K-State, Texas Tech Face Off Wednesday

Game Notes in PDF Format

GAME 23
KANSAS STATE (12-10, 5-4 Big 12)
at TEXAS TECH (11-11, 1-8 Big 12)
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 >> United Supermarket Arena (15,098)  >> 8 p.m. CT

TELEVISION
ESPNU
Clay Matvick (play-by-play)
Reid Gettys (analyst)
WatchESPN link - http://es.pn/1uD8VdB

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

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

TICKETS
www.TexasTech.com
redraidertickets@ttu.edu
$20

COACHES
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 372-186 (17th year)
at K-State: 59-31 (3rd year)
vs. Texas Tech: 6-0

Texas Tech: Tubby Smith (High Point ’73)
Overall: 536-255 (24th year)
At Texas Tech: 25-29 (2nd year)
vs. K-State: 0-3

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (12-10, 5-4 Big 12)   
G – #1 Jevon Thomas (5.2 ppg., 3.5 apg.)
G – #2 Marcus Foster (14.0 ppg., 2.4 rpg.)
G – #25 Wesley Iwundu (5.7 ppg., 3.3 rpg.)   
F – #11 Nino Williams (11.3 ppg., 4.8 rpg.)
F – #42 Thomas Gipson (11.4 ppg., 4.8 rpg.)

Texas Tech (11-11, 1-8 Big 12)
G - #0 Devaughtah Williams (10.2 ppg., 3.2 rpg.)
G - #3 Randy Onwuasor (5.5 ppg., 3.3 rpg.)
G - #14 Robert Turner (9.2 ppg., 3.3 rpg.)
F - #11 Zach Smith (5.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg.)
F - #32 Norense Odiase (6.3 ppg., 4.4 rpg.)

INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: K-State leads 21-10 (16-10 in Big 12 era)
In Manhattan: K-State leads 13-2 (W, 58-51, 1/14/2015)
In Lubbock: Tied 7-7 (W, 60-56, 2/25/2014)
Last Meeting: K-State, 58-51, 1/14/2015 (Manhattan, Kan.)
Weber vs. Texas Tech: 6-0 (2-0 on the road)
Smith vs. K-State: 0-3 (0-1 at home)
Weber vs. Smith: Weber leads 9-3 (3-2 on the road)

LAST GAME SUMMARY
9/11 Kansas 68, Kansas State 57
Game 22  *  Allen Fieldhouse  *  January 31, 2015
 
K-State was unable to overcome a poor first half of shooting, falling to No. 9/11 Kansas, 68-57, on Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 16,300 at Allen Fieldhouse. The Wildcats hit only 6 of their 35 attempts from the field in the first half for just 17 points. The 17.1 percent success rate tied for the fourth-lowest field goal percentage in a half in school history and the lowest since shooting 16.1 percent at Michigan State on Dec. 21, 1996. The second half saw K-State far much better, scoring 40 points on 56 percent shooting, but Kansas was able to limit the damage, using its 16-point first half lead en route to a comfortable 11-point vcitory. Individually, the Wildcats were buoyed by Thomas Gipson and Marcus Foster, who both collected a game-high 19 points. Gipson, who had season-highs for field goals (7) and attempts (13), tacked on a team-leading 7 rebounds.

GAME 23 - QUICK HITTERS
•    Kansas State (12-10, 5-4 Big 12) continues its road trip on Wednesday, as the Wildcats travel to Lubbock, Texas to face Texas Tech (11-11, 1-8 Big 12) at 8 p.m. CT at United Supermarket Arena. The game will air nationally on ESPNU with Clay Matvick (play-by-play) and Reid Gettys (analyst).
•    Wednesday’s game continues a stretch, in which, K-State will play 4 of its next 6 games away from Bramlage Coliseum, including the 2nd of back-to-back road tilts. The team has just 4 home games remaining.
•    Texas Tech is the 1st opponent to not be ranked or receiving votes since the 1st meeting between the schools on Jan. 14. It is a short break, as the Wildcats will play the 1st of 3 straight ranked foes on Saturday with No. 25 Texas and continuing with No. 15 West Virginia and No. 21 Oklahoma.
•    K-State leads the all-time series, 21-10, including 14-9 in the Big 12 era. The Wildcats have won 10 straight in the series dating back to 2009, including 4 in a row at United Supermarket Arena. The last Red Raider win in the series came on Feb. 13, 2008 in an 84-75 win at home.
•    K-State dropped back-to-back games for the 4th time this season, as the Wildcats could not overcome a poor first half of shooting in a 68-57 loss at No. 9/11 Kansas on Saturday. The team shot 17.1 percent (6-of-35) in the first half, which tied for the 4th lowest in a half in school history.
•    K-State did improve its shooting in the second half, connecting on 56 percent (14-of-25), including 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from 3-point range. The surge marked the 12th time this season and 4th time in the past 5 games that the Wildcats have shot 50 percent or better after halftime.
•    K-State has now lost 3 of its last 4 games since a 4-game winning streak from Jan. 7-17, including consecutive road contests vs. Top 10 teams.
•    Senior Thomas Gipson  and sophomore Marcus Foster combined for 38 of the team’s 57 points at Kansas with a game-high 19 points each on 45.2 percent  shooting (14-of-31), while the rest of the team totaled 19 points on 20.7 percent shooting (6-of-29).
•    K-State is averaging 71.2 points on 50.9 percent shooting, including 41.8 percent from 3-point range, with 16.0 assists and 13.3 turnovers in its 12 wins and 57.5 points on 38.4 percent shooting, including 28.5 percent from long range, with 10.8 assists and 14.7 turnovers in its 10 losses.
•    After allowing 71.8 points on 49.1 percent shooting in the first 6 games, the Wildcats have been much improved on defense in the last 16 games, allowing just 59.7 points on 41.8 percent shooting from the field.

THE OPPONENT: TEXAS TECH (11-11, 1-8 Big 12)
•    Texas Tech enters Wednesday’s game with an 11-11 record after dropping its 8th game in its last 9 outings, including its 2nd in a row at West Virginia, 77-58, on Saturday... The youthful Raiders started the season winning 9 of their first 10 games... The squad is 11-3 at home this season, including an impressive 78-73 win over Top 10 foe Iowa State on Jan. 24.
•    The Red Raiders are averaging 63 points on 40 percent shooting, including 30.8 percent from 3-point range, on the season with 36 rebounds, 10.5 assists, 6.3 steals and 4.1 blocks per game... They are allowing opponent 63.6 points per game on 41.2 percent shooting, including 32.6 percent from beyond the arc... The team is shooting 66.5 percent from the free throw line.
•    Texas Tech has 5 players averaging 6 or more points this season led by junior Devaugntah Williams’ 10.2 points on 38.5 percent shooting... Williams paces the Red Raiders in 7 categories, including field goals (74), field goals attempted (192), 3-point field goals (33), free throw percentage (75.9) and assists (1.7 apg.)... Senior Robert Turner is averaging 9.2 points on 37.7 percent shooting, while rookie Zach Smith leads in rebounding (5.0 rpg.), blocks (1.5 bpg.) and minutes (26.0 mpg.).
•    Texas Tech returns 8 lettermen, including 2 starters, from a team that finished with a 14-18 overall record in 2013-14.
•    Texas Tech is led by 2nd-year head coach Tubby Smith, who has a 536-255 record in his 24th season in coaching... He has led four schools - Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota - to the NCAA Tournament, including a NCAA Championship in his first season at Kentucky in 1997-98... He has 17 NCAA Tournament appearances in 23 seasons, including 9 trips to the Sweet 16.

BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
•    This will be the 34th meeting between the two schools with K-State leading the series, 21-12 (including 2 forfeits).
•    K-State leads the series, 21-10, if you remove 2 forfeited Texas Tech wins from the 1996-97 season.
•    K-State leads the series, 15-11, in the Big 12 era with a 14-10 mark in regular-season meetings.
•    K-State has won 11 of the last 13 meetings, including a current streak of 10 straight wins dating back to 2009.
•    The series is tied 7-all in games played in Lubbock... The Wildcats have won 4 in a row on the road.
•    Head coaches Bruce Weber and Tubby Smith have a long history with one another, having faced off against each other 10 times during their stints at Illinois and Minnesota... Weber holds a 9-3 advantage vs. Smith in their respective careers.
•    Wesley Iwundu has averaged 11.0 points in 3 career games vs. Texas Tech on 45.5 percent shooting with 4.3 rebounds per game, while Thomas Gipson has averaged 10 points in 7 career games vs. Tech with 4.4 rebounds per game.

LAST MEETING: K-STATE 58, TEXAS TECH 51
•    K-State used a stellar defensive effort to post a 58-51 win over Texas Tech at home on Jan. 14.
•    Up 49-46 with 3:05 left to play in the contest, the Wildcats locked down on the defensive end, holding the Red Raiders to only 5 points on 2-of-6 shooting for the remainder of the game, while tacking on 9 points of their own to seal the victory.
•    K-State held Texas Tech to just 33.9 percent shooting (19-of-56), including 31.4 percent (11-of-35) in the 2nd half.
•    Free throw shooting keyed the Wildcats on offense, as the squad connected on 80.8 percent (21-of-26) from the line.
•    K-State, which shot 38.6 percent (17-of-44) from the field, was led by Marcus Foster (14) and Wesley Iwundu (10).

ON THE ROAD IN CONFERENCE PLAY
•    The visit to Texas Tech will be the 7th true road game, which includes non-conference losses at Long Beach State (60-69) and Tennessee (64-65) and Big 12 visits to Oklahoma State (47-61), Oklahoma (66-63 OT), Iowa State (71-77) and Kansas (57-68).
•    K-State earned its first win over a Top 25 team on the road since 2012 with a 66-63 overtime win at No. 16/18 Oklahoma on Jan. 10... It marked the Wildcats’ first road Top 25 victory since a 78-68 win over No. 3 Missouri on Feb. 21, 2012.
•    K-State has posted a 42-43 record in true road games since 2006-07, including a 34-37 mark in Big 12 road contests. 
•    K-State is 10-15 under head coach Bruce Weber in true road games, including 9-13 in Big 12 play.
•    K-State posted a 2-7 record on the road in Big 12 play in 2013-14 with wins at TCU and Texas Tech.
•    K-State is 2-7 away from home this season, including a 1-2 mark at Maui Invitational.

TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
•    Kansas State is averaging 65.0 points on 45 percent shooting (484-of-1076), including 35.5 percent (103-of-290) from 3-point range, to go with 13.6 assists per game... The team has an assist on 62 percent (2nd in the Big 12) of their field goals.
•    K-State is averaging 60.2 points on 42.4 percent shooting, including 31.3 percent from 3-point range, in Big 12-only games.
•    In the Big 12, the Wildcats rank 9th in scoring offense, 3rd in field goal percentage and 3rd in 3-point field goal percentage.
•    K-State is averaging the fewest field goals attempted (48.9) in the Big 12, while is 2nd in fewest field goals made (22.0). 
•    K-State ranks in the Top 35 nationally in free throw attempts (532/24th) and free throw makes (359/31st).
•    K-State averages 26.4 points in the paint, 18.6 bench points, 14.3 points off of turnovers and 7.9 second-chance points.
•    16 of K-State’s 22 games have been decided by 10 points or less, including 8 by 5 points or less... The team is 9-7.
•    K-State has used 7 different starting line-ups... No player has started all 22 games, but Thomas Gipson has started 21.
•    K-State has connected on 50 percent or better from the field in 8 games and shot better than 50 percent from 3-point range on 4 occasions... The Wildcats are 8-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better and 20-4 under Bruce Weber.
•    K-State connected on 57.1 percent (24-of-42) from the field in the 63-53 win over Oklahoma State (1/24/15), including 75 percent (12-of-16) in the second half... It was the highest field goal percentage in a Big 12 game since the Wildcats shot 57.4 percent (27-of-47) in a win at Iowa State on Jan. 7, 2006... The 75 percent shooting in second half was a season-high.
•    K-State had won 5 straight games when scoring less than 70 points before suffering back-to-back losses to No. 17 West Virginia and No. 9 Kansas... Despite the setbacks, the squad has won 5 of its last 7 such contests after starting with a 1-7 mark... Prior to scoring 59 vs. West Virginia, the Wildcats’ only other loss in the last 7 games came when they topped the 70-point plateau in a 77-71 loss at No. 9/12 Iowa State (1/20/15), which is the only defeat this season (6-1) when eclipsing the 70-point mark.
•    K-State is 8-2 when 3+ players score in double figures, including 6-0 at home... The Wildcats are averaging 76.1 points in these 10 games on 52.6 percent shooting, including 40.8 percent from 3-point range... 3 players (Marcus Foster/15.9 ppg., Nino Williams/15.8 ppg., Thomas Gipson/11.7 ppg.) are averaging in double figures, while 4 others (Justin Edwards/8.9 ppg., Stephen Hurt/7.5 ppg., Jevon Thomas/6.2 ppg., and Tre Harris/6.2 ppg.) are averaging 6+ points.
•    In winning 5 of its last 8 games, K-State is averaging 61.9 points on 42.9 percent shooting with an assist on 60.3 percent (105-of-174) of its made field goals... During that span, the team is shooting 70.4 percent (119-of-169) from the free throw line.
•    K-State is averaging 36.2 points in the 2nd half this season on 49.4 percent shooting, including 41.0 percent from 3-point range... The Wildcats have connected on better than 50 percent from the field in the 2nd half of 12 games, including 60 percent or better on 6 occasions... The team is averaging 38.8 points on 54.4 percent shooting in the 2nd half of its 12 wins this season.

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

INDIVIDUAL OFFENSIVE NOTES
•    K-State has 3 players averaging in double figures (Marcus Foster, Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson), while 9 players have had at least one double-digit scoring game this season... 6 players scored in double figures in the opener vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14), which was the most since 6 also scored in twin figures against North Carolina Central (2/17/09).
•    All 3 rank in the Big 12’s Top 20 in scoring at 6th (Foster/14.0 ppg.), 17th (Gipson/11.4 ppg.) and 19th (Williams/11.3 ppg.).
•    All 3 rank in the Big 12’s Top 15 in free throw percentage at 6th (Williams/81.0), 12th (Gipson/74.6) and 14th (Foster/70.7).
•    The trio have combined to lead the Wildcats in scoring in 20 of 22 games with 40 combined double-digit scoring games... They have also combined to score 784 of the 1,430 points this season while shooting 48.8 percent (263-of-539).
•    Foster leads the Wildcats in 8 categories, including scoring (14.0 ppg.), field goals (98), field goals attempted (234), 3-point field goals (54), 3-point field goals attempted (136), double-digit scoring games (18), 20-point games (4) and minutes (29.2).
•    Foster also ranks in Big 12’s Top 10 in 3-point field goals per game (2.5/4th) and 3-point field goal percentage (39.7/7th).
•    Williams has scored in double figures in 11 of 20 games, including 9 of the last 16... He has 3 20-point games this season.
•    Williams ranks 4th in the Big 12 in overall field goal percentage (51.8) and 5th in Big 12-only field goal percentage (49.4).
•    Gipson has scored in double figures in 11 of 22 games, including 7 of the last 13... He shooting a team-best 56.9 percent.
•    Jevon Thomas ranks in the Big 12’s Top 10 in both assists (3.5/10th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5/10th).
•    Thomas and Nigel Johnson have led K-State in assists in 17 of 22 games and have a combined 118 assists and 50 steals.

FREE POINTS
•    K-State has also taken advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, as the Wildcats rank 31st nationally in free throws made (359) and 24th in free throw attempts (532)... The team is averaging 24.2 attempts (4th in Big 12) and 16.3 makes (4th).
•    K-State ranks 6th in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (67.5) and 4th in Big 12-only games (70.3).
•    K-State is 10-5 this season when it has more free throw attempts than its opponent and 32-10 under Bruce Weber.
•    K-State is shooting 70.4 percent (119-of-169) from free throw line in winning 5 of its last 8 games.
•    The 34 free throws and 48 attempts vs.  Southern Utah (11/14/14) were not only the most in the Bruce Weber era, but both were one shy of the Top 10 in school history... Both totals are the most since a game at Colorado (1/6/2010).
•    K-State connected on 93.8 percent (15-of-16) from the free throw line at No. 9/12 Iowa State (1/20/15), which tied for the 10th-best mark in school history... It is the best percentage since going a perfect 8-of-8 in free throws at Texas Tech (2/15/2006).
•    Senior Thomas Gipson ranks in the Top 75 nationally in free throws made (94/66th) and attempted (126/71st).
•    3 Wildcats rank in the Big 12’s Top 15 in free throw percentage, including Nino Williams (81.0/6th), Thomas Gipson (74.6/12th) and Marcus Foster (70.7/14th)... Gipson ranks 2nd in both attempts (126) and makes (94) in the Big 12.

WIN/LOSS COMPARISON
•    K-State is averaging 71.2 points in its 12 wins on 50.9 percent shooting (289-of-568), including 41.8 percent (64-of-153) from 3-point range, while allowing opponents 60.9 points on 42.6 percent shooting, including 33 percent from beyond the arc.
•    In contrast, K-State is averaging 57.5 points in its 10 losses on 38.4 percent shooting (195-of-508), including 28.5 percent (39-of-137) from 3-point range, while allowing 65.5 points on 45.2 percent shooting, including 33.1 percent from beyond the arc.
•    3 Wildcats are averaging in double figures in the 12 wins, including Marcus Foster (15.1 ppg./49.1 FG%), Nino Williams (13.8 ppg./57.0 FG%) and Thomas Gipson (10.5 ppg./59.2 FG%), while 6 (Stephen Hurt, Justin Edwards, Jevon Thomas, Tre Harris, Nigel Johnson and Wesley Iwundu) are averaging 5 or more points... In all, 5 are shooting better than 50 percent.
•    Only 2 Wildcats are averaging in double figures in the 10 losses (Foster - 12.7 ppg. and Gipson - 12.4 ppg.).
•    K-State is averaging 16.0 assists during its wins compared to just 10.8 assists in its losses.
•    Edwards, Hurt and Iwundu combine to average 18.5 points on 49.7 percent shooting in wins, but 12.3 points on 34.1 percent shooting in losses... Edwards averages 7.8 points on 45.7 percent shooting in wins and 4.0 points on 28.3 percent in losses.

GETTING DEFENSIVE
•    K-State has put up some impressive defensive numbers under head coach Bruce Weber, leading the Big 12 in scoring defense each of the past 2 seasons (60.4 ppg. in 2012-13 and 65.4 ppg. in 2013-14).
•    38 opponents have been held to 60 points or less in Weber’s 3 seasons as head coach with the Wildcats boasting a 33-5 mark in those contests (losses to Kansas in 2012, Northern Colorado & Kentucky in 2013 and Texas Southern and Georgia in 2014).
•    18 Big 12 opponents have been held to 60 points or less (16 in regular-season Big 12 play) with the Wildcats posting a 17-1 record in those match-ups, including a 15-1 mark in Big 12 play (only loss to Kansas in 2012).
•    K-State has had a difficult start defensively, allowing 63.0 points on 43.8 percent shooting, including 33 percent from 3-point range... The squad ranks 6th in the Big 12 in scoring defense, 9th in field goal percentage defense and 10th in rebounding.
•    Those numbers have improved in the past 16 games, where they are holding opponents to 59.1 points on 41.6 percent shooting, including 29.2 percent from 3-point range, while limiting them to 157 assists and forcing 193 turnovers.
•    K-State saw its 11-game streak of holding opponents to 65 points or less come to an end at No. 9/12 Iowa State (1/20/15)... It was the longest such streak in school history since the team did it 17 straight games from Nov. 27, 1982 to Jan. 29, 1983.
•    In Big 12-only games, K-State ranks 2nd in both scoring defense (61.3) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (30.7).

FOSTER CONTINUES WHERE HE LEFT OFF
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster leads the way in scoring at 14 points per game on 41.9 percent shooting (98-of-234), including 39.7 percent (54-of-136) from 3-point range... He has scored in double figures in a team-best 18 games, including 20-point games vs. Purdue (24), No. 3/4 Arizona (23), Tennessee (23) and TCU (23)... He has led in scoring a team-best 8 times.
•    Foster ranks in the Big 12’s Top 15 in 4 categories, including 6th in scoring, 4th in 3-pointers and 7th in 3-point percentage.
•    Foster leads the Wildcats in 8 categories, including scoring, double-digit scoring games (18), 20-point games (4), field goals (98), field goals attempted (234), 3-point field goals (54), 3-point field goals attempted (136) and minutes (29.2).
•    Foster earned ESPN.com and Lute Olson National Player of the Week as well as Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honors on Jan. 12 after helping K-State to wins over TCU and No. 16/18 Oklahoma on Jan. 12... It was his 1st career Big 12 Player of the Week honor after winning Rookie of the Week twice last season... He is the 2nd Wildcat to win the honor this season.
•    Foster averaged 18.5 points on 50 percent shooting in the pair of wins... He scored a game-high 23 points vs. TCU (1/7/15) in 29 minutes off the bench, while 9 of his 14 points vs. Oklahoma (1/10/15) came in the final 35 seconds of regulation and overtime... He tied the game with a lay-up with 6 seconds left before hitting the game-winning 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left in overtime.
•    Since going scoreless at Oklahoma State (1/3/15), Foster is averaging 15.8 points on 40.9 percent shooting to go with 2.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game in the last 8 games... He is shooting 73.9 percent (34-of-46) from the free throw line.
•    Foster tied a career-high with 7 treys at Tennessee (12/6/14), which he also hit against Baylor (3/8/14) last season... The 7 triples tie for the 4th-most in a game in school history and the most in a non-conference game since Rodney McGruder made 7 vs. UMKC (12/23/2010)... Four of Foster’s 7 3-pointers came in the last 57 seconds of the game.
•    Foster now has 133 3-pointers his K-State career, which ranks 10th on the school’s all-time list.
•    Foster has scored in double figures in 45 of his 55 career games, including 12 20-point outings... He led in scoring 25 times.

WILLIAMS MAKING THE MOST OF HIS SENIOR YEAR
•    Senior Nino Williams is making the most of his senior campaign, as he is tied for the team lead in rebounding (4.8 rpg.) and is 3rd in scoring (11.3 ppg.) on 51.8 percent shooting to go with a team-best 81.0 percent clip from the free throw line.
•    Williams earned Phillips 66 co-Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the 2nd time on Jan. 26 after posting back-to-back 20-point games in helping K-State to a split of games with No. 9/12 Iowa State (1/20/15) and Oklahoma State (1/24/15)... He is just the 7th Wildcat in school history to earn the award at least twice in one season and the first since Rodney McGruder in 2013.
•    Williams averaged 21.0 points on 69.2 percent shooting (18-of-26) with 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals in 31.5 minutes per game... He scored a career-best 22 points vs. the Cyclones on 8-of-13 field goals with a team-high 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in 31 minutes, while he had 20 points vs. the Cowboys on 10-of-13 field goals with 7 rebounds in 32 minutes.
•    Prior to getting injured vs. West Virginia, Williams had been on tear in the last 3 games vs. No. 22/23 Baylor, No. 9/12 Iowa State and Oklahoma State, averaging 20 points on 67.6 percent shooting (25-of-37) with 7.3 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game.
•    Williams has scored in double-digits in 11 of his first 20 games, including 9 of the last 16 games with 3 20-point games.
•    For his efforts in the wins vs. Bradley and Savannah State, Williams earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the 1st time after averaging 17 points on 56.3 percent shooting (9-of-16) to go with 9.5 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per game... He also shot a stellar 88.9 percent (16-of-18) from the free throw line... He also led in scoring and rebounding in both games.

GIPSON = SENIOR LEADER
•    Thomas Gipson has displayed that all important senior leadership, ranking 2nd in scoring (11.4 ppg.) and 1st in rebounding (4.8 rpg.), while shooting a team-best 56.9 percent (78-of-137) from the field and 74.6 percent (94-of-126) from the stripe.
•    Gipson became the 26th Wildcat to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier vs. Texas Southern (12/28/14), while he is the 12th player with at least 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds... He currently ranks 15th (1,122) on the school’s scoring list.
•    Gipson ranks 17th in the Big 12 in scoring and 12th in free throw percentage.
•    Gipson, who played in his 100th career game in the opener against Southern Utah, has scored in double figures in 19 of the last 31 games (including 11 times this season)... He saw his streak of 12 double-digit scoring games in a row end vs. Purdue (11/24/14)... He has led in scoring in 5 games... Ironically, he has scored 9 points in 4 other games this season.
•    Gipson scored a game-tying 19 points in his final game at Allen Fieldhouse vs. 9/11 Kansas on 7-of-13 field goals.
•    Gipson collected his 5th career 20-point game vs. UMKC (11/17/14) with a team-high 21 points.
•    Gipson rebounded from a poor performance vs. Texas Southern (12/28/14) to pace the team in scoring (19) and rebounding (9) vs. Georgia (12/31/14)... He scored 17 of his 19 points in the 2nd half, going 5-of-6 from the field and 7-of-9 from the line.
•    Gipson’s career 53.5 field goal percentage ranks 6th on the school’s Top 10 list and highest since Tony Kitt (54.5, 1998-2000)... It is the 3rd-highest field goal percentage by a 4-year player behind Steve Soldner (1975-79) and Carl Gerlach (1972-76).

TWO BETTER THAN ONE
•    Sophomore point guards Nigel Johnson and Jevon Thomas make an impressive 1-2 punch for the K-State backcourt... The duo have combined for 118 assists (to 74 turnovers) and 50 steals to go with 206 points on 42.2 percent shooting.
•    Thomas is 1st in assists (77), 2nd in steals (25) and 3rd in minutes (26.5), while Johnson is 2nd in steals (25) and 3rd in assists.
•    Thomas ranks in the Big 12’s Top 10 in 2 categories, including 10th in assists (3.5 apg.) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5).
•    Thomas and Johnson have led K-State in assists in 17 of 22 games with Thomas dishing out a team-high in assists 11 times.
•    The duo is even more impressive in the 12 wins, combining for 80 assists to 40 turnovers (2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio), as Thomas is averaging 5.7 points on 42.9 percent shooting and Johnson is averaging 5.2 points on 47.5 percent shooting.
•    Johnson scored in double figures in the first 2 games, including a career and team-best 18 points in the opener vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14) and Thomas collected back-to-back double-digit scoring vs. Omaha (12/2/14) and Tennessee (12/6/14)... Thomas dished out a season-best 9 assists vs. UMKC (11/17/14) and had season-high 4 steals vs. Texas Southern (12/28/14).

TRANSFERS STARTING TO MAKE AN IMPACT
•    Transfers Justin Edwards (Maine) and Stephen Hurt (Lipscomb/NW Florida State) are starting to make their presence felt after a slow start to the season... Edwards ranks 1st in steals (26), 3rd in rebounding (3.5 rpg.) and 4th in scoring (6.1 ppg.), while Hurt is 4th in rebounding (3.2 rpg.) and 7th in scoring (4.8 ppg.).
•    Edwards has 5 double-digit scoring games, including 3 in Big 12 play, while Hurt has 3 with a season-high 15 at Oklahoma.
•    In Big 12 play, Edwards is averaging 6.7 points on 36.4 percent shooting and Hurt is at 4.3 points on 41.4 percent shooting.
•    The pair have been particularly impactful in the wins combining for 13 points on 49.1 percent shooting, as Edwards is averaging 7.8 points on 45.7 percent shooting with 3.9 rebounds and Hurt is at 6.9 points on 55 percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds.

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

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

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