K-State faces big test at No. 22 Texas Saturday

Game 23

Kansas State (16-6, 5-2 Big 12)

at 22/23 Texas (16-5, 6-1 Big 12)

Saturday, Feb. 3, 2007

Frank Erwin Center (16,755) in Austin, Texas

 

Game Information:

Tipoff: 2:42 p.m. Central

Series: Kansas State leads 8-7

(Texas leads 5-2 in Austin, Texas)

TV: ESPN on ABC  

Talent: Brent Musburger (Play-by-Play) and
Steve Lavin (Analyst)

Coverage Map: Split National Feed
(throughout Midwest & West)  

Radio: K-State Sports Network (31 affiliates),
Yahoo! Radio

Talent: Wyatt Thompson (Play-by-Play) and Stan Weber (Analyst)

 

K-State begins tough stretch with road test at 22/23 Texas Saturday

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 Kansas (19-3, 6-1 Big 12) on Wednesday. 

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 Oklahoma, 88-83, on March 13, 1988.  It will be the fifth of a school-record seven national broadcasts for the Wildcats, which includes a second game on ABC on March 3 against Oklahoma.  The audio broadcast of the game can also be heard on the 31-station K-State Sports Network or on the internet with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (color) on the call.

 

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.

 

Noting the Missouri game 

*With the win, Kansas State swept the season series from Missouri for just the second time since 1984... The Wildcats now lead the all-time series with Tigers, 113-112, in a series that dates back to 1907... It marked K-State’s fifth win in the last six meetings with Missouri since 2005.

*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.


*Kansas State used the same starting line-up (guards Clent Stewart, Lance Harris and Akeem Wright and forwards David Hoskins and Luis Colon) for the sixth time this season, including the fifth consecutive game.  Hoskins has been the only constant in the line-up, starting all 22 games this season and 44 in a row dating back to last season... Martin and Harris have now seen action in 92 and 85 consecutive games, respectively, in their careers.


*Kansas State out-rebounded Missouri, 41-19, on the evening and now owns an 11-3 record on the season when winning the battle of the boards... In the two games with the Tigers this season, K-State owns an 82-36 advantage on the boards (including a decisive 30-8 edge in offensive rebounds).


*Kansas State allowed Missouri 73 points on the night, which is the most points allowed opponent since allowing the Tigers’ 81 on Jan. 13... It marked just the seventh time this season that the Wildcats have allowed an opponent to score 70 or more points in a game.

 

*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.

 

Getting Defensive

Kansas State has demonstrated trademark Bob Huggins’ defensive basketball in posting a 16-6 record to start the season.  The Wildcats rank among the top 5 in four defensive categories in the Big 12, including second in 3-point percentage defense (28.2), fourth in both rebounding (38.0) and field goal percentage defense (39.7) and fifth in scoring defense (63.8).  The squad has been even more impressive in league play, where they rank first in 3-point percentage defense (27.1), third in scoring defense (64.3), field goal percentage defense (41.5) and rebounding margin (5.4).  The team has held 19 of its 22 opponents to below 80 points, including 10 of its last 13 under 70 points.  Only seven foes have shot above 45 percent from the field.

After giving up an average of 81 points in back-to-back losses to California and ColoradoState, the Wildcats have clamped down on defense in the last 15 games.  The team has held its opponents to just 61.7 points on 39.3 percent shooting (319-of-811), including just 24 percent (62-of-258) from 3-point range, during the stretch.  In addition, K-State has forced an average of 16.5 turnovers and tallied an average of 6.0 steals during the stretch. 


During the course of the season, the defensive effort has produced marks that the Wildcats haven’t seen in years and even decades.  Kansas State held ChicagoState and Nebraska to a combined 81 points; the lowest two-game point total since allowing UMKC (39) and Coppin State (36) a combined 75 points on Dec. 19 and 21, 1998.  Against Chicago State, the Wildcats held the Cougars to just 36 points on 22.2 percent shooting, marks which tied or set new marks for lows by an opponent in Bramlage Coliseum.  It marked the fewest points allowed an opponent since CoppinState also scored 36 on Dec. 21, 1999.  In the win over Rutgers on Nov. 15, K-State held the Scarlet Knights to 41 points on just nine field goals and 19.1 percent shooting.  The nine field goals are the fewest allowed since the Wildcats held Washburn a school-record seven in a 23-15 win on Dec. 6, 1940, while the 41 points are the fewest points allowed on an opponent’s court since the shot clock and fewest since allowing Nebraska 39 on March 6, 1984.

 

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.


Super Sub

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 Maryland-Eastern Shore (23) on Dec. 19, Chicago State (25) on Jan. 22 and Missouri (22) on Jan. 31.  He is averaging 15.8 points on 48.5 percent shooting (48-of-99) in nine games off the bench this season with 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 26.8 minutes per game.  Martin has been even better in that role in the last five games, averaging 17.8 points on 57.7 percent shooting, including 46.7 percent from 3-point range, with 7.0 rebounds in 25.6 minutes. 


Kansas
State
has gotten a nice lift from its bench this season with an average of 23.4 points coming from its reserves this season.  The impact has been even more telling in the last 16 contests, where the Wildcats have averaged 25.2 points off the bench and have outscored their opponent by a 403-240 margin.  The streak came on the heels of being outscored 67-47 off the bench in games against New Mexico, CoppinState and California.  The most telling aspect of the recent bench play has been its diversity.  The team has gotten significant scoring from 10 different players off the bench.    


Road Warriors

After struggling for most of the past decade on the road, Kansas State has taken a step forward this season with six victories away (second in the Big 12 behind Kansas’ seven) from Bramlage Coliseum for the first time since the 1995-96 season.  The team also has four true’ road wins - at Rutgers, North Dakota State, Missouri and Iowa State - already this season for the first time since the 1995-96 season when the Wildcats also captured five wins.  K-State has also won back-to-back conference road games for the first time since 1995-96.  This is contrast to the previous seven seasons, in which, the team posted no more than four wins away from Manhattan in a season and compiled a 15-72 overall record, including a 10-63 mark in a true’ road venue.

 

Clutch Shooting

Kansas State has taken advantage of its opportunites at the free throw line in the past six games, as the Wildcats have combined to sink 77.9 percent (127-of-163) from the charity stripe.  The team posted season-highs in free throws (37), free throws attempted (43) and free throw percentage (86.0) in the win over Missouri on Jan. 13.  The 37 free throws and 43 attempts are the most in a game since the Wildcats collected 39 makes on 51 attempts against Baylor on Feb. 13, 1999.  The total (37) was also just five shy of school-record of 42 set against Purdue on Dec. 1, 1958.  In addition, the Wildcats have been particularly effective in the last five minutes from the stripe, knocking down 78.6 percent (55-of-70), including a combined 88 percent (22-of-25) in the two games with Missouri.  For the season, the team has connected on 70.2 percent (99-of-141) of its free throws in the last five minutes.

   

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 Texas

Texas enters Saturday’s contest with a 16-5 overall record and 6-1 mark in Big 12 Conference play after posting an impressive 76-64 win over Texas Tech on Wednesday night in Lubbock, Texas.  The team shot 50.8 percent from the field and had two players in double figures led by national and Big 12 Player of the Year favorite Kevin Durant, who became the first player in Big 12 history to post 30 points and 20 rebounds in game as he totaled a game-high 37 points on 15-of-29 shooting, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, with 23 rebounds and three steals in 40 minutes of action.  Fellow freshman and point guard D.J. Augustin added a double-double with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting with a game-high 11 assists.  The Longhorns enter Saturday’s contest having won 11 consecutive Big 12 home games (one-short of a school record) and post an impressive 11-0 mark in all home games this season.

 

Texas is averaging a Big 12-best 84.4 points on 44.8 percent shooting with 42.7 rebounds and 15.0 assists on the season.  The Longhorns have three players averaging in double figures led by superstar Durant who paces the Big 12 in both scoring (25.0 ppg.) and rebounding (11.6 rpg.) in both overall and conference-only games.  Durant, who is shooting 48.8 percent from the field, also paces the squad in blocks (1.7 bpg.) and free throws (117), while he is second in 3-point field goals (46).  Sophomore guard A.J. Abrams averages 16.1 points on a team-best 81 3-point field goals and a team-best 1.7 steals per game, while freshman guard D.J. Augustin adds 13.4 points per game and a Big 12-best 7.1 assists. 


Texas
is led by veteran coach Rick Barnes, who has posted a 409-215 mark in his 20th season as head coach that includes stints at George Mason (1987-88), Providence (1988-94), Clemson (1994-98) and Texas (1998-present).  He is 207-81 in his ninth season at the Longhorn’s helm.  Barnes is 6-2 all-time against KansasState, including a perfect 4-0 mark in games played in Austin.  Amazingly, this will be the first meeting between Barnes and Kansas State head coach Bob Huggins in their respective careers.

    

Series versus Texas

This will be the 16th all-time meeting between Kansas State and Texas in a series that dates back to 1971.  The Wildcats hold a slight 8-7 advantage in the all-time series, however, the Longhorns post a 5-2 record in games played in Austin, Texas, including a perfect 5-0 mark since the start of Big 12 play in 1997.  K-State has not won at the FrankErwin Center since a 51-43 non-conference win over Texas on Jan. 8, 1983.  The Longhorns have won seven of the 10 meetings with the Wildcats since the start of Big 12 play, including two in a row. 

 

The last two games have come down to the wire with Texas holding on for a 75-72 overtime win at home on Feb. 12, 2005 and a posting a 65-64 victory in Manhattan on Feb. 22, 2006.  Kansas State has not won a game in the series since upsetting 10th-ranked Texas, 58-48, on March 6, 2004. 

 

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 Kansas State’s improved play of late has been due to the emergence of junior David Hoskins.  He has averaged a team-leading 16.6 points in the last 15 games on 48.1 percent shooting with 6.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game.  His torrid play of late has enabled him to rank among the Big 12’s top 15 in four categories, including 10th in free throw percentage (78.8), 13th in scoring (14.7 ppg.) and 15th in rebounding (5.8 rpg.).  Hoskins’ numbers are even better in Big 12 play, where he is sixth in scoring (17.6 ppg) and 12th in rebounding (6.4 rpg). 

 

The streak began with a 17-point effort on 6-of-9 shooting against Cleveland State on Dec. 5 and continued with 14 points against North Dakota State on Dec. 9.  Hoskins continued his impressive play in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic, where he was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 15.8 points on 70 percent shooting to go with a team-best 5.8 rebounds.  He was team’s leading scorer against Xavier with 17 points before adding 11 points in a loss at Texas A&M.  Hoskins came through in a big way offensively against Texas Tech on Jan. 8, posting 23 points on 7-of-13 field goals.  He stepped his game even more in wins over Iowa State and Chicago State with back-to-back double-doubles, posting 22 points on 9-of-17 field goals against the Cyclones with a career-high 11 rebounds in a season-high 36 minutes before totaling 15 points and 10 rebounds against the Cougars on Jan. 22.  He tallied his fourth 20-point game against Missouri on Jan. 31 with a team-leading 25 points. 

 

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 Nebraska on Jan. 27, the much-maligned Kansas State offense showed its tremendous potential in Wednesday’s win over Missouri by posting 80 or more points in a game for the seventh time this season.  It marked the first time the squad had topped the barrier since collecting 85 in its first meeting with the Tigers just 18 days earlier on Jan. 13.  Just 22 games into the season, the seven 80-point games by Wildcats surpasses each of the yearly totals of the past seven seasons and is the most in a season since the 1998-99 season also had seven. The last time K-State posted more than seven 80-point contests in a single-season was the 1997-98 season when the team collected nine such games.       

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 Cleveland State, Kansas State shot a season-high 61.5 percent from the field (its highest percentage in nearly two seasons) and topped the 90-point barrier for just the second time this season.

 

Block Party

Kansas State broke nearly every single-game block record on Jan. 22, as the Wildcats posted a Bramlage Coliseum-record 12 blocked shots, including an individual mark of eight by freshman Jason Bennett, in a 73-37 victory.  The 12 blocks surpassed the previous highs of 10 against UMKC on Dec. 19, 1998 and the 10 Colorado registered against K-State on Feb. 11, 2003 for the most in the building’s 19-year history.  Bennett’s eight swats not only broke the school mark of six that he already shared (at California on Nov. 29, 2006) with Tony Kitt (vs. Kansas on March 3, 1999) and Dramane Diarra (vs. Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 26, 2005), but it also surpassed the arena marks of six by Diarra and seven by Nebraska’s Kimani Ffriend (Jan. 30, 2001). 

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 Kansas State’s improved play of late has been its ability to force its opponent into turnovers and then to capitalize with points off those miscues.  The Wildcats’ stifling defense has forced an average of 16.5 turnovers (247), including an average of 6.0 steals, in the last 15 games, while averaging 19.1 points off those turnovers. 

 

The team scored 65 points off a combined 51 turnovers in back-to-back wins over Kennesaw State and Maryland-Eastern Shore on Dec. 17 and 19.  The 32 turnovers by UMES (which yielded 37 points) was just five short of the school record of 37 set by Vanderbilt in December 1969.  K-State continued with its pressure defense in the win over USC on Dec. 22, as the Wildcats forced a season-high 28 Trojan turnovers and converted those into 24 points.  The team scored 19 points off 15 New Mexico turnovers en route to capturing its first in-season tournament title since 1995.  K-State continued the trend in January by scoring 22 points off 16 Texas A&M miscues, 19 points off 15 Texas Tech turnovers and 23 points off 16 Missouri miscues.  The current average of 15.5 turnovers forced per game is the highest since the 1994-95 season averaged 16.7 turnovers.

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

Kansas State has three players on its squad - seniors Cartier Martin and Lance Harris and junior David Hoskins - who rank among the school’s top 55 scorers.  Martin, who entered the school’s all-time top-10 with 15 points against Missouri on Jan. 13, became just the 10th player in school history to top 1,200 career points with his 15-point effort against Baylor on Jan. 17.  He now has 1,277 points after his 22-point effort against Missouri on Jan. 31.  Harris now ranks 28th all-time with 889 points in his four-year career after scoring three points against the Tigers and needs just 47 points to crack the school’s top 25.  Martin (132) and Harris (130) ranks fourth and fifth, respectively, in school history in career 3-point field goals.  Hoskins already ranks 54th on the all-time scoring list with 691 points and can move into the top 50 with just 27 points.  It marks the first time since 1987-88 season (Mitch Richmond, Will Scott and Charles Bledsoe) that the Wildcats have had a 1,000-point scorer and a pair of 500-point scorers on the same team. 

 

Huggins Effect

Although he has been Kansas State’s head coach for less than a season, the impact head coach Bob Huggins has had on the Wildcat program has been nothing short of monumental.  Huggins has not only gained the school widespread attention by media outlets, he has helped guide it to milestones not seen by the historically-rich program in some time. 

 

For his efforts, his hiring was dubbed the 2006 sports story of the year in the state of Kansas by The Associated Press in late December.  Below are a few of the milestones achieved by Huggins in barely his first season at the helm.  
         

*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 earned its first in-season tournament title in more than 10 years by winning the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Holiday Classic on Dec. 23... The win in the championship game gave the program 10 victories before Jan. 1 for the first time since the 1998-99 season (its last postseason appearance).

           

*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 Walker has already begun his rehabilitation process.  It is expected to take between six and eight months.

 

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 Kennesaw State on Dec. 17 in 22 minutes of action after just two practices under his belt.  It was the most points by a true freshman in his debut since Marques Hayden scored 20 points against BYU on Nov. 23, 2002.  Walker came through with perhaps in his best effort of the year on Dec. 22 against USC in the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Holiday Classic when he scored a season-high and game-tying 19 points.  He single-handedly rallied the team from its halftime deficit by scoring the first nine points of the second half en route to posting 15 points on 4-of-5 field goals and 7-of-8 free throws in 18 minutes.   


Viva Las Vegas

*With its 72-56 win over New Mexico on Dec. 23, Kansas State captured its first in-season tournament title in over 10 years with the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Holiday Classic title... The Wildcats’ last tournament title came at the Otis Spunkmeyer Classic on Dec. 28-29, 1995 in Oakland, Calif.


*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.


*Kansas State was impressive on both ends of the court in the winning the tournament... The Wildcats averaged 75.2 points on 49.3 percent shooting with 36.0 rebounds and 15.8 assists, while holding their opponents to just 55.8 points on 36.9 percent shooting, including just 19.7 percent from 3-point range... The team held four straight opponent to 60 points or less for the first time since doing it in the first four games of the 2005-06 season.


*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 Tim Weiser announced on Dec. 27 that the Wildcats will retire the jerseys of basketball greats Rolando Blackman and Dick Knostman in a halftime ceremony during the Colorado game on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007.  The duo becomes the third class of jersey retirements at K-State following those of Bob Boozer, Ernie Barrett and Jack Parr in 2005 and Mike Evans, Lon Kruger and Chuckie Williams in 2006. 


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 Wamego, Kan., Knostman is one of just 12 players in Kansas State history to be named a first team All-American.  He earned this recognition from the Helms Foundation, Look magazine and the Newspaper Enterprises Association as a senior in 1953 after averaging 22.7 points in helping the Wildcats to a 17-4 record and a final ranking of No. 12 in the AP poll.  One of the few Wildcats to average a double-double for his career with 14.6 points and 10.5 rebounds, Knostman still ranks among the top 5 in 17 single-game, season and/or career statistical categories in school history.

 

K-State appears on “Inside College Basketball”

Kansas State is one of four schools in the country to appear on the new ABC series, “Chase Card Services Presents FREE Ticket: Inside College Basketball,” which began Saturday, Jan. 13.  Created and produced by Intersport, the production team followed the Wildcats for a seven-day stretch beginning with their preparations for the Xavier game on Wednesday, Jan. 2 and concluding with the “Big Monday” game with Texas Tech on Monday, Jan. 8.  The team was given complete access to all practices and meetings and performed one-on-one interviews with Bob Huggins and numerous players and staff.  In addition to its premiere on ABC Sports on Saturday, Jan. 13, the show involving K-State will also be broadcast on four other times, including Thursday, Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. on ESPN2 and Saturday, Jan. 20 at 9:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 21 at 10:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 4 a.m. on ESPNU. 

 

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 Connecticut, Indiana and Texas A&M in later shows.


K-State to play Oregon as part of Big 12/Pac-10 Series

Kansas State will play Oregon on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007, as apart of a four-year deal reached by the Big 12 and Pacific-10 Conferences on Jan. 11.  The agreement between the conferences provides a series of 12 annual games, starting with the 2007-08 season.  Other games set for next season include Oklahoma at USC (Nov. 29), Washington State at Baylor (Nov. 30), Iowa State at Oregon State (Nov. 30), Washington at Oklahoma State (Dec. 1), Missouri at California (Dec. 1), Arizona State at Nebraska (Dec. 2), Stanford at Colorado (Dec. 2), Texas at UCLA (Dec. 2) and Texas A&M at Arizona (Dec. 2).

           

“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 (19-3, 6-1 Big 12)

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.