No. 22 K-State readies for No. 2 Kansas

game information
22/24 kansas state vs. 2/2 kansas

Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tipoff: 7:05 p.m. CT
Location: Manhattan, Kan.
Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (1988)
Capacity: 12,528

Series: Kansas leads 173-89
(Kansas is 71-43 in Manhattan, Kan.)

Television: ESPN Plus/Big 12 Television   
Dave Armstrong (play-by-play)
Paul Splittorff (analyst)
Doc Carothers (producer)
Channels: Kansas City (KMCI), Topeka (KSNT), Wichita (KSAS)

Radio: K-State Sports Network;
Powercat Passport Internet Audio;   
Yahoo! Internet Radio, Sirius Satellite 147
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)

Tickets: Sold out.  It marks the fifth time this season that K-State has sold out.  Season tickets are sold out for second straight year.

kansas state wildcats
Record: 14-4 (4-0 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): 22/24
Coach: Frank Martin
Alma Mater: Florida International, 93
Career Record: 14-4/1
School Record: 14-4/1
vs. Kansas: First meeting
06-07 Record: 23-12 (10-6 Big 12)
Last game: Jan. 26, 2008
defeated Iowa State, 82-57
SID: Tom Gilbert
Website: www.k-statesports.com

kansas jayhawks
Record: 20-0 (5-0 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): 2/2
Coach: Bill Self
Alma Mater: Oklahoma State 85
Career Record: 332-134/15
School Record: 125-29/5
vs. Kansas State: 10-1
06-07 Record: 33-5 (14-2 Big 12)
Last game: Jan. 26, 2008
defeated Nebraska, 84-49
SID: Chris Theisen
Website: www.kuathletics.com

projected starters
Kansas State (14-4, 4-0 Big 12)
G - #2 Blake Young (6.2 ppg., 3.3 rpg.)
G - #5 Clent Stewart (7.6 ppg., 3.2 apg.)
F - #4 Andre Gilbert (5.2 ppg., 2.8 rpg.)
F - #12 Bill Walker (15.8 ppg., 6.6 rpg.)
F - #30 Michael Beasley (25.3 ppg., 12.7 rpg.)

Kansas (20-0, 5-0 Big 12)
G - #3 Russell Robinson (7.3 ppg., 4.6 apg.)
G - #15 Mario Chalmers (11.9 ppg., 4.9 apg.)
G - #25 Brandon Rush (12.0 ppg., 4.9 rpg.)
F - #00 Darrell Arthur (13.6 ppg., 5.8 rpg.)
F - #32 Darnell Jackson (12.8 ppg., 7.4 rpg.)

game preview
No. 22/24 Kansas State (14-4, 4-0 Big 12) concludes its brief two-game homestand on Wednesday, as the Wildcats play host to No. 2/2 Kansas (20-0, 5-0 Big 12) at 7 p.m.  The contest will mark the first time in nearly 50 years that the two in-state rivals have met while ranked in The Associated Press’ Top 25 poll.  The schools, who are tied atop the Big 12 standings with unblemished league records, will also face off against each other for just the fourth time (and the first time since 1993) when both are unbeaten in conference play.

A number of streaks will be put to the test in Wednesday’s contest.  K-State carries a season-high five-game overall winning streak and a seven-game homecourt winning streak into the game, while it has won 11 straight games (including nine in Big 12 play) in the month of January dating back to last season.  It is the Wildcats’ longest win streak in the month since the team won 21 straight from Jan. 14, 1957 to Jan. 14, 1961.  Off to its best start since 1996-97, Kansas is one of only two unbeaten teams left in the country with a perfect 20-0 record and has won 13 in a row against Big 12 competition. 

The Jayhawks have also won 24 consecutive games in Manhattan dating back to 1984, including all 19 contests in Bramlage Coliseum since the arena opened in 1988.  The Wildcats’ last win at home in the series came on Jan. 29, 1983 when senior Les Craft connected on a pair of free throws to secure a 58-57 win at Ahearn Field House.

Wednesday’s contest will be televised regionally on the Big 12 Network via ESPN Plus (KMCI - Kansas City; KSNT - Topeka; KSAS - Wichita) with Dave Armstrong (play-by-play) and Paul Splittorff (analyst) calling the action.  The game is also available nationally on the ESPN Full Court package.  It will the second of six appearances on the network and one of a school-record 29 televised contests.  

The game will be broadcast on the 31-station K-State Sports Network (Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio) with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) behind the mikes.  Fans can also listen to the game on Sirius Satellite 147.

Kansas State’s 82-57 win over Iowa State on Saturday was a historic one, as the Wildcats registered their 1,400th victory in school history.  The school, which ranks 47th all-time in victories in NCAA Division I with a 1,400-1,016 (.579) mark, became the fifth Big 12 program to accomplish the feat, following Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. 

The victory also continued the squad’s best start in conference play in 20 years since opening Big Eight play with a 6-0 record in 1987-88.  Overall, it marked the 14th time in school history that the Wildcats have started league play at least 4-0.  It also gave the program 10 home wins at Bramlage Coliseum for the seventh consecutive season.  The team has an 85-27 (.759) record at home since 2001-02.
 
the book on kansas state
After running its winning streak to a season-best five games, Kansas State returned to both major Top 25 polls on Monday for the first time since November, coming in at No. 22 in The Associated Press poll and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.  The program opened the season with its first preseason ranking since 1975 in the AP poll and climbed to as high as No. 18 before falling out on Dec. 3.  The four-week run in the poll was the longest since the 1981-82 squad also spent four consecutive weeks in the poll from Jan. 20 to Feb. 20, 1982. 

Kansas State again used a stellar all-around effort to post its seventh straight win over Iowa State in Manhattan on Saturday.  The Wildcats topped 80 points for the ninth time this season, which equals or surpasses the single-season totals of 80-point games from the last nine seasons, including eight in 2006-07.  The squad also used stellar defensive play in the win, holding the Cyclones to 57 points on 33.9 percent shooting.  K-State has now held three straight Big 12 foes to fewer than 60 points for the first time since January 1983.

Reigning Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week Michael Beasley led four Wildcats in double figures against Iowa State with 33 points on 12-of-21 shooting and 15 rebounds in just 22 minutes.  Beasley, who earned his fifth Big 12 award of the season, averaged 31.0 points and 14.0 rebounds for the week.  His 33-point effort was his seventh 30-point game of the season, which tied the school single-season record held by Bob Boozer (1958-59) and Norris Coleman (1985-86).  His 16 double-doubles are just two shy of the school record held by Larry Comley (18; 1960-61), while he is just six shy of the all-time record for the most-ever by a Division I freshman set by Syracuse’s Carmelo Anthony (22) in 2002-03.  Anthony had 18 in the regular season.   
   
The team is averaging 80.6 points on 44.9 percent shooting with 43.5 rebounds, 17.2 assists, 8.4 steals and 4.1 blocks per game, while holding their foes to 65.9 points on 39.2 percent shooting.  Only one team at Kansas State - the 1952-53 squad -  has averaged 80 or more points for a season, which averaged 81.4 points in 21 games.  The Wildcats rank among the top-25 nationally in scoring margin (14th), assists (20th) and scoring (23rd).   

A pair of Wildcats are averaging in double figures led by Beasley, who ranks fourth nationally in scoring at 25.3 points per game.   Beasley, who paces the nation in rebounding at 12.7 per game, is shooting 56.6 percent from the field to go with 1.8 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.2 assists in 29.6 minutes per game.  He leads the squad in 14 categories, including scoring, double-doubles, 20-point games (14), field goals (167), free throws (105), rebounds, blocks, steals and minutes. 

Rookie Bill Walker ranks second to Beasley in numerous categories, including scoring (15.8 ppg.), rebounding (6.6 rpg.), field goals (85), field goal attempts (185), blocks (14), double-digit scoring (13), and double-doubles (three).  Since being moved back to the interior 10 games ago, Walker is averaging 18.4 points on 49.6 percent shooting, including 50 percent from 3-point range, with 6.8 rebounds in 26.1 minutes per game.  He has now scored in double figures in 17 of 22 career games, including 13 of 16 games this season. 

Jacob Pullen and Clent Stewart have also continued to play well for the Wildcats.  Pullen, who started the team’s first nine games at point guard, is first on the team in assists (3.4 apg.) and steals (1.3 spg.) and third in scoring (9.4 ppg.).  During the Wildcats’ current five-game winning streak, Pullen has posted 20 assists to just four turnovers while averaging 8.0 points per game.  The team’s most experienced player with 108 appearances and 82 starts, Stewart has scored in double figures in seven of the last 12 games.  He ranks second in assists (3.2 apg.) and minutes (27.7 mpg.), while he is fourth in scoring (7.6 ppg.) and fifth in rebounding (3.2 rpg.).

success for both men and women
Kansas State and Gonzaga are the only schools in Division I to have both its men’s and women’s basketball unbeaten in conference play.  The 18th-ranked women’s squad has won its nine consecutive games and its first six league games, including four over ranked teams, to post a 14-5 overall record, while the 22nd-ranked Wildcat men have earned victories in their first four conference games for the first time since the 1987-88 season.  Both teams are ranked in the AP Top 25 in the same week for the first time in more 25 years when the men were ranked 17th and women 19th in the March 2, 1982 poll. 

turning up the offense
Since posting a season-low 59 points against Notre Dame on Dec. 4, Kansas State has turned up its offense in the last 10 games.  The squad is averaging 83.5 points on 46.8 percent shooting (288-of-616), including 37.7 percent from 3-point range (72-of-191), during that span after averaging 76.9 points on 42.6 percent shooting, including 25.9 from beyond the arc, in the first eight.  Most notably, the team has taken better advantage of its opportunites from the free throw line, converting on 70.6 percent (187-of-265) in the last 10 games compared to 63.6 percent (119-of-187) in first eight.

turning up the offense, part 2
Kansas State has scored 75 or more points in nine of the last 10 games, including a span of eight consecutive games from Dec. 9, 2007 to Jan. 19, 2008, which tied the 1960-61 squad for the most in school history.  With 75 points against No. 10 Texas A&M, the team hit the mark for the eighth game in a row, surpassing the seven done by the 1976-77 squad.  The Wildcats have already topped the 80-point mark in nine contests, which equals the total from the 2006-07 season.  It also equals or surpasses the totals from the previous 17 seasons and is the most since the 1988-89 squad did it 15 times. 

Kansas State has scored at least 75 points in 15 of its 18 games this season.  The 15 games of at least 75 points equals or surpasses the entire total from the past 18 seasons, including the 10 in 2006-07.  The last time the school had more than 15 games of 75 or more points was the 1988-89 season, which produced 17 such contests.

better in the second half
Like its superstar freshman, K-State tends to get better as the game goes on, averaging 42.3 points on 50.6 percent shooting (including 33.9 percent from 3-point range) in the second half this season.  The team has topped 40 or more points in the second half of 12 games, including 50 or more points in three games.  In fact, the Wildcats have connected on 50 percent or better from the field in the second half in 11 contests, including a span of seven straight games between Dec. 17 and Jan. 19.  In that span, the team averaged 46.9 points on 55.6 percent shooting in the second half.  Eight players connected on 50 percent or better from the field during that seven-game stretch,
including Michael Beasley (66.1) and Bill Walker (65.8).       

Five Wildcats are shooting better than 50 percent from the field in the second half this season, including 72.7 percent by rookie Dominique Sutton.  Fellow freshman Michael Beasley is averaging 14.6 points on 65.0 percent shooting, including 45.8 percent from 3-point range.  He has scored in double figures in 14 second halves, including 20-point effort against Western Illinois (11/17), George Mason (11/22),  Winston-Salem State (12/22) and Colorado (1/23). Ron Anderson (55.6), Bill Walker (52.6) and Fred Brown (50.0) are also all hitting over 50 percent from the field in the second half this season.

In comparison, the team is averaging 37.3 points on 39.6 percent shooting (including 30.3 percent from 3-point range) in the first half this season.  The team has eclipsed the 40-point barrier just six times in the first half and the 50-point barrier just once.  Only two Wildcats - Anderson and Sutton - are hitting over 50 percent in the first half.

improved 3-point shooting
After a dismal start, Kansas State has improved its consistency from the 3-point line in the last nine games where the team is connecting on 39.5 percent (68-of-172) from the field.  The improvement is in contrast to the first nine games, where the squad connected on just 25.4 percent (48-of-189).  The percentage has increased in the last few games, where the Wildcats have been hitting on 42.2 percent (38-of-90) in the last four games and 40.9 percent (47-of-115) in the last five games.  The team has connected on an average of 7.8 treys in the last six games, including 10 against Texas A&M and Iowa State.

off to a good start
First-year head coach Frank Martin has posted an impressive debut as the Wildcats’ mentor.  His 14-4 start to his career ties Lon Kruger (1986-87) for the best start by a first-year head coach, while his 4-0 start in league play is the best-ever by a rookie coach.   His 14 wins have already surpassed the win totals of some of the program’s most legendary coaches, including Jack Gardner (6), Tex Winter (11), Cotton Fitzsimmons (14) and Jack Hartman (11).  Bob Huggins set the mark for most wins by a first-year coach with 23 in 2006-07.

the book on kansas (20-0)
Off to its best start since the 1996-97, Kansas (20-0, 5-0 Big 12) ran its winning streak to 20 straight on Saturday with an 84-49 win over Nebraska at Allen Fieldhouse.  The nation’s leader in scoring margin at 24.9 points per game, the Jayhawks have now beaten 15 of their 20 opponents by 20 or more points, including nine by 30 or more points.  The squad ran out to a 44-15 lead over the Cornhuskers at halftime on 57.1 percent shooting before cruising to the 35-point win.  Four players scored in double figures by sophomore Darrell Arthur’s 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting and junior Brandon Rush’s 17 points.

Kansas is averaging a Big 12-best 83.3 points on 51.6 percent shooting, including 39.7 percent from 3-point range, with 39.3 rebounds, 19.9 assists, 10.7 steals and 6.5 blocks per game.  The team is holding foes to 58.5 points per game on 37.1 percent shooting from the field.  A balanced scoring squad, the team has four players in double figured led by Arthur’s 13.6 points per game on 54 percent shooting.  Senior Darnell Jackson averages 12.8 points on 65.8 percent shooting with a team-best 7.4 rebounds per game, while Rush and junior Mario Chalmers add 12.0 and 11.9 points per game.

The team is led by head coach Bill Self, who has a 332-134 record in 15 years overall as a head coach and a 125-29 mark in fifth season at Kansas.  Self has led the Jayhawks to three straight Big 12 titles and two appearances in the NCAA Elite Eight.  He was previously the head coach at Oral Roberts (1993-97), Tulsa (1997-2000) and Illinois (2000-03) prior to taking the job at Kansas.  He has led teams to nine consecutive NCAA appearances and seven conference titles. 

series vs. kansas
This will be the 263rd meeting between Kansas State and Kansas in a series that dates back to 1907.  The rivalry ranks as the eighth-longest in NCAA history, as the teams have played 102 consecutive seasons, while the 262 meetings ranks as the seventh-most played in NCAA history.  The 173 wins by the Jayhawks also rank as the third-most over one opponent.  Kansas leads the all-time series, 173-89, including a 71-43 edge in games played in Manhattan.  Kansas, which holds a 27-1 mark since the inception of the Big 12, has won 35 of its last 36 meetings with K-State, including all 19 in Bramlage Coliseum. 

The Wildcats’ last win in the series came on Jan. 14, 2006 when they ended a 31-game losing streak with a 59-55 win at Allen Fieldhouse.  It was the first win in nearly 12 years since Kansas State toppled top-ranked Kansas, 68-64, at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 17, 1994.

interesting series notes
This will mark just the 11th time the teams have met when ranked and the first since No. 10 Kansas knocked off No. 1 Kansas State, 61-44, at Ahearn Field House on March 8, 1958.  It marked the last of three meetings during the 1957-58 season, in which, the two teams played each other when ranked in the nation’s top-10 (No. 4 K-State beat No. 2 Kansas, 79-75, in double overtime on Feb. 3, 1958 at Allen Fieldhouse, while No. 2 Kansas defeated No. 3 K-State, 79-65, at Municipal Auditorium on Dec. 30, 1957.  The previous seven games occurred between March 7, 1950 and Feb. 17, 1953.

Wednesday’s game will also mark just the fourth time the teams have met when both were unbeaten in league play.  The first happened on Jan. 15, 1951 when the 2-0 K-State defeated 3-0 Kansas, 47-43, in Lawrence, while the second happened the next season on Jan. 26, 1952 when 3-0 K-State beat 3-0 Kansas, 81-64, in Manhattan.  The next occurence didn’t happen for another 40 years when 2-0 Kansas posted a 71-65 win over 2-0 K-State on Jan. 18, 1993 in Manhattan.

putting the streak into perspective
Kansas State has lost 24 consecutive games to Kansas in Manhattan, including all 19 meetings in Bramlage Coliseum, dating back to a 63-61 win on Feb. 25, 1984.   Eleven of the 24 meetings have been decided by single-digits, including five by one possession and two in overtime.  The last time the Wildcats beat the Jayhawks at home was on Jan. 29, 1983 by a score of 58-57 in Ahearn Field House.  No player on either team was alive the last time K-State won at home.  

Head coach Frank Martin, who will attempt to become the first first-year coach to win his first game at home against Kansas since E.A. Knoth did it twice in 1921, was a senior at Miami Senior High School in Miami, Fla., while Kansas head coach Bill Self was a sophomore guard at Oklahoma State.

beasley, walker among the best
Freshmen Michael Beasley and Bill Walker are starting to prove they are two of the best players in Big 12.  The pair are one of three rookies to rank in the top-15 in both scoring and rebounding in the Big 12. 

Beasley paces the league in four categories - scoring (25.3 ppg.), rebounding (12.7 rpg.), offensive rebounds (4.50 rpg.) and defensive rebounds (8.22 rpg.) - and is the top-10 in three others - blocked shots (third - 1.78 bpg.), field goal percentage (third - 56.6) and free throw percentage (eighth - 73.9).  He is also owns the most double-doubles (15) and the most 30-point games (six).

Walker ranks sixth in the Big 12 in scoring (15.8 ppg.) and 11th (6.6 rpg.) in rebounding.  He places among the top-15 in three categories, including sixth in offensive rebounds (2.56 rpg.), ninth in free throw percentage (73.5) and 12th in field goal percentage (45.9).

more on beasley and walker
Michael Beasley and Bill Walker became just the fourth duo in Kansas State history (the first freshman duo) to each score 30 or more points at least twice in the same season and the first in 30 years.  The duo joins Bob Boozer (2) and Jack Parr (2) in 1956-57, Mike Evans (2) and Chuckie Williams (4) in 1975-76 and Mike Evans (3) and Curtis Redding (3) in 1977-78.

With his 33-point performance against Iowa State, Beasley now has notched seven contests of 30 or more points this season, which ties Bob Boozer (7, 1958-59) and Norris Coleman (7, 1985-86) for the most in a single season in Kansas State history.  He also ties Mitch Richmond (1986-88) for the fourth-most 30-point games in a career.  Boozer is the all-time leader with 10 from 1956-59.

With his effort against the Cyclones, Beasley is now the active Big 12 leader in career 30-point games (just ahead of Colorado’s Richard Roby), while he is only player with seven 30-point, 10-rebound games.  In fact, he is twice as many as the player in second place - Nebraska’s Aleks Maric - who has three in his career.  In comparison to other recent National Freshmen of the Year, Beasley’s seven 30-point, 10-rebound games are equal to Kevin Durant’s entire total from the 2006-07 season (35 games) and more than twice as many as Carmelo Anthony’s total (3) during the 2002-03 season.

Walker, who has notched his two 30-point games in the last 10, ties seven other players including notable players Bob Boozer, Mike Evans, Steve Henson and Jack Parr for the 13th-most in a single season.  He posted his first career 30-point game against California on Dec. 9 and then topped it with 31 points against Xavier.

newcomers a big part of success
One of the nation’s top recruiting classes has been a big success so far for Kansas State, as the newcomers have posted over 60 percent of the Wildcats’ points (875) and over 50 percent of the rebounds (426), steals (81), assists (144) and blocks (43). 

Most of these have come from phenom Michael Beasley, who owns over 30 percent of the team’s points (455) and rebounds (229).  In all, four of the top-7 scorers and two of the top-3 rebounders are either freshmen or first-year players in the program.  If you include redshirt freshman Bill Walker, who played just six games last year, the totals increase to over 75 percent of the points (1127) and blocks (57) and almost 70 percent of the rebounds (523) and steals (100).

okay, this guy’s pretty good
Freshman Michael Beasley earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors for the third time on Jan. 28 after averaging 31.0 points and 14.0 rebounds in wins over Colorado and Iowa State.

Beasley averaged 31.0 points on 55.3 percent shooting for the week with 14.0 rebounds in 25.0 minutes per game.  He began the week with a 29-point effort (including 26 in the second half) in the 72-56 road win at Colorado to go with 13 rebounds in 28 minutes.  He capped the week off with a 33-point, 15-rebound effort in the 82-57 win over Iowa State on Saturday in just 22 minutes of action. 

The player of the week award is also Beasley’s fifth this season after he earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors on Nov. 12 and Jan. 14 and Rookie of the Week accolades on Nov. 19 and Dec. 26, 2007.

beasley breaks another one
Michael Beasley made history yet again with his 40-point effort against Winston-Salem State on Dec. 22, as he broke fellow rookie Norris Coleman’s mark of 39 points against Colorado on Jan. 18, 1986 for the most by a freshman.  He now owns four school records, including for points by a freshman in a debut (32 vs. Sacramento State), most rebounds by a freshman (24 vs. Sacramento State) and most consecutive double-doubles by a freshman (12).  The 40 points are the most by a Wildcat since Askia Jones tallied a school-record 62 points against Fresno State in the second round of the Postseason NIT on March 24, 1994.  He is the ninth Wildcat in to record a 40-point game, while his 40-point effort ties Mike Evans (40 vs. Colorado, 1/15/77) for the eighth-highest scoring total in a game.

wildcats to score 40 or more points
62 by Askia Jones vs. Fresno State, 3/24/94
*47 by Chuckie Williams vs. Holy Cross, 12/5/75
*46 by Mike Wroblewski at Kansas, 2/7/62
*45 by Bob Boozer vs. Purdue, 12/1/58
*42 by Dick Knostman vs. Oklahoma, 2/14/53
41 by Steve Henson vs. Iowa State, 2/17/90
*41 by Mitch Richmond vs. Oklahoma, 2/13/88
40 by Mike Evans vs. Colorado, 1/15/77
40 by Michael Beasley vs. Winston-Salem State, 12/22/07

 *Was named an All-American following season.

double-double
Michael Beasley will look to become just the sixth player in school history and the first since Gene Williams in 1968-69 to average a double-double for a single-season.  He is averaging 25.3 points and 12.7 rebounds per game through 18 games with 16 double-doubles.  He would join Bob Boozer (1956-59), Jack Parr (1955-58), Larry Comley (1960-61), Willie Murrell (1962-64) and Gene Williams (1968-69) as only players to average a double-double for a season.

Beasley’s 16 double-doubles are only six shy of the all-time record for most-ever by a Division I freshman.  The record-holder is Carmelo Anthony, who had 22 (including 18 in regular season) in 2002-03.

Remarkably, Boozer and Parr averaged a double-double in three consecutive seasons, while Murrell accomplished it back-to-back seasons.  At his current pace, Beasley could also top the school single-season scoring and rebounding averages held by Bob Boozer (25.6 ppg. in 1958-59) and Jack Parr (14.5 rpg. in 1956-57).

historic beginning
Michael Beasley had a memorable first game as a Wildcat, he set three school records as well as two Big 12 marks in helping Kansas State to a season-opening victory over Sacramento State on Nov. 9.  He posted 32 points on 12-of-20 field goals with 24 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals in 31 minutes. 

Beasley is just the third player in school history to top 30 points and 20 rebounds in a single-game and the first since Bob Boozer (36 points, 23 rebounds) did it against Colorado in 1957.  The 32 points were the most points by a freshman in a debut in both Kansas State and Big 12 history, while the 24 rebounds were the most by a freshman in a single-game and the third-most by a Wildcat in school history.  The 24 rebounds also eclipsed the all-class Big 12 record of 23 held by Kevin Durant (2006) and Nick Collison (2003).

On Nov. 11, Beasley became just the third player in school history (and first freshman) to tally 30 points in back-to-back games in a win over Pittsburg State.  He tallied 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting with 14 rebounds in 29 minutes.  He is the first player to top 30 points in consecutive games since Askia Jones in January 1994.

first with two 20-point/20-rebound games
Michael Beasley became the first player in Big 12 history to collect two 20-point/20-rebound performances in a single season with his 28-point, 22-rebounds effort against Western Illinois on Nov. 19.  In the first 11 years of Big 12 competition, only nine players had posted 20-point/20-rebound games in their career and none had ever done it more than once in their respective careers.  He is just the second player in school history to accomplish the feat twice in a season and the first since Jack Parr did it twice during the 1955-56 season. 

walker back to full strength
The former high school All-American is finally healthy after playing in just six games as a true freshman in 2006-07 before going down with a season-ending ACL injury at Texas A&M in the first Big 12 contest.

Walker is second to Michael Beasley in both scoring (15.8 ppg.) and rebounding (6.6 rpg.), while he is third in steals (1.2 spg.) and free throw percentage (73.5).  He has now scored in double figures in 17 of his 22 career games, including 13 of 16 games this season.  Walker might be playing the finest basketball of his Wildcat career in the team’s last 10 games.  In gaining the start in each of these contests, he is averaging 18.4 points on 49.6 percent shooting (61-of-123), including 50.0 percent shooting (19-of-38) from 3-point range, with 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.9 steals in 26.1 minutes per game.  He has connected on 75.4 percent (43-of-57) from the free throw line during the current streak.

After battling through a variety injuries to start the season, Walker has played in 12 straight games for the Wildcats, including a career-high 35 minutes of action against California on Dec. 9.  He set or tied career-highs in nine categories against the Bears with 30 points on 7-of-22 field goals with 10 rebounds, two assists and four steals.  He posted his second 30-point outing in the last 10 games with his career-best 31-point effort against Xavier (12/31).  He went a career-high 13-of-23 from the field with six rebounds in 34 minutes.  Walker has been just as impressive during Big 12 play, averaging 17.3 points on 52.2 percent shooting, including 55.6 percent from 3-point range.

After suffering through a variety of aliments to start the season, where he missed two of the first five games, Walker began to turn the corner on the final day of the Old Spice Classic.  He posted his first career double-double against Rider on Nov. 25 with 14 points and a new career-high 10 rebounds.  He continued his impressive play against Notre Dame with a season-tying 14 points on 6-of-11 field goals with six rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

walker named big 12 rookie of the week again
Freshman forward Bill Walker earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors for the second time on Jan. 21 in helping the Wildcats topple a top-10 opponent for the first time since 2004.

In his lone game of the week, Walker posted 19 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range, in helping K-State earn a 75-54 win over No. 10 Texas A&M.  He also added four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals in 31 minutes.

Walker earned his first Big 12 Rookie of the Week honor on Dec. 10, 2007 after averaging 22.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in games against Notre Dame and California.  He is the second Kansas State player to earn Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors twice this season after fellow freshman Michael Beasley.  In all, either Beasley or Walker has captured Player or Rookie of the Week honors six times this season.

iron man
A team mainstay the past three seasons, senior guard Clent Stewart has become a guiding force for a young squad.  He has been a steady force during a crucial stretch in the last 10 games, scoring in double figures in six games and averaging 9.1 points on 44.4 percent shooting with 3.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 28.3 minutes. 

Stewart continues to move up the career charts in three categories (assists, minutes played and games started), in this, his last season at K-State.  With two assists against Oregon on Nov. 29, he broke his second-place tie with Tyrone Adams (1979-82) for career assists with 318.  With 356 assists, Stewart now trails just leader Steve Henson (582, 1987-90) on the all-time list. 

Stewart currently sits in fifth place all-time in minutes played with 2,910, passing Ayome May (2,764; 1996-99) in playing 28 minutes against Savannah State on Jan. 7.  He needs 49 minutes to pass Shawn Rhodes (2,958; 1996-99) for fourth place.  At his current pace, he should finish in the top-3 behind only Steve Henson (4,474; 1987-90) and Askia Jones (3,547; 1990-94). 

In addition, he is now in sixth place on the games started list with the 82nd start of his career against Iowa State.  He is also five games from breaking into the top-10 for career games played (108).

young comes through in clutch
Senior Blake Young has been one of the biggest keys to the team’s successful start to conference play.  Fully healthy for the first time in nearly a month, the guard has averaged 5.0 points on 41.2 percent shooting with 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 31.5 minutes per game since the start of Big 12 play.  He played perhaps the best game of his career in the upset win over No. 10 Texas A&M on Jan. 18, as he tossed in eight points on 3-of-4 field goals with a career-best nine
rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes of action.

Young, who ranks fifth on the team in scoring (6.2 ppg.) and fourth in rebounding (3.3 rpg.), elevated his play during the key three-game stretch against Oregon, Notre Dame and California.  He averaged 9.3 points on 50 percent shooting, including 41.7 percent from 3-point range, with 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steals in 35.7 minutes.  

He is one of just two players (Michael Beasley) to start all 18 games this season.  He also has the longest active game streak on the team with 53 consecutive games played dating back to last season. 

pullen shines at the point
Michael Beasley is not the only true freshman to shine so far this season, as rookie Jacob Pullen has played well in the point guard spot.  The Maywood, Ill., native paces the squad in assists (3.4 apg.) and steals (1.3 spg), is third in scoring (9.4 ppg.), fourth in 3-pointers (16) and fifth in minutes played (23.2 mpg.).

Although his scoring totals have gone down, Pullen might be playing his best basketball in the last few weeks.  In helping the Wildcats to five straight victories, the rookie averaged 8.0 points to go with 4.0 assists (with just a 0.8 turnover average).  He was stellar in his first-ever Big 12 game against the Sooners, posting eight points to go with a career-tying six assists, including the game-winning assist to Michael Beasley with 2.3 seconds left.  He was also impressive against Texas A&M with eight points, four assists and two steals. 

Pullen began the season with double-digit scoring in eight of his first 10 games, including tying his career-high with 19 points in back-to-back wins over UCF and Rider at the Old Spice Classic.  He combined to go 6-of-14 from 3-point range in those wins, including a season-high four treys against the Knights.  He opened the season with 18 points against Sacramento State in his first collegian game on 7-of-11 shooting to go with a team-high five assists and two steals.

what brown can do for you
Yet another talented freshman is starting to emerge from the bench, as Fred Brown posted solid efforts in the last five non-conference games.  He averaged 12.2 points on 57.1 percent shooting in that span with 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.8 assists in 17.2 minutes per game.  He scored 61 of his 71 season point total during this span.

Brown posted a career-night against Xavier (12/31) with a career-best 25 points on a team season-best 9-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range, in a career-high 24 minutes.  The 25 points were nearly triple his previous season high of nine against Florida A&M (12/17) and Winston-Salem State (12/22).  His 81.8 percent shooting from the field ties for the best by a Wildcat with at least five field goals, while his five 3-point field goals are the most by a Wildcat since Cartier Martin had five against Oklahoma on March 3, 2007. 

After playing a combined 16 minutes in the previous five games, Brown logged 16 minutes of action against Florida A&M with nine points.  He continued his impressive play against Savannah State, scoring in double figures for the second straight game with 10 points.     

gilbert not just one-game wonder
Junior college transfer Andre Gilbert broke out against Rider on Nov. 25 and even outshined fellow newcomer Michael Beasley.  The transfer from Mount San Jacinto College in California, nearly doubled his season total for points against the Broncs with a team-high 22 points on 7-of-11 field goals, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, in 28 minutes of action.  He followed this performance with yet another stellar effort against Oregon (11/29), posting 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting in a season-high 32 minutes.  He averaged 19.0 points on 52.0 percent shooting, including 50.0 percent from beyond the arc, with 4.5 rebounds in those two games.  Gilbert came into the Rider game with a total of 13 points in the first five games with a previous high of seven against Pitt State on Nov. 11.
 
samuels, sutton join squad
K-State head coach Frank Martin received a pair of belated holiday gifts on Dec. 26 when high school recruits Jamar Samuels and
Dominique Sutton were cleared to begin competing for the Wildcats.

Both Samuels and Sutton come to Kansas State after playing at The Patterson School in Lenoir, N.C., for head coach Chris Chaney.  The duo played a major role in helping the Bulldogs to a 36-4 overall record and a No. 3 national prep school ranking in 2006-07.  The squad advanced to the inaugural Prep School National Championship, where they lost in the semifinals to the eventual national champions Notre Dame (Mass.) Prep, led by future teammate Michael Beasley.

Sutton averaged 15.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and a team-leading 3.0 steals per game as a senior, while Samuels was the first players off the bench for the Bulldogs.  Both players starred on the AAU circuit with the DC Assault alongside Beasley and Ron Anderson.   

A 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward from Washington, D.C., Samuels played just one season at The Patterson School after a stellar playing career at Archibishop Carroll High School.  He averaged 22 points, nine rebounds and three blocks per game as a junior, while he
averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks as a sophomore.
 
A 6-foot-5, 220-pound shooting guard from Durham, N.C., Sutton was rated among the top players in the country in 2006, including the No. 57 overall prospect by Scout.com and No. 131 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  He was also ranked among the top-50 at his position by a number of outlets, including No. 11 by Scout.com, No. 21 by High School Hoops magazine and No. 39 by Rivals.com.  In addition, he was rated the No. 2 in North Carolina by Rivals.com.

Sutton played two year for The Patterson School after transferring from Durham Jordan High School.  As a sophomore, he averaged 19.7 points in guiding the Falcons to a 19-8 overall record and the 4-A Western Regional semifinals.  He was named to AP All-State second team and was the Durham Sun-Herald Player of the Year.

anderson a monster on boards
Another true freshman making an impact for the Wildcats is Ron Anderson, who ranks second on the team in field goal percentage (56.8) and third in rebounding (4.2 rpg.).  After scoring just 13 points in the previous six games, Anderson had a career day shooting the ball against Wagner (12/29).  He posted a season-high 14 points in the game on 5-of-6 field goals with six rebounds in 22 minutes.    

A late addition to the squad in August, he has already performed well during the season, averaging 7.0 points on 75 percent shooting with 6.0 rebounds in 20.7 minutes at the Old Spice Classic.  He nearly posted his first double-double against UCF on Nov. 23 with 11 points and eight rebounds to go with three assists after turning in six points and nine rebounds against George Mason.  The rookie has registered eight or more rebounds in four games this year, including a career-high 12 against Pitt State on Nov. 11.