K-State, 17/17 Oklahoma Clash Saturday
K-State, 17/17 Oklahoma Clash Saturday
17/17 OKLAHOMA (17-7, 8-4 Big 12)
at KANSAS STATE (12-13, 5-7 Big 12)
Saturday, February 14, 2015 >> Bramlage Coliseum (12,528) >> 7 p.m. CT
Mark Neely (play-by-play)
Stephen Howard (analyst)
WatchESPN link - http://es.pn/1v5X9Tn
K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)
Satellite: Sirius 91/XM 91
Stats - http://bit.ly/1yqDy3x
Audio - http://bit.ly/15rNnVB
$55 (bench), $65 (chairbacks)
Wildcat4Pack: $125 | $25 (12+group)
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 372-189 (17th year)
at K-State: 59-34 (3rd year)
vs. Oklahoma: 4-1
Oklahoma: Lon Kruger (Kansas State ’75)
Overall: 554-349 (28th year)
At Oklahoma: 75-45 (4th year)
vs. K-State: 5-5
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (12-13, 5-7 Big 12)
G – #1 Jevon Thomas (5.0 ppg., 3.4 apg.)
G – #23 Nigel Johnson (4.6 ppg., 1.4 rpg.)
G – #25 Wesley Iwundu (5.6 ppg., 3.3 rpg.)
F – #11 Nino Williams (11.5 ppg., 4.9 rpg.)
F – #42 Thomas Gipson (11.1 ppg., 4.8 rpg.)
17/17 Oklahoma (17-7, 8-4 Big 12)
G - #10 Jordan Woodard (8.8 ppg., 4.2 apg.)
G - #11 Isaiah Cousins (12.2 ppg., 5.1 rpg.)
G - #24 Buddy Hield (17.6 ppg., 5.5 rpg.)
F - #00 Ryan Spangler (10.9 ppg., 8.0 rpg.)
F - #35 Tashawn Thomas (11.0 ppg., 6.2 rpg.)
INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: Oklahoma leads 105-95 (13-10 in Big 12 era)
In Manhattan: K-State leads 57-36 (W, 72-66, 1/14/2014)
In Norman: Oklahoma leads 60-27 (W, 66-63 [OT], 1/10/2015)
Last Meeting: K-State, 66-63 [OT], 1/10/2015 (Norman, Okla.)
Weber vs. Oklahoma: 4-1 (2-0 at home)
Kruger vs. K-State: 5-5 (2-2 on the road)
Weber vs. Kruger: Weber leads 5-1 (2-0 at home)
LAST GAME SUMMARY
21/20 West Virginia 76, K-State 72
Game 25 * WVU Coliseum * February 11, 2015
• Kansas State could not maintain its lead late, as No. 21/20 West Virginia surged to a 76-72 win on Wednesday night before 8,762 fans at the WVU Coliseum. Leading 69-67 after a 3-point play by Nino Williams with 2:25 to play, K-State saw its advantage evaporate down the stretch as West Virginia clinched the season sweep by scoring nine of the game’s final 12 points. The loss marred a terrific offensive effort by the Wildcats, who connected on better than 50 percent in each half for the first time since UMKC on Nov. 17 and finished a stellar 56.8 percent (25-of-44) from the field with four players in double figures. Williams tied his career-high with 22 points on 7-of-11 field goals, while Justin Edwards and sophomore Nigel Johnson each added 14 points. Johnson, who earned his 3rd career start, also chipped in 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals in a career-best 33 minutes.
GAME 26 - QUICK HITTERS
• Kansas State (12-13, 5-7 Big 12) returns home to Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday, as the Wildcats play host to No. 17/17 Oklahoma (17-7, 8-4 Big 12) at 7 p.m. CT. The game will air nationally on ESPN2 with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Stephen Howard (analyst) on the call.
• Fans are encouraged to bring paper towels, trash bags and cleaning supplies to Saturday’s game to support the 4th annual “Tipoff for TP” event, which benefits the Manhattan Emergency Shelter.
• The nationally-ranked Sooners will be the Wildcats’ 9th opponent in the last 11 games to be either ranked or receiving votes. The team is 2-6 vs. the Top 25 this season, including 1-2 record at home.
• K-State saw its skid reach 5 games on Wednesday, as the Wildcats could not maintain their lead late in a 76-72 setback at No. 21/20 West Virginia. Despite trailing 69-67 with 2:25 to play, the Mountaineers were able to clinch the season series by scoring 9 of the game’s final 12 points. The team’s 47 bench points were the most by an opponent since February 2002.
• The loss overshadowed a terrific offensive effort, as K-State connected on better than 50 percent in each half and finished a stellar 56.8 percent (25-of-44) from the field with 4 players in double figures vs. West Virginia. It was the 1st loss (8-1) when shooting 50 percent or better from the field.
• The 72 points vs. the Mountaineers were the most in Big 12 play and the most in any game since Savannah State (73) on Dec. 14, 2014.
• Senior Nino Williams tallied his 5th career 20-point game, including his 4th this season, by tying his career-high with 22 points vs. West Virginia. He has led in scoring a team-best 9 times, including 5 times in Big 12 play.
• K-State was again without leading scorer Marcus Foster and reserve Malek Harris, who were suspended Feb. 4 for violation of team rules.
• K-State has lost 6 of its last 7 games since a 4-game winning streak from Jan. 7-17, including 5 in a row for the first time in the Bruce Weber era. It is the longest skid since dropping 5 in a row from Feb. 5-19, 2005.
• With its 12-13 record, K-State is below .500 for the first time in more than a decade since also being 12-13 on Jan. 28, 2004. The Wildcats have not been 2 games below .500 since finishing 2002-03 at 13-17.
• The Wildcats are 10-4 at home this season, including 4-2 in Big 12 play. The team has lost back-to-back games at Bramlage Coliseum (West Virginia and Texas) and are looking to avoid a 3-game losing streak at home for the first time since a 3-game skid from Feb. 5-19, 2005.
THE OPPONENT: 17/17 OKLAHOMA (17-7, 8-4 Big 12)
• Oklahoma enters Saturday’s game with a 17-7 record after winning its 5th in a row with a 94-83 victory over No. 14/14 Iowa State at home on Monday night... The Sooners are 6-6 away from home this season, including 4-4 in true road contests.
• The Sooners are averaging 73.1 points on 45.2 percent shooting, including 35.3 percent from 3-point range, on the season with 38.8 rebounds, 13.2 assists, 7.0 steals and 5.6 blocks per game... They are allowing opponent 61.6 points per game on 37.5 percent shooting, including 30.4 percent from beyond the arc... The team is shooting 72.4 percent from the free throw line.
• Oklahoma has 4 players averaging in double figures (Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins, TaShawn Thomas and Ryan Spangler)... Hield averages a Big 12-best 17.6 points per game on 44.6 percent shooting, including 19.5 points on 48.8 percent shooting in Big 12 play... Cousins is averaging 12.2 points on 44.8 percent shooting to go with 5.1 rebounds, while transfer Thomas has made an immediate impact with averages of 11.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game... Spangler leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage (60.6) and is 3rd in rebounding (8.0 rpg.), while sophomore Jordan Woodard ranks 4th in the Big 12 in assists (4.2 apg.).
• Oklahoma is led by 4th-year head coach Lon Kruger, who has a 75-45 record in his tenure... He has a 554-349 record in his 29th season as a head coach, which includes stints at Pan American (1982-86), Kansas State (1986-90), Florida (1991-96), Illinois (1996-2000), UNLV (2004-11) and now Oklahoma... He is the only coach to take 5 different teams to the NCAA Tournament.
• Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger has a long history with Kansas State as a player (1971-74), assistant coach (1977-82) and head coach (1986-90)... He was a two-time Big Eight Player of the Year (1973 and 1974) and is a member of the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. He had his jersey retired in 2006... He served as an assistant to his college coach, Jack Hartman, before succeeding him in 1986 and became the first head coach to lead the Wildcats to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
• Kruger is not the only Oklahoma staffer with Kansas State connections as assistant coach Steve Henson was a four-year player for the Wildcats from 1986-90 and director of operations Mike Shepherd is a former student manager for K-State and a 1992 graduate... Henson, who was inducted into the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012, is the school’s all-time leader in assists (582), free throw percentage (90.0) and minutes played (4,474) and played a school-record 127 consecutive games.
BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
• This will be the 201st meeting between the two schools with Oklahoma leading the series, 105-95... The schools have met at least once every season since 1927, while the series dates to 1920... It is the 5th-most played rivalry in school history.
• Oklahoma is 1 of only 2 Big 12 schools (Kansas) to hold a series advantage over K-State.
• Oklahoma holds a 14-10 mark in the Big 12 era, including a 13-10 mark in the regular season.
• K-State owns a 57-36 record at home vs. Oklahoma... The Wildcats have won 3 of the last 4 meetings at Bramlage Coliseum.
• K-State has won 8 of the last 12 meetings vs. Oklahoma since dropping 8 in a row from 2000-06... The Wildcats will be looking to sweep the season series for the 2nd time in the past 3 seasons and the 1st time since 2013.
• Sophomore Marcus Foster has averaged 17.7 points on 52.6 percent shooting in 3 meetings with Oklahoma, while sophomore Wesley Iwundu has averaged 8.3 points on 62.5 percent shooting vs. the Sooners.
LAST MEETING: K-STATE 66, OKLAHOMA 63 [OT]
• Led by Marcus Foster’s late-game heroics, K-State upset No. 16/18 Oklahoma, 66-63, in overtime on Jan. 10.
• Foster hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left in overtime to lift the Wildcats to their first win over a ranked team on the road since a 78-68 win over No. 3 Missouri on Feb. 21, 2012... Foster scored the final four points of regulation, including a driving lay-up over the out-stretched hands of Oklahoma’s Ryan Spangler with 6 seconds left.
• Foster scored 5 of the Wildcats’ 11 points in overtime, including a lay-up to tie it at 59-all at the 3:06 mark and the game-winning trey... In all, 9 of his 14 points came in the final 5:35 of the contest after playing just 21 minutes due to foul issues.
• Foster (14) was 1 of 3 Wildcats in double figures, including Stephen Hurt’s team-high 15 points and Thomas Gipson’s 10.
• K-State, which shot 45.5 percent (30-of-66), got 24 points from its bench, while 34 of 66 points came in the paint.
HOME SWEET HOME
• K-State has a 325-103 (.759) record in 27 seasons at Bramlage Coliseum, which are the 2nd-most at a home venue.
• The Wildcats are 124-23 (.844) over the past 9 seasons at home, including a 55-18 (.753) mark in Big 12 games.
• Head coach Bruce Weber is 42-7 (.857) in home games during his K-State tenure, including 20-4 (.833) during Big 12 play.
• K-State is 29-49 (.372) vs. Top 25 opponents at Bramlage Coliseum, including 26-46 (.361) vs. ranked Big 12 foes.
• K-State is 14-9 (.609) vs. Top 25 foes at Bramlage Coliseum since 2008, including wins in 6 of the last 8 meetings.
• K-State has earned double-digit wins in 22 of its 27 seasons at home, including a current streak of 14 straight seasons.
• K-State has ranked among the Top 35 in home attendance 7 times in the last 8 seasons, including 29th in 2013-14.
TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
• Kansas State is averaging 64.2 points on 44.7 percent shooting (543-of-1216), including 36.1 percent (119-of-330) from 3-point range, to go with 13.4 assists per game... The team has an assist on 61.9 percent (1st in the Big 12) of their field goals.
• The 64.2 points per game average is on pace to be the lowest since averaging 63.6 points during the 2000-01 season.
• 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 (48.6) in the Big 12, while is 2nd in fewest field goals made (21.7).
• K-State ranks in the Top 40 nationally in free throw attempts (596/20th) and free throw makes (401/36th).
• 18 of the 25 games have been decided by 10 points or less, including 10 by 5 points or less... The team is 9-9 in those games.
• The 59.8 points per game average in Big 12 play is on pace to be the lowest in the Big 12 era and the lowest since averaging 57.0 points during the 14-game Big Eight season in 1982-83.
• K-State is averaging 58.4 points during its 5-game skid on 39 percent shooting, including 37.5 percent from 3-point range.
• K-State has connected on 50 percent or better from the field in 9 games and shot better than 50 percent from 3-point range on 4 occasions... The Wildcats are 8-1 this season when shooting 50 percent or better and 20-5 under Bruce Weber.
• On the other hand, K-State has been held below 40 percent shooting from the field in 11 games, including in 4 of the last 5 games... The Wildcats are 3-8 this season when hitting on below 40 percent this season.
• K-State is 8-4 when 3+ players score in double figures, including 6-1 at home... The Wildcats are averaging 74.2 points in these 12 games on 51.3 percent shooting, including 41.4 percent from 3-point range... 3 players (Nino Williams/16.1 ppg., Marcus Foster/15.9 ppg., Thomas Gipson/11.0 ppg.) are averaging in double figures, while 4 others (Justin Edwards/8.8 ppg., Nigel Johnson/6.2 ppg., Stephen Hurt/6.2 ppg., and Tre Harris/6.1 ppg.) are averaging 6+ points.
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.), 18th (Williams/11.5 ppg.) and 19th (Gipson/11.1 ppg.).
• All 3 rank in the Big 12’s Top 15 in free throw percentage at 5th (Williams/81.8), 11th (Gipson/75.9) and 13th (Foster/70.7).
• The trio have combined to lead the Wildcats in scoring in 23 of 25 games with 44 combined double-digit scoring games... They have also combined to score 851 of the 1,606 points this season while shooting 48.1 percent (285-of-592).
• Foster leads the Wildcats in 7 categories, including scoring (14.0 ppg.), 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 (39.7/8th).
• Williams has scored in double figures in 13 of 23 games, including 11 of the last 19... He has 4 20-point games this season.
• Williams ranks 5th in the Big 12 in overall field goal percentage (50.8) and 7th in Big 12-only field goal percentage (48.2).
• Gipson has scored in double figures in 13 of 25 games, including 9 of the last 16... He shooting a team-best 54 percent.
• Justin Edwards have scored in double digits 6 times, including on 4 occasions in Big 12 play.
• Nigel Johnson has scored in double figures in each of the past 2 games, including 14 at West Virginia (2/11/15).
• Jevon Thomas ranks in the Big 12’s Top 10 in both assists (3.4/10th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4/10th).
• Thomas and Johnson have led K-State in assists in 20 of 25 games and have a combined 131 assists and 58 steals.
• K-State has also taken advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, as the Wildcats rank 36th nationally in free throws made (401) and 20th in free throw attempts (596)... The team is averaging 23.8 attempts (4th in Big 12) and 16.0 makes (4th).
• K-State ranks 6th in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (67.3) and 5th in Big 12-only games (69.1).
• K-State is 10-5 this season when it has more free throw attempts than its opponent and 32-10 under Bruce Weber.
• 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 (102/68th) and attempted (135/72nd).
• 3 Wildcats rank in the Big 12’s Top 15 in free throw percentage, including Nino Williams (81.8/5th), Thomas Gipson (75.9/11th) and Marcus Foster (70.7/13th)... Gipson ranks 3rd in both makes (104) and attempts (137) in the Big 12.
• 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 57.8 points in its 13 losses on 39.2 percent shooting (254-of-648), including 31.1 percent (55-of-177) from 3-point range, while allowing 65.8 points on 46.4 percent shooting, including 34.5 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 13 losses (Foster - 12.7 ppg. and Gipson - 11.7 ppg.).
• K-State is averaging 16.0 assists during its 12 wins compared to just 11.1 assists in its 13 losses.
• Edwards, Hurt and Iwundu combine to average 18.5 points on 49.7 percent shooting in wins, but 13.2 points on 36.2 percent shooting in losses... Edwards averages 7.8 points on 45.7 percent shooting in wins and 4.9 points on 32.9 percent in losses.
• 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 63.5 points on 44.5 percent shooting, including 33.8 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.
• During 5-game skid, the Wildcats are allowing 66.8 points on 46.1 percent shooting, including 34.9 percent from 3.
• 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 scoring defense (62.8) and 4th in 3-point field goal percentage defense (32.7).
FOSTER PACES ACROSS THE BOARD
• 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 8th 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 wining 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.
• 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... 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 SENIOR YEAR
• Senior Nino Williams is making the most of his senior campaign, as he leads the team in rebounding (4.9 rpg.) and is 2nd in scoring (11.5 ppg.) on 50.8 percent shooting to go with a team-best 81.8 percent clip from the free throw line.
• Williams has led the Wildcats in scoring a team-best 9 times and 8 times in rebounding, while he is 1st in field goals (100).
• Williams tied a career-high with 22 points at West Virginia (2/11/15) on 7-of-11 field goals and 8-of-10 free throws... He now has 5 career 20-point games, including 4 this season (20 vs. Savannah State, 22 at Iowa State, 20 vs. Oklahoma State).
• 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 was awarded the honor for the 1st time in his career on Dec. 15 after averaging 17 points on 56.3 percent shooting (9-of-16) to go with 9.5 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per game in wins vs. Bradley (12/9/14) and Savannah State (12/14/14)... 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) vs. Iowa State and Baylor 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, while he had 20 points vs. the Cowboys on 10-of-13 field goals with 7 rebounds.
• Williams has scored in double-digits in 13 of his 23 games played, including 11 of the last 18 games with 4 20-point games.
• Williams is averaging 11.1 points in Big 12 play on 48.2 percent shooting to go with a 92.9 free throw percentage (26-of-28).
• Williams has led the Wildcats in both scoring and rebounding in 6 games, including 3 in a row vs. Baylor, Iowa State and OSU.
GIPSON A STEADY LEADER
• Thomas Gipson has displayed that all important senior leadership, ranking 3rd in scoring (11.1 ppg.) and 2nd in rebounding (4.8 rpg.), while shooting a team-best 54 percent (87-of-161) from the field and 75.9 percent (104-of-137) 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 (1,150) on the school’s scoring list.
• Gipson is 1 of 7 players to rank in the school’s Top 15 in both career scoring and rebounding, joining Bob Boozer, Jack Parr, Rolando Blackman, Ed Nealy, Jamar Samuels and Rodney McGruder... He is 15th in scoring and 8th in rebounding.
• Gipson ranks in the Top 10 in 7 career categories, including 3rd in offensive (254) and defensive rebounds (397), 7th in free throws attempted (471), 8th in FG percentage (53.0), 8th in rebounds (651), 9th in games played (124) and 10th in starts (88).
• Gipson’s career 53.0 field goal percentage is the highest since Michael Beasley’s lone season in 2007-08 (53.2)... It is the 3rd-highest field goal percentage by a 4-year player behind Steve Soldner (1975-79) and Carl Gerlach (1972-76).
• Gipson, who played in his 100th career game in the opener against Southern Utah, has scored in double figures in 21 of the last 34 games (including 13 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 the team in scoring 7 times and rebounding 8 times, which ranks 2nd to Nino Williams.
• 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.
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 131 assists (to 84 turnovers) and 58 steals to go with 239 points on 38.6 percent shooting.
• Thomas is 1st in assists (85) and steals (30) and 3rd in minutes (26.6); Johnson is 2nd in steals (28) and 3rd in assists (41).
• Thomas is in the Big 12’s Top 10 in 2 categories, including 10th in assists (3.4 apg.) and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4).
• Thomas and Johnson have led K-State in assists in 20 of 25 games with Thomas dishing out a team-high in assists 13 times.
• Thomas has dished out 4 or more assists in 11 games, including a season-best 9 vs. UMKC (11/17/14).
• 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 has scored in double figures in 4 games, including in back-to-back games vs. Texas (2/7/15) and West Virginia (2/11/15), while Thomas has double-digit points in 2 games, including a season-high 13 at Tennessee (12/6/14).
TRANSFERS MAKING 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 2nd in steals (28), 3rd in rebounding (3.5 rpg.) and 4th in scoring (6.3 ppg.), while Hurt is 6th in rebounding (3.0 rpg.) and 7th in scoring (4.6 ppg.).
• Edwards has 6 double-digit scoring games, including 4 in Big 12 play, while Hurt has 3 with a season-high 15 at Oklahoma.
• In Big 12 play, Edwards is averaging 7.0 points on 39.4 percent shooting and Hurt is at 4.0 points on 40.5 percent shooting.
• The pair have been impactful in the 12 wins combining for 14.7 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.