'Cats Return to Face Cyclones Tuesday

Game Information
Kansas State (14-7, 3-4 Big 12) vs.
Iowa State (12-9, 1-5 Big 12)

Date: Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Tipoff: 7:10 p.m. CT
Location: Manhattan, Kan.
Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (1988)
Capacity: 12,528
Series: K-State leads 129-76
(K-State is 76-22 at home)

Television: FOX Sports Kansas City/ESPN Full Court/ESPN360.com
Ben Boyle (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)
Max Leinwand (producer)
Satellite Channels: DirecTV 672, Dish Network 445

Radio: K-State Sports Network; Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Matt Walters (analyst)

Tickets: 500 tickets from student allotment went on sale Monday for $20 each at Athletics Ticket Office, by calling 1.800.221.CATS.  

Kansas State Wildcats
Record: 14-7 (3-4 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): --/--
Coach: Frank Martin
Alma Mater: Florida International, 93
Career Record: 35-19/1
School Record: 35-19/1
vs. Iowa State: 2-0
07-08 Record: 21-12 (10-6 Big 12)
Last game: Jan. 31, 2009
Won at 11/12 Texas, 85-81, OT
SID: Tom Gilbert
Website: www.k-statesports.com

Iowa State Cyclones
Record: 12-9 (1-5 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): --/--
Coach: Greg McDermott
Alma Mater: Northern Iowa, 88
Career Record: 262-170/15
School Record: 41-43/3
vs. Kansas State: 0-4
07-08 Record: 14-18 (4-12 Big 12)
Last game: Jan. 31, 2009
Lost to 4/5 Oklahoma, 78-68
SID: Mike Green
Website: www.cyclones.com

Projected Starters
Kansas State (14-7, 3-4 Big 12)
G - #0 Jacob Pullen (6-0, 200, So.)
G - #21 Denis Clemente (6-1, 175, Jr.)
F - #23 Dominique Sutton (6-5, 210, So.)
F - #42 Darren Kent (6-11, 230, Sr.)
F - #15 Luis Colon (6-10, 265, Jr.)

Iowa State (12-9, 1-5 Big 12)
G - #10 Diante Garrett (6-4, 185, So.)
G - #22 Bryan Petersen (6-1, 180, Sr.)
G - #5 Lucca Staiger (6-5, 225, So.)
F - #21 Craig Brackins (6-10, 230, So.)
F - #41 Justin Hamilton (6-11, 255, Fr.)

Game Preview
Kansas State (14-7, 3-4 Big 12) returns home to tip off the second month of Big 12 play on Tuesday evening, as the Wildcats face Iowa State (12-9, 1-5 Big 12) at Bramlage Coliseum at 7:10 p.m.  K-State has gained momentum since starting league play with four straight losses, as the squad held off No. 11 Texas, 85-81, in overtime to post its third straight victory and end the Longhorns’ 19-game homecourt winning streak.  The Wildcats own a 129-76 edge in the all-time series with the Cyclones, including a 76-22 mark in games played at home.  The team has won five consecutive games against Iowa State in the series and seven in a row at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas State ran its winning streak to three games on Saturday, as the Wildcats held on for an 85-81 win over Texas in overtime to end the Longhorns’ 19-game homecourt winning streak, including a 14-game streak in Big 12 play.  Sophomore Fred Brown hit an arching 3-pointer with 18.6 seconds left in overtime to break a 79-all tie, while junior Denis Clemente capped his record-tying 44-point effort with a pair of free throws to clinch the win with six seconds remaining.  It was the highest ranked team the Wildcats have beaten on the road since toppling No. 1 Kansas, 68-64, on Jan. 17, 1994.  The overtime victory was the second of the Big 12 season for K-State and marked the first time the squad has won two league overtime games on the road since the 1967-68 season.  

Denis Clemente tied Michael Beasley’s Big 12 single-game record for points with his career-best 44 points.  He went 13-of-25 from the field, including a perfect 6-of-6 from 3-point range, and 12-of-12 from the free throw line.  He tied Beasley for the fifth-most points in  school history, including the second-most in a conference game.  It was the most points by a guard since Askia Jones broke the school mark with 62 points against Fresno State on March 24, 1994.  The 44 points were also the most by a single player in Erwin Center history, surpassing the 43 by Texas’ Reggie Freeman in 1996.  Clemente has paced the squad in scoring a team-best eight times and registered double figure scoring in a team-tying 13 contests, including six of seven Big 12 contests.  Brown was the only other player to top double figures with 13 points of 5-of-8 field goals, including three treys. 

K-State remains the definition of balance with seven different leading scorers, nine different assist leaders and seven different rebounding leaders.  Right now, five players are averaging eight or more points, while five players are averaging four or more rebounds.  There have been 72 double-digit scoring games by 10 players.  Of the 10 players, six have registered double figures seven or more times.
 
The Wildcats have been a solid team defensively, allowing just 66.0 points on 41.3 percent shooting, including 34.9 percent from 3-point range.  The team is forcing an average of 18.1 turnovers per game, while averaging 21.5 points off those turnovers.  The contest against Iowa State will be televised on FOX Sports Kansas City (DirecTV 672 and Dish Network 445) with Ben Boyle (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) calling the action.  Fans will also be able to watch the contest on the ESPN Full Court package as well as ESPN360.com  Information on these outlets can be found at http://proxy.espn.go.com/ncb/fullcourt/.  It will be the nine of 10
appearances on the FSN Kansas City.

Fans will also be able to listen to the audio broadcast on the 29-station K-State Sports Network (Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio) with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Matt Walters (analyst) on the call.

Ticket Information
Approximately 500 unused tickets from the student allotment went on sale to the public on Monday for Tuesday’s contest.  Tickets are priced at $20 each.  Orders will be accepted in-person or by phone (800) 221.CATS.  The tickets are for general admission in Sections 21-25 of the arena.  There is also seating available in other locations for $30 each in reserved sections or $35 each in chairback areas.

Digging Out
K-State is attempting to dig itself out of a 0-4 start to league play for the second time in the Big 12 era and the 11th time overall dating back to the start of Missouri Valley play in 1913. In those 10 seasons, the Wildcats have rebounded to win four or more league games just four times.  The best finish after such a dismal start came in 1983-84 when they finished with Big Eight play with a 5-9 mark.  

What a Difference 3 Game Make
After starting Big 12 play with four straight losses, Kansas State has seemed to have found its groove again in the past three wins.  The Wildcats have averaged 83.3 points on 45.8 percent shooting, including 51.8 percent from 3-point range, in the last three wins after averaging just 60 points on 38.4 percent shooting, including 29 percent from beyond the arc, in the first four league contests.  The team is also forcing four more turnovers (18-14), while scoring 27 more points off those turnovers (40-13).  The defense numbers are similar in both instances with the Wildcats holding the last three foes to an average of 76.0 points on 44 percent shooting compared to 76 points on 51 percent shooting in the first four league games.

Back on Track
Despite its early struggles in Big 12 play, K-State is still averaging over 77 points points per game.  The team has scored 70 or more points in 16 of 21 games, including 80 or more points 10 times.  The squad has posted three games of 90 or more points, including a 107-point output against Gardner-Webb on Dec. 14, which ranks as the most in a non-conference game since 1994 and the highest point total since the Wildcats scored 111 against Missouri on Jan. 3, 1998.  The three 90-point games are the most since the 1997-98 season. 

The 1,631 points are the fourth-most through 21 games in school history, trailing just the 1986-87 (1,722), 1952-53 (1,710) and 1997-98 (1,651) squads and ahead of the 1976-77 (1,547) team.  This year’s edition is the fourth fastest team in school history to collect 1,000 points in a season.  The Wildcats have scored 80 or more points in 10 of their first 21 games for the third time in its history.

Since Frank Martin’s arrival in 2007, K-State has shown the ability to score points, totaling two of the most prolific scoring teams in school history.  Last year, the Wildcats set the school mark with 2,574 points, while also posting the second-most field goals attempted (2,067) and the third-most field goals (916) and 3-point field goals made (210) as well as the third-highest scoring average (78.0).  

Improving D
K-State has shown the ability to play solid defense as well, holding its 21 opponents thus far to an average of 66.0 points per game.  The Wildcats have held 13 foes to less than 70 points, including eight to 60 points or less.  The 1,386 points yielded are the second-fewest through 21 games in the last 25 seasons and fewest since the 1998-99 team allowed just 1,310 points.  This year, 11 foes have been held to below 40 percent shooting, while nine have been held to below 30 percent from 3-point range.  Despite allowing 76.0 points during Big 12 play, the team had held two of the more potent offenses - Oklahoma and Missouri - to 15 or more points under their averages.
     
Diverse Offense
Unlike last season when consensus All-American Michael Beasley paced the squad at 26.2 points per game, the 2008-09 team has shown a lot more diversity with its scoring output thus far.  

Through 21 games, all 12 players have totaled double-digit points with eight scoring in triple digits.  The duo of junior Denis Clemente and sophomore Jacob Pullen are averaging in double figures led by Clemente’s 13.6 points per game.  Six players are averaging seven or more points, including sophomore Fred Brown (9.6 ppg.), redshirt freshman Jamar Samuels (9.4 ppg.), senior Darren Kent (8.5 ppg.) and sophomore Dominique Sutton (7.7 ppg.). 

Since statistics became available during the 1950-51 season, there has been just six teams to have four players average in double figures with the last coming in 2004-05.  Just one team - the 1955-56 squad - has had six players average eight or more points in a season.  

There have already been seven different leading scorers in 21 games, including a league-best six players with 20-point outings.  In all, there have been 72 double-digit scoring games with Clemente and Pullen each doing it a team-best 13 times.  Ten players have scored in double figures with five of those players doing it nine times or more.  

Backcourt Play has been Key
A big key to Kansas State’s hopes this season has been the play of its three primary guards - Fred Brown, Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen.  The trio represent nearly half of the team’s point (772), field goals (268) and field goals attempted (658) total this season as well as nearly 85 percent of the 3-point field goals (124).  

The play of these three guards has been key to the fortunes this year.  In the 14 wins, the trio is averaging 41.0 points on 44.5 percent (191-of-429) shooting from the field, including 44.3 percent (97-of-219) from 3-point range.  The squad is 2-0 when all three players score in double figures, while they are 8-0 when both Clemente and Pullen score 10 or more points.  In the seven losses, the trio averages 30.4 points on 33.6 percent (77-of-229) shooting, including just 26.7 percent (27-of-101) from beyond the arc.  The assist-to-turnover ratio also proves vital with the three averaging 9.5 assists and a 1.48 assist-to-turnover ratio (133/90) in the wins and 4.6 assists and a 0.59 assist-to-turnover ratio (32/54) in the losses.   

Rebounding Still a Strength
Most critics wondered how Kansas State would replace two of the best Big 12 rebounders - Michael Beasley and Bill Walker - after the duo helped the program average 41.3 rebounds a year ago.  The duo plus departed seniors Clent Stewart and Blake Young averaged over 25 boards per game.  Despite their absence, rebounding continues to be a strength with seven players averaging at least two boards per game.

Through 21 games, K-State is averaging 39.4 rebounds, including a Big 12-best 16.2 on the offensive end, with five players averaging four or more boards.  The team ranks among the best in the Big 12 in four categories, including first in offensive rebounds, second in rebounding margin (+6.5) and rebounding defense (32.9) and third in overall rebounding.  Four players - Ron Anderson, Luis Colon, Darren Kent and Dominique Sutton - have grabbed double-digit rebounds eight times with Anderson averaging a team-best 5.7 boards per game.  Kent has a team-leading four double-doubles thus far, while three others - Anderson, Colon and Sutton - each have tallied one. 

Pressure is the Key
Pressure has been a big key for the Wildcats so far, as the team has scored 451 points (almost 30 percent of season total of 1,631 points) off 380 opponent turnovers.  The squad has also outscored its foes, 222-145, on fast-break opportunities.  Kansas State has scored 20 or more points off turnovers in 13 of the team’s 21 games, including 30 or more points twice with a season-best 41 against Gardner-Webb.  

In its 14 wins, the squad has outscored its foes, 343-165 (24.5 ppg.), in points off turnovers with an average of 18.8 turnovers.  In contrast, the team has been outscored 132-108 (15.4 ppg.) in points off turnovers in its seven losses with an average of 16.7 turnovers.  In all, the Wildcats have forced eight foes into 20 or more turnovers.  The squad is averaging 7.4 steals per game with seven players grabbing 10 or more this year led by Jacob Pullen’s 36 steals.
 
Dynamic Duo
After dominating the paint a year ago with the likes of Michael Beasley and Bill Walker, Kansas State’s strength has shifted to the backcourt where the Wildcats start two of the best at their positions in junior Denis Clemente and sophomore Jacob Pullen.

The duo, which has started 20 of 21 games, have combined for 571 points on 40.0 percent shooting (196-of-490), including 36.3 percent
from 3-point range (81-of-223), with 136 of the team’s 311 assists.  Clemente ranks first on the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game on 42.4 percent shooting with team-highs in field goals made (100) and free throw percentage (87.7).  He is second to Pullen in assists (66) and minutes (550) and third in 3-point field goals (35) and steals (20).  Pullen is second in scoring at 13.6 points per game on 37.8 percent shooting with team-highs in 3-point field goals made (46), assists (70), steals (36) and minutes (623).

The two have scored in double figures eight times in the same game (team is 8-0 in those games) with a combined 36 points against Florida A&M, 31 against Cleveland State and Kentucky, 45 against Oakland, 34 against Gardner-Webb, 39 against Wagner, 32 against Colorado and 33 against Missouri.  Clemente has led the squad in scoring a team-best eight times with a Big 12 record-tying 44 points against Texas, while Pullen, who has scored in double figures a team-best 13 times, posted a career-best 26 against Oakland.

Brown From Outside
Sophomore Fred Brown has emerged as a dangerous threat from the outside for the Wildcats, as he ranks first on the squad in 3-point field goal percentage (44.3) and second in 3-point field goals (43).  He has at least one 3-pointer in 17 of 21 games, including two or more on 12 occasions.  He ranks third in field goals (72) and field goals attempted (168) and third in scoring (9.6 ppg.), while he is second among reserves in minutes (20.6 mpg.).  Almost 60 percent of his made (43) and attempted field goals (97) have come beyond the arc.  He has scored in double figures nine times, including a pair of 20-point outings against SE Missouri State (21) and Chicago State (26).

Samuels a Spark off the Bench
Redshirt freshman Jamar Samuels has provided a spark off the bench, averaging just over 20 minutes per contest despite just two starts this season.  He is fourth in scoring at 9.4 points on a team-best 56.5 percent shooting with 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 blocks in 20.7 minutes per game.  He ranks third on the team with 11 double-figure scoring games, including a season-high 20 points against Gardner-Webb on Dec. 14.  He scored in double figures in four straight games to start the year and has collected 10 or more points in seven of the last 15 contests.  He has tallied five or more rebounds 14 times, including a season-best eight three times.  He was sensational against Missouri, posting a personal Big 12-high 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting with six rebounds, four assists and two blocks. 

Kent Steppin Up as a Senior
One of the bright spots for the Wildcats this season has been the play of senior Darren Kent.  Kent, the team’s only senior, has been a force on the boards, ranking second with 5.6 rebounds per game.  He is also averaging 8.5 points on 41 percent shooting (55-of-134) to go with 1.3 assists and 0.7 blocks in 20.9 minutes per game.  Kent’s improvement has been evident this year, as he has already scored in double figures in nine games and totaled 179 points.  In contrast, he came into the year with 104 career points and just one double-figure scoring game.  Kent has also totaled his four career double-doubles all this season, which leads the squad.  He turned in a career day against Centenary on Dec. 20 with career-highs in points (24), field goals (nine) and field goals attempted (14).  

Sutton Steals the Show
After getting a late start to his time at K-State, sophomore Dominique Sutton has become an all-around factor for the Wildcats this season.  He is averaging 7.7 points on 49.2 percent shooting (63-of-128) with 4.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.0 assists in 22.3 minutes per game.  He tied the school single-game record for steals against Idaho State with eight, matching a mark set by Lynn Smith against South Dakota on Nov. 29, 1986 then followed by Elliot Hatcher against Wichita State on Jan. 2, 1996.  He posted a career night against
Wagner on Dec. 30, posting highs in six categories, including points (21), rebounds (10), field goals (7) and field goals attempted (11). 
  
Iowa State Update
Iowa State enters Tuesday’s game with a 12-9 overall record and 1-5 mark in Big 12 after dropping its fourth straight game on Saturday to No. 4/5 Oklahoma, 78-68, at home.  The squad led 66-65 with 5:07 remaining on a 3-pointer by sophomore Lucca Staiger before the Sooners ended the game on a 13-2 run to clinch the win.  Sophomore All-American candidate Craig Brackins notched a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore guard Diante Garrett had a double-double of his own with 17 points and 10 assists.   

The Cyclones are averaging 65.5 points through 21 games on 43.7 percent shooting, including 35.1 percent from 3-point range, with 34.8 rebounds, 14.9 assists, 4.1 steals and 4.0 blocks per game.  ISU is a solid defensive team, holding its opponents to just 62.9 points on 39.5 percent shooting, including 32.8 percent from 3-point range.

Iowa State is led by Craig Brackins, who averages 19.5 points on 49.5 percent shooting to go with a team-best 9.1 rebounds.  He ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring and third in rebounding.  Diante Garrett is second in scoring at 10.0 points on 41.4 percent shooting with a team-best 5.3 assists per game.  Lucca Staiger averages 8.8 points on 40.3 percent shooting with a team-high 53 3-point field goals. 

Iowa State returns seven lettermen, including two starters, from a team that finished the 2007-08 season with a 14-18 overall record and finished in 11th place with a 4-12 record in Big 12 play.   

The Cyclones are led by Greg McDermott, who has posted a 41-43 mark in three years at the helm.  He has a 262-170 record in his 15th season as a head coach, which includes stints at Wayne State (1994-00), North Dakota State (2000-01) and Northern Iowa (2001-06).  He led NIU to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

Series Information
K-State and Iowa State will be meeting for the 206th time on Tuesday with the Wildcats holding a 129-76 edge in the series. The series
dates back to a 42-32 win by K-State on Jan. 12, 1909.  The 205 meetings are the fourth-most against one opponent in school history, while the 129 victories are the most against one foe.  The Wildcats hold a 76-22 edge in the series at home, including seven straight wins dating back 2002.  Iowa State hold a 13-12 edge since the start of Big 12 play.  K-State has won five consecutive games in the series. 
 
Last 5 meetings:
2/8/06    K-State 66-63     Manhattan
1/20/07   K-State 69-60     Ames
2/17/07   K-State 65-47     Manhattan
1/26/08   K-State 82-57     Manhattan
3/8/08    K-State 73-69     Ames

Solid Non-Conference Season
Kansas State’s win against Chicago State on Jan. 5 gave the team 11 non-conference wins for the second consecutive season.  It marks the first time the team has posted consecutive seasons of at least 10 non-conference wins since the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.  The squad still has one more non-conference game on Feb. 17 against North Carolina Central.  The Wildcats have won at least 10 non-league contests four times in the last five seasons.  

Recruiting Class Praised
The four-man recruiting class that Kansas State pulled down on Nov. 12 has been rated among the best in the country.  The class, which includes ESPNU100 prospect and power forward Wally Judge, has been rated the 17th-best class by ESPN Scouts, Inc., as well as 21st- best class by Rivals.com.  The quartet includes Judge, fellow high school teammate Rodney McGruder, Dallas (Texas) point guard Nick Russell and prep school forward Jordan Henriquez.    

Young Cats
Kansas State enters the 2008-09 season with one its youngest teams in recent history, as senior forward Darren Kent is the lone senior on a roster of 13 players.  When you factor in that four of the six juniors are either transfers from another Division I school or a junior college, the Wildcats are one of the youngest teams in its history.  Dating back to the 1981-82 season, there has been just one team - the 1983-84 squad which had no seniors - with fewer seniors on its roster.  The 1996-97 also had just one senior on its roster.

Martin Inks Stellar Class
Kansas State head coach Frank Martin announced the signing of four high school seniors to National Letters of Intent on the second day of the fall signing period on Nov. 13.

The four-man recruiting class, which was ranked 16th nationally by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and 21st by Rivals.com, includes prep school standout Jordan Henriquez (Winchendon [Mass.] School/Port Chester, N.Y.) and high school seniors Wally Judge (Arlington (Fla.) Country Day/Washington, D.C.), Rodney McGruder (Arlington (Fla.) Country Day/Washington, D.C.) and Nick Russell (Grace Preparatory Academy/Arlington, Texas).

The headliner of this class, Wally Judge is a 6-foot-9, 220-pound power forward originally from Washington, D.C., who is entering his second year at Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Fla.  Considered one of the top power forwards in the high school ranks, Judge was rated as a top 25 recruit by several recruiting services, including the No. 17 prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 23 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  He was also rated as an ESPNU Top 100 recruit.  In addition, he is ranked among the top-10 at his position, including No. 6 by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 9 by Rivals.com.    

Judge is in his second year at Florida powerhouse, Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, where he helped the Apaches to their fourth
consecutive Class 2A state title with a 24-6 record in 2007-08.   Judge averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds and was named second team Class 2A All-State by the Florida Sports Writers Association. 

A teammate of Judge at Arlington Country Day, Rodney McGruder is considered one of the best shooting guards in the country.  The 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard is rated among the top players in the country, including the No. 89 overall prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 91 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  McGruder is also ranked among the top-35 at the position by a number of outlets, including No. 23 by Rivals.com and No. 31 by ESPN Scouts, Inc.  

McGruder transferred to Arlington Country Day in the off-season from Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C.  As a junior, he averaged 21.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals in leading the Lions to a 16-10 overall record and an appearance in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) semifinals in 2007-08.  He was named to the Washington Post All-Met first team.  

One of the top point guard prospects in the country, Nick Russell comes to K-State from Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington, Texas.  The 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard is rated among the top players in the country, including the No. 89 overall prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 114 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  Russell is also ranked among the top-40 at his position by a number of outlets, including No. 20 by Rivals.com and No. 36 by ESPN Scouts, Inc.  In addition, he is rated the No. 4 player in the state of Texas for the Class of 2009 by Texashoops.com. 

Russell helped Grace Prep to a 26-12 overall record, including a 7-3 mark in league play, as a junior in 2006-07.  He helped the Lions to a runner-up finish at the TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parachial Schools) Class 5A state tournament, where they lost to
Midland Christian, 74-60.  Russell averaged 23 points, six assists and five rebounds as a junior.  He was named first team TAPPS Class 5A all-state as well as co-most valuable player of the District 1-5A and first team all-district.  

Jordan Henriquez comes to Kansas State from The Winchendon School in Winchendon, Mass., where he is playing a postgraduate year in 2008-09.  The 6-foot-11, 220-pound center from New Rochelle, N.Y. signed with the Wildcats this past May after finishing his career at Port Chester High School in Port Chester, N.Y.  As a senior, he led the team to an 18-6 record and an 8-0 mark in league play en route to a runner-up finish at the Section I Championship.  In averaging a team-best 15.3 points, Henriquez scored in double figures in 21 of 22 games in 2007-08, including six 20-point contests.  

The recruiting class will join a loaded Kansas State squad in 2009-10, as the Wildcats will return all but one player.  They will be joined by junior forward Curtis Kelly, who is sitting out the 2008-09 season after transferring from University of Connecticut this past summer.