K-State heads north to battle Nebraska Tuesday

Game 26

Kansas State (18-7, 7-3 Big 12)
at Nebraska (14-9, 3-6 Big 12)

Tuesday Feb. 13, 2007

Devaney Sports Center (13,595) in Lincoln, Neb.

 

Game Information:

Tipoff: 7:05 p.m. Central

Series: Kansas State leads 121-90
(Nebraska leads 57-34 in Lincoln)

TV: Fox Sports Midwest
(Available only in Kansas City and state of Kansas)

Satellite Channels: DirecTV 660, Dish Network 451

Talent: Ben Boyle (Play-by-Play)
and Stan Weber (Analyst)

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

Talent: Wyatt Thompson (Play-by-Play)
and Matt Walters (Analyst)

 

K-State looks to continue momentum with contest at Nebraska Tuesday

Kansas State (18-7, 7-3 Big 12) looks to continue the momentum gained in Saturday’s win over Colorado, as the Wildcats hit the road for Lincoln, Neb., to close out the season series with Nebraska (14-9, 3-6 Big 12) on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. 

 

The team, which has won two of its last three meetings in Lincoln, will be looking to win the series for the first time since 2004.  Earlier this season, K-State posted a 61-46 win over Nebraska in a game marred by poor shooting by both squads.  The Wildcats, who have seven road victories this season, will face a strong challenge from the Huskers, who are 9-3 on the season at home.


There will be a dual broadcast of the game by Fox Sports Midwest with Ben Boyle (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (color) calling the action throughout the state and the Kansas City area, while Greg Sharpe (play-by-play) and Matt Davidson (color) will call the game throughout Nebraska.  It will be the 10th and final broadcast of the season on FSN Midwest.  The audio broadcast of the game can also be heard on the 31-station K-State Sports Network (http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/teams/kab) with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Matt Walters (color) on the call.


Kansas
State rebounded from its first loss in almost month, as the Wildcats posted a 78-59 win over Colorado on Saturday.  The team scored 28 points off 23 turnovers to tally its 11th home win of the year.  Senior Cartier Martin tallied his fourth 20-point effort in six games.


Noting the Colorado Game

*With the win, K-State improved to 90-43 all-time against Colorado, including 51-10 in games played in Manhattan,Kan. ... The Wildcats have now won its last five home games and eight of its last nine overall... The team is 72-24 at home since the 2001-02 season, including an 11-1 mark at home.


*The 18-7 record represents the best start by the Wildcats since head coach Lon Kruger’s 1987-88 Elite Eight squad also produced a 18-7 mark after 25 games... The win total also the most by a Kansas State squad (the 2003-04 team also produced 17) since the team posted a 20-13 record in 1998-99... The seven league victories tie the 1998-99 squad for the most by K-State in the Big 12 era... The last time the Wildcats had more than seven wins in a league season was 1988-89 when the squad won eight (8-6)... The 7-3 mark in conference play is the best ever through 10 games since joining the Big 12 and best league start since the 1987-88 squad posted a 7-3 mark in Big Eight play after a loss to Kansas on Feb. 18.


*Returning to the defensive intensity that got guided them to a seven-game winning streak, the Wildcats held Colorado to just 59 points, 13.2 points below its season average of 72.2 points... The Buffaloes’ leading scorer Richard Roby was held to just five points on 1-of-9 shooting after averaging 16 points per game... K-State has now held 21 of its 25 opponents to below 80 points, including 11 of its last 16 under 70 points. 


*Kansas State changed its starting line-up for the second straight game and posted its 12th different starting line-up, as senior guard Jermaine Maybank and junior guard Blake Young joined the trio of senior guard Akeem Wright, junior forward David Hoskins and freshman center Luis Colon in the line-up...  It was Maybank’s first career Division I start, while it was the first by Young since the Texas A&M game on Jan. 6... Hoskins made his 47th consecutive start, including his 25th this season... Wright has now started 13 straight games... Seniors Lance Harris and Cartier Martin both came off the bench... Martin has now appeared in 94 consecutive games, while Harris has seen action in 87 straight contests.


*Senior Cartier Martin passed Mitch Richmond (1,327) for seventh place on Kansas State’s career scoring chart with 1,340 points... He is now 24 points away from reaching Chuckie Williams (1,364) for sixth... Martin led all scorers with 25 points against the Buffaloes... It marked his ninth 20-point game of the season, including his fourth in the last six games... Now with 24 20-point games in his career, Martin is now tied with Steve Henson for ninth place on the school’s career list... He has now scored in double figures in 66 games in his career... It marks the ninth time this season he has led in scoring.


*Junior David Hoskins scored in double figures for the 18th consecutive game with 13 points against Colorado... He also added nine rebounds and a team- and career-high six assists in 28 minutes... He has scored in double figures in 42 career games, including 22 this season.


*Senior Akeem Wright registered double-digit rebounds for the third time this season with 11 against Colorado.


RPI Update

In this week’s RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) ratings, the formula used by the NCAA to help determine which teams go to the post-season tournament, Kansas State ranks between Nos. 37-47.  A team’s RPI is sum of three values: the team’s winning percentage, its opponents’ average winning percentage (strength of schedule) and its opponents’ opponents’ average winning percentage.  This week, K-State’s best RPI ratings are from CollegeRPI.com (37),  Mike Greenfield’s Team RPI (43), CBS Sportsline’s RPI (44) and RealTimeRPI.com (46), while the team is rated 47th in the latest Sagarin rankings.


Texas
Win A Big One

Kansas State posted its most impressive win of the season and in the process ended a dubious streak on Feb. 3, as the Wildcats snapped Texas’ 22-game home winning streak and its 11-game home streak in Big 12 games with a 73-72 win at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.  It marked the first win over a ranked opponent on the road in more than 10 years (snapping a streak of 29 straight losses) since beating No. 23 Iowa State, 92-87, on Feb. 28, 1996.  The win was also the first in Austin in the Big 12 era and the first since a 51-43 non-conference win on Jan. 8, 1983, while it was the first over a ranked foe at any venue since the Wildcats upset the 10th-ranked Longhorns, 58-48, in Manhattan on March 6, 2004. 

 

K-State was aided much by the 3-point shot against Texas, as the team converted on a season-best 14 treys on a season-high 51.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc.  It was the most 3-point field goals in a game in nearly seven years since the Wildcats tallied 15 against Nebraska on Jan. 8, 2000, while the percentage with highest since connecting on 75 percent (9-of-12) against Oregon State in 2002.  The team also posted a stellar assist-to-turnover ratio, as the six turnovers tied for the fewest this season (North Dakota State on Dec. 9), while the 19 assists were seventh-most and the most in conference play.


Role Reversal

One of the major obstacles for Kansas State during the past few seasons has been its ability to win close games.  Last season, the Wildcats ranked first in the nation with a school-record 10 losses by single-digits, including seven by three points or less.  However, head coach Bob Huggins has clearly made a difference in this department in his first season, as the team has posted a 6-2 mark in games decided by single-digits, including wins in three of five decided by one possession (four points or less).  Of note, all three of these wins - North Dakota State, Missouri and Texas  - have come on the road.


Road Warriors

After struggling for most of the past decade on the road, Kansas State has taken a step forward this season with seven victories (second-most in the Big 12) away from Bramlage Coliseum for the first time since the 1995-96 season.  The team also has five true’ road wins - at Rutgers, North Dakota State, Missouri, Iowa State and Texas - already this season for the first time since the 1995-96 season when the Wildcats also captured five wins.  K-State has also won three consecutive conference road games for the first time since January 1988.  This is contrast to the previous seven seasons, in which, the team had 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.


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 10 of the 12 games he has not started for the Wildcats, including five 20-point efforts against UMES (23) on Dec. 19, Chicago State (25) on Jan. 22, Missouri (22) on Jan. 31, Texas (27) on Feb. 3 and Colorado (25) on Feb. 10.  He is averaging 17.1 points on 48.6 percent shooting in 12 games off the bench with 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 26.3 minutes per game.  Martin has been even better in that role in the last eight games, averaging 19.0 points on 53.8 percent shooting, including 48.6 percent from 3-point range, with 5.9 rebounds in 25.3 minutes. 


Kansas
State
has gotten a nice lift from its bench this season with an average of 25.6 points coming from its reserves this season.  The impact has been even more telling in the last 19 contests, where the Wildcats have averaged 27.8 points off the bench and have outscored their opponent by a 529-315 margin.  The streak came on the heels of being outscored 67-47 off the bench in games against New Mexico, Coppin State 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.


Dishing Out the Assists

Although, Kansas State will not break its school record for assists this season, the Wildcats have nevertheless turned in a solid effort by averaging 15.6 assists per game this season.  The team is on pace to tally 485 assists this year, which would be the fourth-most in school history since the statistic began being kept in 1976 and the most since posting 491 in 1997-98.  The team’s current average ranks as the 58th-best in the nation, including the fourth-best in the Big 12.  K-State has posted 20 or more assists on six occasions this year, including a season-high 25 against Cleveland State on Dec. 5.  Junior Blake Young’s 2.5 assists average leads five players with two or more assists, which has never happened at K-State since assists began being kept in 1976. 

 

The Book On Nebraska (14-9, 3-6 Big 12)

Nebraska enters Tuesday’s contest with a 14-9 overall record and 3-6 mark in Big 12 play after dropping a 66-55 decision to No. 6/7 Texas A&M at home on Saturday night.  The Huskers, who entered the game on a two-game winning streak after road wins at Missouri and Texas Tech, got a game-high 18 points from freshman guard Ryan Anderson, who has averaged 18.7 points per game in three games against ranked opponents this season.  He paced three players in double figures for Nebraska, as senior forward Aleks Maric and senior guard Marcus Perry added 15 and 11 points, respectively.  Of the team’s 21 field goals in the contest, 11 came from 3-point range, including four from Anderson and three from Perry.  The Huskers are 9-3 on the season at home, but have dropped three in a row since starting 9-0 with losses coming to Texas (62-61), Kansas (56-76) and Texas A&M.  


Nebraska
is averaging 67.9 points on 47.7 percent shooting with 28.7 rebounds and 15.7 assists on the season.  The Huskers have six players averaging seven or more points, including two in double figures.  One of the Big 12 Conference’s top big men, junior center Aleks Maric leads the squad in several categories, including scoring (16.6 ppg.), rebounding (7.7 rpg.), field goal percentage (60.2) and blocks (1.1 bpg.).  The team also has seven players who have registered double-digit 3-point field goals led by senior guard Marcus Perry’s 49.  Freshman guard Ryan Anderson is second in scoring at 11.0 points per game on 48.8 percent shooting, while Perry and sophomore guard Jamel White add 9.4 and 9.3 points per game, respectively.  Senior guard Charles Richardson, Jr., paces in both assists (5.8 apg.) and steals (2.0 spg.), while adding 8.0 points per game.  


Nebraska is led by first-year head coach Doc Sadler, who became coach in August after guiding Texas-El Paso to back-to-back postseason appearances and a 48-18 overall record in two seasons as head coach.  This will be his second meeting with both Kansas State and Bob Huggins in his career.


Series Versus Nebraska

This will be the 212th meeting between Kansas State and Nebraska in a series that dates back to 1906.  The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 121-90, however, the Huskers own a 57-34 advantage in games played in Lincoln.  K-State holds a 13-9 edge since the inception of the Big 12, but just a 4-7 mark on the road.  The Wildcats will going for just their third season sweep (the fourth by either team) since the start of the Big 12 after posting a 61-46 win over the Huskers on Jan. 27, in which neither team shot above 37 percent from the field.  K-State has won two of the last three played in Lincoln.


In its last meeting at the Devaney Sports Center, Cartier Martin scored five points in the final 27 seconds to help Kansas State hold on and defeat Nebraska, 66-64. The Wildcats used an 8-0 run to take a 41-31 lead on Deilvez Yearby’s free throw early in the second half.  The Huskers responded with a 10-2 run in the next three minutes to cut the lead to 43-41 on a Jason Dourisseau jumper, but could get no closer until the game’s final minute.  Martin’s basket with a putback after an offensive rebound to go along with a pair of free throws gave K-State a 64-58 lead with 20 seconds remaining.  However, the Huskers wouldn’t go away as Marcus Walker and Jamel White hit back-to-back 3-pointers, which closed the gap to 65-64 with 3.1 seconds remaining.  Martin hit a free throw with 2.2 seconds remaining an White’s last second 3-point attempt was blocked by Akeem Wright to seal the win.    


Hoskins Emerges As 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 16.0 points in the last 18 games on 46.6 percent shooting with team-leading 6.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game.  In that span, Hoskins is first on the squad in rebounds and steals, while he second in scoring, field goal percentage and assists.  His torrid play of late has enabled him to rank among the Big 12’s top 15 in four categories, including 12th in free throw percentage (75.6), 14th in scoring (14.5 ppg.) and 16th in rebounding (5.9 rpg.).  Hoskins’ numbers are even better in Big 12 play, where he is 10th in scoring (16.2 ppg) and 13th in rebounding (6.6 rpg). 

 

The streak of 18 straight double-digit scoring efforts began with a 17-point effort 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 Findlay Toyota 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 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 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 18-game streak, connecting on 77.6 percent (104-of-134), including 77.1 percent (27-of-35) in the last five minutes.


Taking Advantage of Turnovers

One of the biggest factors in Kansas State’s improved play 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 16.1 turnovers (290), including an average of 5.9 steals, in the last 18 games, while averaging 18.7 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 forced a season-high 28 turnovers in the win over USC on Dec. 22 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 has continued the trend of late by scoring 22 points off 16 Texas A&M miscues, 19 points off 15 Texas Tech turnovers, 23 points off 16 Missouri miscues and 28 points off 23 Colorado turnovers.  The current average of 15.4 turnovers forced per game is the highest since the 1994-95 season averaged 16.7 turnovers.


Dialing From Long Distance

After entering the game with a Big 12-worse 5.64 three-point field goals per game, Kansas State proved itself capable from long distance on Feb. 3 against nationally-ranked Texas with a season-best 14 treys.  The total not only surpassed the previous high of 11 against ColoradoState on Dec. 2, 2006 but also represented the most since collecting 15 against Nebraska on Jan. 8, 2000.  The Wildcats also converted on a team-high 51.9 percent (14-of-27) from 3-point range against the Longhorns, its highest percentage since shooting 75 percent (9-of-12) against Oregon State on Dec. 22, 2002.  The team got treys from three players -- Cartier Martin (7), Lance Harris (5) and Clent Stewart (2) -- and it marked the first time since Nebraska in 2000 that two players had five or more 3-pointers in the same game when Galen Morrison and Cortez Groves posted seven and five, respectively.  Of note, Harris and Martin are the two of the best players in K-State history shooting the 3-pointer, as the two rank among the top 5 in makes and attempts in their careers.  Martin is fourth in makes (143) and attempts (362) and sixth in percentage (39.5), while Harris is third in attempts (390) and fifth in makes (135).


Getting Defensive

Kansas State has demonstrated trademark Bob Huggins’ defensive basketball in posting an 18-7 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 (28.7), third in rebounding (37.6) fourth in field goal percentage defense (40.7) and fifth in scoring defense (65.2).  The squad has been just as impressive in league play, where they rank first in 3-point percentage defense (28.5), fifth in scoring defense (67.8), rebounding margin (+2.2) and rebounding defense (33.0).  The team has held 21 of its 25 opponents to below 80 points, including 11 of its last 16 under 70 points.  Only eight foes have shot above 45 percent from the field.


Despite giving up a season-high 97 points against Kansas on Wednesday, the Wildcats have still been impressive on defense in the last 18 games.  The team has held its opponents to just 64.1 points on 40.8 percent shooting (403-of-987), including just 25.3 percent (77-of-304) from 3-point range, during the stretch.  In addition, K-State has forced an average of 16.1 turnovers and tallied an average of 5.9 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 Chicago State 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 Coppin State 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.


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 11-1 mark at home this season, including a perfect 7-0 mark in non-conference games.  The team has tallied an impressive 72-24 (.750) mark at home since the start of 2001-02 season, including 10 or more wins each of the past six years. 

 

With three 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 840-322 (.723) record in home games all-time, including a 212-81 (.724) mark in Bramlage Coliseum since its opening in 1988. 

 

In addition to winning games, K-State has boasted big crowds this season at home.  Through 12 home games, the Wildcats have posted an average of 12,266 fans per game, which ranks as the second-highest average attendance in school history and the highest since 12,978 fans cheered on the 1988-89 Wildcats.  The team already boasts three sellouts this season (William & Mary, Nebraska and Colorado), which is the most in a single-season in Bramlage Coliseum. 


Clutch Shooting

Kansas State has taken advantage of its opportunites at the free throw line in the past nine games, as the Wildcats have combined to sink 73.9 percent (178-of-241) 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 73.9 percent (68-of-92), including a combined 88 percent (22-of-25) in the two games with Missouri.  For the season, the team has connected on 68.7 percent (112-of-163) of its free throws in the last five minutes.

 

It’s Hard to Project this Line-up

In an effort to find the right combination, head coach Bob Huggins has started 12 different line-ups this season, including a different one in 10 of the last 17 contests.  He has used all types of positional line-ups from three guards (Stewart, Harris and Wright and Maybank, Young and Wright) to three forwards (Hoskins, Walker and Martin).  The only constant in the line-up has been David Hoskins, who has started 47 consecutive contests, including all 25 games.  The line-up variety is in stark contrast to the past two seasons when there were just six different line-ups in 2004-05 and eight in 2005-06.    


Offense Taking Flight

The much-maligned Kansas State offense showed its tremendous potential in the win over Missouri on Jan. 31 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 against the Tigers just 18 days earlier on Jan. 13.  In 25 games this season, the seven 80-point games by Wildcats surpass 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 80-point contests was the 1997-98 season when the team had nine.   


Despite scoring less than 70 points in eight of its last 12 games, the team has still averaged averaged 73.7 points on 45 percent shooting in the last 19 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 38 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 106 blocks this season are the eighth-highest total in school history since the stat began being kept in 1982-83, while this year’s total is the highest in a single-season since the 2002-03 team produced 109 swats.  The Wildcats are on pace for 131 blocks during the regular season, which would be the second-most in a single-season in K-State history behind the 146 recorded in 1998-99.  On the other hand, Bennett’s 49 blocked shots have already established a freshman school record, shattering the previous mark of 24 by Shawn Rhodes in 1995-96.  He is tied for second on school’s single-season top-10, while he is tied for 10th on the career top-10 list.  Bennett is on pace for 63 blocks, 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 16 of 22 games, while his 2.23 per game average ranks first in the Big 12.


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 50 scorers.  Martin, who entered the school’s all-time top-10 with 15 points against Missouri on Jan. 13, became just the ninth player in school history to top 1,300 career points with his 27-point effort against No. 23 Texas on Feb. 3.  He now has 1,340 points after his 25-point effort against Colorado.  Harris now ranks 27th all-time with 916 points in his four-year career and needs just 20 points to crack the school’s top 25.  He needs 86 points to become the 20th player in school history and the second this season with 1,000 career points.  Two players have never eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier in the same season, while the program has not had two 1,000-point scorers on the same team since Mike Evans and Curtis Redding starred for the Wildcats in the 1977-78 season.  Martin (143) and Harris (135) also rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in school history in career 3-point field goals.  Hoskins already ranks 49th on the all-time scoring list with 730 points and can move into the top 40 with 52 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, the Huggins’ 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 seven 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 includes consensus top 10 prospects Michael Beasley and Bill Walker.    


Martin Joins 1,000-Point Club; Cracks School’s Top 10
 

Senior forward Cartier Martin joined an elite fraternity at Kansas State in the win over Coppin State on Nov. 25, 2006, as he became the 19th player in school history and the first in the Big 12 era to score 1,000 career points.  The Houston, Texas, native hit the milestone at the 6:48 mark of the second half against the Eagles with a 3-pointer from the left corner to beat the shot clock.  He is the first Wildcat to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier since Askia Jones did it during the 1992-93 season. 

 

Martin cracked the school’s top-10 list for scoring against Missouri on Jan. 13 and passed Mitch Richmond (1,327; 1986-88) for seventh place with 1,340 career points with his 25-point effort against Colorado.  He is 24 points away from Chuckie Williams (1,364; 1973-76) for sixth.  Martin is also four rebounds from becoming just the fourth player in school history to top 1,300 points and 500 rebounds in a career, joining Ed Nealy (1,304 points, 1,069 rebounds), Bob Boozer (1,685 points, 824 rebounds) and Rolando Blackman (1,844 points, 607 rebounds).  He has scored in double figures 19 times in the last 23 games, including nine 20-point outings.  Martin began the streak by posting a career-high 28 points against Tennessee Tech, while he has also turned in 20-point efforts against Colorado State (21), Cleveland State (21), UMES (23) and New Mexico (23), which earned him MVP honors at the Las Vegas Holiday Classic on Dec. 23.  He has tallied 20-point games in four of the last six games, including 25 against Chicago State on Jan. 22, 22 versus Missouri on Jan. 31, 27 at No. 23 Texas on Feb. 3 and 25 against Colorado on Saturday.


Harris Stepping Up His Game

Bob Huggins has always been a coach that has gotten the most out of his talent and senior guard Lance Harris has been a prime example of that influence.  Harris has averaged 10.3 points on 45.4 percent shooting, including a team-best 37 percent from 3-point range, this season to go with a 3.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 0.4 steals per game.  He paces the squad in 3-point field goal percentage (37.0) and is second in 3-point field goals (40), while he is in the top-4 in scoring, field goal percentage and rebounding.  Harris has scored in double figures in 11 contests, including three 20-point efforts.  He opened the year with 22 points against William & Mary on Nov. 11 before posting a career-high 26 points against Coppin State on Nov. 25.  His 24 points against North Dakota State helped the Wildcats to a come-from-behind win on Dec. 9.  He has connected three or more 3-point field goals in eight games.  A constant in the line-up, Harris is moving up several K-State career charts, including ranking third in 3-point field goal attempts (390), fifth in 3-point field goals (130), eighth in minutes (2,365) and 27th in scoring (916), while he is just outside the top 10 in career games played (109).


The Wright Stuff

One of the biggest reasons for the Wildcats’ success this season has been the play of senior guard Akeem Wright.  The Philadephia, Pa., native has averaged 6.8 points on 38.8 percent shooting to go with a team-high 6.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 0.7 steals in 25.3 minutes per game.  He ranks among the top-15 in two Big 12 categories, including 14th in rebounding and 15th in defensive rebounds.  Known more for his defensive prowess, Wright spent the summer working on his jumpshot to complete his all-around game.  Wright has scored in double figures in six games this season, including a career-high 18 points against Texas A&M on Jan. 6.  He has also kept up his defensive effort, pacing the team in rebounds in nine games this season.  Wright has grabbed six or more rebounds in 10 of the last 14 games.  For the season, he has totaled six or more boards in 14 contests.  During the last 18 games, Wright has topped his season average eight times with four double-digit efforts.  He played perhaps in his best game of his career against Texas A&M on Jan. 6, as he posted a career-high 18 points on 8-of-15 field goals to go with a team-high eight rebounds, three assists and a career-best three steals.


Stewart Manning the Point

Junior guard Clent Stewart has been a steadying force for the Wildcats this season since emerging as the team’s primary point guard against North Dakota State on Dec. 9.  During that span, Stewart has averaged 6.8 points on 39.8 percent shooting with 2.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 0.6 steals in 26.6 minutes per game in guiding the team to 13 wins in 17 games.  He has been even more impressive in Big 12 play, averaging 8.6 points on 41.4 percent shooting (29-of-70), including 40.0 percent from 3-point range (12-of-30), with 2.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 28.6 minutes per game.  Stewart has scored in double figures in four games this season, including tying his career-high with 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting against Missouri on Jan. 13.


Young Recovers Nicely from Knee Surgery

Junior guard Blake Young underwent successful knee surgery on Dec. 11 at Mercy Regional Health Center in Manhattan, Kan.  He suffered a partial tear of the medial meniscus in his right knee during the Wildcats’ scrimmage in late October.  With no risk of further damage, Young had been playing with the injury throughout the first nine games.  After combining for 13 minutes against Kennesaw State and Maryland-Eastern Shore, he has recovered nicely from the surgery in averaging over 15 minutes in each of the last 15 games, including 31 against Kansas on Feb. 7.  A NJCAA honorable mention All-American as a sophomore in 2005-06, he is averaging 6.0 points, a team-best 2.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 21.1 minutes per game this year.  After ranking third in NJCAA in scoring at 23.2 points as a sophomore, he displayed his offensive potential with a big effort against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 21 with a season-high 24 points on 6-of-10 field goals, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range.  He has scored in double figures in five contests.   


Up Next: Iowa State (12-12, 3-7 Big 12)

Kansas State begins the stretch run on Saturday, as the Wildcats welcome Iowa State (12-12, 3-7 Big 12) to Bramlage Coliseum for the first of three home games in its final five contests.  After posting its first win in Ames since 1999 with a 69-60 victory on Jan. 13, the team will look to sweep the series from the Cyclones for the first time since 1999.  K-State has won five in a row over Iowa State at home.  The Cyclones, who play Oklahoma on Tuesday, have dropped seven of their last eight games, including contests last week against Missouri (55-77) and Texas (68-77).  ISU is 2-7 on the road this year.