'Cats Travel to Lone Star State to Face Aggies
'Cats Travel to Lone Star State to Face Aggies
Jan. 21, 2011
rv/24 Kansas State (13-6, 1-3 Big 12)
at 11/10 Texas A&M (16-2, 3-1 Big 12)
Date: Saturday, January 22, 2011 | Tipoff: 1 p.m. CT
Location: College Station, Texas | Arena: Reed Arena (12,292) | Live Stats: www.k-statesports.com | Internet: ESPN Full Court/ESPN3.com
Television: ESPN (Jon Sciambi, play-by-play; Fran Fraschilla, analyst; Anthony Holeman, producer)
Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, play-by-play; Stan Weber, analyst) | Satellite Radio: Sirius 122/XM 143 (home team only)
Head Coaches: Kansas State - Frank Martin (Florida International ‘93) is 85-38 (.691) in his fourth season as a head coach and at the school. Texas A&M - Mark Turgeon (Kansas ‘87) is 242-152 (.614) in his 13th season as a head coach and 89-33 (.730) in his fourth season at the school.
Series: K-State leads 15-6 (2-5 on the road) | Martin vs. Texas A&M: 3-1 (1-0 on the road) | Martin vs. Turgeon: 3-1 (1-0 on the road)
Last Time Out: K-State lost at Missouri, 75-59, on Monday, while Texas A&M saw its 13-game winning streak end at Texas, 81-60, on Wednesday night.
Rankings: K-State is ranked No. 24 in the USA Today/ESPN poll, while Texas A&M is ranked No. 11 (AP) and No. 10 (Coaches) in the polls.
Tickets: Fewer than 200 tickets remain and can be purchased by calling the Ticket Office at 979.845.2311 or online at www.AggieAthletics.com
K-State continues road swing at Texas A&M on Saturday
No. 24 Kansas State (13-6, 1-3 Big 12) looks to continue its recent winning ways in the Lone Star State on Saturday afternoon, as the Wildcats travel to College Station, Texas to face Texas A&M (16-2, 3-1 Big 12) at Reed Arena with tip set for 1 p.m. The squad has won four in a row in the state of Texas dating back to 2009, which includes victories at Texas (85-81 on Jan. 31, 2009), Texas A&M (65-60 on Feb. 7, 2009), Baylor (76-74 on Jan. 26, 2010) and Texas Tech (83-64 on Feb. 23, 2010). Last season, K-State swept through the Texas portion of the Big 12, knocking off the Aggies and Longhorns at home to go with the road victories over the Bears and Red Raiders. Saturday’s game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN with Jon Sciambi (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) on the call. It is also available on the web at ESPN3.com.
K-State leads the all-time series with Texas A&M, 15-6, including an 11-6 since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1997. The Aggies have won five of the seven meetings contested in College Station, including victories in three of the last four games in Reed Arena. However, the Wildcats have won three of the four games in the series, including a 65-60 victory in the teams’ last meeting in College Station on Feb. 7, 2009. Last season, K-State earned an 88-65 win over Texas A&M at home on Jan. 12, 2010 with four players scoring in double figures.
Kansas State could not sustain the momentum from its 94-60 win over Texas Tech on Jan. 15, as Missouri earned its fourth consecutive win at Mizzou Arena in the series with a 75-59 victory on Monday night. The Tigers built a 15-point lead in the first half then held off a furious rally by the Wildcats, who used a 27-15 run in the first 12 minutes of the second half to cut lead to 58-55 with just over eight minutes to play. However, much like the rally against Colorado, the team could not get any closer, as the Tigers ended the game on a 17-4 run to cap the victory. During this critical span, the Wildcats went 1-of-8 from the field with seven of their team-high 24 turnovers. Against the Buffaloes, the squad closed to within 66-64 with under four minutes remaining before missing all five field goals to close the game in a 74-66 loss on Jan. 12.
After setting near season-highs across the board offensively in the Texas Tech win just two days earlier, K-State struggled from the field against Missouri, scoring less than 70 points for the eighth time this season, including the third time in four conference games. The 59 points were the fewest in a Big 12 game since scoring 51 against Nebraska on Jan. 17, 2009. The team is now 1-9 under Frank Martin when scoring under 60 points. This came on the heels of 94-point effort against the Red Raiders, which was the most in a Big 12 game since 2008 and the fifth-most since the league was founded in 1997. The Wildcats connected on 42.6 percent from the field against Missouri, including just 18.8 percent from 3-point range. The three treys tied for a season-low. The team turned their over a season-worst 24 times, helping the Tigers score 28 points off these mistakes. The 28 points off turnovers were the most against a Frank Martin-coached team, topping 27 scored by Oklahoma State on Jan. 8. It marked the sixth time this season that the squad has turned the ball over 20 or more times, while it was the fifth time that an opponent has scored more than 20 points off these miscues. The 24 turnovers were the most against an opponent since turning it over 25 in that contest against Nebraska in 2009. Usually a strong point for K-State, which has averaged 18.8 points per game off of opponent turnovers since Martin became came head coach in 2007, the team has allowed its opponents to average 15.6 points off of turnovers this year, including an average of 21.8 points during conference play. The squad has been out-scored 87-55 off in points off turnovers in league play.
Senior Jacob Pullen once again led the Wildcats in scoring against the Tigers with 16 points, including a 7-of-8 effort from the free throw line. It marked the 13th time that Pullen has led the team in scoring in just 16 games played. He has scored in double figures now 90 times in his career, which has only been accomplished more by Rolando Blackman (100, 1977-81) and Mike Evans (93, 1974-78) in school history. Pullen is just nine points away from 1,800 career points at K-State, which was last done by Askia Jones in 1994, while he is 12 steals and 10 rebounds from becoming the first player in school history with 1,800 points, 400 assists, 300 rebounds and 200 steals in a career. He already ranks in the Top 10 of 19 career categories in school history, including 14 in Top 5. He recently earned his 100th career start against Texas Tech on Jan. 15. Sophomore Jordan Henriquez-Roberts was lone other Wildcat in double figures, as he scored a career-high 14 points on a perfect 5-of-5 field goals from the field to go with a 4-of-5 effort from the free throw line. His 14 points were the most since he had 10 against Virginia Tech on Nov. 16. Henriquez-Roberts also added six rebounds and two blocked shots in 17 minutes of action.
The Wildcats have just one player - Rodney McGruder - has started all 19 games this season, including just two others - Will Spradling and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts - have played in all 19 games. The squad has used eight different starting lineups this season, while Spradling and fellow freshman Shane Southwell are just the second and third rookie guards to start a game under head coach Frank Martin. Senior Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly missed three and six games, respectively, due to NCAA secondary rules violations, while the team’s four upperclassmen - Pullen, Kelly, Jamar Samuels and Victor Ojeleye - have all played in the same game just seven times.
K-State fell out of The Associated Press Top 25 poll on Monday morning for the first time in 23 consecutive polls dating back to Dec. 14, 2009 after starting the year at No. 3 for their highest-ever preseason ranking. 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. However, the team stayed ranked in the Coaches’ poll at No. 24, which now dates back 24 weeks in 2009. K-State is 234-85 (.734) as a ranked team all-time in The Associated Press poll (which dates to 1949-50).
The Book on Texas A&M
Texas A&M enters Saturday’s game with an impressive 16-2 overall record after suffering an 81-60 setback at No. 10 Texas on Wednesday night. The loss snapped the Aggies’ 13-game winning streak, which was their longest in 90 years and the third-longest streak in school history. It was the team’s first loss since a 67-65 setback against Boston College in the first round of the Old Spice Classic on Nov. 25, 2010. The Longhorns ran out to a 20-5 lead and never looked back, as they connected on 58 percent from the field, including 66.7 percent in the second half, to halt the winning streak. Sophomore Khris Middleton was the lone Aggie in double figures with 16 points, as the team shot 41.5 percent from the field to go with 58.8 percent shooting from the free throw line. Texas A&M is a perfect 11-0 at home this season and has won 29 of its last 30 at Reed Arena. The team returns 10 lettermen, including three starters, from a squad that posted a 24-10 overall record, including an 11-5 mark in Big 12, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2009-10.
The Aggies are averaging a 73.1 points on 45.5 percent shooting from the field, including 35.3 percent from 3-point range, with 38.7 rebounds, 14.9 assists, 6.6 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. The team is stellar on the defensive end, yielding 58.9 points on 39.8 percent shooting, including 30.0 percent from 3-point line, while forcing 14.2 turnovers per contest. The squad is first in the league in rebounding margin (+10.6) and second in scoring defense. Texas A&M is balanced offensively with five players averaging seven or more points, including three in double figures led by Middleton’s 15.8 points per game. He is connecting on 50.3 percent from the field, including 39.6 percent from long range, to go with 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Junior David Loubeau is second in scoring at 11.2 points to go with 5.2 rebounds per contest, while senior Nathan Walkup is averaging 10.4 points and a team-best 5.8 rebounds per outing. Senior B.J. Holmes adds 9.2 points per game to go with a 3.6 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
Texas A&M is led by fourth-year coach Mark Turgeon, who has guided the school to a 89-33 (.730) record since taking over in 2007-08. He has led the Aggies to three consecutive 20-wins seasons and three trips to the NCAA Tournament. He is 242-152 (.614) in his 13th season as a head coach, which includes stints at Jacksonville State (1998-2000) and Wichita State (2000-07). He led the Shockers to the Sweet 16 in 2005-06.
Series vs. Texas A&M
This will be 22nd meeting between K-State and Texas A&M on the hardwood and the eighth in College Station. The series dates all the way back to a 69-64 win by the Wildcats in Manhattan on Dec. 3, 1960. K-State holds a 15-6 edge in the all-time series, including an 11-6 mark since the start of the annual conference series in 1997. Texas A&M has a 5-2 advantage in games played in College Station, including wins in three of the last four meetings at Reed Arena. The Wildcats have won three of the four games in the series, including a 65-60 victory in the teams’ last meeting in College Station on Feb. 7, 2009. Last season, K-State earned an 88-65 win over Texas A&M at Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 12, 2010 with four players scoring in double figures. Denis Clemente led all scorers with 24 points on 9-of-22 field goals, while Jamar Samuels added 19 points off the bench. Jacob Pullen, who has averaged 10.3 points in four meetings with the Aggies, added 15 points in the win.
K-State has been solid defensively this season, holding its opponents to 64.8 points per game on 40.6 percent shooting, including 34.3 percent from 3-point range, while forcing them into 16.4 turnovers per game. The Wildcats have held 13 opponents to 65 points or less, including 10 of the last 14, while holding nine foes to under 40 percent shooting from the field. The team also holds an impressive 9.7 rebounding margin against its foes, which ranks fifth nationally. The squad is averaging 41.2 rebounds per game, including 16.1 offensive rebounds, while holding its opponents to 31.4 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 289 second-chance points (15.2 per game) compared to just 183 (9.6 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 six 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 3-point field goals per game (7.2) and fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (37.4), while trailing just Iowa State (177) and Missouri (146) in total 3-pointers (136). 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 sixth in the league in both 3-point percentage (42.1) and makes (2.37). He has posted at least one trey in 16 of 19 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 51.2 percent (22-of-43) 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 (257) and attempts (732). Pullen, who is tied for 10th in the Big 12 in 3-pointers per game (2.00), ranks second on the team with 32 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 (18) 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 339th nationally (out of 346 teams) and last in the Big 12 at 59.4 percent (282-of-475). 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 (107-of-147) in the last six 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 (432) and attempted (564), has hit on more than 80 percent (30-of-37) 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 13-6 start to the season. This nucleus has scored 721 of the team’s 1418 points thus far (51 percent), while posting 390 of 782 rebounds (50 percent), 163 of 287 assists (57 percent) and 59 of 122 steals (48 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-eight of the team’s 60 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 (6.9 rpg.), while he is second in scoring (11.7 ppg.), field goals (79), steals (16) and minutes played (28.9 mpg.). Sophomores Wally Judge and Martavious Irving rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in scoring at 6.4 and 5.7 points per game, while freshman Will Spradling is seventh in scoring at 5.5 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 seven games), while Spradling and fellow freshman Shane Southwell are just the second rookie guards 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.
One of the definite advantage of this year’s Kansas State squad is its depth and versatility. The Wildcats have played at least nine players in each of its 19 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 25.5 points per game off the bench, while out-scoring its foes by a margin of 484-297. The squad has scored 20 or more points from the bench in 14 of 19 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 games 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 60 double-digit scoring efforts this season, including 18 coming off the bench from seven separate players. Sophomore Martavious Irving leads with five 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 2,306 points off of 2,050 turnovers in 123 games, an average of 18.7 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, 330-296. 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 1,791 points in 120 career games ranks fourth all-time and is less than 60 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 324 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 (732), he became the leader in 3-point field goals (now at 257) 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 (564), third in double-digit scoring games (90), minutes (3,457) and consecutive starts (82), fourth in starts (101) and field goals attempted (1,361) and fifth in field goals (551). 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 11.7 points on 45 percent shooting, including 42.1 percent from 3-point range, to go with a team-best 6.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 0.8 steals in 28.9 minutes per game. The only player to start all 19 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 (79), steals (16) 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 19 games. All of 6-foot-4, he has also been the best rebounder, posting at least five boards in 16 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 six consecutive starts, which has included Big 12 foes Oklahoma State, Colorado, Texas Tech and Missouri. The reigning Big 12 Sixth Man Award winner, he is averaging 13.5 points in the span on 51.8 percent shooting (29-of-56), including 50 percent (5-of-10) from beyond the arc, to go with 5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 27.7 minutes per game. Pressed into the starting lineup 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 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 10.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in 24.2 minutes per game. He has nine double-digit scoring efforts, including three in the last six 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.