K-State Welcomes 22/23 Baylor Saturday
K-State Welcomes 22/23 Baylor Saturday
22/23 BAYLOR (13-3, 2-2 Big 12)
at KANSAS STATE (10-7, 3-1 Big 12)
Saturday, January 17, 2015 >> Bramlage Coliseum (12,528) >> 2 p.m. CT
Mitch Holthus (play-by-play)
Reid Gettys (analyst)
WatchESPN link - http://es.pn/14acWZW
K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)
Satellite: Sirius 137/XM 199
Stats - http://bit.ly/1yqDy3x
Audio - http://bit.ly/15rNnVB
$40 (bench), $55 (chairbacks)
Wildcat4Pack: $125 | $25 (12+group)
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 370-183 (17th year)
at K-State: 57-28 (3rd year)
vs. Baylor: 2-2
Baylor: Scott Drew (Butler ’93)
Overall: 237-164 (13th year)
At Baylor: 217-153 (12th year)
vs. K-State: 7-9
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (10-7, 3-1 Big 12)
G – #1 Jevon Thomas (6.1 ppg., 3.7 apg.)
G – #2 Marcus Foster (13.7 ppg., 2.1 rpg.)
G – #25 Wesley Iwundu (5.4 ppg., 3.4 rpg.)
F – #11 Nino Williams (10.4 ppg., 4.7 rpg.)
F – #42 Thomas Gipson (11.4 ppg., 4.5 rpg.)
22/23 Baylor (13-3, 2-2 Big 12)
G - #1 Kenny Chery (10.4 ppg., 4.1 apg.)
G - #11 Lester Medford (8.1 ppg., 1.7 rpg.)
F - #00 Royce O’Neal (9.9 ppg., 6.1 rpg.)
F - #2 Rico Gathers (10.3 ppg., 11.6 rpg.)
F - #35 Johnathan Motley (10.3 ppg., 4.9 rpg.)
INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: K-State leads 16-14 (K-State leads 14-13 in Big 12 era)
In Manhattan: K-State leads 9-6 (L, 74-76, 3/8/2014)
In Waco: Baylor leads 6-5 (W, 87-73 in 2 OTs, 2/5/2014)
Last Meeting: Baylor, 76-74, 3/8/2014 (Manhattan, Kan.)
Weber vs. Baylor: 2-2 (1-1 at home)
Drew vs. K-State: 7-9 (3-5 on the road)
Weber vs. Drew: Tied 2-2 (1-1 at home)
LAST GAME SUMMARY
K-State 58, Texas Tech 51
Game 17 * Bramlage Coliseum * January 14, 2015
Kansas State used a stellar defensive effort to outlast Texas Tech, 58-51, for its third-straight win on Wednesday in front of 12,264 at Bramlage Coliseum. Up 49-46 with 3:05 left to play in the contest, the Wildcats locked down on the defensive end, holding the Red Raiders to only five points on 2-of-6 shooting for the remainder of the game, while tacking on nine points of their own to seal the victory. Free throw shooting keyed the Wildcats on offense, as they connected on 21-of-26 with Marcus Foster (6-of-8), Justin Edwards (5-of-5), Thomas Gipson (4-of-5) and Wesley Iwundu (3-of-4) all having strong days at the line. K-State, which held Texas Tech to an opponent season-low 33.9 percent shooting for the game, has held opponents to under 65 points or less in 10-straight contests. Foster had team-highs in points (14), rebounds (5) and assists (4).
GAME 18 - QUICK HITTERS
• Kansas State (10-7, 3-1 Big 12) continues its homestand on Saturday, as the Wildcats host No. 22/23 Baylor (13-3, 2-2 Big 12) at 2 p.m. CT. The game will air nationally on ESPNU with Mitch Holthus (play-by-play) and Reid Gettys (analyst) on the call.
• Saturday’s contest could begin one of the most daunting stretches in school history, as the Bears could be the first of 5 consecutive ranked foes for the Wildcats, which would be a first. The longest previous streak is 3, which has been done multiple times, including twice in 2012.
• K-State holds a 16-14 edge in the all-time series with Baylor, including 14-13 in the Big 12 era. The series is tied 12-all during the regular season, including 6-6 at Bramlage Coliseum. The Bears were the only Big 12 school to sweep the Wildcats in 2014, winning 87-73 in 2 OTs at home on Feb. 14 before handing them their only Big 12 home loss, 76-74, on March 8.
• K-State has won 10 of its last 13 home games vs. ranked opponents, including 5 in a row, dating back to 2010. Overall, the Wildcats are 28-47 all-time vs. Top 25 foes at Bramlage Coliseum, including 13-7 since 2008. The last loss came to No. 3 Kansas (59-55) on Jan. 22, 2013.
• Head coach Bruce Weber is 40-5 at home in his tenure, including 18-2 in Big 12 play. The 5 losses (Northern Colorado, Kansas, Baylor, Texas Southern and Georgia) have come by a grand total of 14 points. He is also 6-1 vs. ranked teams at home (last loss to No. 3 Kansas on Jan. 22, 2013).
• K-State has won 3 straight in Big 12 play since the loss at Oklahoma State in the opener on Jan. 3. The Wildcats have done it on the defensive end, holding these 3 Big 12 foes to 55.7 points on 38.4 percent shooting, including 28.2 percent from 3-point range. The team ranks 2nd in scoring defense (57.0) in the Big 12, while is 2nd in turnovers forced (53).
• K-State has held 10 consecutive opponents to 65 points or less, which is the longest such streak in school history since the Wildcats did it in 18 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 11 games, allowing just 57.4 points on 42 percent shooting from the field.
• K-State is averaging 72.9 points on 50.4 percent shooting, including 43.3 percent from 3-point range, with 15.9 assists in its 10 wins and 55.4 points on 38.3 percent shooting, including 27.3 percent from long range, with 10.3 assists in its 7 losses.
THE OPPONENT: 22/23 BAYLOR (13-3, 2-2 Big 12)
• No. 22/23 Baylor enters Saturday’s game with a 13-3 record after rebounding from 2 losses to start Big 12 play to pick up back-to-back wins in overtime at TCU (66-59) and at home to No. 11/13 Iowa State (74-73)... The Bears won 11 of their 12 games in non-conference play... The squad is 4-2 away from home this season, including 3-1 in true road games.
• The Bears are averaging 69.1 points on 42.5 percent shooting, including 37 percent from 3-point range, on the season with 41.4 rebounds, 14.7 assists, 7.5 steals and 4.2 blocks per game... They are allowing opponent 57.3 points per game on 38.8 percent shooting, including 28.8 percent from beyond the arc... The team is shooting 64.7 percent from the free throw line.
• Baylor ranks 2nd in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage defense, rebounding, rebounding margin (+10.3), offensive rebounds (16.3) and 3rd in scoring defense and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2).
• Baylor has one of the most balanced scoring teams in the Big 12 with 6 players averaging more than 8 points per game, including 4 in double figures led by junior Taurean Prince (11.6 ppg.)... Senior Kenny Chery is 2nd in scoring at 10.4 points to go with 4.1 assists, while redshirt freshman Johnathan Motley (10.3 ppg.) and junior Rico Gathers (10.3 ppg.) also average in double figures... Gathers is the only Big 12 player averaging a double-double with his conference-leading 11.6 rebounds per game... He also has a team-tying 23 steals... Junior Lester Medford (57) and senior Royce O’Neale (53) have 50+ assists.
• Baylor returns 5 lettermen, including 2 starters, from a team that went 26-12 and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2013-14.
• Baylor is led by 12th-year coach Scott Drew, who has a 217-153 record in his tenure... He has transformed the program from single-digit win totals his first 3 seasons to 20+ wins 6 times in the last 7 seasons, including 2 Elite Eight appearances in 2010 and 2012... Overall, he has a 237-164 mark in his 13th season as head coach, which includes one year at Valparaiso (2002-03).
• Scott Drew is 7-9 all-time vs. Kansas State, including a 3-5 mark at Bramlage Coliseum.
BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
• This will be the 31st meeting between the two schools with K-State leading the series, 16-14.
• The series dates back to the 1948 Final Four when Baylor won 60-52 to advance to the national championship game.
• K-State won 5 of the first 6 meetings (including 5 in a row from 1949-89) prior to the start of Big 12 play in 1997.
• K-State owns a slight 14-13 edge in the Big 12 era, but the series is tied 12-all in the regular season.
• The series is tied 6-all at Bramlage Coliseum, including Baylor holding a 6-5 edge in the Big 12 era... The 6 wins are the 7th-most by an opponent, following Kansas (23), Oklahoma State (9), Colorado (8), Missouri (8), Oklahoma (8) and Iowa State (7).
• Baylor was the only Big 12 school to sweep K-State in 2014, winning 87-73 in double overtime at home on Feb. 15 before handing the Wildcats their lone Big 12 home loss, 76-74, on March 8.
• Sophomore Marcus Foster is averaging 23.5 points in 2 games against Baylor in his career with 10 3-pointers on 52.6 percent shooting... He is also averaging 5.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 36.5 minutes per game... Senior Nino Williams has averaged 8.8 points on 57.1 percent shooting with 5.0 rebounds in 4 career games, while Thomas Gipson is averaging 6.7 points in 7 games.
• 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.
• Brooks spent one year as an assistant coach to Baylor’s Grant McCasland (current Baylor assistant coach) at Midland College... The two helped the Chaparrals win the NJCAA Championship in 2006-07 with a 29-8 record.
HOME SWEET HOME
• K-State has a 323-101 (.761) record in 27 seasons at Bramlage Coliseum, which are the 2nd-most at a home venue.
• The Wildcats are 122-21 (.852) over the past 9 seasons at home, including a 53-16 (.765) mark in Big 12 games.
• Head coach Bruce Weber is 40-5 (.889) in home games during his K-State tenure, including 18-2 (.900) during Big 12 play.
• K-State is 28-47 (.373) vs. Top 25 opponents at Bramlage Coliseum, including 25-44 (.362) vs. Big 12 foes.
• K-State is 13-7 (.650) vs. Top 25 foes at Bramlage Coliseum since 2008, including 5 consecutive wins.
• K-State has earned double-digit wins in 21 of its 26 seasons at home, including a current streak of 13 straight seasons.
• K-State has ranked among the Top 35 in home attendance 7 times in the last 8 seasons, including 29th in 2013-14.
TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
• Kansas State is averaging 65.7 points on 45.4 percent shooting (373-of-822), including 36.5 percent (85-of-233) from 3-point range, to go with 13.6 assists per game... The team has an assist on 61.9 percent of their field goals.
• In the Big 12, the Wildcats rank 10th in scoring offense, 3rd in field goal percentage and 3rd in 3-point field goal percentage.
• K-State is averaging the fewest field goals made (21.9) and attempted (48.4) per game in the Big 12.
• K-State ranks in the Top 25 nationally in free throw attempts (426/17th) and free throw makes (286/22nd).
• K-State averages 26.9 points in the paint, 20.2 bench points, 15.6 points off of turnovers and 8.1 second-chance points.
• K-State has used 7 different starting line-ups this season, including a different starting 5 in each of the last 6 games... No one player has started all 17 games, but senior Thomas Gipson has started 16 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 4-7 when scoring less than 70 points this season and 23-21 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.
• K-State has not reached the 60-point mark in 5 of the last 6 games, including a 4-game stretch from Dec. 28 to Jan. 7... It was the first such streak since Feb. 15-26, 1997... The lone game to eclipse the mark was the 66 at Oklahoma (1/10/15) in overtime.
• 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 25 in scoring at 6th (Foster/13.7 ppg.), 16th (Gipson/11.4 ppg.) and 24th (Williams/10.4 ppg.).
• The trio have combined to lead the Wildcats in scoring in 15 of 17 games with 30 combined double-digit scoring games... They have also combined to score 582 of the 1,117 points this season while shooting 49.2 percent (190-of-386).
• Jevon Thomas ranks in the Big 12’s Top 15 in both assists (3.7/7th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6/11th).
• Thomas and Nigel Johnson have led K-State in assists in 15 of 17 games and have a combined 99 assists and 42 steals.
• Foster leads the Wildcats in 8 categories, including scoring (13.7 ppg.), field goals (74), field goals attempted (172), 3-point field goals (45), 3-point field goals attempted (99), double-digit scoring games (13), 20-point games (4) and minutes (28.2).
• Foster also ranks in Big 12’s Top 10 in 3-point field goal percentage (45.5/3rd) and 3-point field goals per game (2.6/4th).
• K-State has tallied 85 3-pointers with 8 players collecting at least one trey... Foster leads the way with 45 triples (2nd-most in the Big 12) on 45.5 percent shooting, while freshman Tre Harris is connecting on a team-best 50.0 percent (10-of-20).
• Gipson has scored in double figures in 9 of 17 games played, including 5 of the last 8... He shooting a team-best 60.3 percent.
• Williams has scored in double figures in 8 of 15 games played, including 6 of the last 11... He is 1st in rebounding (4.7 rpg.).
• Gipson and Williams rank among the Big 12 Top 15 in free throw percentage at 10th (Williams/76.5) and 13th (Gipson/74.8).
• K-State has also taken advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, as the Wildcats rank 22nd nationally in free throws made (286) and 17th in free throw attempts (426)... The team is shooting 67.1 percent from the charity stripe.
• K-State averages 16.8 free throws (3rd) and 25.1 free throw attempts (4th) per game, which both rank in the Big 12’s Top 5.
• K-State is 9-3 this season when it has more free throw attempts than its opponent and 31-8 under 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 (77/52nd) and attempted (103/55th).
• 2 Wildcats rank in the Big 12’s Top 15 in free throw percentage, including seniors Nino Williams (76.5/10th) and Thomas Gipson (74.5/13th)... Gipson ranks 2nd in makes (77) and attempts (103) to OSU’s Le’Bryan Nash (96-of-124) in the Big 12.
• K-State is averaging 72.9 points in its 10 wins on 50.4 percent shooting (242-of-480), including 43.3 percent (58-of-134) from 3-point range, while allowing opponents 61.7 points on 43 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 10 wins, including Marcus Foster (15.6 ppg./50.0 FG%), Nino Williams (12.5 ppg./52.2 FG%) and Thomas Gipson (11.1 ppg./60.3 FG%), while 7 (Stephen Hurt, Justin Edwards, Jevon Thomas, Tre Harris, Nigel Johnson and Wesley Iwundu) are averaging 5 or more points... In all, 5 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 15.9 assists during its wins compared to just 10.3 assists in its losses.
• Point guards Jevon Thomas and Nigel Johnson have compiled a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio in the 10 wins, which includes a combined 71 assists to 31 turnovers... The duo has a 1.37 ratio in the 7 losses with a combined 28 assists and 26 turnovers.
• Edwards, Hurt and Iwundu combine to average 18.9 points on 49.3 percent shooting in wins, but just 11.7 points on 33.7 percent shooting in losses... Hurt averages 8.7 points on 59.5 percent shooting in wins and 2.7 points on 34.8 percent in losses.
• 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).
• 37 opponents have been held to 60 points or less in Weber’s 3 seasons as head coach with the Wildcats boasting a 32-5 mark in those contests (losses to Kansas in 2012, Northern Colorado & Kentucky in 2013 and Texas Southern and Georgia in 2014).
• 17 Big 12 opponents have been held to 60 points or less (15 in regular-season Big 12 play) with the Wildcats posting a 16-1 record in those match-ups, including a 14-1 mark in Big 12 play (only loss to Kansas in 2012).
• K-State has had a difficult start defensively to start the season, allowing 62.5 points on 44.5 percent shooting, including 34.1 percent from 3-point range... The squad ranks 10th in the Big 12 in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense, rebounding (31.9) and blocked shots (2.5) and 9th in 3-point field goal percentage defense.
• Those numbers have improved in the past 11 games, where they are holding opponents to 57.4 points on 42 percent shooting, including 29.4 percent from 3-point range, while limiting them to 111 assists and forcing 140 turnovers.
• K-State has held 10 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 percent shooting (74-of-172), including 45.5 percent (45-of-99) from 3-point range... He has scored in double figures in a team-best 13 games, including 20-point games vs. Purdue (24), No. 3/4 Arizona (23), Tennessee (23) and TCU (23)... He has led in scoring a team-best 6 times.
• Foster ranks in the Big 12’s Top 15 in 5 categories, including 6th in scoring, 3rd in 3-point percentage and 4th in 3-pointers.
• Foster leads the Wildcats in 8 categories, including scoring, double-digit scoring games (13), 20-point games (4), field goals (75), field goals attempted (172), 3-point field goals (45), 3-point field goals attempted (99) and minutes (28.2).
• In the NCAA, Foster ranks 18th in 3-point field goal percentage, 44th in 3-point field goals made (45), 68th in 3-point field goals made (2.6) and 124th in 3-point field goal attempts (99).
• 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.
• Foster now has 124 3-pointers his K-State career, which ranks 10th on the school’s all-time list.
• Foster has scored in double figures in 40 of his 50 career games, including 12 20-point outings... He led in scoring 23 times.
• Foster has 746 career points, which is just 33 shy of cracking the school’s Top 50 scoring list.
• Thomas Gipson has displayed that all important senior leadership, ranking both 2nd in scoring (11.4 ppg.) and rebounding (4.5 rpg.), while shooting a team-best 59.8 percent (58-of-97) from the field and 74.8 percent (77-of-103) from the charity stripe.
• Gipson became the 26th Wildcat to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier vs. Texas Southern (12/28/14), while he is the 12th player with at least 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds... He currently ranks 19th (1,065) on the school’s scoring list.
• Gipson ranks 16th in the Big 12 in scoring and 13th 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 26 games (including 8 times this season)... He saw his streak of 12 double-digit scoring games in a row end vs. 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 53.7 field goal percentage ranks 6th on the school’s Top 10 list and highest since Tony Kitt (54.5, 1998-2000)... It is the 3rd-highest field goal percentage by a 4-year player behind Steve Soldner (1975-79) and Carl Gerlach (1972-76).
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 (10.4 ppg.) and 1st in rebounding (4.7 rpg.), has scored in double-digits in 8 of his first 15 games, including 6 of the last 11 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), 2nd in field goals (58) and 3rd in 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 99 assists (to 57 turnovers) and 42 steals to go with 185 points on 42.2 percent shooting.
• Thomas is 1st in assists (63), 2nd in steals (21) and minutes (26.7), while Johnson is 2nd in assists (36) and steals (21).
• Thomas ranks in the Big 12’s Top 15 in 2 categories, including 7th in assists (3.7 apg.) and 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6).
• Thomas and Johnson have led K-State in assists in 15 of 17 games with Thomas dishing out a team-high in assists 10 times.
• The duo is even more impressive in the 10 wins, combining for 71 assists to 31 turnovers (2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio), as Thomas is averaging 6.3 points on 45.2 percent shooting and Johnson is averaging 5.8 points on 48.6 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).
TRANSFERS STARTING TO MAKE AN IMPACT
• Transfers Justin Edwards (Maine) and Stephen Hurt (Lipscomb/NW Florida State) are starting to make their presence felt after a slow start to the season... Edwards ranks 1st in steals (22) and 4th in scoring (6.1 ppg.) and rebounding (3.8 rpg.), while Hurt is 3rd in rebounding (3.9 rpg.) and 6th in scoring (5.7 ppg.).
• Both have 3 double-digit scoring games with Edwards scoring a team-high 15 vs. UMKC and Hurt posting 15 at Oklahoma.
• In Big 12 play, Edwards is averaging 7.5 points on 37 percent shooting and Hurt is at 6.8 points on 45 percent shooting.
• The pair have been particularly impactful in the wins combining for 16.3 points on 49.5 percent shooting, as Hurt is averaging 8.7 points on 59.5 percent shooting with 4.7 rebounds and Edwards’ 7.6 points on 43.5 percent shooting with 4.3 rebounds.
• In losses, the two are combining to average 6.7 points per game on 36.2 percent shooting.
‘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.