K-State plays host to Iowa State Saturday
K-State plays host to Iowa State Saturday
Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007
Bramlage Coliseum (13,340) in
Tipoff: 5:05 p.m. Central
(K-State leads 74-22 in
TV: ESPN Plus
Talent: Fred White (Play-by-Play)
and Bob Sundvold (Analyst)
Channels: Metro (
Radio: K-State Sports Network (31 affiliates),
Talent: Wyatt Thompson (Play-by-Play) and Stan Weber (Analyst)
K-State returns home to face Iowa State on Saturday
Kansas State (18-8, 7-4 Big 12) looks to rebound from its loss to Nebraska on Tuesday, as the Wildcats return home to face Iowa State (13-12, 4-7 Big 12) at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 5:05 p.m. It will be the first of back-to-back home games for K-State, which hosts archrival and No. 9/8 Kansas (22-4, 9-2 Big 12) on ESPN’s “Big Monday” on Feb. 19. After posting its first win in Ames, Iowa in eight seasons with a 69-60 victory on Jan. 13, the Wildcats will look to sweep the season series from the Cyclones for the first time since 1999. The team, which leads the all-time series 126-76, has won five in a row over Iowa State at Bramlage Coliseum with its last loss coming in 2001.
The game will be televised regionally on ESPN Plus (Metro - Kansas City; KSAS - Wichita; KSNT - Topeka) with Fred White (play-by-play) and Bob Sundvold (color) calling the action. It will be the seventh of 12 regional broadcasts on the Big 12’s television package for the Wildcats. The audio broadcast 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 Stan Weber (color) on the call.
Kansas State could never seem to to get in rhythm on either side of the ball on Tuesday, as Nebraska evened the season series with a 74-63 win at home. The team shot just 41.1 percent from the field and allowed the Huskers to convert on an opponent-high 57.5 percent from the floor. Senior Cartier Martin led three players in double figures with a team-high 22 points, his fifth 20-point effort in seven games.
Noting the Nebraska Game
*With the loss, K-State is now 121-91 all-time against Nebraska, including 34-58 mark in games played in Lincoln, Neb. ... The Wildcats dropped to 5-6 on the road this season, which still ranks as the most since also tallying five in the 1995-96 season.
*Nebraska junior center Aleks Maric posted an opponent-high 41 points on 13-of-19 field goals and 15-of-25 free throws... It is most by an opponent since Doremus Bennerman collected 51 points against the Wildcats in the third-place game of the Postseason NIT on March 30, 1994.
*Senior Cartier Martin led all Wildcat scorers with 22 points against the Huskers... It marked his 10th 20-point game of the season, including his fifth in the last seven games... Now with 25 20-point games in his career, Martin is now in sole possession of ninth place on the school’s list... Senior Lance Harris notched his 12th double-figure scoring game with 15 points, while senior Jermaine Maybank tallied double figures for the second time with 12.
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. 46-54. 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 (46), CBS Sportsline’s RPI (51), Mike Greenfield’s Team RPI (54) and RealTimeRPI.com (54), while the team is rated 47th in the latest Sagarin rankings.
Closing on 20
With its current 18-8 overall record, Kansas State has already posted its highest win total in more than seven seasons and highest since tallying 20 in 1998-99. The Wildcats are two wins shy of 20 victories, which would mark just the fourth time in the last 20 seasons a team has achieved that benchmark. K-State has tallied 20 or more wins on 18 occasions in its history. If the team is able to achieve the mark, head coach Bob Huggins will join Lon Kruger (posted a 20-11 mark in 1986-87) as the only rookie head coaches in school history to tally such a distinction. Huggins has posted 20 20-win seasons in his 24 seasons as a head coach, including 12 seasons of 25 wins or more. In addition to that goal, the Wildcats need just one more league victory to post its highest total of the Big 12 era (currently tied with the 1998-99 season) and most in a single-season since tallying an 8-6 mark in the Big Eight in 1988-89.
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 11 of the 13 games he has not started for the Wildcats, including six 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, Colorado (25) on Feb. 10 and Nebraska (22) on Feb. 13. Martin is averaging 17.5 points on 49.3 percent shooting in the 13 games off the bench with 5.5 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per game. Martin has been even better in that role in the last nine games, averaging 19.3 points on 54.3 percent shooting, including 50 percent from 3-point range, with 5.8 rebounds in 24.8 minutes.
Kansas State has gotten a nice lift from its bench this season with an average of 26.2 points coming from its reserves this season. The impact has been even more telling in the last 20 contests, where the Wildcats have averaged 28.5 points off the bench and have outscored their opponent by a 569-329 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.
Maybank to the Rescue
A transfer from St. John’s, senior Jermaine Maybank has been a solid contributor for the Wildcats in the past few weeks. Since the Nebraska game on Jan. 27, he is averaging 9.0 points on 48.4 percent shooting (15-of-31) and 76.7 percent from the free throw line to go with 1.5 steals in 20.7 minutes per game. Maybank has been even better in the last three games, averaging 13.7 points on 47.8 percent shooting (11-of-23) and 82.6 percent (19-of-23) from the free throw line to go along with 2.0 steals in 28.7 minutes per game. He posted a career night in the loss to Kansas on Feb. 7, scoring a career-high 26 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 12-of-15 from the free throw line. Maybank also added four rebounds, three steals in two assists against the Jayhawks in a career-best 33 minutes. The Bronx, N.Y., native took advantage of a new NCAA rule (since eliminated) which allows players that have graduated from an institution and have remaining eligibility to transfer without sitting out a season.
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 15.5 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 has also posted a solid 1.1 assist-turnover ratio, including a 1.2 mark in Big 12-only games. 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 Clent Stewart’s 2.6 assists average leads five players with two or more assists, which has never happened at K-State since assists began being kept in 1976.
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.
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.
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 nearly seven years since the Wildcats tallied 15 against Nebraska on Jan. 8, 2000, while the percentage with highest since connecting on 75 percent 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.
The Book on Iowa State (13-12, 4-7 Big 12)
Iowa State enters Saturday’s contest with a 13-12 overall record and 4-7 mark in Big 12 Conference play after posted a 58-51 win over Oklahoma on Tuesday night. In a defensive slugfest, the Cyclones shot 48.9 percent from the field, including 50 percent in the first half to take a 32-17 halftime lead, while holding the Sooners to just 38.5 percent, including just 30 percent in the first half. The team saw three players top double figures led by junior Jiri Hubalek’s game-high 26 points and nine rebounds. Juniors Mike Taylor andRahshon Clark added 12 and 10 points, respectively. The Cyclones have split their last four conference games since halting a five-game losing streak from Jan. 13 to Jan. 31 with a 71-58 win over Baylor on Feb. 3.
The Cyclones are averaging 65.0 points on 41.3 percent shooting with 37.0 rebounds and have a balanced scoring team with three players averaging in double figures. The team is led by a pair of newcomers in junior guard Mike Taylor and freshman forward Wesley Johnson. A Big 12 Newcomer of the Year candidate, Taylor paces the squad in scoring (16.7 ppg.), 3-point field goals (64), assists (4.4 apg.), steals (1.1 spg.) and minutes (33.6), while Johnson averages 12.3 points and team-best 8.5 rebounds. Junior center Jiri Hubalek adds 11.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
Iowa State is led by first-year head coach Greg McDermott, who led Northern Iowa to 90 wins in five seasons and three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. McDermott is 234-139 in his 13th season as a head coach. This will be his second meeting with K-State and Bob Huggins in his career.
Series Versus Iowa State
This will be the 203rd meeting between Kansas State and Iowa State in a series that dates back to 1909. The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 126-76, including a 74-22 advantaage in games played in Manhattan, Kan. (including their current five-game winning streak). Iowa State holds a 13-9 advantage since the inception of the Big 12, however, K-State is 7-4 in games played at home. Heading into the season, the teams had split their home-and-home series each of the past five seasons with each squad winning on their home floor. The Cyclones had won seven in a row at home before the Wildcats earned a 69-60 victory on Jan. 20, which mark their first win at Hilton Coliseum since 1999. Last season, home teams held off furious comebacks by the visitors to continue their dominance. Iowa State posted a 72-70 win in Ames on Jan. 7, 2006, while K-State earned a 66-63 win in Manhattan on Feb. 8.
In its last meeting in Manhattan, forward Cartier Martin scored a team-high 22 points as K-State head on for a 66-63 win over Iowa State. Martin, who scored a season-low eight points in a loss to Oklahoma State just four days earlier, was 4-of-7 from behind the 3-point line, including the basket that gave K-State the lead for good with 2:23 left. Forward David Hoskins finished with 12 points, while forward Dramane Diarra had a game-high 13 rebounds. Trailing 28-24 to start the second half, the Wildcats went on a 7-0 run that put the team up by three. The team swapped the lead several times until Martin’s 3-pointer put K-State up for good at 56-55. The Cyclones got to with one at 64-63 on guard Will Blalock’s 3-pointer with 17.5 seconds left, but Martin hit a pair of free throws to push the margin back to three. Guard Curtis Stinson’s 3-point attempt with 3.7 left rimmed out.
Hoskins Emerges As A 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 15.6 points in the last 19 games on 46.7 percent shooting with team-leading 6.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game. In that span, Hoskins is first on the squad in rebounds, while he second in scoring, field goal percentage, assists and steals. His torrid play of late has enabled him to rank among the Big 12’s top 15 in four categories, including 11th in free throw percentage (75.9), 14th in scoring (14.3 ppg.) and 16th in rebounding (6.0 rpg.). Hoskins’ numbers are even better in Big 12 play, where he is 13th in scoring (15.5 ppg) and 13th in rebounding (6.6 rpg).
He has scored in double figures in 18 of the last 19 games, which 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 15.8 turnovers (301), including an average of 5.8 steals, in the last 19 games, while averaging 18.5 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 15.2 turnovers forced per game is the highest since the 1994-95 season averaged 16.7 turnovers.
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.
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 Colorado State 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 (147) and attempts (369) and sixth in percentage (39.8), while Harris is third in attempts (398) and fifth in makes (138).
Kansas State has demonstrated trademark Bob Huggins’ defensive basketball in posting an 18-8 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 22 of its 26 opponents to below 80 points, including 11 of its last 17 under 70 points. Only nine foes have shot above 45 percent from the field.
Despite allowing Nebraska to shoot an opponent-high 57.5 percent from the field on Tuesday, the Wildcats have still been impressive on defense in the last 19 games. The team has held its opponents to just 64.6 points on 41.5 percent shooting (464-of-1040), including 32.1 percent (103-of-321) from 3-point range, during the stretch. In addition, K-State has forced an average of 15.8 turnovers and tallied an average of 5.8 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.
Kansas State has taken advantage of its opportunites at the free throw line in the past 10 games, as the Wildcats have combined to sink 73.6 percent (187-of-254) 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 73.2 percent (71-of-97), 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 (115-of-168) 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 18 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 48 consecutive contests, including all 26 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 26 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 nine of its last 13 games, the team has still averaged averaged 73.2 points on 44.8 percent shooting in the last 20 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 40 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.
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 108 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 blocks 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 60 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 23 games, while his 2.13 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 1,362 points after his 22-point effort at Nebraska. Harris now ranks 26th all-time with 931 points in his four-year career and needs just five points to crack the school’s top 25. He needs 71 points to become the 20th player in school history and the second this season with 1,000 career points. Two K-State 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 (147) and Harris (138) 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 738 points and can move into the top 40 with 44 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.
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 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 his 25-point effort against Colorado. With 1,362 career points, he is two away from Chuckie Williams (1,364; 1973-76) for sixth. Martin is also 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 20 times in the last 24 games, including 10 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 registered 20-point games in five of the last seven games, including 25 against Chicago State on Jan. 22, 22 versus Missouri on Jan. 31, 27 at No. 23 Texas on Feb. 3, 25 against Colorado on Feb. 10 and 22 versus Nebraska on Feb. 13. The team is successful when Martin performs well, as the Wildcats are 11-2 when he shoots 50 percent or better from the field and 8-2 when he scores 20 or more points.
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.
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 10.5 points on 45.2 percent shooting, including 37.1 percent from 3-point range, this season to go with a 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.4 steals in a team-best 26.1 minutes per game. He second on the squad in 3-point field goals (43) and 3-point field goal percentage (37.1), while he is in the top-4 in scoring, field goal percentage and rebounding. Harris has scored in double figures in 12 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 nine games. A constant in the line-up, Harris is moving up several K-State career lists, including ranking third in 3-point field goal attempts (398), fifth in 3-point field goals (133), sixth in minutes (2,401), 10th in games played (110) and 26th in scoring (931).
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 6.7 points on 38.2 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 defensive rebounds and 15th in rebounding. 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 11 of the last 15 games. For the season, he has totaled six or more boards in 15 contests. During the last 19 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 8.1 points on 40.5 percent shooting (30-of-74), including 38.2 percent from 3-point range (13-of-34), with 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 29.4 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 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 16 games, including 31 against Kansas on Feb. 7. A NJCAA honorable mention All-American as a sophomore in 2005-06, he is averaging 5.8 points, a team-best 2.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 20.7 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.
Non-Conference Play A Success
Kansas State capped another stellar non-conference season in 2006-07 with its 73-36 win over Chicago State on Jan. 22. The Wildcats posted at least 10 wins during the non-conference portion of their schedule for the 17th time in their history and for the first time since the 2004-05 season. The 11 non-league victories are the most by a Wildcat squad since the 1998-99 squad also produced 11, while the program produced 10 wins before January 1 for the first time in nearly seven seasons. K-State has now earned a winning record in non-conference play in 35 consecutive seasons dating back to 1972-73 and has totaled at least eight non-conference wins in 22 of the last 26 seasons, including each of the last five seasons. The Wildcats have won 29 of their last 37 games against non-conference opponents, including a remarkable 25-1 (.961) mark at home.
Walker Out for Season with ACL Injury
Tests revealed on Monday, Jan. 8 that freshman forward Bill Walker sustained a complete rupture of the anterior crucial ligament (ACL) in his left knee and leaving him out for the remainder of the season, according to head coach Bob Huggins. Surgery was successfully performed on Friday, Jan. 19 and Walker has already begun his rehabilitation process. It is expected to take between six and eight months. The highly-touted freshman averaged 11.3 points on 40.0 percent shooting in six games this season with 4.5 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game. The Huntington, W.Va., native began his career by posting 15 points on 6-of-10 field goals against Kennesaw State on Dec. 17 in 22 minutes of action after just two practices under his belt. It was the most points by a true freshman in his debut since Marques Hayden scored 20 points against BYU on Nov. 23, 2002. The 15-point effort was the first of four straight double figure games for Walker, which included 11 against UMES, 19 against USC and 15 against New Mexico.
Viva Las Vegas!
*With its 72-56 win over New Mexico on Dec. 23, Kansas State captured its first in-season tournament title in over 10 years with the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Holiday Classic title... The Wildcats’ last tournament title came at the Otis Spunkmeyer Classic on Dec. 28-29, 1995 in Oakland, Calif.
*Kansas State’s six-game winning streak was the longest for the program since the team collected eight consecutive victories to start the 2004-05 season (Nov. 19 to Dec. 21, 2004)... The streak was even more impressive when you consider that only three of the games came at home... It marked the first time since 1995 that the Wildcats have put together a winning streak of more than five games when half of the games have come away from home.
*K-State was impressive on both ends of the court in the winning the tournament... The Wildcats averaged 75.2 points on 49.3 percent shooting with 36.0 rebounds and 15.8 assists, while holding their opponents to just 55.8 points on 36.9 percent shooting, including just 19.7 percent from 3-point range.
*Senior forward Cartier Martin was named the most valuable player of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic after averaging 16.8 points in four games... He scored a team-high 23 points against the Lobos... Junior David Hoskins was named to the Classic’s all-tournament team after averaging 15.8 points.
K-State to play Oregon as part of Big 12/Pac-10 Series
Kansas State will play Oregon on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007, as apart of a a four-year deal reached by the Big 12 and Pacific-10 Conferences on Jan. 11. The agreement between the conferences provides a series of 12 annual games, starting with the 2007-08 season. Other games set for next season include Oklahoma at USC (Nov. 29), Washington State at Baylor (Nov. 30), Iowa State at Oregon State (Nov. 30), Washington at Oklahoma State (Dec. 1), Missouri at California (Dec. 1), Arizona State at Nebraska (Dec. 2), Stanford at Colorado (Dec. 2), Texas at UCLA (Dec. 2) and Texas A&M at Arizona (Dec. 2). The series will continue in 2008, with games slated for Dec. 4-7. The contests scheduled will be return games of the match-ups from 2007, but may not be scheduled for the same day. The games in the series in 2009 will be played Dec. 3-6, 2009, while matchups in 2010 will be played Dec. 2-5, 2010.
Up Next: Kansas (22-4, 9-2 Big 12)
Kansas State plays its second home game in three days on Monday, as the Wildcats welcome archrival and No. 9/8 Kansas to Bramlage Coliseum for a game televised nationally on ESPN. The Jayhawks, who have won 32 of the last 33 meetings in the series, have won six of their last seven, including three in a row after dismantling Colorado, 75-46, on Wednesday night. Kansas is averaging 78.4 points on 48.9 percent shooting with 40.3 rebounds and have a balanced scoring team with four players averaging in double figures. Sophomore guard Brandon Rush posts a team-best 14.3 points per game.