K-State Returns Home To Host Baylor on Big Monday
K-State Returns Home To Host Baylor on Big Monday
Jan. 23, 2011
rv/rv Kansas State (13-7, 1-4 Big 12)
at rv/rv Baylor (13-5, 3-2 Big 12)
Date: Monday, January 24, 2011 | Tipoff: 8:05 p.m. CT
Location: Manhattan, Kan. | Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528) |
Live Stats: www.k-statesports.com | Internet: ESPN Full Court/ESPN3.com
Television: ESPN (Brent Musburger, play-by-play; Bob Knight, analyst; Holly Rowe, sideline reporter; Aaron Stojkov, 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 85-39 (.686) in his fourth season as a head coach and at the school. Baylor - Scott Drew (Butler `93) is 142-119 (.542) in his ninth season as a head coach and 122-108 (.530) in his eighth season at the school.
Series: K-State leads 12-10 (7-4 at home) | Martin vs. Baylor: 2-2 (1-1 at home) | Martin vs. Drew: 2-2 (1-1 at home)
Last Time Out: K-State lost at No. 11/10 Texas A&M, 64-56, on Saturday, while Baylor knocked off Oklahoma State, 76-57, at home also on Saturday.
Rankings: Both teams are receiving votes in The Associated Press as well as the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Top 25 polls.
Tickets: Sold out.
K-State returns home for Big Monday tilt with Baylor
Kansas State (13-7, 1-4 Big 12) looks to get back on winning track on Monday night, as the Wildcats host the Baylor Bears (13-5, 3-2 Big 12) at Bramlage Coliseum before a nationally-televised audience on ESPN's Big Monday broadcast at 8 p.m. The squad will be playing its second of four contests on Big Monday, which includes a 75-59 setback at No. 15 Missouri on Jan. 17 and upcoming tilts with nationally-ranked Kansas (Feb. 14) and Texas (Feb. 28). Monday's game will be broadcast on ESPN with Brent Musburger (play-by-play), legendary Army, Indiana and Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight (analyst) and Holly Rowe (sideline reporter) on the call. It is also available on the web at ESPN3.com.
K-State leads the all-time series with Baylor, 12-10, including a 7-4 mark at home. The two teams have split the last six meetings, including both in Manhattan. Last season, the Wildcats earned a pair of victories over the Bears, the first being a 76-74 win at the Ferrell Center on Jan. 26 then capped by an 82-75 win in the semifinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the Sprint Center on March 12. The win in Waco was the only one surrender by Baylor at home a season ago. The Bears have split their eight meetings at Bramlage Coliseum dating back to 1988. Six of the last eight games between the two teams have decided by less than 10 points, including three by two points. Monday's game will feature two of the Big 12's prolific scorers in Baylor's LaceDarius Dunn and K-State's Jacob Pullen, who have each posted more than 1,800 points their respective careers. Dunn ranks fourth all-time with 2,058 points, while Pullen is tied for 16th with 1,812 points.
The Wildcats enter Monday's contest with losses in four of their last five games, including a 64-56 setback at No. 11/10 Texas A&M on Saturday at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas. The teams battled back-in-forth for much of the defensive slugfest, which included a combined 48 fouls and 33 turnovers. The squad rallied from several deficits, including nine in the first half, to tie it on seven occasions, lastly at 48-all with under five minutes to play. However, the Aggies used a mini 5-0 run capped by a pair of free throws by Khris Middleton with 1:32 remaining to separate themselves. Freshman Will Spradling cut the lead to single possession - 55-53 - with just over a minute to play, however, Texas A&M salted the game away from the free throw line, connecting on 9-of-10 shots from the stripe in the final 45 seconds.
K-State was solid defensively, holding A&M to 37.2 percent shooting from the field, including 28 percent in the second half, while forcing 17 turnovers. However, the team struggled offensively once again, posting their fourth sub-60 point effort in the last 10 games. The Wildcats shot 40 percent from the field, including 32.1 percent in the second half, and made just 5-of-20 shots from 3-point range. The squads combined for 33 turnovers, however, the Aggies took advantage, converting 17 Wildcat miscues into 19 points.
The 115 points in the last two Big 12 games are the fewest in consecutive conference contests under head coach Frank Martin and the fewest since K-State scored 101 points in back-to-back games against Nebraska and Kansas in 2006. The 56 points against Texas A&M were the fewest in a Big 12 game since scoring 51 against Nebraska on Jan. 17, 2009. The team is now 1-10 under Martin when scoring under 60 points, including an 0-4 record this season. The Wildcats are averaging 67.4 points in five league games on 43 percent shooting, including 34.3 percent from 3-point range, to go with 18.2 turnovers per contest. The team ranks eighth in field goal percentage, 10th in scoring offense, 11th in turnover margin and assist-to-turnover ratio and 12th in turnovers per game in league-only statistics.
The turnover issue is particularly glaring, as the next best team is Baylor with 16.8 turnovers during Big 12 play. Usually a strong point for K-State, which has averaged 18.7 points per game off of opponent turnovers since Martin became came head coach in 2007, the squad has allowed their opponents to average 15.8 points off of turnovers, including an average of 21.2 points during Big 12 play. The team has been out-scored 106-71 in points off turnovers in league play. The 24 turnovers against Missouri on Jan. 17 were the most against an opponent since turning it over 25 against Nebraska in 2009, while the 28 points off turnovers scored by the Tigers were the most against a Martin-coached team. It marked the sixth time 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 loss to Texas A&M spoiled a solid all-around game by Kansas State's two seniors - Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly - who combined to scored 36 of the team's 56 points. Pullen once again led the team in scoring with a game-high 21 points, which included three treys, while Kelly collected his fifth career double-double, including his first this season, with 15 points, a career-tying 11 rebounds and six blocked shots. It marked the 14th time that Pullen has led the team in scoring in just 17 games played. He has scored in double figures now 91 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. With his first basket of the second half against the Aggies, Pullen became just the fourth Wildcat and the first since Askia Jones in 1994 to top 1,800 career points. He now needs 11 steals and 10 rebounds to become 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 18 career categories in school history, including 17 in Top 5. He recently earned his 100th career start against Texas Tech on Jan. 15.
Kelly, who has missed nine games this season for various reasons, earned his first double-double since the Missouri game on Feb. 27, 2010. He tied his career-high of 11 boards, which he also accomplished against IUPUI on Nov. 28, 2009, while his six blocks tied his total from the South Dakota game on Jan. 3, 2010. Kelly seems to be finding his rhythm again, averaging 10.3 points on 70 percent shooting (14-of-20) from the field to go with 7.3 rebounds in three games back from his six-game suspension due to NCAA secondary rules violations. He has scored in double figures in seven of his 11 games this season, including 19 vs. Duke on Nov. 23.
The Wildcats have just one player - Rodney McGruder - has started all 20 games this season, including just two others - Will Spradling and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts - have played in all 20 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 eight times.
Kansas State fell out of The Associated Press Top 25 poll on Jan. 17 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. The team is expected to fall out of the Coaches' poll after 24 weeks after consecutive losses last week.
The Book on Baylor
Baylor enters Monday's game with a 13-5 overall record and 3-2 mark in Big 12 action after dispatching of Oklahoma State, 76-57, on Saturday in Waco. The win snapped a two-game skid for the Bears, who won seven straight to start the season. The squad shot an impressive 60 percent from the field, including a stellar 76.5 percent in the second half, while holding the Cowboys to just 39.2 percent, including 21.1 percent from long range. Four players scored in double figures led by rookie phenom Perry Jones III, who many experts believe could be the first player taken in 2011 NBA Draft if decides to declare. Jones scored a team-high 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go with eight rebounds, while senior LaceDarius Dunn added 16 points on 6-of-9 field goals. Anthony Jones and Quincy Acy each tallied near double-doubles, while A.J. Walton dished out seven assists to go with seven points and three steals. Baylor is 2-4 away from home this season, including a 1-1 mark in Big 12 play. The team returns eight lettermen, including three starters, from a squad that posted a 28-8 overall record, including an 11-5 mark in the Big 12, and advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history.
The Bears are averaging a 73.1 points on 48.1 percent shooting from the field, including 37.1 percent from 3-point range, with 37.4 rebounds, 12.6 assists, 7.9 steals and 4.2 blocks per game. The team is stellar on the defensive end, yielding 60.7 points on 41.1 percent shooting, including 35.3 percent from 3-point line, while forcing 16.1 turnovers per contest. The squad is third in the league in scoring defense, rebounding margin and steals, while they are fourth in 3-point field goal percentage. Baylor is balanced with five players averaging eighth or more points, including three in double figures led by Dunn's conference-best 21.3 points per game. Earlier this season, he became just the fifth player in the Big 12 era to post 2,000 career points and the first since Richard Roby in 2008. Jones is second in scoring at 14.1 points per game on a team-best 57.5 percent shooting to go with 7.0 rebounds per game. He has tallied 20 or more points in four of the last five contests. Acy also scores in double figures at 13.1 points to go with team-best 7.7 rebounds per outing.
Baylor is led by eighth-year coach Scott Drew, who has compiled a 122-108 (.530) record since taking over in 2003-04. He has led the squad to three consecutive 20-win seasons, including a school-record 28 wins and a trip to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history last season.
Series vs. Baylor
This will be 23rd meeting between K-State and Baylor on the hardwood and the 12th in Manhattan. The series dates all the way back to a 60-52 win by the Bears in the 1948 NCAA West Regional Finals at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. K-State holds a 12-10 edge in the all-time series, including a 7-4 mark at home. Baylor has a 9-7 advantage since the start of the Big 12 in 1997, including a split of eight meetings in Bramlage Coliseum. The last Wildcat win at home in the series came in a 69-60 victory on Jan. 17, 2007, while the Bears won the last meeting in Manhattan, 83-65, on Jan. 21, 2009. K-State won two hard-fought games last season, handing Baylor its only home defeat on Jan. 26, 2010 before earning an 82-75 win in the semifinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on March 12. Jacob Pullen led the way in both contests, scoring 25 points on 7-of-11 shooting in the win at the Ferrell Center before totaling 26 points on 7-of-13 field goals in the victory in Kansas City.
K-State has been solid defensively this season, holding its opponents to 64.8 points per game on 40.5 percent shooting, including 34.8 percent from 3-point range, while forcing them into 16.5 turnovers per game. The Wildcats have held 14 opponents to 65 points or less, including 11 of the last 15, while holding 10 foes to under 40 percent shooting from the field. The team also holds an impressive +8.8 rebounding margin against its foes, which ranks fifth nationally. The squad is averaging 40.6 rebounds per game, including 15.9 offensive rebounds, while holding its opponents to 31.8 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 303 second-chance points (15.2 per game) compared to just 193 (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 the team has averaged 17.6 second-chance points compared to just an average of 10.6 second-chance points in the seven 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 (7.1) and sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (36.7), while trailing just Iowa State (181) and Missouri (156) in total 3-pointers (141). 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 particularly solid from beyond the arc, ranking eighth in the league in both 3-point percentage (40.5) and makes (2.25). He has posted at least one trey in 16 of 20 games, including two or more from long range on 14 occasions. McGruder has been impressive in the last seven games, where he has connected on 46.8 percent (22-of-47) 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 (260) and attempts (741). Pullen, who is tied for ninth in the Big 12 in 3-pointers per game (2.06), ranks second on the team with 35 treys on the season, including at least two in nine 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 (19) 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 59.3 percent (293-of-494). However, the extra practice since the end of the semester has seemed to improve that percentage, as the Wildcats have connected on over 70 percent (118-of-166) in the last seven 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). Three Wildcats are perfect from the line in this stretch -- Will Spradling, Victor Ojeleye and Nick Russell -- while five more are hitting at greater than 70 percent. Senior Jacob Pullen, who ranks second all-time in school history in both free throws made (436) and attempted (568), has hit on more than 80 percent (34-of-41) 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 13-7 start to the season. This nucleus has scored 736 of the team's 1474 points thus far (50 percent), while posting 399 of 812 rebounds (49 percent), 168 of 294 assists (57 percent) and 60 of 127 steals (47 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 62 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 (6.7 rpg.), while he is second in scoring (11.2 ppg.), field goals (79), steals (16) and minutes played (28.7 mpg.). Sophomores Wally Judge and Martavious Irving rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in scoring at 5.9 and 5.6 points per game, while freshman Will Spradling is seventh in scoring at 5.6 points per game and second in assists (2.3 apg.) and free throw percentage (86.7). Judge has claimed two of the team's three double-doubles (including two in the last eight games), while Spradling and fellow freshman Shane Southwell are just the second and third rookie guards to earn a start under 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 20 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 24.8 points per game off the bench, while out-scoring its foes by a margin of 496-321. The squad has scored 20 or more points from the bench in 14 of 20 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 62 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 2,322 points off of 2,067 turnovers in 124 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, 346-315. 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. With his team-high 21-point effort against Texas A&M on Saturday, he became the first Wildcat since Askia Jones in 1994 to eclipse the 1,800-point barrier in a career. It was Pullen's 91st double-digit scoring output, including his 33rd 20-point contest, which both rank in Top 5 all-time. He is the 19th player in the Big 12 era to top 1,800 points, including the second this season (LaceDarius Dunn). His current total of 1,812 points in 121 games ranks fourth all-time and is less than 25 points behind Jones (1,834, 1989-94) for third place and less than 35 behind Rolando Blackman (1,844, 1977-81) for second. He has an outside chance (needs 303 points) to become the all-time scoring leader, which is held by Mike Evans with 2,115 points from 1974-78.
Pullen ranks among the Top 10 in 18 career categories, including 17 in the Top 5 in school history. Already the school's career record holder for 3-point field goal attempted (741), he became the leader in 3-point field goals (now at 260) 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 189 career thefts trail Henson by one. 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 (568), third in double-digit scoring games (91), minutes (3,490) and consecutive starts (82), fourth in games (121), starts (102) and field goals attempted (1,380) and fifth in field goals (558) and 20-point games (33). He is on pace to become the first Wildcat 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 11.2 points on 44 percent shooting, including 40.5 percent from 3-point range, to go with a team-best 6.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 0.8 steals in 28.7 minutes per game. The only player to start all 20 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 20 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 seven consecutive starts, which has included the team's first five Big 12 opponents. The reigning Big 12 Sixth Man Award winner, he is averaging 12.1 points in the span on 50 percent shooting (30-of-60), including 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from beyond the arc, to go with 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 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 9.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in 24.4 minutes per game. He has nine double-digit scoring efforts, including three in the last seven 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.