2 for the sixth time in eight seasons, the squad again showed their resiliency, rebounding to win the third game in that instance for the fifth time.  The last time that happened came in 2006-07 when the team bounced back from setbacks to Texas A&M and Texas Tech to earn an 85-81 win at Missouri.  The Wildcats also won their third game after an 0-2 league start in 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Back at full strength with the return of Curtis Kelly from his six-game suspension due to NCAA secondary rules violations, Kansas State looked like a different squad against the Red Raiders, posting their highest point total in a Big 12 game since eclipsing 100 points against Missouri on Feb. 20, 2008.  The 94 points are the fifth-most points in a Big 12 game for the Wildcats, trailing just the 111 vs. Missouri on Jan. 3, 1998, the 100  vs. the Tigers in 2008, the 97 against Nebraska on Jan. 8, 2000 and 95 against Texas A&M on Feb. 25, 1998.  It was the most points against Texas Tech in the series, toppling the 90 scored in 1956, while the 34-point victory was the largest in the series, surpassing the 24 in 2003.   

The Wildcats were nearly flawless across the board shooting the ball against the Raiders, connecting on 53.1 percent from the field, including a season-best 59.1 percent from 3-point range, to go with an 81.3 percent effort from the free throw line.  The squad shot over 50 percent in both halves, while posting 50 or more points in a half for just the second time this season. K-State hit a season-best 13 3-pointers, marking the fifth time they have tallied double-digit treys this season.  The team is now 20-0 when connecting on 50 percent or better from the field under head coach Frank Martin, including 4-0 this season.  The ‘Cats also moved to 40-2 under Martin when hitting on better than 40 percent from the 3-point line, including 7-0 this season.  The squad also dominated the paint, posting an impressive 44-18 edge in rebounding, including 17 offensive boards, which they converted into a season-best 25 second-chance points.  The team also scored 23 fast-break points in the win.       
K-State is ranked No. 20 in the USA Today/ ESPN Coaches and No. 21 in The Associated Press Top 25 polls released on Jan. 10 after starting the year at No. 3 for their highest-ever preseason rankings in both polls.  The No. 3 ranking was the highest in an AP poll in almost 50 years since the team ranked No. 3 on March 6, 1962.  The squad fell out of the Top 10 on Dec. 20 for the first time in 13 consecutive polls since ranking No. 11 on Jan. 25, 2010.  Overall, the school has appeared in 23 consecutive AP polls dating back to Dec. 14, 2009.  K-State is 234-85 (.734) as a ranked team all-time in The Associated Press poll (which dates to 1949-50), including 1-1 (.500) as the 21st-ranked team.

Postgame Notes - Texas Tech
•The Wildcats are now 268-92 (.744) all-time in games played in Bramlage Coliseum.
•K-State now holds a 14-12 lead in the all-time series with Texas Tech dating back to 1955... The Cats are 9-3 at home against the Red Raiders... The win continues a three-game winning streak over the Red Raiders.
•The starting lineup for today’s contest consisted of freshman guard Shane Southwell, sophomore guard Rodney McGruder, senior guard Jacob Pullen, junior forward Jamar Samuels and senior forward Curtis Kelly... This is the first time this season this starting lineup has been used and the eighth different lineup this season.
•Jacob Pullen made his 100th start of his career. Only three other players in K-State history have started at least 100 games, Ed Nealy (118), Steve Henson (118) and Rolando Blackman (116).
•Southwell earned his first career start... Kelly made his return to the starting lineup after missing six games due to a suspension
•With this win head coach Frank Martin earned his 85th career win which ties him for fifth all-time in school history with Tom Asbury.
•K-State tallied its second 50-point first half of the season with 52 today against Texas Tech... It was the first since posting 57 points in the
opening half against North Florida (12/31/10)… The 52 points were the most in the first half of a Big 12 game since scoring 52 against Missouri (2/16/08), while it was  the first in any half of a league contest since the Nebraska (2/17/10; second half) game last season.
•K-State tallied 25 assists on Saturday... This is the fifth time this season K-State has had 20+ assists in a game and the second-highest amount since the Wildcats dished out 26 against North Florida.
•The Wildcats recorded 17 offensive rebounds and were able to convert 25 second-chance points... This is only the second time this season
K-State has scored 20+ second-chance points with the other coming against UMKC.
•Jacob Pullen scored 21 points in the win marking his fourth straight game with 20+ points... This is the second time in his career he has recorded four consecutive 20+ point games.
•Rodney McGruder recorded his second double-double Saturday, finishing the game with 16 points and a career high 15 rebounds.
•Jamar Samuels scored 22 points to lead all scorers. Samuels also added nine rebounds and five assists.  K-State is now 6-0 when Samuels scores at least 20 points.
•Curtis Kelly scored 12 points in his return to the lineup, his sixth double-figure scoring game this season and 31st for his career.

The Book on Missouri
Missouri enters Monday’s game with an impressive 15-3 overall record after dropping a 91-89 heartbreaker to No. 14 Texas A&M in overtime on Saturday.  The Tigers led by as many as 13 points in the first half before the surging Aggies tied the contest in regulation with a pair of free throws.    The squad shot 52.2 percent from the field, including above 50 percent in each portion of the contest, to go with 10 3-point field goals.  Four players scored in double figures led by Ricardo Ratliffe and Marcus Denmon, who each had 19 points.  Phil Pressey posted 16 points, including four treys, while Kim English added 10 points.  The team won 14 of its their first 15 games with their lone setback coming in 111-102 in overtime to Georgetown in Kansas City.  Just like the Wildcats, the squad has started league play 1-2 with a 77-69 home win over Nebraska sandwiching road losses to Colorado and Texas A&M.  Missouri, which is an impressive 11-0 at home this season, returns eight lettermen, including two starters, from a team that posted a 23-11 overall record, including a 10-6 mark in Big 12 play, and trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2009-10. 

The Tigers are averaging a Big 12-best 85.4 points on 47.8 percent shooting from the field, including 38.3 percent from 3-point range, with 37.5 rebounds, 18.1 assists, 9.8 steals and 5.8 blocks per game.  The squad also ranks first in the league in steals (9.8), turnover margin (5.67) and assist-to-turnover radio (1.39), while they are second in assists (18.1).  The team is yielding 69.9 points per game on 41.7 percent shooting, but they are forcing their opponents into a league-best 18.7 turnovers per contest.  Missouri a balanced scoring team with five players averaging in double figures led by Denmon’s 17.7 points per game..  He is connecting on more than 50.5 percent from the field, including 49.5 percent from 3-point range.  Laurence Bowers is second in scoring at 11.9 points on 54.2 percent shooting, while Ratliffe averages 11.8 points on a team-best 58.3 percent from the field.  Ratliffe and Bowers pack an impresive one-two punch on the boards, averaging 7.1 and 6.3 rebounds per contest. 

Missouri is led by fifth-year coach Mike Anderson, who has guided the school to a 103-49 (.678) record since taking over in 2006-07.  He has led the Tigers to consecutive 20-win seasons, including 31 wins, a Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship and a trip to the Elite Eight in 2008-09.  He came to the school after a four-year stint at UAB, where he led the Blazers to four consecutive 20-win seasons and three NCAA Tournament appearances. 

Series vs. Missouri
This will be 232nd meeting between K-State and Missouri on the hardwood and the 105th in Columbia.  The series dates all the way back to a 39-19 win by the Wildcats in Manhattan on Feb. 7, 1907.  The two teams have met at least twice a year since 1913.  K-State holds a slight 116-115 edge in the all-time series, however, Missouri is an impressive 64-40 at home in Columbia.  The Tigers hold a 17-13 advantage since the start of Big 12 play, including a 12-2 mark at home.  The squads have split the last six meetings with each winning on their own home floor.  Last season, Missouri earned a 74-68 win at home in the conference opener on Jan. 9, while K-State posted a 63-53 victory at Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 27.  Jacob Pullen scored in double figures in both meetings a season ago, posting 21 in the first meeting to go with three steals before chipping in 11 points at home.  Jamar Samuels also posted double figures in both games, while Curtis Kelly had a double-double in the home win. 

Getting Defensive
K-State has been solid defensively this season, holding its opponents to 64.2 points per game on 40.4 percent shooting, including 33.7 percent from 3-point range, while forcing them into 16.7 turnovers per game.  The Wildcats have held 13 opponents to 65 points or less, including 10 of the last 13, while holding nine foes to under 40 percent shooting from the field.  The team also holds an impressive 10.1 rebounding margin against its foes, which ranks fifth nationally.  The squad is averaging 41.6 rebounds per game, including 16.3 offensive rebounds, while holding its opponents to 31.5 rebounds per game.  K-State leads the Big 12 in offensive rebounds, while it is second in both overall rebounds and margin.  The squad has paced in the league in offensive rebounds in each of Frank Martin’s three seasons as head coach.  This rebounding edge has helped the Wildcats post 279 second-chance points (15.5 per game) compared to just 174 (9.7 per game) for its opponents.  They have out-scored their opponent in this regard in all but four games.  The team has scored 20 or more second-chance points in five contests, including a season-high 25 against UMKC on Dec 31 and Texas Tech on Jan. 15.  This statistic has been particularily stark Kansas State’s 13 wins, where it has averaged nearly 18 second-chance points (17.6 per game), compared to just an average of 10 second-chance points in the five losses.   

Digging the Long Ball
One of the more lethal components of the Wildcats’ offense under head coach Frank Martin has been the ability to convert from long range.  The team has posted 200 or more treys in each of the last three seasons under Martin, including a school-record 253 makes in 2009-10.  This year’s squad seems to be on track to continue that trend, as they rank third in the Big 12 in both 3-point field goal percentage (38.2) and 3-point field goals per game (7.4), while trailing just Iowa State (164) and Missouri (138) in total 3-pointers (133).  The team has tallied double-digit treys in five contests, including a season-best 13 (on a season-high 59.1 percent) against Texas Tech on Jan. 15.  The 13 makes ties six others for the seventh-most in a game in school history, while they are most since the team had 14 against UNLV on Dec. 12, 2009.

Sophomore Rodney McGruder has been particularily deadly from beyond the arc, ranking fifth in the league in 3-point percentage (43.7) and sixth in makes (2.50).  He has posted at least one trey in 16 of 18 games, including two or more from long range on 14 occasions.  McGruder has been impressive in the last six games, where he has connected on 56.4 percent (22-of-39) from 3-point range, which includes a 7-of-10 effort against UMKC on Dec. 31.  The seven makes tied 10 other players for the fourth-most 3-pointers in a game in school history, while he was the first to accomplish the feat since teammate Jacob Pullen did it twice a season ago.  McGruder’s exploits are all the more impressive considering he shares the backcourt with Pullen, the school’s all-time leader in both 3-pointers (256) and attempts (727).  Pullen, who ranks eighth in the Big 12 in 3-pointers per game (2.07), ranks second on the team with 31 treys on the season, including at least two in eight games and a season-high four in four contests.  However, this statistic goes beyond McGruder and Pullen, as eight other Wildcats have at least one 3-pointer this season, including double-digit totals from freshman Will Spradling (16) and sophomore Martavious Irving (14). 

Practice Makes Perfect
One of the main concerns with this Kansas State team has been its ability to shoot free throws, where it 341st nationally (out of 346 teams) and last in the Big 12 at 58.7 percent (266-of-453).  However, the extra practice since the end of the semester has seemed to improve that percentage, as the Wildcats have connected on nearly 73 percent (91-of-125) in the last five games, including a season-best 81.3 percent (13-of-16) against Texas Tech on Jan. 15.  During this span, the team has hit on more than 75 percent three times, including Oklahoma State (77.4, 24-of-31) and North Florida (76.9, 20-of-26).  Four Wildcats are perfect from the line in this stretch -- Will Spradling, Victor Ojeleye, Nick Russell and Devon Peterson -- while four more are hitting at greater than 70 percent.  Senior Jacob Pullen, who ranks second all-time in both free throws made (425) and attempted (556), has hit on nearly 80 percent (79.3; 23-of-29) after starting the season at just over 70 percent (71.4; 45-of-63).       

Young ‘Cats Step Up
Even before the suspension of seniors Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly before the UNLV game on Dec. 21, the play of Kansas State’s freshmen and sophomores have played a major role in the team’s solid 13-5 start to the season.  This nucleus has scored 693 of the team’s 1359 points thus far (51 percent), while posting 372 of 748 rebounds (50 percent), 157 of 279 assists (56 percent) and 58 of 119 steals (49 percent).  The group boasts six of the team’s Top 10 scorers, while it includes three of the Top 5 rebounders and four of the Top 5 assists leaders.  Twenty-seven of the team’s 58 double-digit scoring efforts have come from sophomores and freshmen led by guard Rodney McGruder, who is second on the squad in double-figure scoring games with 12.  He paces the team in 3-pointer (45) and rebounding (7.0 rpg.), while he is second in scoring (12.2 ppg.), field goals (77), steals (15) and minutes played (28.9 mpg.).  Fellow sophomores Wally Judge and Martavious Irving rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in scoring at 6.4 and 5.9 points per game, while freshman Will Spradling is seventh in scoring at 5.4 points per game and second in assists (2.3 apg.) and free throw percentage (85.7).  Judge has claimed two of the team’s three double-doubles (including two in the last six games), while Spradling is just the second rookie guard to earn a start under fourth-year head coach Frank Martin

This group was even more impressive during Pullen’s three-game suspension (UNLV, UMKC and North Florida games), as the Wildcats averaged nearly 80 points per game (79.7 ppg.), including the school’s first 100-point game of the season, while connecting on 46 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range.  During this period, the team started three sophomores, one true freshman and one junior with three of the four double-digit scorers being either sophomores or freshmen led by McGruder’s 14.7 points per game.

Bench Points
One of the definite advantage of this year’s Kansas State squad is its depth and versatility.  The Wildcats have played at least 10 players in each of its 18 games, including a high of 14 against No. 18/22 Gonzaga (11/22), Texas Southern (11/26), Emporia State (11/29) and Alcorn State (12/6).  The team has used this depth to its advantage, averaging 25.6 points per game off the bench, while out-scoring its foes by a margin of 460-270.  The squad has scored 20 or more points from the bench in 13 of 18 games, including a string of five straight games of at least 30 points from Nov. 16-26 for the first time under Frank Martin, while it posted 40 or more points of production in back-to-back contests for just the second time under Martin and the first time since 2008-09.  The Wildcats scored 86 points from the bench against Duke (45) and Texas Southern (41), which is the most in consecutive games since they totaled 104 points in games against Idaho State (45, 1/3/09) and Chicago State (59, 1/5/09).  The team has seen a Big 12-high 12 different players record 58 double-digit scoring efforts this season, including 17 coming off the bench from seven separate players.  Junior Jamar Samuels leads the way with six double-digit scoring efforts from the bench.            
Points Off Turnovers
A trademark of Frank Martin-coached teams are their ability to score points off of opponent’s mistakes.  Since he became coach, the Wildcats have scored 2,292 points off of 2,038 turnovers in 122 games, an average of 18.8 points per game.  Nearly 25 percent of the points scored in the past four years have come off of offense generated from turnovers, including the current season, in which, the team has outscored its foes, 316-268.  The squad has scored 20 or more points off of turnovers in five games, including a season-best 33 points against Emporia State on Nov. 29.  The team has pressured their foes into 15 or more turnovers in 13 games, including a season-high 26 vs. James Madison on Nov. 12.  Before the North Florida game on New Year’s Eve, the Wildcats were one of just four schools (Louisville, Washington and Cincinnati) to force each of their opponents into more turnovers than assists in every game.  The team’s streak of 17 consecutive games (which led the nation) holding a foe to more turnovers than assists ended on Dec. 31 when the Ospreys tallied 14 assists to just 11 turnovers.  It marked the first positive assist-to-turnover ratio for an opponent since Kansas had 16 assists and 11 turnovers in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on March 13, 2010.

Pullen Moving Up the Charts
Senior Jacob Pullen is nearing several career milestone in the midst of his final season at K-State.  In his return from a 3-game suspension to NCAA rules violations, he became the first Wildcat since Askia Jones in 1994 to eclipse the 1,700-point barrier in a career with his team-high 24-point effort vs. Savannah State on Jan. 3.  His current total of 1,775 points in 119 career games ranks fourth all-time and is less than 70 points behind Rolando Blackman (1,844, 1977-81)and Askia Jones (1,834, 1989-94), who rank second and third, respectively.  He has an outside chance (needs 340 points) to become the school’s all-time scoring leader, which is currently held by Mike Evans with 2,115 points from 1974-78. 

Pullen ranks among the Top 10 in 19 career categories, including 14 in the Top 5 in school history.  Already the school’s career record holder for 3-point field goal attempted (727), he became the leader in 3-point field goals (now at 256) in the win over Emporia State on Nov. 29 with four treys, breaking his second-place tie with Askia Jones (237, 1989-94) and passing former leader Steve Henson (240, 1987-90).  His next record could come in steals, where his 188 career thefts trail Henson by two.  With his six makes against Florida on Dec. 11, he became the first Wildcat since Bob Boozer (1956-59) to connect on 400 free throws in a career, while his five dimes against Texas Tech on Jan. 15 made him the first since Henson to dish out 400 assists.  His start against the Red Raiders also gave him 100 for his career, making him one of just four players (Ed Nealy, Henson and Blackman) to tally that many starts.  He ranks second in free throws attempted (556), third in double-digit scoring games (89), minutes (3,423) and consecutive starts (82), fourth in starts (100) and field goals attempted (1,350) and fifth in field goals (547).  Pullen is on pace to become the first player in school history with 1,800 points, 400 assists, 300 rebounds and 200 steals.

Pullen Named Preseason AP All-American
Senior guard Jacob Pullen became the first Wildcat to earn preseason All-American honors from the Associated Press, as he was named first team selection by the organization in early November.  Pullen, who has been selected to a number of All-American teams, was joined on the first team by North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson and Duke’s Kyle Singler.  He was an honorable mention AP All-American as a junior after leading K-State to its first Elite Eight since 1988.  He was already been named a preseason All-American by a number of media outlets, including to the first team by ESPN.com, Blue Ribbon Yearbook and The Sporting News, the second team by Dick Vitale and the third team by Athlon Sports.  He was also selected a preseason Top 50 candidate for both the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, while he was recently named one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award and the midseason Top 30 list for the Wooden Award.
McGruder Takes Off
Sophomore Rodney McGruder has been one of the team’s most consistent all-around players this season, averaging 12.2 points on 46 percent shooting, including 43.7 percent from 3-point range, to go with a team-best 7.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.8 steals in 28.9 minutes per game.  The only player to start all 18 games, McGruder also paces the team in 3-point field goals (45), while he is second in scoring, double-digit scoring games (12), field goals (77), steals (15) and minutes.  He had a career day against UMKC on Dec. 23, setting highs in five categories, including points (24), field goals (eight), field goals attempted (14), 3-point field goals (seven) and 3-point field goals attempted.  His seven treys tied 10 others players for the fourth-most in a single-game in school history, while he was the first to do it since Jacob Pullen had seven against BYU in the NCAA Tournament.  Despite the presence of the school’s all-time leader in Pullen, McGruder has been the team’s best long range threat with at least two makes from 3-point range in 14 of his 18 games.  All of 6-foot-4, he has also been the best rebounder, posting at least five boards in 15 contests, including a career-high 15 against Texas Tech on Jan. 15.  He has led the team in department on nine occasions.  His 15 rebounds against the Red Raiders were the most by a Wildcat since Michael Beasley grabbed 17 against Missouri on Feb. 16, 2008.   

From Reserve to Starter
A reserve for much of his career, junior Jamar Samuels has made the most of his five consecutive starts against North Florida, Savannah State and Oklahoma State.  The reigning Big 12 Sixth Man Award winner, he is averaging 14.4 points in the span on 55.1 percent shooting (27-of-49), including 55.6 percent 5-of-9) from beyond the arc, to go with 5.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 25.8 minutes per game.  Pressed into the starting line-up against North Florida due to an illness by Freddy Asprilla, he earned his first start since the first game of his sophomore season with perhaps his best offensive day.  He posted just his second 20-point game of his career, as he came up just one short of his career-high of 27 against Oklahoma State last season at the Big 12 Championships.  He went 11-of-15 from the field against Ospreys, including 2-of-3 effort from 3-point range, to go with five assists in 23 minutes.  He earned a near double-double against Texas Tech on Jan. 15, as he tallied a team-high 22 points on 8-of-12 field goals with nine rebounds, five assists and one steal in 30 minutes.  For the season, he is averaging 10.3 points and 6.1 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per game.  He has nine double-digit scoring efforts, including three in the last five games.      

Coaching Staff Continuity
One of the main reasons that Kansas State has been able to win a school-record 72 games over the past three seasons has been its ability to not only keep head coach Frank Martin, who earned a new multi-year contract through the 2014-15 season during the off-season, but his entire staff, which includes associate head coach Dalonte Hill, assistants Matt Figger and Brad Underwood, director of operations Andy Assaley and strength coach Scott Greenawalt.  K-State is one of just two Big 12 schools (other being Missouri) to have kept their entire staff together for the last four seasons.  This has enabled the Wildcats to post 72 wins the past three seasons, which is the most by a coaching staff in their first three seasons and the most-ever by the school in that span.  They are the first staff to post three consecutive 20-win seasons since 1979-82 and just the second group to guide K-State to the postseason in each of their first three seasons.  The staff has also captured 30 Big 12 wins in last three years, which ties Jack Hartman’s staff from 1970-73 for the most in a three-year period.  They have also helped make the K-State one of just two in the Big 12 to finish in the top-4 in the league standings and receive a bye at the Big 12 Championship each of the past three years.

Season Tickets Sold Out
With preseason expectations for K-State at a near all-time high, officials announced on Oct. 22 that all reserved tickets for the 2010-11 season have been sold.  K-State has sold over 12,000 season tickets to the general public and students, surpassing last year’s total by over 750 tickets.  The school has ranked among the nation’s leaders in attendance in three of the last four seasons, including ranking 31st with an average of 11,884 fans per game to 17 home games in 2009-10.  The team also ranked fourth in attendance among Big 12 institutions and was second only to Kansas in sellouts with 14.  In addition, the school enjoyed the nation’s largest average attendance increase with nearly 3,000 more fans per game.  Three of the top-5 single-season attendance averages have come in the last four years.
Diaz, Gipson Sign with K-State for 2011-12
Head coach Frank Martin announced the signing of high school standouts Adrian Diaz (Miami, Fla.) and Thomas Gipson (Cedar Hill, Texas) to National Letters of Intent on Nov. 14.  Both players are listed on the Rivals150 by Rivals.com with the 6-foot-7, 245-pound Gipson listed at No. 142 and the 6-foot-11, 220-pound Diaz checking in at No. 145.  An emerging post prospect, Diaz is a senior at Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School in Hialeah, Fla.  As a junior, he averaged 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Trojans, which posted a 5-15 record in 2009-10.  He was named preseason honorable mention all-state by FloridaHoops.com.  Rated as the 13th-best prospect in the state of Texas by TexasHoops.com, Gipson is a senior at Cedar Hill High School in Cedar Hill, Texas.  As a junior, he led the team in scoring (16 ppg.) and rebounding (7.2 rpg.) en route to helping the Longhorns to a 28-4 overall record and a trip to the 2010 UIL Class 5A Tournament.  He was a TABC first team Class 5A All-State selection and was co-MVP of District 7-5A.  He helped Cedar Hill to the 2009 Class 5A state final as a sophomore where he averaged 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.  He was named first team All-Area by the Dallas Morning News and was the District 7-5A Sophomore of the Year.