K-State To Play KU Before College Gameday Audience
K-State To Play KU Before College Gameday Audience
Jan. 27, 2011
SIDs pay tribute this weekend to Oklahoma State SID Will Hancock
Kansas State (14-7, 2-4 Big 12)
at 6/6 Kansas (19-1, 4-1 Big 12)
Date: Saturday, January 29, 2011 | Tipoff: 6 p.m. CT | Live Stats: www.kstatesports.com
Location: Lawrence, Kan. | Arena: Allen Fieldhouse (16,300)
Television: ESPN (Dan Shulman, play-by-play; Dick Vitale, analyst; Erin Andrews, sideline reporter; Phil Dean, producer) | Internet: ESPN3.com
Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, play-by-play; Stan Weber, analyst) | Satellite Radio: Sirius 121/XM 141 (home team only)
Head Coaches: Kansas State - Frank Martin (Florida International `93) is 86-39 (.688) in his fourth season as a head coach and at the school. Kansas - Bill Self (Oklahoma State `85) is 428-149 (.742) in his 18th season as a head coach and 221-44 (.834) in his eighth season at the school.
Series: Kansas leads 180-90 (81-35 at home) | Martin vs. Kansas: 1-6 (0-3 on the road) | Martin vs. Self: 1-6 (0-3 on the road)
Last Time Out: K-State knocked off Baylor, 69-61, at home on Monday night, while Kansas earned an 82-78 win at Colorado on Tuesday.
Rankings: Kansas is ranked No. 6 in The Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Top 25 polls, while K-State is receiving votes.
Tickets: Sold out.
Sunflower Showdown to be showcased on College Gameday
Kansas State (14-7, 2-4 Big 12) renews one of the oldest rivalries in college basketball on Saturday, as the Wildcats travel east to Lawrence to play rival Kansas (19-1, 4-1 Big 12) on the 150th anniversary of statehood before a nationally-televised audience on ESPN Primetime at 6 p.m. The Sunflower Showdown, presented by Dillons, will serve as host for the popular College Gameday Driven by State Farm show for the third time in four seasons, which began first at Allen Fieldhouse on March 1, 2008 and, most recently, was broadcast from Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 30, 2010. The Gameday crew of host Rece Davis and analysts Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis will broadcast live from James Naismith Court from 9-11 a.m. with ESPNU carry the first hour (9-10 a.m.) before ESPN picks up coverage at 10 a.m. The primetime hour will air on ESPN from 5-6 p.m. before the crew of Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Dick Vitale (analyst) and Erin Andrews (sideline reporter) call the contest.
In addition to the special anniversary for the state of Kansas, which became the 34th state on Jan. 29, 1861, the contest will also serve as the 2011 Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend, in which college basketball coaches nationwide will wear sneakers with their attire to raise cancer awareness and remind fans of making healthy choices. The event is a collaboration of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Nike has designed special black and purple sneakers for the coaching staff.
Saturday's game will be the 271st meeting between the state's two flagship universities in a series that dates back to 1907. It is the sixth-most played series in Division I college basketball history, including the longest involving members of the current Big 12 Conference. The two teams have met every season for 104 years, which represents the eighth-most continuously played series. The Jayhawks own a 180-90 edge in the series, including an 81-35 advantage in Lawrence. They have dominated the series since the start of the Big 12, winning 33 of 35 meetings, including 14 victories in the last 15 meetings at Allen Fieldhouse. K-State has not beaten a Top 10 team on the road since knocking off top-ranked Kansas, 68-64, on Jan. 17, 1994. The Jayhawks have won six in a row in the series, including four straight at home, since the Michael Beasley-led Wildcats earned the team's first win in the series at Bramlage Colisem on Jan. 30, 2008. Last season, the squads met three times with Kansas earning both regular-season victories, to go with a 72-64 win in the title game of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.
K-State got a much-needed 69-61 victory on Monday over the Baylor Bears, which snapped a two-game losing streak. The Wildcats once again struggled from the field -- connecting on just 36.5 percent from the field, including 33.3 percent from 3-point range -- but performed well from the free throw line -- knocking down 25-of-31 attempts, including 11-of-12 in the last five minutes. The team, which ranks 338th in free throw shooting in the country at 60.6 percent, has steadily improved their percentage from the line in the last eight games, connecting on nearly 73 percent (143-of-197) in that span, including 72.9 percent (102-of-140) in league play. The 25 free throws are the most this season, while the 80.6 percentage from the line ranks second only to the 81.3 percent shot against Texas Tech on Jan. 15.
Despite their struggles on the offensive end, the Wildcats were solid defensively, holding the Bears to 61 points (12 below their average) on 40.4 percent shooting from the field, including 25 percent in the first half, while forcing 17 turnovers. The squad converted those miscues into 19 points, while limiting the Bears to just 11 points off of their 15 turnovers. The 11 points off turnovers were the fewest by a Big 12 foe this season (after averaging 21.2 points in its first five conference games). For the season, K-State is holding its opponents to 64.6 points per game on 40.5 percent from the field, including 35.1 percent from 3-point range, while holding a +8.8 edge in rebounds and forcing 16.5 turnovers per game. After being out-rebounded 39-30 in a 64-56 loss at No. 11/10 Texas A&M on Jan. 22, the squad responded with a big night against a much-longer Baylor team by posting a 35-26 edge on the glass, including 16 offensive rebounds (one short of the Big 12 high of 17 vs. Texas Tech).
K-State got a balanced scoring effort on Monday, as four players scored in double figures (first time since Texas Tech) led by a game-high 17 points from senior Jacob Pullen and freshman Will Spradling. It marked the 15th time that Pullen has led the team in scoring in just 18 games played. He has scored in double figures now 92 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 Texas A&M on Jan. 22, Pullen became just the fourth Wildcat and the first since Askia Jones in 1994 to top 1,800 career points. He now needs 10 steals and six rebounds to become the first player in school history with 1,800 points, 400 assists, 300 rebounds and 200 steals in a career. He is 16 points away from passing both Blackman and Jones into second place all-time in scoring in school history, just behind Evans' mark of 2,115 points set between 1974-78. The school's all-time leader in 3-point field goals, attempts and steals, he ranks among the Top 10 of 18 career categories, including 17 in Top 5.
Spradling posted a career-high for points with 17 against Baylor, including a stellar 9-of-9 performance from the free throw line. It was the best effort from the stripe since Pullen went 11-of-11 against Washington State on Dec. 5, 2009. Senior Curtis Kelly added another solid game with 13 points, a team-high seven rebounds, three steals and two assists, while sophomore Rodney McGruder broke out of a mini-scoring slump with 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Kelly seems to be finding his rhythm again, averaging 11 points on 57.6 percent shooting (19-of-33) from the field to go with 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in four games back from his six-game suspension due to NCAA rules violations. He has scored in double figures in eight of his 12 games played this season, including a season-best 19-point effort vs. Duke on Nov. 23.
The Wildcats continue to try to find some consistency, as they have just one player - Rodney McGruder - who has started all 21 games this year, while there are just two others - Spradling and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts - who have played in all 21 games. The team has used eight different starting lineups, while Spradling and fellow freshman Shane Southwell are just the second and third rookie guards to start a game in four years under Frank Martin. The two's only two seniors - Pullen and Kelly - missed three and six games, respectively, due to NCAA rules violations, while the team's four upperclassmen - Pullen, Kelly, Jamar Samuels and Victor Ojeleye - have only been eligible to play in the same game nine 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 fell out of the Coaches' poll after 24 weeks on Monday after consecutive losses last week.
The Book on Kansas
Kansas enters Saturday's game with a 19-1 overall record and 4-1 mark in Big 12 action after posting an 82-78 win at Colorado on Tuesday night. The squad rebounded from their first loss of the season to No. 10/11 Texas on Jan. 22 with a strong offensive effort against the Buffaloes. The Jayhawks connected 50.9 percent from the field, including 53.1 percent in the first half, and used a 37-23 edge on the glass to out-score the Buffs, 21-2 in second-chance points. Four players scored in double figures led by freshman sensation Josh Selby's team-high 17 points, while junior Marcus Morris added 15 points to go with his brother, Markieff's team-best 11 rebounds. Seniors Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar each had 14 points and combined for six of the squad's 10 baskets from long range.
The team returns 14 lettermen, including three starters, from a squad that posted a 33-3 overall record, including a 15-1 mark in the Big 12, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Jayhawks are averaging 82.1 points on 51.5 percent shooting from the field, including 37.3 percent from 3-point range, with 39.2 rebounds, 18.3 assists, 8.5 steals and 4.7 blocks per game. The team is stellar on the defensive end, yielding 62.5 points on 38.5 percent shooting, including 27.7 percent from 3-point line, while forcing 14.1 turnovers per contest. The squad leads the Big 12 in scoring margin, field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage defense and assists, while they are second in scoring offense and steals. They are a balanced team with four players scoring in double figures led by the Morris' twins. Marcus is averaging a team-best 17.0 points on 59.7 percent shooting with 6.8 rebounds, while Markieff is averaging 12.7 points on 55.9 percent shooting with a team-best 8.6 rebounds per outing. Selby is averaging 11.8 points, while Reed adds 10 points per game, including a team-high 41 3-point field goals. Junior Tyshawn Taylor paces the team with 5.1 assists per game.
Kansas is led by eighth-year coach Bill Self, who has compiled a 221-44 (.834) record since taking over in 2003-04. He has guided the squad to seven consecutive 20-win seasons, including three 30-win seasons, and seven NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2008 NCAA title.
Series vs. Kansas
This will be the 271st meeting between Kansas and K-State in a series that dates back to 1907. It is the sixth-most played series in Division I college basketball history, including the longest involving members of the Big 12 Conference. The two teams have met every season for 104 years, which represents the eighth-most continuously played series. The Jayhawks own a 180-90 advantage in the series, including an 81-35 edge in Lawrence. They have dominated the series since the start of the Big 12, winning 33 of 35 meetings, including 14 victories in the last 15 meetings at Allen Fieldhouse. K-State has not beaten a Top 10 team on the road since knocking off top-ranked Kansas, 68-64, on Jan. 17, 1994. The Jayhawks have won six in a row in the series, including four straight at home, since the Michael Beasley-led Wildcats earned the team's first win in the series at Bramlage Colisem on Jan. 30, 2008. Last season, the squads met three times with KU earning both regular-season victories, to go with a 72-64 win in the title game of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. The 81-79 overtime win by the Jayhawks in Manhattan on Jan. 30, 2010 was one of the highest-rated and most-viewed Big 12 regular-season conference game on ESPN since 1997.
K-State has been solid defensively this season, holding its opponents to 64.6 points per game on 40.5 percent shooting, including 35.1 percent from 3-point range, while forcing them into 16.5 turnovers per game. The Wildcats have held 15 opponents to 65 points or less, including 12 of the last 16, 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 40.3 rebounds per game, including 15.9 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 303 second-chance points (14.9 per game) compared to just 208 (9.9 per game) for its opponents. They have out-scored their opponent in this regard in all but five 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 particularly stark Kansas State's 14 wins, where the team has averaged 17.1 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 fourth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals per game (7.0) and seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (36.6), while trailing just Iowa State (185) and Missouri (156) in total 3-pointers (147). 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 3-point field goals (2.24) and ninth in percentage (40.9). He has posted at least one trey in 17 of 21 games, including two or more from long range on 15 occasions. McGruder has been impressive in the last eight games, where he has connected on 47.1 percent (24-of-51) 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. His exploits are all the more impressive considering he shares the backcourt with Pullen, the school's all-time leader in both 3-pointers (262) and attempts (748). Pullen, who is tied for ninth in the Big 12 in 3-pointers per game (2.06), ranks second on the team with 37 treys, including at least two in 10 games and a season-high four in four contests. However, this statistic goes beyond McGruder and Pullen, as nine other Wildcats have at least one 3-pointer this season, including double-digit totals from freshman Will Spradling (21) 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 338th nationally (out of 346 teams) and last in the Big 12 at 60.6 percent (318-of-525). However, the extra practice since the end of the semester has seemed to improve that percentage, as the Wildcats have connected on over 72 percent (143-of-197) in the last eight 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 four times, including games against Baylor (80.6; 25-of-31), 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 in school history in free throws made (443) and attempted (577), has hit on more than 80 percent (41-of-50) after starting the season at just over 70 percent (71.4; 45-of-63). Spradling's 9-of-9 effort against Baylor was the best since Pullen went 11-of-11 against Washington State in 2009.
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 14-7 start to the season. This nucleus has scored 771 of the team's 1543 points thus far (50 percent), while posting 416 of 847 rebounds (49 percent), 176 of 306 assists (58 percent) and 61 of 132 steals (46 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. Thirty of the team's 66 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 13. He paces the team in 3-pointer (47) and rebounding (6.7 rpg.), while he is second in scoring (11.2 ppg.), field goals (83), steals (16) and minutes played (28.7 mpg.). Freshman Will Spradling and sophomores Wally Judge and Martavious Irving rank fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, in scoring at 6.1, 5.6 and 5.1 points per game. Spradling is first in free throw percentage (89.7) and second in assists (2.2 apg.) and steals (0.8 spg.). Judge has claimed two of the team's three double-doubles (including two in the last nine 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 21 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 24.6 points per game off the bench, while out-scoring its foes by a margin of 517-346. The squad has scored 20 or more points from the bench in 15 of 21 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 66 double-digit scoring efforts this season, including 19 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 2,341 points off of 2,084 turnovers in 125 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, 365-326. 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 14 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 Jan. 22, 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 1,829 points in 122 games ranks fourth all-time and is less than five points behind Jones (1,834, 1989-94) for third place and less than 15 behind Rolando Blackman (1,844, 1977-81) for second. He has an outside chance (needs 286 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 (748), he became the leader in 3-point field goals (now at 262) 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). He tied Henson for most steals (190) with one theft against Baylor on Monday. With his six makes against Florida on Dec. 11, Pullen 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 (577), third in double-digit scoring games (92), minutes (3,528) and consecutive starts (82), fourth in games (122), starts (103) and field goals attempted (1,393) and fifth in field goals (562) 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 45 percent shooting, including 40.9 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 21 games, McGruder also paces the team in 3-point field goals (47), while he is second in scoring, double-digit scoring games (13), field goals (83), 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 15 of his 21 games. All of 6-foot-4, he has also been the best rebounder, posting at least five boards in 17 contests, including a career-high 15 against Texas Tech on Jan. 15. He has led the team in department on 10 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 eight consecutive starts, which has included the team's first six Big 12 opponents. The reigning Big 12 Sixth Man Award winner, he is averaging 11.1 points in the span on 47.8 percent shooting (32-of-67), including 41.7 percent (5-of-12) from beyond the arc, to go with 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 27.6 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. Samuels is closing in on a feat that only eight other players have accomplished at K-State, as he is nearing 1,000 career points (871 currently) and 500 career rebounds (457).
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. 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. As a junior, he led in scoring (16 ppg.) and rebounding (7.2 rpg.) en route to helping the Longhorns to a 28-4 record and a trip to the 2010 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.