K-State faces big test at No. 22 Texas Saturday
K-State faces big test at No. 22 Texas Saturday
Saturday, Feb. 3, 2007
Tipoff: 2:42 p.m. Central
TV: ESPN on ABC
Talent: Brent Musburger (Play-by-Play) and
Steve Lavin (Analyst)
(throughout Midwest & West)
Radio: K-State Sports Network (31 affiliates),
Talent: Wyatt Thompson (Play-by-Play) and Stan Weber (Analyst)
K-State begins tough stretch with road test at 22/23
Kansas State (16-6, 5-2 Big 12) begins one of the toughest stretches of its season on Saturday afternoon, as the Wildcats put their six-game winning streak to the test against 22nd-ranked Texas (16-5, 6-1 Big 12) at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas beginning at 2:42 p.m. It is the first of back-to-back road games against ranked foes for K-State, which visits sixth-ranked
The game will be televised on a split national basis by ABC Sports with Brent Musburger (play-by-play) and Steve Lavin (color) calling the action. The school will be making just its second appearance on ABC Sports in school history and first since losing the Big Eight Tournament final to fourth-ranked
The Wildcats, who have won 12 of their last 15 games including two six-game winning streaks, have strung together five straight wins in league play for the first time in 17 years since also winning five in a row during the Big Eight season of 1989-90. Kansas State, which will be looking to win three straight conference road games for the first time since 1987-88 season, have a tough task against the nationally-ranked Longhorns, who have a perfect 11-0 mark at home this season.
*With the win,
*The 16-6 record represents the best start by the Wildcats since the team also won 16 of its first 22 games in the 1986-87 season... Kansas State’s 5-2 start in conference play is the best ever through seven games since joining the Big 12 and best league start since the team posted a 4-1 record in January of 1996 (the final year of the Big Eight)... It marked the second time this season that the Wildcats have posted six wins in a row, while the five-game winning streak in conference play is the longest since joining the Big 12 and the longest since also winning five straight from Feb. 8-20, 1990.
*Junior David Hoskins paced three Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 25 points on 7-of-14 shooting... It marked his eighth career 20-point game, including his fourth this season... Senior Cartier Martin posted his fifth career double-double and his first of the season with 22 points on 6-of-9 field goals to go with a season-high 11 rebounds... It marked the first time since the Tennessee Tech on Nov. 15 that the Wildcats had two players top the 20-point barrier... Senior Akeem Wright finished the night with 12 points, marking the sixth time this season he posted double-digit points.
After giving up an average of 81 points in back-to-back losses to
During the course of the season, the defensive effort has produced marks that the Wildcats haven’t seen in years and even decades.
Dissecting The Streak
It is easy to determine the reasons for Kansas State’s recent six-game winning streak, as the Wildcats have relied on their stars and stifling defense to post its second victory streak of six games this season. The team’s top three scorers - Cartier Martin (17.3 ppg), David Hoskins (17.3 ppg.) and Lance Harris (12.3 ppg.) - have combined to score 282 of the Wildcats’ 437 points during the streak on 45.2 percent shooting (90-of-199). The trio have also connected on a stunning 88.4 percent (84-of-95) of their free throw attempts. The team has also held its last six foes to a combined 59.2 points per game on just 37.6 percent shooting (127-of-338), including just 25 percent (32-of-128) from 3-point range, while holding a 10.2 rebounding margin.
A staple of the starting line-up in previous seasons, senior Cartier Martin has been particularily effective off the bench this season. He has scored in double figures in seven of the nine games he has not started for the Wildcats, including three 20-point performances against
After struggling for most of the past decade on the road,
Finding the Right Combination
After tinkering with the line-up for much of the season, head coach Bob Huggins has finally found a winning combination in each of the past five games with seniors Lance Harris and Akeem Wright manning the backcourt with junior point guard Clent Stewart, while junior David Hoskins and freshman Luis Colon battle down low in the frontcourt. Before the last five games, Huggins had started 10 different line-ups, including a different one in 10 of 11 contests. The only constant in the line-up has been David Hoskins, who has started 44 consecutive contests, including all 22 games this season.
The Book on
This will be the 16th all-time meeting between
The last two games have come down to the wire with
Last season, guard Kenton Paulino went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 16 seconds, and No. 7 Texas held on for a 65-64 win at Bramlage Coliseum. Forward LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 points for the Longhorns, while forward P.J. Tucker had 14 points and 12 rebounds and guard Daniel Gibson chipped in 13 points. The Longhorns shot 44.4 percent from the field, including 53.3 percent in the first half, and held a 38-36 edge in rebounding, while the Wildcats shot just 34.9 percent, including 29 percent in the second half. Guard Lance Harris led all K-State players with 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting, while guard Mario Tayborn added 12 points and six assists.
Hoskins Emerging As A Leader
One of the biggest reasons for
The streak began with a 17-point effort on 6-of-9 shooting against
In addition, Hoskins has been impressive from the free throw line during the 15-game streak, connecting on 82.3 percent (93-of-113), including 83.9 percent (26-of-31) in the last five minutes.
Offense Taking Flight
After managing just 61 points on 32.6 percent shooting against
Despite scoring less than 70 points in seven of its last nine games, the team has still averaged averaged 73.8 points on 46 percent shooting in the last 16 contests after averaging just 66.0 points on 36.3 percent shooting in the first six games. In doing so, the squad has shot 50 percent or better from the field in 16 of their last 32 halves of basketball, including 60 percent or better on four occasions. During the first part of the streak, the Wildcats scored 80 or more points in four consecutive games for the first time since the 1990-91 season. Against
The team’s 94 blocks this season are just one short of the 95 recorded all of last season, while it already surpasses the totals of the 2003-04 (76) and 2004-05 (63) seasons. The Wildcats are on pace for 133 blocks (4.27 per game) during the regular season, which would be the second-most in a single-season in Kansas State history behind the 146 recorded in 1998-99. On the other hand, Bennett’s 43 blocked shots this season have already established a freshman school record, shattering the previous mark of 24 by Shawn Rhodes in 1995-96. He ranks ninth on school’s single-season top-10, while he is six swats away from the career top-10. Bennett is on pace for 64 blocks this season, which would break Gerald Eaker’s single-season record of 59 set during the 1995-96 season. He has recorded at least one block in 13 of 18 games, while his 2.26 per game average ranks first in the Big 12.
Taking Advantage of Turnovers
One of the biggest factors in
The team scored 65 points off a combined 51 turnovers in back-to-back wins over
Home Sweet Home
Kansas State has continued to make Bramlage Coliseum one of the toughest home venues in the Big 12, as the Wildcats have posted a 10-1 mark at home this season, including a perfect 7-0 mark in non-conference games. The team has posted an impressive 71-24 (.747) mark at home since the start of 2001-02 season, including 10 or more wins each of the past six years. With four home games remaining this season, the Wildcats have already clinched a winning record at home for the 61st consecutive season, which has spanned three arenas and nine head coaches dating back to the 1946-47 season. The team has registered an 839-322 (.723) record in home games all-time, including a 211-81 (.723) mark in Bramlage Coliseum since its opening in 1988.
Trio of Prolific Scorers
Although he has been
For his efforts, his hiring was dubbed the 2006 sports story of the year in the state of
*For the first time in the 19-year history of Bramlage Coliseum all available season ticket packages have been sold... Season tickets went from 6,500 in 2005-06 to 13,000 in 2006-07... The last time K-State could boast a sellout of season tickets was during the 1982-83 season when the Wildcats played in Ahearn Field House, while the previous high for season tickets in Bramlage Coliseum was 11,700 during the inaugural 1988-89 season.
*In addition to the season ticket sales, the school offered courtside seats for the first time in its history and sold out of the available 25 seats at $4,400 apiece with a waiting list... There are also plans in the works for loge boxes in the arena as well as other improvements, including a practice facility.
*Kansas State has or will play six nationally-televised games this season, including two as apart of ESPN’s “Big Monday” package and two on ABC Sports (both are firsts for the program)... It is the most nationally-televised games in a single-season for the Wildcats in school history.
*Kansas State attracted the consensus No. 1 recruiting class in the country in November according to Scout.com, Rivals.com and Sports Illustrated... The class referred to as the greatest-ever for the school included consensus top 10 prospects Michael Beasley and Bill Walker.
Walker Out for Season with ACL Injury
Tests revealed on Monday, Jan. 8 that freshman forward Bill Walker sustained a complete rupture of the anterior crucial ligament (ACL) in his left knee and leaving him out for the remainder of the season, according to head coach Bob Huggins. Surgery was successfully performed on Friday, Jan. 19 and
The highly-touted freshman averaged 11.3 points on 40.0 percent shooting in six games this season with 4.5 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game. He began his career by posting 15 points on 6-of-10 field goals against
*With its 72-56 win over
*Kansas State’s six-game winning streak was the longest for the program since the team collected eight consecutive victories to start the 2004-05 season (Nov. 19 to Dec. 21, 2004)... The streak is even more impressive when you consider that only three of the games came at home... It marked the first time since 1995 that the Wildcats have put together a winning streak of more than five games when half of the games have come away from home.
*Senior forward Cartier Martin was named the most valuable player of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic after averaging 16.8 points in four games... He scored a team-high 23 points against the Lobos... Junior David Hoskins was named to the Classic’s all-tournament team after averaging 15.8 points.
K-State to retire jersey of Blackman, Knostman
Kansas State Director of Athletics
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Blackman is one of just two players to earn first team All-America honors in consecutive seasons in Kansas State history and one of just three (joining fellow retirees Mike Evans and Lon Kruger) to be named Big Eight Conference Player of the Year (1980). He is also just one of three players to earn first team all-conference honors three times (joining Bob Boozer and Mike Evans) in the program’s history. The school’s second all-time leading scorer with 1,844 points, Blackman was the last Wildcat to be selected as a first team All-American when he was named to the Helms Foundation, The Sporting News, Converse Yearbook and John R. Wooden Award All-American squads as a senior in 1981.
The 6-foot-6 native of
K-State appears on “
Created as an extension of Chase Card Services’ Freedom campaign, the series will offer fan unprecented access behind otherwise closed doors, capturing all aspects of the college basketball experience from practice and meetings to team travel and campus life. The series, which will consist of eight half-hour episodes, will also chronicle
K-State to play
“This series of games with the Pac-10 will showcase some of the best college basketball in the country,” Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg said. “Our two conferences annually produce highly rated teams and multiple NCAA Tournament teams. This series will provide quality match-ups that will help to build the strength of our teams’ non-conference schedules. We are excited to have the opportunity to do this with the Pac-10.”
The series will continue in 2008, with games slated for Dec. 4-7. The contests scheduled will be return games of the match-ups from 2007, but may not be scheduled for the same day. The games in the series in 2009 will be played Dec. 3-6, 2009, while matchups in 2010 will be played Dec. 2-5, 2010.
Up Next: at
Kansas State continues its toughest stretches of the season on Wednesday, as the Wildcats face the second of back-to-back Top 25 teams on the road with a trip to Lawrence, Kan., to face No. 6/6 Kansas (19-3, 6-1 Big 12) at Allen Field House. The Jayhawks enter Saturday’s game with No. 8/10 Texas A&M with a 19-3 overall record and 6-1 mark in Big 12 play after a 76-56 win over Nebraska in Lincoln on Monday night. The team is averaging 77.7 points per game on 48.7 percent shooting with 39.7 rebounds and has a balanced scoring team with four players averaging in double figures. Sophomore Brandon Rush paces the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game to go with a team-best 42 3-point field goals, while fellow sophomores Mario Chalmers (11.8 ppg.) and Julian Wright (11.4 ppg.), along with freshman Darrell Arthur (11.0 ppg.), all average 11 or more points.