No. 18 K-State returns home to face Missouri

game information
18/22 kansas state (17-6, 7-2 Big 12)
vs. missouri (14-11, 4-6 Big 12)

Saturday, February 16, 2008
Tipoff: 5:06 p.m. CT
Location: Manhattan, Kan.
Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (1988)
Capacity: 12,258

Series: Tied 113-113
(K-State leads 57-44 at home)

Television: ESPN Plus/Big 12 Network   
Fred White (play-by-play)
Bob Sundvold (analyst)
Steve Kurtenbach (producer)

Channels: Kansas City (Metro), Topeka (KSNT), Wichita (KSAS)

Radio: K-State Sports Network;
Powercat Passport Internet Audio;  
Yahoo! Internet Radio, Sirius Satellite 122
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)

Tickets: Sold out.  It marks the seventh time this year that K-State has sold out.  Season tickets are sold out for second straight year.

kansas state wildcats
Record: 17-6 (7-2 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): 18/22
Coach: Frank Martin
Alma Mater: Florida International, 93
Career Record: 17-6/1
School Record: 17-6/1
vs. Missouri: 0-1
06-07 Record: 23-12 (10-6 Big 12)
Last game: Feb. 13, 2008
lost at Texas Tech, 84-75
SID: Tom Gilbert
Website: www.k-statesports.com

missouri tigers
Record: 14-11 (4-6 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): nr/nr
Coach: Mike Anderson
Alma Mater: Tulsa 82
Career Record: 121-64/6
School Record: 32-23/2
vs. Kansas State: 1-2
06-07 Record: 18-12 (7-9 Big 12)
Last game: Feb. 13, 2008
won at Nebraska, 86-78, in OT
SID: Dave Reiter
Website: www.mutigers.com

projected starters
Kansas State (17-6, 7-2 Big 12)
G - #2 Blake Young (6.4 ppg., 3.3 rpg.)
G - #5 Clent Stewart (7.7 ppg., 3.1 apg.)
G - #31 Chris Merriewether (0.6 ppg., 1.2 rpg.)
F - #12 Bill Walker (16.3 ppg., 6.6 rpg.)
F - #30 Michael Beasley (25.1 ppg., 12.4 rpg.)

Missouri (14-11, 4-6 Big 12)
G - #2 Keon Lawrence (10.9 ppg., 2.5 apg.)
G - #4 J.T. Tiller (7.1 ppg., 2.0 rpg.)
G - #33 Matt Lawrence (8.4 ppg., 3.0 rpg.)
F - #1 DeMarre Carroll (13.2 ppg., 7.2 rpg.)
F - #32 Vaidotas Volkus (2.6 ppg., 1.8 rpg.)

game preview
No. 18/22 Kansas State (17-6, 7-2 Big 12) returns home to the friendly confines of Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday, as the Wildcats play host to Missouri (14-11, 4-6 Big 12) at 5 p.m. CT on Letterman’s Weekend.  The squad, which has won nine straight and six in a row in Big 12 play at home, will be looking to tie the 1998-99 (14-3) and 2006-07 (14-3) for the most wins in Bramlage Coliseum history.  The nine-game streak ties three other marks for the second-longest in the arena’s history and just two shy of the record 11 set in 1997-98.

As apart of the annual Lettermen’s Weekend, K-State will honor two of its greatest all-time teams, the Final Four squads of the 1947-48 and 1957-58 seasons, at halftime.  Among the former players from those teams who will be in attendance include Lloyd Krone, Ken Mahoney and David Weatherby of the 1947-48 squad and All-Americans Bob Boozer and Jack Parr as well as all-conference honorees Roy DeWitz, Wally Frank and Don Matuszak from the 1957-58 team.   

Saturday’s contest will be televised regionally on the Big 12 Network via ESPN Plus (KMCI - Kansas City; KSNT - Topeka; KSAS - Wichita) with Fred White (play-by-play) and Bob Sundvold (analyst) calling the action.  The game is also available nationally on the ESPN Full Court package.  It will the fourth of six appearances on the network and one of a school-record 29 televised contests.
  
The game will be broadcast on the 31-station K-State Sports Network (Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio) with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) behind the mikes.  Fans can also listen to the game on Sirius Satellite 122.

Kansas State began the second half of Big 12 play on a down note, as the Wildcats remained winless in six visits to United Spirit Arena with an 84-75 loss to Texas Tech on Wednesday.  The squad, which trailed by as much as 22 points in the second half, made a valiant effort to cut the lead to four points with 5:35 remaining, but could not get any closer as the Red Raiders connected on 12-of-16 from the free throw line to cinch the first victory for head coach Pat Knight.  Despite the loss, the Wildcats remains in the thick of the Big 12 race, as they trail No. 3 Kansas (23-2, 8-2 Big 12) by just a half-game and are in a second-place tie with No. 11 Texas (20-4, 7-2 Big 12).

Freshman Bill Walker paced three Wildcats in scoring with individual Big 12-high 27 points against the Red Raiders on 11-of-14 shooting, while fellow rookie Michael Beasley collected his nation’s leading 20th double-double with 22 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

Kansas State’s 17-6 start to the season is the best by a Wildcat squad in 26 seasons since the 1981-82 squad also started 17-6.  Despite the loss on Saturday, the 7-2 start to league play is the best in the Big 12 era and the best since the 1974-75 team also started 7-2.

the book on kansas state
Kansas State remained in both major Top 25 polls on the Monday for the third consecutive week, moving up two spots in both polls to No. 18 in The Associated Press poll and to No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.  The squad returned to both major polls on Jan. 28 for the first time since November.  The program opened the season with its first preseason ranking since 1975 in The Associated Press poll and climbed to as high as No. 18 before falling out on Dec. 3.   

Kansas State is averaging 80.0 points on 44.6 percent shooting with 42.7 rebounds, 16.7 assists, 8.0 steals and 3.8 blocks per game, while holding their foes to 67.1 points on 40.5 percent shooting.  Only one team at Kansas State - the 1952-53 squad -  has averaged 80 or more points for a season, which averaged 81.4 points in 21 games.  The Wildcats rank among the top-25 nationally in scoring margin (16th), scoring (20th) and assists (21st).  The team has topped 80 or more points in 11 games (all wins) this season, which equals or
surpasses the single-season totals of 80-point games from the last 17 seasons, including the eight in 2006-07.         

A trio of Wildcats are averaging in double figures led by Beasley, who ranks fourth nationally in scoring at 25.1 points per game.  Beasley, who paces the nation in rebounding at 12.4 per game, is shooting 54.8 percent from the field to go with 1.7 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.4 assists in 30.7 minutes per game.  He leads the squad in 15 categories, including scoring, double-doubles (20), 20-point games (18), field goals (211), free throws (131), rebounds, blocks, steals and minutes. 

Beasley, who became the first player in Big 12 history to be named the conference’s Rookie of the Week for three consecutive weeks, leads the conference in scoring and rebounding and in scoring in league-only games.  He has a school-record 20 double-doubles in just 23 games, while he is two shy of the all-time record for the most-ever by a freshman set by Syracuse’s Carmelo Anthony (22) in 2002-03. 

Rookie Bill Walker ranks second to Beasley in numerous categories, including scoring (16.3 ppg.), rebounding (6.6 rpg.), field goals (121), field goal attempts (263), blocks (14), double-digit scoring (18) and double-doubles (three).  Since being moved back to the interior 15 games ago, Walker is averaging 18.3 points on 48.3 percent shooting, including 38.7 percent from 3-point range, with 6.8 rebounds in 26.3 minutes per game.  He has now scored in double figures in 22 of 27 career games, including 18 of 21 games this season.

The backcourt of Jacob Pullen, Clent Stewart and Blake Young has also continued to play well for the Wildcats.  Pullen, who started the team’s first nine games, is first on the team in assists (3.3 apg.) and 3-point field goals (28) and third in scoring (10.3 ppg.).  During the last six games, Pullen has averaged 13.3 points on 45.6 percent shooting (26-of-57), including 42.9 percent shooting (12-of-28), with 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 25.5 minutes per game. 

The team’s most experienced player with 111 appearances and 85 starts, Stewart made a return to against Texas Tech after missing the previous two games following the passing of his mother, Vanessa, who lost her battle with bone cancer on Feb. 4.  The Wildcats, which wore pink shooting shirts to honor her memory against Nebraska on Feb. 6, will continue to wear a patch on their uniforms bearing her initials.  Young, who has the longest current game streak at 58 games, ranks fourth in rebounding (3.3 rpg.) and fifth in scoring (6.5 ppg.). 

homecourt advantage
Bramlage Coliseum continues to be one of the best home courts in the Big 12 Conference, as the Wildcats have constructed a 228-84 (.731) mark at home since the arena opened in 1988.  The team has proven to be even better in the last seven seasons, where they have posted double-digit win totals each season and an 88-27 (.765) overall. 

With the win over Oklahoma State, K-State collected its 13th home victory of the season and has posted at least 12 home wins in five straight seasons for the first time in school history.  The squad has won nine straight overall and six in a row in Big 12 dating back to last season.  The current winning streak ties three other marks (1989-91, 2002-03 and 2005-06) for the second-longest winning streak in Bramlage Coliseum history and just two short of the record 11 set in 1997-98.  The Wildcats already have two victories at home over top-10 opponents (No. 2 Kansas and No. 10 Texas A&M), which has not happened in the same season since K-State knocked off No. 1
Missouri and No. 3 Oklahoma during the 1989-90 season.

success for both men and women
One of the best stories in college basketball this season has been the rise of both the men’s and women’s squads at Kansas State.  The 17th-ranked women’s team has won 12 of its last 13 games, which includes a 10-game winning streak from Dec. 28 to Feb. 2, and is now taken over sole possession of first-place in the Big 12 with a 17-6 overall record and a 9-1 mark in league play.  The 18th-ranked men are off to their best start since the 1981-82 season and their best start since the inception of the Big 12.  Both teams continue to be ranked in the AP Top 25 in the same week for the third straight week, which has never happened in the programs’ respective histories.

off to a good start
First-year head coach Frank Martin has posted an impressive debut as the Wildcats’ mentor.  His 17-6 start to his career is now the best start ever by a first-year head coach, while his 7-2 start in league play is also the best by a rookie coach.   His 17 victories have already surpassed the win totals of some of the program’s most legendary coaches, including Jack Gardner (6), Tex Winter (11), Cotton Fitzsimmons (14) and Jack Hartman (11).  Bob Huggins set the mark for most wins by a first-year coach with 23 in 2006-07.  His 17 wins are the seventh-most among all first-year coaches this season in Division I and fourth-most among coaches in their first college jobs. 

turning up the offense
Since posting a season-low 59 points against Notre Dame on Dec. 4, Kansas State has turned up its offense in the last 15 games.  The squad is averaging 81.6 points on 45.7 percent shooting (427-of-935), including 37.2 percent from 3-point range (111-of-298), during that span after averaging 76.9 points on 42.6 percent shooting, including 25.9 from beyond the arc, in the first eight.  Most notably, the team has scored 80 or more points nine times (all wins) in the last 14 games compared to just twice (both wins) in the first eight.

turning up the offense, part 2
Kansas State has scored 75 or more points in 12 of the last 15 games, including a span of eight consecutive games from Dec. 9, 2007 to Jan. 19, 2008, which tied the 1960-61 squad for the most in school history.  With 75 points against No. 10 Texas A&M, the team hit the mark for the school-record eighth game in a row, surpassing the seven done by the 1976-77 squad.  The Wildcats have already topped the 80-point mark in 11 contests, which surpasses the total from last season.  It also equals or surpasses the totals from the previous 17 seasons and is the most since the 1988-89 squad did it 15 times. 

Kansas State has scored at least 75 points in 18 of its 23 games this season.  The 18 games of at least 75 points equals or surpasses the entire total from the past 19 seasons, including the 10 in 2006-07. The last time the school had more than 18 games of 75 or more points was the 1987-88 season, which produced 19 such contests.

okay, we’re going with the opposite
The trend so far this season has been that Kansas State tends to get better as the game goes, as the team is averaging 41.6 points on 48.5 percent shooting (including 33.2 percent from 3-point range) in the second half this season.  In comparison, the Wildcats are averaging 37.6 points on 40.9 percent shooting (including 32.9 percent from 3-point range) in the first half this season.  However, in the last four games, this trend has turned with the squad averaging 38.8 points on 47.6 percent shooting in the first half in comparison to just 37.5 points in the second half on 40.2 percent shooting.  After topping the 40-point barrier just six times in the first half in the first 19 games, the team has eclipsed the barrier in the games against Missouri and Nebraska.  In comparision, K-State has posted 40 or more points in the second half of 15 games, including three 50-point outings.  The team has also connected on 50 percent or better from the field in the second half of 11 contests, including a span of seven straight games.       

improved 3-point shooting
After a dismal start, Kansas State has improved its consistency from the 3-point line in the last 14 games where the team is connecting on 38.4 percent (107-of-279) from the field.  In the span, three Wildcats - Clent Stewart (46.3), Fred Brown (45.2) and Michael Beasley (43.2) - are connecting on 43 percent for better from beyond the arc.  The improvement is in contrast to the first nine games, where the squad connected on just 25.4 percent (48-of-189).  The percentage has increased during the last 10 games, where the team has averaged 7.7 treys on 39.1 percent (77-of-197).  

the book on missouri (14-11)
Missouri (14-11, 4-6 Big 12) snapped a two-game losing streak with an impressive 86-78 road win over Nebraska on Wednesday night.  The Tigers have now won two of their last three road tilts after starting the season with five straight defeats.  Tied 71-all heading into the overtime period, the squad outscored the Huskers, 15-7, including 9-of-12 from the charity stripe.  Four players scored in double figures led by sophomore guard Keon Lawrence’s 19 points.  Sophomore guard J.T. Tiller posted 14 points, while sophomore forward Leo Lyons and senior forward Marshall Brown added 12 and 11 points.  

Missouri is averaging a 79.2 points on 46.3 percent shooting, including 32.7 percent from 3-point range, with 35.6 rebounds, 17.4 assists, 8.7 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.  The team is holding foes to 70.9 points per game on 42.8 percent shooting from the field. 

A balanced scoring squad, the team has five players scoring seven or more points led by junior forward DeMarre Carroll’s 13.2-point per game average.  He has connected on 54.9 percent from the field to go with a team-high 7.2 rebounds per game.  Leo Lyons averages 12.3 points on a team-best 61 percent from the field to go with 4.3 rebounds, while Keon Lawrence and Matt Lawrence add 10.9 and 8.4 points per game, respectively.  The Tigers have gone 2-3 since dismissing leading scorer Stefhon Hannah (14.7 ppg.) for violating team rules.  He led the team in scoring, assists and steals.

The team is led by head coach Mike Anderson, who has a 121-64 record in seven years overall as a head coach and a 32-23 mark in his second season at Missouri.  Anderson, who tied the Missouri school record for wins (18) by a first-year coach, spent four years as the head coach at UAB from 2002-06.  He led the Blazers to four consecutive postseason appearances, including three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.  He spent 17 years as an assistant coach to Nolan Richardson at Arkansas (1985-2002) before leaving for UAB.

Anderson is 1-2 all-time versus Kansas State and 1-0 versus Martin.

series vs. missouri
This This will be the 227th all-time meeting between Kansas State and Missouri in a series that dates back to 1907.  One of the most competitive series in both schools’ histories, the all-time series is knotted at 113-all.  However, the Wildcats hold a 57-44 advantage in games played at home, including an 11-8 edge in Bramlage Coliseum.  Missouri leads 15-9 since the inception of the Big 12, while K-State is 6-5 in that span at home.  However, since Kansas State snapped a seven-game losing streak in 2005, it has won five of the last seven meetings, including three in a row in Manhattan.     

last meeting vs. missouri
Kansas State saw a five-game winning streak in Big 12 come to an end on Feb. 2, as Missouri overcame a double-digit second half deficit to post a 77-74 win.  It marked the Tigers’ first win in Columbia over the Wildcats since Feb. 12, 2006. 

K-State shot an impressive 56.7 percent in the first half and held a 44-34 lead at the break before Missouri connected on an opponent-high 64.3 percent in the second half to rally for the win.  The Wildcats shot just 39.3 percent after halftime and missed a season-high 10 free throw attempts on just 50 percent shooting.  Five Wildcats scored in double figures led by freshman Michael Beasley’s 17-point, 10-
rebound effort.  Senior Blake Young posted 14 points on 5-of-9 field goals, while freshman Bill Walker and Dominique Sutton added 11 points each.  Missouri was led by sophomore J.T. Tiller, who posted 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting, while sophomore Leo Lyons added 13.   
 
the streak is over!
Kansas State ended 24 years of frustration against archrival and No. 2 Kansas in Manhattan with an 84-75 win on Jan. 30.  It marked the squad’s first victory over the Jayhawks at home since an 58-57 win at Ahearn Field House on Jan. 29, 1983 and the first-ever at Bramlage Coliseum, ending a 19-game losing streak.  It was also the highest ranked team to fall to the Wildcats in 14 years since they knocked off No. 1 Kansas, 68-64, on Jan. 17, 1994 and the highest at home since stunning No. 1 Missouri, 65-58, on Feb. 8, 1990.  The win also left Memphis as the lone undefeated team in the nation.  The 84 points were the most allowed by Kansas this season and the most in the series in more 29 years since a 96-69 Wildcat win on Jan. 20, 1979.

beasley, walker among the best
Freshmen Michael Beasley and Bill Walker are starting to prove they are two of the best players in Big 12.  The pair are the only rookies to rank in the top-10 in both scoring and rebounding in the Big 12. 

Beasley paces the league in four categories - scoring (25.1 ppg.), rebounding (12.4 rpg.), offensive rebounds (4.30 rpg.) and defensive rebounds (8.13 rpg.) - and is the top-15 in four others - field goal percentage (fourth - 54.8), blocked shots (third - 1.70 bpg.), free throw percentage (12th - 72.4) and steals (12th - 1.43).  He owns the most double-doubles (20) and the most 30-point games (eight).

Walker ranks sixth in the Big 12 in scoring (16.3 ppg.) and ninth (6.6 rpg.) in rebounding.  He places among the top-15 in three categories, including fifth in offensive rebounds (2.81 rpg.), eighth in field goal percentage (46.0) and 14th in free throw percentage (70.8).

more on beasley and walker
Michael Beasley and Bill Walker became just the fourth duo in Kansas State history (the first freshman duo) to each score 30 or more points at least twice in the same season and the first in 30 years.  The duo joins Bob Boozer (2) and Jack Parr (2) in 1956-57, Mike Evans (2) and Chuckie Williams (4) in 1975-76 and Mike Evans (3) and Curtis Redding (3) in 1977-78.

With his 35-point performance against Nebraska on Feb. 6, Beasley now has notched eight contests of 30 or more points this year, which surpasses Bob Boozer (7, 1958-59) and Norris Coleman (7, 1985-86) for the most in a single season in Kansas State history.  He also ties Chuckie Williams (1972-76) and Norris Coleman (1985-87) for the second-most 30-point games in a career in school history, just two behind all-time leader Bob Boozer (10, 1956-59).

With his effort against the Huskers, Beasley remains the active Big 12 leader in career 30-point games (just ahead of Colorado’s Richard Roby), while he is the only player with eight 30-point, 10-rebound games.  In fact, he is twice as many as the player in second place - Nebraska’s Aleks Maric - who has three in his career.  In comparison to other recent National Freshmen of the Year, Beasley’s eight 30-point, 10-rebound games are one more than Kevin Durant’s entire total from the 2006-07 season (35 games) and more than twice as many as Carmelo Anthony’s total (3) during the 2002-03 season.

Walker, who has notched his two 30-point games in the last 15, ties seven other players including notable players Bob Boozer, Mike Evans, Steve Henson and Jack Parr for the 13th-most in a single season.  He posted his first career 30-point game against California on Dec. 9 and then topped it with 31 points against Xavier on Dec. 31.

newcomers a big part of success
One of the nation’s top recruiting classes have had a dramatic impact for Kansas State this season, as the newcomers have posted over 60 percent of the Wildcats’ points (1096) and blocks (53) and over 50 percent of the rebounds (511), steals (106) and assists (173). 

Most of these have come from phenom Michael Beasley, who owns over 30 percent of the team’s points (577) and rebounds (286).  He has already shattered Ed Nealy’s (230; 1979) freshman mark for rebounds, while he is 33 points shy of breaking Norris Coleman’s (609; 1986) rookie record for points.  In all, four of the top-7 scorers and two of the top-3 rebounders are either freshmen or first-year players in the program.  If you include redshirt freshman Bill Walker, who played just six games last season due to a knee injury, the totals increase to over 75 percent of the points (1439) and blocks (67) and over 65 percent of the rebounds (642) and steals (127).

okay, this guy’s pretty good
Freshman Michael Beasley became the first player in Big 12 history to win Phillips 66 Rookie of the Week honors for three consecutive weeks on Monday after averaging 29.0 points and 13.0 rebounds in helping the Wildcats to wins over Nebraska and Oklahoma State.
Beasley’s five rookie honors are tied for the second-most in Big 12 history with Texas A&M’s Clifton Clark (1998-99) and one less than the record set by Texas’ Kevin Durant in 2006-07.  The player of the week award is his seventh after he earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors on Nov. 12 and Jan. 14 and Rookie of the Week accolades on Nov. 19, Dec. 26, Jan. 28, Feb. 4 and Feb. 11.

beasley breaks another one
Michael Beasley made history yet again with his 40-point effort against Winston-Salem State on Dec. 22, as he broke fellow rookie Norris Coleman’s mark of 39 points against Colorado on Jan. 18, 1986 for the most by a freshman.  He now owns five school records, including for points by a freshman in a debut (32 vs. Sacramento State), most single-game rebounds by a freshman (24 vs. Sacramento State), most single-season rebounds (271) and most double-doubles (19).  The 40 points are the most since Askia Jones tallied a school-record 62 points against Fresno State in the second round of the Postseason NIT on March 24, 1994.  He is the ninth Wildcat in to record a 40-point game, while his 40-point effort ties Mike Evans (40 vs. Colorado, 1/15/77) for the eighth-highest scoring total in a game.

wildcats to score 40 or more points
62 by Askia Jones vs. Fresno State, 3/24/94
*47 by Chuckie Williams vs. Holy Cross, 12/5/75
*46 by Mike Wroblewski at Kansas, 2/7/62
*45 by Bob Boozer vs. Purdue, 12/1/58
*42 by Dick Knostman vs. Oklahoma, 2/14/53
41 by Steve Henson vs. Iowa State, 2/17/90
*41 by Mitch Richmond vs. Oklahoma, 2/13/88
40 by Mike Evans vs. Colorado, 1/15/77
40 by Michael Beasley vs. Winston-Salem State, 12/22/07

 *Was named an All-American following season.

double-double
Michael Beasley will look to become just the sixth player in school history and the first since Gene Williams in 1968-69 to average a double-double for a single-season.  He is averaging 25.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game through 23 games with 20 double-doubles.  He would join Bob Boozer (1956-59), Jack Parr (1955-58), Larry Comley (1960-61), Willie Murrell (1962-64) and Gene Williams (1968-69) as only players to average a double-double for a season.

Beasley’s 20 double-doubles are only two shy of the all-time record for most-ever by a Division I freshman.  The record-holder is Carmelo Anthony, who had 22 (including 18 in regular season) in 2002-03.

Remarkably, Boozer and Parr averaged a double-double in three consecutive seasons, while Murrell accomplished it back-to-back seasons.  At his current pace, Beasley could also top the school single-season scoring and rebounding averages held by Bob Boozer (25.6 ppg. in 1958-59) and Jack Parr (14.5 rpg. in 1956-57).

historic beginning
Michael Beasley had a memorable first game as a Wildcat, he set three school records as well as two Big 12 marks in helping Kansas State to a season-opening victory over Sacramento State on Nov. 9.  He posted 32 points on 12-of-20 field goals with 24 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals in 31 minutes. 

Beasley is just the third player in school history to top 30 points and 20 rebounds in a single-game and the first since Bob Boozer (36 points, 23 rebounds) did it against Colorado in 1957.  The 32 points were the most points by a freshman in a debut in both Kansas State and Big 12 history, while the 24 rebounds were the most by a freshman in a single-game and the third-most by a Wildcat in school history.  The 24 rebounds also eclipsed the all-class Big 12 record of 23 held by Kevin Durant (2006) and Nick Collison (2003).

On Nov. 11, Beasley became just the third player in school history (and first freshman) to tally 30 points in back-to-back games in a win over Pittsburg State.  He tallied 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting with 14 rebounds in 29 minutes.  He is the first player to top 30 points in consecutive games since Askia Jones in January 1994.

first with two 20-point/20-rebound games
Michael Beasley became the first player in Big 12 history to collect two 20-point/20-rebound performances in a single season with his 28-point, 22-rebounds effort against Western Illinois on Nov. 19.  In the first 11 years of Big 12 competition, only nine players had posted 20-point/20-rebound games in their career and none had ever done it more than once in their respective careers.  He is just the second player in school history to accomplish the feat twice in a season and the first since Jack Parr did it twice during the 1955-56 season.

walker back to full strength
The former high school All-American is finally healthy after playing in just six games as a true freshman in 2006-07 before going down with a season-ending ACL injury at Texas A&M in the first Big 12 contest.

Walker is second to Michael Beasley in both scoring (16.3 ppg.) and rebounding (6.6 rpg.), while he is third in steals (1.0 spg.) and fourth in free throw percentage (70.8).  He has now scored in double figures in 22 of his 27 career games, including 18 of 21 games this season.  Walker might be playing the finest basketball of his Wildcat career in the team’s last 15 games.  In gaining the start in each of these contests, he is averaging 18.3 points on 48.3 percent shooting (97-of-201), including 38.7 percent shooting (24-of-62) from 3-point range, with 6.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 0.7 steals in 26.3 minutes per game.  He has connected on 71.3 percent (57-of-80) from the free throw line during his current playing streak.

After battling through a variety injuries to start the season, Walker has played in 17 straight games for the Wildcats, including a career-high 35 minutes of action against California on Dec. 9.  He set or tied career-highs in nine categories against the Bears with 30 points on 7-of-22 field goals with 10 rebounds, two assists and four steals.  He posted his second 30-point outing in the last 14 games with his career-best 31-point effort against Xavier (12/31).  He went a career-high 13-of-23 from the field with six rebounds in 34 minutes.  Walker has been just as impressive during Big 12 play, averaging 17.8 points on 48.4 percent shooting, including 35.7 percent from 3-point range.

After suffering through a variety of aliments to start the season, where he missed two of the first five games, Walker began to turn the corner on the final day of the Old Spice Classic.  He posted his first career double-double against Rider on Nov. 25 with 14 points and a new career-high 10 rebounds.  He continued his impressive play against Notre Dame with a season-tying 14 points on 6-of-11 field goals with six rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

walker named big 12 rookie of the week again
Freshman forward Bill Walker earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors for the second time on Jan. 21 in helping the Wildcats topple a top-10 opponent for the first time since 2004.

In his lone game of the week, Walker posted 19 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range, in helping K-State earn a 75-54 win over No. 10 Texas A&M.  He also added four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals in 31 minutes.

Walker earned his first Big 12 Rookie of the Week honor on Dec. 10, 2007 after averaging 22.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in games against Notre Dame and California.  He is the second Kansas State player to earn Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors twice this season after fellow freshman Michael Beasley.  In all, either Beasley or Walker has captured Player or Rookie of the Week honors seven times this year.

iron man
A team mainstay the past three seasons, senior guard Clent Stewart has become a guiding force for a young squad.  Although he missed the last two games due to the death of his mother, Vanessa, Stewart had been a steady force during a crucial stretch.  In the 12 games before his absence, he averaged 9.3 points on 44.3 percent shooting with 3.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 30 minutes. 

Stewart continues to move up the career charts in three categories (assists, minutes played and games started), in this, his last season at K-State.  With two assists against Oregon on Nov. 29, he broke his second-place tie with Tyrone Adams (1979-82) for career assists with 318.  With 363 assists, Stewart now trails just leader Steve Henson (582, 1987-90) on the all-time list. 

Stewart currently sits in fourth place all-time in minutes played with 2,999, passing Shawn Rhodes (2,958; 1996-99) in playing a season-high 37 minutes against Missouri on Feb. 2  He needs 91 minutes to pass former teammate Cartier Martin (3,090; 2003-07) for third place.  At his current pace, he should finish in the top-3 behind only Steve Henson (4,474; 1987-90) and Askia Jones (3,547; 1990-94). 
In addition, he is now in sixth place on the games started list with the 85th start of his career against Texas Tech.  He is also two games from breaking into the top-10 for career games played (111).

young comes through in the clutch
Senior Blake Young has been one of the biggest keys to the team’s successful start to conference play.  Fully healthy for the first time in nearly a month, the guard has averaged 6.2 points on 41.7 percent shooting with 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 30.2 minutes per game since the start of Big 12 play.  He played perhaps the best game of his career in the upset win over No. 10 Texas A&M on Jan. 18, as he tossed in eight points on 3-of-4 field goals with a career-best nine rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes of action.  He continued his solid in the win over No. 2 Kansas with a team-high five assists to go with zero turnovers with three points and two rebounds.  He posted double-digit scoring for the first time since December at Missouri with 14 points on 5-of-9 field goals, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range.  Young, who ranks fifth on the team in scoring (6.5 ppg.) and fourth in rebounding (3.3 rpg.), elevated his play during the key three-game stretch against Oregon, Notre Dame and California.  He averaged 9.3 points on 50 percent shooting, including 41.7 percent from 3-point range, with 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steals in 35.7 minutes.
  
He is one of just two players (Michael Beasley) to start all 23 games this season.  He also has the longest active game streak on the team with 58 consecutive games played dating back to last season. 

pullen shines at the point
Michael Beasley is not the only true freshman to shine so far this season, as rookie Jacob Pullen has played well in the point guard spot.  The Maywood, Ill., native paces the squad in assists (3.3 apg.) and 3-pointers (28), is second in steals (1.3 spg.), third in scoring (10.3 ppg.) and fifth in minutes played (23.8 mpg.).

Pullen might be playing his best basketball in the last few weeks, capped by his career-high 20-point performance in the win over No. 2 Kansas on Jan. 30.  He went 4-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, to go with a 10-of-10 effort from the free throw line.  During the Wildcats’ last six games, he is averaging 13.3 points on 45.6 percent shooting, including 42.9 percent from 3-point range, to go with 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals.  He was solid in his first-ever Big 12 game against the Sooners, posting eight points to go with six assists, including the game-winning assist to Michael Beasley with 2.3 seconds remaining.  He continued his impressive play in the win over No. 10 Texas A&M with eight points, four assists and two steals, while he registered double figures for the first time in Big 12 play with 13 against Iowa State.  Pullen scored in double figures for the fifth time in six games with 16 points against Texas Tech on Feb. 13.

Pullen began the season with double-digit scoring in eight of his first 10 games, including tying his career-high with 19 points in back-to-back wins over UCF and Rider at the Old Spice Classic.  He combined to go 6-of-14 from 3-point range in those wins, including a season-high four treys against the Knights.  He opened the season with 18 points against Sacramento State in his first collegian game on 7-of-11 shooting to go with a team-high five assists and two steals.

kent strong off the bench
Junior Darren Kent has become a key component of the Wildcats’ success of late in the last seven contests, as he has averaged 3.4 points on 47.6 percent shooting, including 44.4 percent from 3-point range, with 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 17.3 minutes per game.  He posted a career-high 11 points against Iowa State on Jan. 26 on 4-of-5 field goals, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range.  He also tallied six rebounds to go with five points against Colorado Jan. 23.

what brown can do for you
Yet another talented freshman is starting to emerge from the bench, as Fred Brown posted solid efforts in the last five non-conference games.  He averaged 12.2 points on 57.1 percent shooting in that span with 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.8 assists in 17.2 minutes per game.  He scored 61 of his 71 season point total during this span.  Brown posted a career-night against Xavier (12/31) with a career-best 25 points on a team season-best 9-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range, in a career-high 24 minutes.  The 25 points were nearly triple his previous season-high of nine against Florida A&M (12/17) and Winston-Salem State (12/22).  His 81.8 percent shooting from the field ties for the best by a Wildcat, while his five 3-point field goals were the most since Cartier Martin had five against Oklahoma on March 3, 2007.  After not playing much of the early conference season, he has averaged 11.3 minutes in each of the last four games with a high of 18 minutes against Missouri on Feb. 2.