No. 22 K-State heads to Missouri Saturday

game information
22/24 kansas state (15-4, 5-0 Big 12) 
vs. missouri (12-9, 2-4 Big 12)

Saturday, February 2, 2008
Tipoff: 12:47 p.m. CT
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Arena: Mizzou Arena (2004)
Capacity: 15,061

Series: K-State leads 113-112
(Missouri is 60-41 in Columbia, Mo.)

Television: ESPN Plus/Big 12 Television   
Dave Armstrong (play-by-play)
Jon Sundvold (analyst)
Steve Kurtenbach (producer)
Kevin Shank (producer)
Channels: Kansas City (KMCI), Topeka (KSNT), Wichita (KSAS)

Radio: K-State Sports Network; Powercat Passport Internet Audio;   
Yahoo! Internet Radio, Sirius Satellite 122
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)

Tickets: Tickets are available by calling (800) CAT-PAWS.

kansas state wildcats
Record: 15-4 (5-0 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): 22/24
Coach: Frank Martin
Alma Mater: Florida International, 93
Career Record: 15-4/1
School Record: 15-4/1
vs. Missouri: First meeting
06-07 Record: 23-12 (10-6 Big 12)
Last game: Jan. 30, 2008
defeated 2/2 Kansas, 84-75
SID: Tom Gilbert
Website: www.k-statesports.com

missouri tigers
Record: 12-9 (2-4 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): nr/nr
Coach: Mike Anderson
Alma Mater: Tulsa 82
Career Record: 119-62/6
School Record: 30-21/2
vs. Kansas State: 0-2
06-07 Record: 18-12 (7-9 Big 12)
Last game: Jan. 30, 2008
lost to Nebraska, 66-62
SID: Dave Reiter
Website: www.mutigers.com

game preview
No. 22/24 Kansas State (15-4, 5-0 Big 12) will look to continue its momentum on Saturday, as the Wildcats travel to Columbia, Mo., to face upstart Missouri (12-9, 2-4 Big 12) at 12:30 p.m. CT.  It will mark just third road trip for the youthful Wildcats, who have already earned wins at Oklahoma and Colorado this season.   

Saturday’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 Jon Sundvold (analyst) calling the action.  The game is also available nationally on the ESPN Full Court package.  It will the third 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 122. 

Kansas State ran its winning streak to a season-best six games on Wednesday night, as the Wildcats ended 24 years of frustration against archrival and No. 2 Kansas in Manhattan with an 84-75 win.  It marked the squad’s first victory over the Jayhawks at home since an 58-57 win at Ahearn Field House on Jan. 29, 1983 and the first-ever at Bramlage Coliseum, ending a 19-game losing streak.  It was also the highest ranked team to fall to the Wildcats in 14 years since they knocked off No. 1 Kansas, 68-64, on Jan. 17, 1994 and the highest at home since stunning No. 1 Missouri, 65-58, on Feb. 8, 1990.  The win also left Memphis as the lone undefeated team in the nation.    

The victory also left K-State as the last unbeaten team in the league play and gave the Wildcats’ sole possession of first place, a game ahead of both Kansas (5-1) and Baylor (5-1).  The squad has now won eight straight games at Bramlage Coliseum, including four straight in league play dating back to last season.  The Wildcats concluded the month of January on a tear with 12 consecutive victories (including 10 in Big 12 play) dating back to the Baylor game on Jan. 17, 2007.  It is the team’s longest win streak in the month since winning 21 straight from Jan. 14, 1957 to Jan. 14, 1961.  It also marked the ninth time the program has finished the month undefeated and the first time since the 1969-70 team went 6-0. 

Kansas State’s 15-4 start to the season is the best by a Wildcat squad in 15 seasons since the 1992-93 squad also started 15-4.  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 marks the ninth time in school history that the Wildcats have started league play at least 5-0.  It also gave the program 11 home wins at Bramlage Coliseum for the seventh consecutive season.  The team has an 86-27 (.759) record at home since 2001-02. 

the book on kansas state
In running its win streak to a then 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.    

Kansas State used a balanced attack to post its first win over Kansas since 2005 and first in Manhattan since 1983 on Wednesday.  The Wildcats topped 80 points for the 10th 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.  K-State is now 10-0 this season when scoring 80 or more points.  The 84 points were the most allowed by Kansas this season and the most in the series in more 29 years since a 96-69 Wildcat win on Jan. 20, 1979.    

For the first time this season, Kansas State had three players score 20 or more points (and four in double figures) against Kansas, including a game-high 25 points by reigning Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week Michael Beasley.  Beasley went 9-of-18 from the field, including a season-best 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.  Freshman Bill Walker posted 22 points, also on 9-of-18 shooting, while fellow rookie Jacob Pullen added a career-best 20 points on 4-of-9 field goals.   

The team is averaging 80.7 points on 44.7 percent shooting with 43.0 rebounds, 17.2 assists, 8.2 steals and 4.0 blocks per game, while holding their foes to 66.4 points on 39.6 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.      

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 12.4 per game, is shooting 56.2 percent from the field to go with 1.7 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.3 assists in 30.0 minutes per game.  He leads the squad in 14 categories,
including scoring, double-doubles, 20-point games (15), field goals (176), free throws (108), rebounds, blocks, steals and minutes. 
   
Beasley, who earned his fifth Big 12 award of the season on Monday, averaged 31.0 points and 14.0 rebounds in wins over Colorado and Iowa State last week.  His 33-point effort against the Cyclones 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 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.    
   
Rookie Bill Walker ranks second to Beasley in numerous categories, including scoring (16.1 ppg.), rebounding (6.5 rpg.), field goals (94), field goal attempts (203), blocks (14), double-digit scoring (14), and double-doubles (three).  Since being moved back to the interior 10 games ago, Walker is averaging 18.7 points on 49.6 percent shooting, including 45.8 percent from 3-point range, with 6.6 rebounds in 26.0 minutes per game.  He has now scored in double figures in 18 of 23 career games, including 14 of 17 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 (3.5 apg.) and steals (1.3 spg.) and third in scoring (9.9 ppg.).  During the Wildcats’ current six-game winning streak, Pullen has posted 24 assists to just five turnovers while averaging 10.0 points per game.  The team’s most experienced player with 109 appearances and 83 starts, Stewart has scored in double figures in eight of the last 13 games.   

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 10 consecutive games and its first seven league games, including four over ranked teams, to post a 15-5 overall record, while the 22nd-ranked Wildcat men have earned victories in their first five 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 11 games.  The squad is averaging 83.5 points on 46.4 percent shooting (315-of-679), including 38.7 percent from 3-point range (84-of-217), 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 70.9 percent (205-of-289) in the last 11 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 10 of the last 11 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 10 contests, which surpasses 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 16 of its 19 games this season.  The 16 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 16 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 42.5 points on 50.4 percent shooting (including 34.6 percent from 3-point range) in the second half this season.  The team has topped 40 or more points in the second half of 13 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 66.7 percent by rookie Dominique Sutton.  Fellow freshman Michael Beasley is averaging 14.7 points on 65.5 percent shooting, including 50 percent from 3-point range.  He has scored in double figures in 15 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 (51.8) 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 31.5 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 10 games where the team is connecting on 40.4 percent (80-of-198) from the field.  In the span, four Wildcats - Clent Stewart (53.1), Fred Brown (50.0), Michael Beasley (48.0) and Bill Walker (46.5) - are connecting on 45 percent for better from beyond the arc.  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 during the six-game winning streak, where the team has averaged 8.3 treys on 43 percent (43-of-100).   

off to a good start
First-year head coach Frank Martin has posted an impressive debut as the Wildcats’ mentor.  His 15-4 start to his career is now the best start ever by a first-year head coach, while his 5-0 start in league play is also the best by a rookie coach.   His 15 victories 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 missouri (12-9)
Missouri (12-9, 2-4 Big 12) saw its brief winning streak come to an end on Wednesday night, as a depleted Tiger squad dropped a 66-62 decision to Nebraska at home.  The team, without six scholarship players suspended due to a violation of team rules, had four players score in double figures led by DeMarre Carroll’s double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds.  The Tigers shot 44.8 percent from the field, however, they connected on just 21.4 percent from the 3-point line. 

Missouri is averaging a 79.9 points on 46 percent shooting, including 32.4 percent from 3-point range, with 36.7 rebounds, 17.8 assists, 9.2 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.  The team is holding foes to 69.2 points per game on 42.2 percent shooting from the field.  

A balanced scoring squad, the team has four players scoring nine or more points led by Carroll’s 14.0-point per game average.  He has connected on 55.1 percent from the field to go with a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game.  Junior Leo Lyons averages 11.7 points on a team-best 62.7 percent from the field to go with 4.4 rebounds, while sophomore Keon Lawrence and junior Matt Lawrence add 9.8 and 9.3 points per game, respectively.  The Tigers will be without leading scorer Stefhon Hannah (14.7 ppg.) for the next four to six weeks due to a broken jaw.  He led the team in scoring, assists and steals.

The team is led by head coach Mike Anderson, who has a 119-62 record in seven years overall as a head coach and a 30-21 mark in his second season at Missouri.  Anderson, who tied the Missouri school record for wins (18) by a first-year coach, spent four years as the head coach at UAB from 2002-06.  He led the Blazers to four consecutive postseason appearances, including three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.  He spent 17 years as an assistant coach to Nolan Richardson at Arkansas (1985-2002) before leaving for UAB.  

series vs. missouri
This This will be the 226th all-time meeting between Kansas State and Missouri in a series that dates back to 1907.  One of the most competitive series in both schools’ histories, the Wildcats lead the all-time series, 113-112.  However, the Tigers hold a commanding 60-41 advantage in games played in Columbia.  Missouri leads 14-9 since the inception of the Big 12, including nine of the last 11 played at home.  However, since Kansas State snapped a seven-game losing streak in 2005, it has won five of the last six meetings, including two of three in the new Mizzou Arena.

last year vs. missouri
Kansas State swept the season series from Missouri for the second time in the last season in 2007, as the Wildcats posted a 85-81 win in Columbia, Mo., on Jan. 13 and an 80-73 victory at home on Jan. 31.

Junior Clent Stewart scored a career-high 19 points and junior David Hoskins added 18 as Kansas State held on for a big 85-81 win over Missouri at Mizzou Arena on Jan. 13.  The win snapped the Wildcats’ two-game losing streak to start league play.  K-State combined to connect on a season-high 37 free throws on 43 attempts, including a perfect 12-of-12 effort by Hoskins, who was one of five Wildcats to score in double figures. 

Hoskins posted 25 points and senior Cartier Martin had 22 points and 11 rebounds, in helping K-State sweep the season series with an 80-73 win at home over Missouri on Jan. 31.  Martin finally put away a back-and-forth affair, as he scored the first seven points of a run, including two free throws that put the Wildcats up for good, 59-58, with 6:15 to go.  Both teams connected on 49 percent or better from the field for the game, including 50 percent in the second half.  

non-conference success
The win against Savannah State gave K-State 10 non-conference wins for the third time in the last four seasons and for the second consecutive year.  The squad hadn’t won 10 or more non-conference games in consecutive seasons since the 1992-93 (10-2) and 1993-94 (13-1).  The team has won at least eight non-conference games in 23 of the last 27 seasons, including each of the last six seasons.    

The Wildcats have now won 38 of their last 50 games against non-conference foes, including a remarkable 31-2 mark at home.  The team’s loss to Oregon on Nov. 29 was the team’s first to a home non-conference home opponent since 2004.

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 (12.4 rpg.), offensive rebounds (4.32 rpg.) and defensive rebounds (8.05 rpg.) - and is the top-10 in three others - blocked shots (third - 1.74 bpg.), field goal percentage (fourth - 56.2) and free throw percentage (eighth - 74.0).  He is also owns the most double-doubles (16) and the most 30-point games (six).

Walker ranks sixth in the Big 12 in scoring (16.1 ppg.) and 10th (6.5 rpg.) in rebounding.  He places among the top-15 in three categories, including sixth in offensive rebounds (2.59 rpg.), ninth in free throw percentage (72.9) and 12th in field goal percentage (46.3).

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 the 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 (922) and over 50 percent of the rebounds (438), steals (84), assists (151) and blocks (45).  

Most of these have come from phenom Michael Beasley, who owns over 30 percent of the team’s points (480) and rebounds (235).  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 (1196) and blocks (59) and almost 70 percent of the rebounds (540) and steals (104).

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 12.4 rebounds per game through 19 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 (16.1 ppg.) and rebounding (6.5 rpg.), while he is third in steals (1.2 spg.) and free throw percentage (72.9).  He has now scored in double figures in 18 of his 23 career games, including 14 of 17 games this season.  Walker might be playing the finest basketball of his Wildcat career in the team’s last 11 games.  In gainng the start in each of these contests, he is averaging 18.7 points on 49.6 percent shooting (70-of-141), including 45.8 percent shooting (22-of-48) from 3-point range, with 6.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 0.9 steals in 26.0 minutes per game.  He has connected on 74.6 percent (44-of-59) from the free throw line during the current streak.

After battling through a variety injuries to start the season, Walker has played in 13 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 11 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 18.2 points on 51.6 percent shooting, including 46.4 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 11 games, scoring in double figures in six games and averaging 9.3 points on 46 percent shooting with 3.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 29 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 357 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 2,946, passing Ayome May (2,764; 1996-99) in playing 28 minutes against Savannah State on Jan. 7.  He needs 13 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 83rd start of his career against Kansas.  He is also four games from breaking into the top-10 for career games played (109).

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 4.6 points on 40 percent shooting with 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 30.6 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.  He continued his solid in the win over No. 2 Kansas with a team-high five assists to go with zero turnovers with three points and two rebounds.

Young, who ranks fifth on the team in scoring (6.1 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 19 games this season.  He also has the longest active game streak on the team with 54 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 (3.5 apg.) and steals (1.3 spg), is third in scoring (9.9 ppg.), fourth in 3-pointers (18) and fifth in minutes played (23.5 mpg.).

Pullen might be playing his best basketball in the last few weeks, capped by his career-high 20-point performance in the win over No. 2 Kansas on Wednesday.  He went 4-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, to go with a 10-of-10 effort from the free throw line.  During the Wildcats’ six-game winning streak, he averaged 10.0 points to go with 4.0 assists (with just a 0.8 turnover average).  He was solid 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 remaining.  He continued his impressive play in the win over No. 10 Texas A&M with eight points, four assists and two steals, while he registered double figures for the first time in Big 12 play with 13 against Iowa State.

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.

kent strong off the bench
Junior Darren Kent has become a key component of the Wildcats’ success of late in the last four contests, as he has averaged 4.8 points on 50 percent shooting, including 50 percent from 3-point range, with 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 17 minutes per game.  He posted a career-high 11 points against Iowa State on Jan. 26 on 4-of-5 field goals, including a perfect 3-of-3 from 3-point range.  He also tallied six rebounds to go with five points against Colorado Jan. 23. 

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.  

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.   
  
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 forward 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.