K-State Renews Sunflower Showdown at KU Saturday

Game Notes in PDF Format

GAME 22
KANSAS STATE (12-9, 5-3 Big 12)
at 9/11 KANSAS (17-3, 6-1 Big 12)
Saturday, January 31, 2015 >> Allen Fieldhouse (16,300)  >> 1 p.m. CT

TELEVISION
ESPN
Dave Flemming (play-by-play)
Fran Fraschilla (analyst)
WatchESPN link - http://es.pn/1xKlnDU

RADIO
K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)
Satellite: Sirius 91/XM 91

STATS/AUDIO
kstatesports.com
Stats - http://bit.ly/1yqDy3x
Audio - http://bit.ly/15rNnVB

TICKETS
Sold out

COACHES
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 372-185 (17th year)
at K-State: 59-30 (3rd year)
vs. Kansas: 1-5

Kansas: Bill Self (Oklahoma State ’85)
Overall: 549-177 (22nd year)
At Kansas: 342-72 (12th year)
vs. K-State: 19-4

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (12-9, 5-3 Big 12)   
G – #1 Jevon Thomas (5.4 ppg., 3.6 apg.)
G – #2 Marcus Foster (13.8 ppg., 2.2 rpg.)
G – #25 Wesley Iwundu (5.8 ppg., 3.2 rpg.)   
F – #11 Nino Williams (11.7 ppg., 4.9 rpg.)
F – #42 Thomas Gipson (11.0 ppg., 4.7 rpg.)

9/11 Kansas (17-3, 6-1 Big 12)
G - #0 Frank Mason III (12.9 ppg., 4.1 apg.)
G - #1 Wayne Selden, Jr. (8.7 ppg., 2.9 rpg.)
G - #12 Kelly Oubre, Jr. (8.2 ppg., 4.6 rpg.)
F - #31 Jamari Traylor (4.8 ppg., 3.8 rpg.)
F - #34 Perry Ellis (12.6 ppg., 6.6 rpg.)

INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: Kansas leads 187-92 (39-4 in Big 12 era)
In Manhattan: Kansas leads 75-46 (W, 85-82 [OT], 2/10/2014)
In Lawrence: Kansas leads 85-35 (W, 86-60, 1/11/2014)
Last Meeting: K-State, 85-82 [OT], 2/10/2014 (Manhattan, Kan.)
Weber vs. Kansas: 1-5 (0-2 on the road)
Self vs. K-State: 19-4 (10-1 at home)
Weber vs. Self: Self leads 6-2 (3-0 at home)

LAST GAME SUMMARY
17/17 West Virginia 65, K-State 59
Game 21  *  Bramlage Coliseum  *  January 27, 2015
 
Kansas State was forced into a season-high 25 turnovers by a relentless West Virginia press in its 65-59 loss on Tuesday in front of a sellout crowd of 12,528 at Bramlage Coliseum. The team shot 36.7 percent (18-of-49) from the field, the second-worst shooting outing of the season, including 57.1 percent (20-of-35) from the free throw line, as the Wildcats entered the contest shooting 76 percent from the stripe in Big 12 play. The Wildcats’ pressure forced West Virginia into a season-high 20 turnovers, holding the Mountaineers to 36.4 percent (20-of-55) shooting. The two teams combined for 54 personal fouls and 45 turnovers. Sophomore Marcus Foster paced the Wildcats for the seventh time this season with 15 points. Wesley Iwundu was the only other Wildcat in double figures, scoring 12 points, corralling six rebounds, and dishing out a team high three assists.

GAME 22 - QUICK HITTERS
•    Kansas State (12-9, 5-3 Big 12) renews one of the most played rivalries in college basketball on Saturday, as the Wildcats travel to Lawrence, Kan., and Allen Fieldhouse, to face No. 9/11 Kansas (17-3, 6-1 Big 12) in the 280th Sunflower Showdown. The game will air nationally on ESPN with Dave Flemming (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst).
•    The Sunflower Showdown is the 8th-most continuously played rivalry (108) in college basketball and the oldest among Big 12 schools, while the 279 meetings ties for the 6th-most played. The game will come 2 days after the state celebrated its 154th anniversary of joining the Union.
•    Kansas leads the all-time series, 187-92, including 85-35 at home. The Jayhawks have won 39 of 43 match-ups in the Big 12 era, including 8 in a row at Allen Fieldhouse by an average of margin of 20.4 points. K-State’s last win in Lawrence came by a score of 59-55 on Jan. 14, 2006.
•    Saturday’s game continues one of the most difficult stretches in school history, as the Jayhawks will be the 5th straight opponent to be either ranked or receiving votes, including the 2nd Top 10 foe. The Wildcats are 2-3 vs. Top 25 opponents this season, including 0-2 vs. Top 10 foes.
•    Saturday’s game will also begin a stretch, in which, K-State will play 5 of its next 7 games away from Bramlage Coliseum, including the 1st of back-to-back road tilts. The team has just 4 home games remaining.
•    K-State saw its 6-game winning streak against ranked foes at home come to end on Tuesday, as No. 17/17 West Virginia posted a 65-59 win. In a defensive slugfest, in which, neither team shot 40 percent from the field, the teams combined for 45 turnovers and 54 fouls. The Wildcats had a season-high 25 turnovers and the second-most personal fouls (26).
•    Senior Nino Williams, who earned Phillips 66 co-Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the 2nd time on Monday, played just 6 minutes in the loss to West Virginia after sustaining a knee injury.  He is listed as day-to-day. He had led the team in scoring in each of the previous 3 games. 
•    K-State is averaging 71.2 points on 50.9 percent shooting, including 41.8 percent from 3-point range, with16.0 assists and 13.3 turnovers in its 12 wins and 57.6 points on 39.1 percent shooting, including 27.6 percent from long range, with 11.0 assists and 15.6 turnovers in its 9 losses.
•    After allowing 71.8 points on 49.1 percent shooting in the first 6 games, the Wildcats have been much improved on defense in the last 15 games, allowing just 59.1 points on 41.6 percent shooting from the field.

THE OPPONENT: 9/11 KANSAS (17-3, 6-1 Big 12)
•    No. 9/11 Kansas enters Saturday’s game with a 17-3 record after earning its 3rd straight Big 12 win, including its 2nd in a row on the road, with an 64-61 victory on Wednesday at TCU... The Jayhawks are 10-0 at home, including 3-0 in Big 12 play.
•    The Jayhawks are averaging 72 points on 43.6 percent shooting, including 39.3 percent from 3-point range, on the season with 39.2 rebounds, 14 assists, 6.5 steals and 5.2 blocks per game... They are allowing opponent 64.6 points per game on 40.2 percent shooting, including 32.3 percent from beyond the arc... The team is shooting 71.2 percent from the free throw line.
•    Kansas ranks 4th in the Big 12 in scoring offense, 9th in scoring defense, 1st in 3-point field goal percentage.
•    Kansas ranks 1st in Big 12-only games in scoring margin (+8.7), 3-point field goal percentage (39.5), field goal percentage defense (37.2) and defensive rebounds (27.9)... The team is 3rd in scoring offense (73.4) and 4th in scoring defense (60.5).
•    Kansas has one of the most diverse offenses in the Big 12 with 7 players averaging more 5 points per game led by sophomore Frank Mason III’s 12.9 points per game average... Mason paces the Jayhawks in field goals (89), assists (4.1), steals (1.3 spg.) and minutes (33.2 mpg.), while is 2nd in 3-pointers (25)... Senior Perry Ellis is 2nd in scoring (12.6 ppg.) on 43.5 percent shooting with a team-leading 6.6 rebounds per game... Sophomore Wayne Selden, Jr., is 3rd in scoring at 8.7 points per game to go with a team-best 27 3-point field goals, while freshmen sensations Cliff Alexander (8.6 ppg.) and Kelly Oubre, Jr. (8.2 ppg.) also average better than 8 points per game... Alexander is tops in blocks (1.4 bpg.) and 2nd in rebounding (5.9 rpg.). 
•    Kansas returns 10 lettermen, including 2 starters, from a team that won 25 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
•    Kansas is led by 12th-year head coach Bill Self, who has a 342-72 record in his tenure... He has a 549-177 record in his 22nd season as a head coach, which includes stints at Oral Roberts (1993-97), Tulsa (1997-2000) and Illinois (2000-03).
•    Bill Self is 19-4 all-time vs. Kansas State, including a 10-1 mark at home.

BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
•    This will be the 280th meeting between the two schools with Kansas leading the series, 187-92, including an 85-35 mark at home... The two schools have met at least once every season since 1921, while the series dates to 1907... It ranks as the eighth-longest continuously played rivalry in the country, while it ties for the sixth-most games played.
•    Kansas holds a 39-4 mark in the Big 12 era and have won 13 of the last 15 meetings, including 6 of the last 7.
•    Kansas has won 8 straight in the series at home with the last K-State win coming on Jan. 14, 2006 (59-55).
•    The schools split their 2 meetings in 2014 with Kansas winning 86-60 at home on Jan. 11 before K-State ended a 6-game losing streak with an 85-82 win in overtime at Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 10... It was the Wildcats’ first win since Feb. 14, 2011.
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster has averaged 13.5 points on 36.4 percent shooting in 2 meetings with the Jayhawks to go with 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game... Senior Thomas Gipson has averages of 5.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in 7 meetings.

ON THE ROAD IN CONFERENCE PLAY
•    Saturday’s game will be the 6th true road game of the season, which includes non-conference losses at Long Beach State (60-69) and Tennessee (64-65) to go with Big 12 visits to Oklahoma State (47-61), Oklahoma (66-63 OT) and Iowa State (71-77).
•    K-State earned its first win over a Top 25 team on the road since 2012 with a 66-63 overtime win at No. 16/18 Oklahoma on Jan. 10... It marked the Wildcats’ first road Top 25 victory since a 78-68 win over No. 3 Missouri on Feb. 21, 2012.
•    K-State has posted a 42-42 record in true road games since 2006-07, including a 34-36 mark in Big 12 road contests. 
•    K-State is 10-14 under head coach Bruce Weber in true road games, including 9-12 in Big 12 play.
•    K-State posted a 2-7 record on the road in Big 12 play in 2013-14 with wins at TCU and Texas Tech.
•    K-State’s road woes of late has been stark in comparison to its road futility from 1996 to 2006... During that 10-year stretch, the Wildcats were a combined 18-89 on the road, including 10-70 in Big 12 play. Four times (1996-97, 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2001-02) the team lost more than 10 road contests in a season and went winless on the road in Big 12 play on four occasions.
•    K-State is 2-6 away from home this season, including a 1-2 mark at Maui Invitational.

TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
•    Kansas State is averaging 65.4 points on 45.7 percent shooting (464-of-1016), including 35.5 percent (98-of-276) from 3-point range, to go with 13.9 assists per game... The team has an assist on 62.7 percent (2nd in the Big 12) of their field goals.
•    K-State is averaging 60.6 points on 43.7 percent shooting, including 30.5 percent from 3-point range, in Big 12-only games.
•    In the Big 12, the Wildcats rank 9th in scoring offense, 2nd in field goal percentage and 3rd in 3-point field goal percentage.
•    K-State is averaging the fewest field goals attempted (48.4) in the Big 12, while is 2nd in fewest field goals made (22.1). 
•    K-State ranks in the Top 25 nationally in free throw attempts (511/16th) and free throw makes (347/22nd).
•    K-State averages 26.5 points in the paint, 19.1 bench points, 14.6 points off of turnovers and 8.0 second-chance points.
•    16 of K-State’s 21 games have been decided by 10 points or less, including 8 by 5 points or less... The team is 9-7.
•    K-State has used 7 different starting line-ups... No player has started all 21 games, but Thomas Gipson has started 20.
•    K-State has connected on 50 percent or better from the field in 8 games and shot better than 50 percent from 3-point range on 4 occasions... The Wildcats are 8-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better and 20-4 under Bruce Weber.
•    K-State connected on 57.1 percent (24-of-42) from the field in the 63-53 win over Oklahoma State (1/24/15), including 75 percent (12-of-16) in the second half... It was the highest field goal percentage in a Big 12 game since the Wildcats shot 57.4 percent (27-of-47) in a win at Iowa State on Jan. 7, 2006... The 75 percent shooting in second half was a season-high.
•    K-State had won 5 straight games when scoring less than 70 points before Tuesday’s loss at West Virginia... Despite the setback, the squad has won 5 of its last 6 such contests after starting with a 1-7 mark... Prior to scoring 59 vs. West Virginia, the Wildcats’ only other loss in the last 7 games came when they topped the 70-point plateau in a 77-71 loss at No. 9/12 Iowa State (1/20/15), which is the only defeat this season (6-1) when eclipsing the 70-point mark.
•    K-State is 8-2 when 3+ players score in double figures, including 6-0 at home... The Wildcats are averaging 76.1 points in these 10 games on 52.6 percent shooting, including 40.8 percent from 3-point range... 3 players (Marcus Foster/15.9 ppg., Nino Williams/15.8 ppg., Thomas Gipson/11.7 ppg.) are averaging in double figures, while 4 others (Justin Edwards/8.9 ppg., Stephen Hurt/7.5 ppg., Jevon Thomas/6.2 ppg., and Tre Harris/6.2 ppg.) are averaging 6+ points.
•    In winning 5 of its last 7 games, K-State is averaging 62.6 points on 44.5 percent shooting with an assist on 62.3 percent (96-of-154) of its made field goals... During that span, the team is shooting 72.3 percent (107-of-148) from the free throw line.
•    K-State is averaging 36 points in the 2nd half this season on 49.1 percent shooting, including 39.4 percent from 3-point range... The Wildcats have connected on better than 50 percent from the field in the 2nd half of 11 games, including 60 percent or better on 6 occasions... The team is averaging 38.8 points on 54.4 percent shooting in the 2nd half of its 12 wins this season.

MISCELLANEOUS TEAM NOTES
•    The 98 points in the season opener against Southern Utah (11/14/14) were the most in the Bruce Weber era, surpassing the 87 against Central Arkansas (12/1/13), and the most since scoring 100 against North Florida (12/31/10)... The 98 points were also the most in an opener since scoring 103 vs. Texas-San Antonio (11/23/91) and the 4th-most overall a season opener.
•    K-State connected on a Bruce Weber era-best 61.5 percent (24-of-39) from the field in the win over Texas A&M (12/20/14), which is the best by a Wildcat team since also connecting on 61.5 percent vs. Cleveland State (12/5/06) and highest since posting a 62.8 percentage vs. Nebraska (2/4/04)... The team shot 82.4 percent (14-of-17) in the first half vs. the Aggies, which ranks as the 3rd-highest in school history and the highest since connecting on 85 percent (17-of-20) vs. Oklahoma (2/19/94).
•    The Texas A&M game (12/20/14) marked the second time this season that the Wildcats have set the mark for highest field goal percentage in the Weber era, surpassing the 58.7 percent vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14)... K-State has posted the top 4 field goal percentages of the Weber era this season, including Texas A&M, Southern Utah, Savannah State (58.5) and UMKC (58.3).
•    K-State connected on 57.1 percent (24-of-42) from the field in the 63-53 win over Oklahoma State (1/24/15), including 75 percent (12-of-16) in the second half... It was the highest field goal percentage in a Big 12 game since the Wildcats shot 57.4 percent (27-of-47) in a win at Iowa State on Jan. 7, 2006... The 75 percent shooting in second half was a season-high.

INDIVIDUAL OFFENSIVE NOTES
•    K-State has 3 players averaging in double figures (Marcus Foster, Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson), while 9 players have had at least one double-digit scoring game this season... 6 players scored in double figures in the opener vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14), which was the most since 6 also scored in twin figures against North Carolina Central (2/17/09).
•    All 3 rank in the Big 12’s Top 20 in scoring at 7th (Foster/13.8 ppg.), 16th (Williams/11.7 ppg.) and 17th (Gipson/11.0 ppg.).
•    All 3 rank in the Big 12’s Top 15 in free throw percentage at 6th (Williams/80.3), 11th (Gipson/74.8) and 14th (Foster/71.8).
•    The trio have combined to lead the Wildcats in scoring in 19 of 21 games with 38 combined double-digit scoring games... They have also combined to score 742 of the 1,373 points this season while shooting 49.5 percent (248-of-501).
•    Foster leads the Wildcats in 8 categories, including scoring (13.8 ppg.), field goals (91), field goals attempted (216), 3-point field goals (51), 3-point field goals attempted (126), double-digit scoring games (17), 20-point games (4) and minutes (28.9).
•    Foster also ranks in Big 12’s Top 10 in 3-point field goal percentage (40.5/4th) and 3-point field goals per game (2.4/4th).
•    Williams has scored in double figures in 11 of 19 games, including 9 of the last 15... He has 3 20-point games this season.
•    Williams ranks 3rd in the Big 12 in overall field goal percentage (53.4) and 2nd in Big 12-only field goal percentage (52.7).
•    Gipson has scored in double figures in 10 of 21 games, including 6 of the last 12... He shooting a team-best 57.3 percent.
•    Jevon Thomas ranks in the Big 12’s Top 10 in both assists (3.6/8th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5/10th).
•    Thomas and Nigel Johnson have led K-State in assists in 16 of 21 games and have a combined 115 assists and 50 steals.

FREE POINTS
•    K-State has also taken advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, as the Wildcats rank 22nd nationally in free throws made (347) and 16th in free throw attempts (511)... The team is averaging 24.3 attempts (4th in Big 12) and 16.5 makes (4th).
•    K-State ranks 6th in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (67.9) and 4th in Big 12-only games (72.0).
•    K-State is 10-4 this season when it has more free throw attempts than its opponent and 32-9 under Bruce Weber.
•    K-State is shooting 72.3 percent (107-of-148) from free throw line in winning 5 of its last 7 games.
•    The 34 free throws and 48 attempts vs.  Southern Utah (11/14/14) were not only the most in the Bruce Weber era, but both were one shy of the Top 10 in school history... Both totals are the most since a game at Colorado (1/6/2010).
•    K-State connected on 93.8 percent (15-of-16) from the free throw line at No. 9/12 Iowa State (1/20/15), which tied for the 10th-best mark in school history... It is the best percentage since going a perfect 8-of-8 in free throws at Texas Tech (2/15/2006).
•    Senior Thomas Gipson ranks in the Top 65 nationally in free throws made (89/63rd) and attempted (119/64th).
•    3 Wildcats rank in the Big 12’s Top 15 in free throw percentage, including Nino Williams (80.3/6th), Thomas Gipson (74.8/11th) and Marcus Foster (71.8/14th)... Gipson ranks 2nd in both attempts (119) and makes (89) in the Big 12.

WIN/LOSS COMPARISON
•    K-State is averaging 71.2 points in its 12 wins on 50.9 percent shooting (289-of-568), including 41.8 percent (64-of-153) from 3-point range, while allowing opponents 60.9 points on 42.6 percent shooting, including 33 percent from beyond the arc.
•    In contrast, K-State is averaging 57.6 points in its 9 losses on 39.1 percent shooting (175-of-448), including 27.6 percent (34-of-123) from 3-point range, while allowing 65.2 points on 45.2 percent shooting, including 32.9 percent from beyond the arc.
•    3 Wildcats are averaging in double figures in the 12 wins, including Marcus Foster (15.1 ppg./49.1 FG%), Nino Williams (13.8 ppg./57.0 FG%) and Thomas Gipson (10.5 ppg./59.2 FG%), while 6 (Stephen Hurt, Justin Edwards, Jevon Thomas, Tre Harris, Nigel Johnson and Wesley Iwundu) are averaging 5 or more points... In all, 5 are shooting better than 50 percent.
•    Only 2 Wildcats are averaging in double figures in the 8 losses (Foster - 12.0 ppg. and Gipson - 11.7 ppg.).
•    K-State is averaging 16.0 assists during its wins compared to just 11.0 assists in its losses.
•    Edwards, Hurt and Iwundu combine to average 18.5 points on 49.7 percent shooting in wins, but 12.5 points on 35 percent shooting in losses... Edwards averages 7.8 points on 45.7 percent shooting in wins and 4.4 points on 31.5 percent in losses.

GETTING DEFENSIVE
•    K-State has put up some impressive defensive numbers under head coach Bruce Weber, leading the Big 12 in scoring defense each of the past 2 seasons (60.4 ppg. in 2012-13 and 65.4 ppg. in 2013-14).
•    38 opponents have been held to 60 points or less in Weber’s 3 seasons as head coach with the Wildcats boasting a 33-5 mark in those contests (losses to Kansas in 2012, Northern Colorado & Kentucky in 2013 and Texas Southern and Georgia in 2014).
•    18 Big 12 opponents have been held to 60 points or less (16 in regular-season Big 12 play) with the Wildcats posting a 17-1 record in those match-ups, including a 15-1 mark in Big 12 play (only loss to Kansas in 2012).
•    K-State has had a difficult start defensively, allowing 62.8 points on 43.7 percent shooting, including 32.9 percent from 3-point range... The squad ranks 6th in the Big 12 in scoring defense, 9th in field goal percentage defense and 10th in rebounding.
•    Those numbers have improved in the past 15 games, where they are holding opponents to 59.1 points on 41.6 percent shooting, including 29.2 percent from 3-point range, while limiting them to 157 assists and forcing 193 turnovers.
•    K-State saw its 11-game streak of holding opponents to 65 points or less come to an end at No. 9/12 Iowa State (1/20/15)... It was the longest such streak in school history since the team did it 17 straight games from Nov. 27, 1982 to Jan. 29, 1983.
•    In Big 12-only games, K-State ranks 2nd in scoring defense (60.5) and 2nd in 3-point field goal percentage defense (30.1).

FOSTER CONTINUES WHERE HE LEFT OFF
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster leads the way in scoring at 13.8 points per game on 42.1 percent shooting (91-of-216), including 40.5 percent (51-of-126) from 3-point range... He has scored in double figures in a team-best 17 games, including 20-point games vs. Purdue (24), No. 3/4 Arizona (23), Tennessee (23) and TCU (23)... He has led in scoring a team-best 7 times.
•    Foster ranks in the Big 12’s Top 15 in 4 categories, including 7th in scoring, 4th in 3-point percentage and 4th in 3-pointers.
•    Foster leads the Wildcats in 8 categories, including scoring, double-digit scoring games (17), 20-point games (4), field goals (91), field goals attempted (216), 3-point field goals (51), 3-point field goals attempted (126) and minutes (28.9).
•    Foster earned ESPN.com and Lute Olson National Player of the Week as well as Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honors on Jan. 12 after helping K-State to wins over TCU and No. 16/18 Oklahoma on Jan. 12... It was his 1st career Big 12 Player of the Week honor after wining Rookie of the Week twice last season... He is the 2nd Wildcat to win the honor this season.
•    Foster averaged 18.5 points on 50 percent shooting in the pair of wins... He scored a game-high 23 points vs. TCU (1/7/15) in 29 minutes off the bench, while 9 of his 14 points vs. Oklahoma (1/10/15) came in the final 35 seconds of regulation and overtime... He tied the game with a lay-up with 6 seconds left before hitting the game-winning 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left in overtime.
•    Since going scoreless at Oklahoma State (1/3/15), Foster is averaging 15.3 points on 41.3 percent shooting to go with 2.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game in the last 7 games... He is shooting 76.2 percent (32-of-42) from the free throw line.
•    Foster tied a career-high with 7 treys at Tennessee (12/6/14), which he also hit against Baylor (3/8/14) last season... The 7 triples tie for the 4th-most in a game in school history and the most in a non-conference game since Rodney McGruder made 7 vs. UMKC (12/23/2010)... Four of Foster’s 7 3-pointers came in the last 57 seconds of the game.
•    Foster now has 130 3-pointers his K-State career, which ranks 10th on the school’s all-time list.
•    Foster has scored in double figures in 44 of his 54 career games, including 12 20-point outings... He led in scoring 24 times.

WILLIAMS MAKING THE MOST OF HIS SENIOR YEAR
•    Senior Nino Williams is making the most of his senior campaign, as he ranks 1st on the team in rebounding (4.9 rpg.), while is 2nd in scoring (11.7 ppg.) on 53.4 percent shooting to go with a team-best 80.3 percent clip from the free throw line.
•    Williams earned Phillips 66 co-Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the 2nd time on Monday after posting back-to-back 20-point games in helping K-State to a split of games with No. 9/12 Iowa State (1/20/15) and Oklahoma State (1/24/15)... He is just the 7th Wildcat in school history to earn the award at least twice in one season and the first since Rodney McGruder in 2013.
•    Williams averaged 21.0 points on 69.2 percent shooting (18-of-26) with 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals in 31.5 minutes per game last week... He scored a career-best 22 points vs. the Cyclones on 8-of-13 field goals with a team-high 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in 31 minutes, while he had 20 points vs. the Cowboys on 10-of-13 field goals with 7 rebounds in 32 minutes.
•    Prior to getting injured Tuesday, Williams had been on tear in the last 3 games vs. No. 22/23 Baylor (1/17/15), No. 9/12 Iowa State and Oklahoma State, averaging 20 points on 67.6 percent shooting (25-of-37) with 7.3 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game.
•    Williams has scored in double-digits in 11 of his first 19 games, including 9 of the last 15 games with 3 20-point games.
•    For his efforts in the wins vs. Bradley and Savannah State, Williams earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the 1st time after averaging 17 points on 56.3 percent shooting (9-of-16) to go with 9.5 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per game... He also shot a stellar 88.9 percent (16-of-18) from the free throw line... He also led in scoring and rebounding in both games.

GIPSON = SENIOR LEADER
•    Thomas Gipson has displayed that all important senior leadership, ranking 3rd in scoring (11.0 ppg.) and 2nd in rebounding (4.7 rpg.), while shooting a team-best 57.3 percent (71-of-124) from the field and 74.8 percent (89-of-119) from the stripe.
•    Gipson became the 26th Wildcat to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier vs. Texas Southern (12/28/14), while he is the 12th player with at least 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds... He currently ranks 16th (1,103) on the school’s scoring list.
•    Gipson ranks 17th in the Big 12 in scoring and 11th in free throw percentage.
•    Gipson, who played in his 100th career game in the opener against Southern Utah, has scored in double figures in 18 of the last 30 games (including 10 times this season)... He saw his streak of 12 double-digit scoring games in a row end vs. Purdue (11/24/14)... He has led in scoring in 5 games... Ironically, he has scored 9 points in 4 other games this season.
•    Gipson collected his 5th career 20-point game vs. UMKC (11/17/14) with a team-high 21 points.
•    Gipson rebounded from a poor performance vs. Texas Southern (12/28/14) to pace the team in scoring (19) and rebounding (9) vs. Georgia (12/31/14)... He scored 17 of his 19 points in the 2nd half, going 5-of-6 from the field and 7-of-9 from the line.
•    Gipson’s career 53.5 field goal percentage ranks 6th on the school’s Top 10 list and highest since Tony Kitt (54.5, 1998-2000)... It is the 3rd-highest field goal percentage by a 4-year player behind Steve Soldner (1975-79) and Carl Gerlach (1972-76).

TWO BETTER THAN ONE
•    Sophomore point guards Nigel Johnson and Jevon Thomas make an impressive 1-2 punch for the K-State backcourt... The duo have combined for 115 assists (to 73 turnovers) and 50 steals to go with 203 points on 42.2 percent shooting.
•    Thomas is 1st in assists (76), 2nd in steals (25) and 4th in minutes (26.7), while Johnson is 2nd in steals (25) and 4th in assists.
•    Thomas ranks in the Big 12’s Top 10 in 2 categories, including 8th in assists (3.6 apg.) and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5).
•    Thomas and Johnson have led K-State in assists in 16 of 21 games with Thomas dishing out a team-high in assists 11 times.
•    The duo is even more impressive in the 12 wins, combining for 80 assists to 40 turnovers (2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio), as Thomas is averaging 5.7 points on 42.9 percent shooting and Johnson is averaging 5.2 points on 47.5 percent shooting.
•    Johnson scored in double figures in the first 2 games, including a career and team-best 18 points in the opener vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14) and Thomas collected back-to-back double-digit scoring vs. Omaha (12/2/14) and Tennessee (12/6/14)... Thomas dished out a season-best 9 assists vs. UMKC (11/17/14) and had season-high 4 steals vs. Texas Southern (12/28/14).

TRANSFERS STARTING TO MAKE AN IMPACT
•    Transfers Justin Edwards (Maine) and Stephen Hurt (Lipscomb/NW Florida State) are starting to make their presence felt after a slow start to the season... Edwards ranks 1st in steals (26) and 4th in both scoring (6.7 ppg.) and rebounding (3.5 rpg.), while Hurt is 4th in rebounding (3.3 rpg.) and 7th in scoring (4.8 ppg.).
•    Edwards has 5 double-digit scoring games, including 3 in Big 12 play, while Hurt has 3 with a season-high 15 at Oklahoma.
•    In Big 12 play, Edwards is averaging 7.5 points on 40.8 percent shooting and Hurt is at 4.1 points on 38.5 percent shooting.
•    Edwards is averaging 7.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in helping K-State to wins in 5 of its last 7 games.
•    The pair have been particularly impactful in the wins combining for 13 points on 49.1 percent shooting, as Edwards is averaging 7.8 points on 45.7 percent shooting with 3.9 rebounds and Hurt is at 6.9 points on 55 percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds.

‘CATS PICKED 4TH IN BIG 12 PRESEASON POLL
•    Kansas State was selected to finish fourth in the preseason 2014-15 Big 12 Conference coaches’ poll released by the league office on Oct. 9. The Wildcats received 53 points to earn the nod in fourth place, just two points ahead of fifth-place Iowa State (51). The fourth-place prediction was the highest since the squad was selected as the preseason favorite in 2010-11.
•    K-State was also chosen fourth in the preseason polls of 2007-08 and 2009-10.
•    Kansas was picked as the conference favorite with 78 points and six first-place votes by the league coaches. Texas was a close second with 74 points and three first-place votes, while Oklahoma voted third with 67 points and the final first-place vote.

FOSTER NAMED PRESEASON CANDIDATE FOR WOODEN, NAISMITH
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster was named one of 50 preseason candidates for the prestigious John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s announced by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Nov. 17... He followed that distinction up by being named to the 50-player Watch List for the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T on Dec. 3.
•    Foster becomes the third Wildcat in the last four seasons to be selected as a preseason Top 50 candidate for the Wooden Award, joining Jacob Pullen (2010) and Rodney McGruder (2012), while he joins Pullen and McGruder has the third Wildcat to receive mention for the Naismith Trophy... Both Pullen (2010) and McGruder (2012) made the Naismith Top 30 list.
•    Foster was one of 10 Big 12 players selected to the Wooden Watch List and was one of nine named to the Naismith list.
•    Foster was also recently selected to the Lute Olson Award Watch List, which is presented to the nation’s top Division I players who has played at least two seasons with his respective team. He is one of four Big 12 players on the list.

FOSTER NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 TEAM
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster was selected to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team released by the conference office on Oct. 2.
•    Foster is the first Wildcat named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team since Rodney McGruder was selected to the squad in 2012. It marks just the fifth time that a Wildcat men’s basketball player has been named to the preseason team, joining Manny Dies in 1998-99, Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly in 2010-11 and McGruder in 2012.
•    The honor marks the fourth of the preseason for Foster, as he was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team by a number of publications, including Athlon, Blue Ribbon Yearbook and The Sporting News.
•    Foster was joined on the 5-man preseason team by unanimous choices Perry Ellis (Kansas) and Juwan Staten (West Virginia), along with Buddy Hield (Oklahoma) and Georges Niang (Iowa State).
•    Staten was voted as the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year and Bryce Dejean-Jones (Iowa State) was the Preseason Newcomer of the Year, while Cliff Alexander (Kansas) and Myles Turner (Texas) were selected as the Preseason Freshmen of the Year.