K-State returns home to face Texas Monday

game information
24/25 kansas state (18-8, 8-4 Big 12) 
vs. 7/7 texas (23-4, 10-2 Big 12)

Monday, February 25, 2008
Tipoff: 8:05 p.m. CT
Location: Manhattan, Kan.
Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (1988)
Capacity: 12,528

Series: K-State leads 9-7
(K-State leads 5-2 at home)

Television: ESPN   
Ron Franklin (play-by-play)
Fran Fraschilla (analyst)
Holly Rowe (sideline reporter)
Eric Posman (producer)

Radio: K-State Sports Network;
Powercat Passport Internet Audio;  
Yahoo! Internet Radio, Sirius Satellite 119
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)

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

kansas state wildcats
Record: 18-8 (8-4 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): 24/25
Coach: Frank Martin
Alma Mater: Florida International, 93
Career Record: 18-8/1
School Record: 18-8/1
vs. Texas: First meeting
06-07 Record: 23-12 (10-6 Big 12)
Last game: Feb. 23, 2008
lost at Baylor, 92-86
SID: Tom Gilbert
Website: www.k-statesports.com

texas longhorns
Record: 23-4 (10-2 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): 7/7
Coach: Rick Barnes
Alma Mater: Lenoir-Rhyne 77
Career Record: 441-224/21
School Record: 239-90/10
vs. Kansas State: 6-3
06-07 Record: 25-10 (12-4 Big 12)
Last game: Feb. 23, 2008
defeated Oklahoma, 62-45
SID: Scott McConnell
Website: www.texassports.com

projected starters
Kansas State (18-8, 8-4 Big 12)
G - #0 Jacob Pullen (10.0 ppg., 3.3 apg.)
G - #2 Blake Young (6.4 ppg., 3.3 rpg.)
G - #5 Clent Stewart (7.3 ppg., 3.1 apg.)
F - #12 Bill Walker (16.8 ppg., 6.8 rpg.)
F - #30 Michael Beasley (26.1 ppg., 12.5 rpg.)

Texas (23-4, 10-2 Big 12)
G - #3 A.J. Abrams (16.7 ppg., 2.7 rpg.)
G - #14 D.J. Augustin (19.1 ppg., 6.0 apg.)
G - #24 Justin Mason (6.8 ppg., 4.1 rpg.)
F - #5 Damion James (13.0 ppg., 10.6 rpg.)
F - #Connor Atchley (10.1 ppg., 5.2 rpg.)

game preview
No. 24/25 Kansas State (18-8, 8-4 Big 12) returns to the friendly confines of Bramlage Coliseum on Monday, as the Wildcats host the sizzling-hot Texas Longhorns (23-4, 10-2 Big 12), winners of seven in a row, before an ESPN Big Monday’ audience at 8 p.m. CT.

K-State Proud, the first all-university student campaign to show their K-State pride through philanthropy, is organizing a “Gray Out” of the student section for the game.  With a $10 donation, students will receive a T-shirt plus other perks with all donations going towards the establishment of Student Opportunity Awards at K-State.  Others can show their support for the campaign by buying their K-State Proud T-shirt at various area stores with $10 for every sale going to the cause.     

The game will be televised nationally as apart of ESPN’s Big Monday’ telecast with Ron Franklin (play-by-play) Fran Fraschilla (analyst) and Holly Rowe (sideline reporter) calling the action. It will be the 12th of a school-record 13 appearances on national television for the Wildcats, including the fourth on ESPN.  The team, which is 12-23 all-time on ESPN, will be appearing on Big Monday’ for the 10th time dating back to the 1992 season.  The Wildcats are 2-1 on ESPN this season, including a 68-59 loss to Notre Dame in New York City on Dec. 4, 2007, a 75-54 win over No. 10 Texas A&M at home on Jan. 19 and an 82-61 victory over Oklahoma State at home on Feb. 9.

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 119.

K-State, which dropped its fourth consecutive road contest by single-digits on Saturday at Baylor, will look to continue its momentum at home.  The Wildcats have won nine straight and seven in a row in Big 12 play at home and will look tie the 1998-99 (14-3) and 2006-07 (14-3) squads 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.  The team has won its 13 home contests by an average of 23.6 points per game, including an average of 21.3 points in six Big 12 home games. 

Kansas State’s struggles on the road continued on Saturday, as the Wildcats dropped a 92-86 decision at Baylor.  The squad raced out to a 44-38 lead at the break after shooting 56.3 percent from the floor, however, the Bears responded with 54 points in the second half on 58.1 percent shooting, including 60 percent from 3-point range, to capture the victory.  The Wildcats were led by the two-headed attack of rookies Michael Beasley and Bill Walker, who combined for 75 of the team’s 86 points and 24 of the 42 rebounds.  They became the first duo in school history to top the 30-point barrier in the same game, while Beasley set three Big 12 records for single-game scoring (44), scoring in a half (28) and field goals in a half (12).

the book on kansas state
Kansas State remained in both major Top 25 polls last Monday for the fourth consecutive week, dropping six spots in The Associated Press poll to No. 24 and three spots in the ESPN/USA Today poll to No. 25.  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’s 18-8 start to the season is the best by a Wildcat team in 20 seasons since the 1987-88 squad started 19-7.  The 8-4 start to league play ties the 2006-07 team for the best in the Big 12 era.

Kansas State is averaging 80.1 points on 44.8 percent shooting with 42.3 rebounds, 16.4 assists, 7.8 steals and 3.7 blocks per game, while holding their foes to 68 points on 41.2 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 (15th), scoring (20th) and assists (25th).  The team has topped 80 or more points in 13 games (12 wins), which equals or surpasses the single-season totals of 80-point games from the last 17 seasons.         

A trio of Wildcats are averaging in double figures led by Beasley, who ranks fifth nationally in scoring at 26.1 points per game.  Beasley, who paces the nation in rebounding at 12.5 per game, is shooting 54.6 percent from the field to go with 1.6 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.3 assists in 31.0 minutes per game.  He leads the squad in 15 categories, including scoring, double-doubles (23), 20-point games (20), field goals (244), free throws (162), rebounds, blocks, steals and minutes. 

Beasley, who became the first player in Big 12 history to win any weekly award in four consecutive weeks when he was selected the Rookie of the Week on Feb. 18, leads the conference in both scoring and rebounding in overall and league-only games.  He broke his tie with Carmelo Anthony (2002-03) for the most double-doubles by freshman in Division I history with 23rd against Baylor on Saturday.
He is now two shy of Drew Gooden’s (25; 2001-02) Big 12 record.

Rookie Bill Walker ranks second to Beasley in numerous categories, including scoring (16.8 ppg.), rebounding (6.8 rpg.), field goals (145), field goal attempts (304), blocks (16), double-digit scoring (21) and double-doubles (four).  Since moving back to the interior 18 games ago, Walker is averaging 18.7 points on 50 percent shooting with 6.9 rebounds in 26.9 minutes per game.  He has scored in double figures in 25 of 30 career games, including 21 of 24 games this season.

The backcourt of Jacob Pullen, Clent Stewart and Blake Young has also continued to play well for the Wildcats.  Pullen, who has started five of the last six games, is first on the team in assists (3.3 apg.) and 3-point field goals (31) and third in scoring (10.0 ppg.).  He has scored in double figures in six of the last nine games.  Stewart, who ranks among the school’s career leaders in assists (373), minutes played (3,095), games played (114) and starts (88), ranks second on the team in minutes (29.3 mpg.) and assists (3.1 apg.) and fourth in scoring (7.3 ppg.).  He returned to the team against Texas Tech on Feb. 13 after missing two games following the passing of his mother, Vanessa, who lost her battle with bone cancer on Feb. 4.  The Wildcats will continue to wear a patch on their uniforms bearing her initials.  Young, who has the longest current game streak at 61 games, ranks third in minutes (28.7 mpg.), assists (2.1 apg.) and steals (1.0 spg.)

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 Missouri, K-State collected its 13th home victory of the season and has now posted at least 12 home wins in five straight seasons for the first time in school history.  The squad has won nine consecutive overall and seven in a row in Big 12 dating back to last year.  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 15th-ranked women’s team has won 13 of its last 16 games, which includes a 10-game winning streak from Dec. 28 to Feb. 2, and is now in second place in the Big 12 with an 18-8 overall record and a 10-3 mark in league play.  The 24th-ranked men are off to their best start since the 1987-88 season and tied for their best start since the inception of the Big 12.  Both teams continued to be ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 last week for the fourth 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 18-8 start to his career ties his mentor, Bob Huggins, for the best start ever by a first-year head coach, while his 8-4 start in league play also ties Huggins for the best by a rookie coach.   His 18 wins 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).  Huggins set the mark for most wins by a first-year coach with 23 in 2006-07.  His 18 wins are the seventh-most among all first-year coaches in Division I this year and fourth-most among coaches in their first college jobs.  Among his wins are two over top-10 foes. 

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 18 games.  The squad is averaging 81.9 points on 45.9 percent shooting (514-of-1121), including 36.2 percent from 3-point range (129-of-356),
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 11 times (10 wins) in the last 18 games compared to just twice (both wins) in the first eight.  Also, the squad has eclipsed the 100-point barrier twice in the span, which has not been done twice in the same season since 1997-98.   

turning up the offense, part 2
Kansas State has scored 75 or more points in 14 of the last 18 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.  The Wildcats have already topped the 80-point mark in 13 contests, which 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 20 of its 26 games this season, which is not only twice the total from the 2006-07 season (10), but it ties the 1986-87 squad for the most in school history.  

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 41.5 points on 47.9 percent shooting (including 32.3 percent from 3-point range) in the second half this season.  In comparison, the Wildcats are averaging 38.1 points on 42 percent shooting (including 33.3 percent from 3-point range) in the first half this season.  However, in the last seven games, this trend has turned with the squad averaging 40.3 points on 48.8 percent shooting in the first half in comparison to 39.0 points in the second half on 41.5 percent shooting.  After topping the 40-point barrier just six times in the season’s first 19 first halves, the team has eclipsed the barrier in four of the last seven games.  In comparision, K-State has posted 40 or more points in the second half of 17 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.       

rebounding a strength
One of the strengths of this year’s team has been its ability to rebound the ball.  The Wildcats rank fourth nationally in rebounding margin  (9.3) and are among the top-3 in the Big 12 in four categories, including first in both rebounding (42.3), rebounding margin and offensive rebounds (16.65) and third in defensive rebounds (25.69).  The team is on pace to average 40 or more rebounds in a season for just the fifth time in the last 40 seasons and post its highest rebound average since the 1998-99 season (42.5).  The nation’s leader in rebounding, freshman Michael Beasley is just 14 shy of breaking Jack Parr’s (340, 1955-56) single-season mark for rebounding.  He already holds both the freshman single-game and single-season rebounding marks.

the book on texas (23-4)
Perhaps the hottest team in the country, Texas (23-4, 10-2 Big 12) rattled off its seventh straight win on Saturday with a convincing 62-45 victory over Oklahoma at home.  Defense has been the key for the Longhorns during the streak, as they have held their opponents to an average of 61.7 points on just 36.2 percent shooting, including a 24.7 mark from 3-point range.  The squad held the Sooners to just 45 points in Saturday’s win on 26.4 percent shooting, including just 31.3 percent from beyond the arc.  Sophomore All-American candidate D.J. Augustin led two players in double figures for Texas with a game-high 19 points, while sophomore forward Damion James added a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.  

Texas is averaging 76.6 points on 45.6 percent shooting, including 38.1 percent from 3-point range, with 38.2 rebounds, 13.0 assists, 6.6 steals and 5.2 blocks per game.  The team is holding opponents to just 64.1 points per game on 39.2 percent shooting.   

A balanced scoring squad, the team has four players averaging in double figures led by Augustin’s 19.1-point per game average.  He is apart of the Big 12’s second-best scoring duo (behind Michael Beasley and Bill Walker) with sophomore A.J. Abrams, who combine for 35.8 points per game.  The potent guard tandem have combined for 46 percent of the team’s points (951) and 62 percent of their 3-point field goals (127).  Abrams, who averages 16.7 points, paces the team with 79 3-pointers and 46 steals.  James averages a double-double with 13.0 points and 10.6 rebounds, while junior Connor Atchley averages 10.1 points on a team-best 58.7 percent shooting. 

The all-time winningest coach in Texas history, Rick Barnes is in his 10th season at the school and sports a 239-90 mark with nine straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.  He has won 20 or more games nine times in his tenure, including 30 in 2005-06.  He has compiled a 441-224 record in 21 years as a head coach at George Mason (1987-88), Providence (1988-94), Clemson (1994-98) and Texas.  He has guided his teams to a total of 15 NCAA (current streak of 12 straight) and three Postseason NIT trips.  He has won two Big 12 titles.

series vs. texas
This will be the 17th all-time meeting between Kansas State and Texas in a series that dates back to 1971.  The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 9-7, including a 5-2 mark in games played in Manhattan.  Texas holds a 7-4 advantage in the series since the inception of the Big 12, including a 2-3 record in that span on the road.  The teams have split the last six meetings, including the last two in Manhattan.  Amazingly enough, the teams have split one-point affairs on each other’s home courts in the past two seasons with Texas taking a 65-64 win in its last visit to Manhattan on Feb. 22, 2006 and K-State posting a 73-72 win in the last meeting in Austin on Feb. 3, 2007. 

This will be the first meeting between Frank Martin and Rick Barnes on the hardwood.  Barnes has a 6-3 record against K-State.       

last meeting vs. texas
One of the most exciting games in the Big 12 last season, K-State handed Texas its only league loss at home in 2006-07 with a 73-72 victory on Feb. 3, 2007 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.  Senior Cartier Martin scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half, including the Wildcats’ last five points, while senior Lance Harris and junior David Hoskins added 19 and 13 points, respectively.  The team connected on a season-high 14 3-point field goals at a 51.9 percent clip, including a combined 12 from Martin and Harris.  The Longhorns, who led 38-33 at the break, were led by National Player of the Year Kevin Durant, who posted 32 points, nine rebounds and five blocks.  
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.  In fact, they rank first and second in scoring in conference-only games. 

Beasley paces the league in four categories - scoring (26.1 ppg.), rebounding (12.5 rpg.), offensive rebounds (4.31 rpg.) and defensive rebounds (8.23 rpg.) - and is the top-15 in four others - field goal percentage (third - 54.6), blocked shots (third - 1.62 bpg.), free throw percentage (ninth - 75.7) and steals (11th - 1.38).  He owns the most double-doubles (23) and the most 30-point games (10).

Walker ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring (16.8 ppg.) and ninth (6.8 rpg.) in rebounding.  He places among the top-15 in three other categories, including sixth in offensive rebounds (2.75 rpg.), seventh in field goal percentage (47.7) and 15th in free throw percentage (71.4).

among best scoring tandems
Michael Beasley and Bill Walker are among the best scoring tandems in Division I, as they rank third nationally with a combined at 42.9 points per game.  The duo trails VMI’s Reggie Williams (27.3 ppg.) and Chavis Holmes (17.5 ppg.) and Niagara’s Charron Fisher (27.6 ppg.) and Tyrone Lewis (15.9 ppg.) among all scoring tandems in Division I.  Beasley and Walker are one of just five duos nationally to combine for 40 or more points and the only ones that are both freshmen. 

The 42.9 points per game average is also on track to among the best in Big 12 history, a full point ahead of the 41.9 points averaged by Texas Tech’s Cory Carr (23.1 ppg.) and Tony Battie (18.8 ppg.) in 1996-97.  Even more impressive is the fact that two players are combining for 46.6 points per game in league-only games and rank 1-2 in the Big 12 in scoring in these games (Beasley - 28.2 ppg. and Walker - 18.4 ppg.).  The duo became the first players in school history to each top 30 points in the same game against Baylor, as Beasley scored a Big 12-record 44 points and Walker added 31.

top scoring tandems in division I (all classes)
44.8, Reggie Williams (27.3) & Chavis Holmes (17.5), VMI
43.5, Charron Fisher (27.6) & Tyrone Lewis (15.9), Niagara
42.9, Michael Beasley (26.1) & Bill Walker (16.8), K-State
42.2, Lester Hudson (25.7) & Marquis Weddle (16.5), UT-Martin
40.2, Tyler Hansbrough (23.4) & Wayne Ellington (16.8), UNC

top scoring tandems in division I (freshmen)
42.9, Michael Beasley (26.1) & Bill Walker (16.8), K-State
32.4, Donte Greene (17.1) & Jonny Flynn (15.3), Syracuse
32.3, O.J. Mayo (20.1) & Davon Jefferson (12.2), USC

top scoring tandems in big 12 history
42.9, Michael Beasley (26.1) & Bill Walker (16.8), K-State
41.9, Cory Carr (23.1) & Tony Battie (18.8), Texas Tech (1996-97)
41.3, Kevin Durant (25.8) & A.J. Abrams (15.5), Texas (2006-07)
40.2, Paul Pierce (20.4) & Raef LaFrentz (19.8), Kansas (1997-98)
37.6, Kareem Rush (21.1) & Clarence Gilbert (16.5), Missouri (2000-01)

more beasley and walker
Michael Beasley and Bill Walker are just the second duo in Kansas State history (the first freshman duo) to each score 30 or more points at least three times in the same season and the first in 30 years.  The duo joins Mike Evans and Curtis Redding, who each did it three times in 1977-78.  The tandem are on pace to be best the scoring duo in school history and just the second to combine for 40 points, joining Jack Parr (20.6 ppg.) and Bob Boozer (19.6 ppg.) in 1956-57.  

With his 44-point performance against Baylor on Feb. 23, Beasley now has notched 10 contests of 30 or more points this season, which equals Bob Boozer (10, 1956-59) career mark for the most in school history.  He has already shattered the previous school single-season mark of seven done by Bob Boozer (1958-59) and Norris Coleman (1985-86).  With his effort against the Bears, he remains the nation’s leader in 30-point, 10-rebound games (four more than VMI’s Reggie Williams).  He is also the Division I leader in 20-point, 10-rebound games with 18 (five more than Santa Clara’s John Bryant).  In comparison to other recent National Freshmen of the Year, his ten 30-point, 10-rebound games are one shy of Kevin Durant’s entire total from the 2006-07 season (35 games) and three times as many as Carmelo Anthony’s total (3) during the 2002-03 season.

Walker, who has notched his three 30-point games in the last 18, ties three other players - Mike Evans (1977-78), Curtis Redding (1977-78) and Mike Wroblewski (1961-62) for the 10th-most in a single season.  He posted his first career 30-point game against California on Dec. 9 and then topped it with 31 against both Xavier and Baylor.

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 (1244) and blocks (57) and over 50 percent of the rebounds (572), steals (112) and assists (192). 

Most of these have come from phenom Michael Beasley, who owns over 30 percent of the team’s points (678) and rebounds (326).  He already owns both the freshman marks for single-season scoring and rebounding, while his rebounding and scoring totals rank as the
second and fourth-most in a single-season in school history.  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 Bill Walker, who played just six games last season due to a knee injury, the totals increase to over 75 percent of the points (1648) and blocks (74) and over 65 percent of the rebounds (715) and steals (134).

okay, this guy’s pretty good
Freshman Michael Beasley became the first player in Big 12 history to win any weekly award in four consecutive weeks, as he was named as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week after averaging 31.0 points and 16.0 rebounds against Texas Tech and Missouri last week.  The streak of four straight weekly awards for Beasley is the second-longest string of consecutive honors in Big 12 history in any league-sponsored sport.  The longest streak is eight weeks in a row by Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris, who did it to end the 2005-06 season.

Beasley’s six rookie honors is tied for the most in Big 12 history with Texas’ Kevin Durant in 2006-07.  The player of the week award is his eighth overall this season 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, Feb. 11 and Feb. 18.

beasley nets 40 yet again
Michael Beasley became the first player in Kansas State history to post three 40-point, 10-rebound performances in the same season, as he collected a career-high and Big 12-record 44 points on 14-of-25 field goals with 13 rebounds in 38 minutes against Baylor on Feb. 23.  In doing so, he set league marks for scoring (28, first half) and field goals (12, first half).  He also topped the 40-point plateau against Winston-Salem State on Dec. 22 (40 on 14-of-22 shooting with 15 rebounds) and Missouri on Feb. 16 (40 on 12-of-22 shooting with 17 rebounds).   In fact, a 40-point, 10-rebound effort had only been recorded twice in school history prior to this season, as Bob Boozer had 45 points and 16 rebounds against Purdue on Dec. 1, 1958 and Mike Wroblewski had 46 points and 12 rebounds against Kansas on Feb. 7, 1962.  

His first 40-point effort against Winston-Salem State  broke Norris Coleman’s (39 vs. Colorado, Jan. 18, 1986) freshman mark for points.  His 44-point effort against Baylor is the fifth-highest scoring total in a game and second-highest in a conference contest.  It also is the most points in a game since Askia Jones tallied a school-record 62 points against Fresno State in the second round of the NIT on March 24, 1994 and the highest in a league contest since Mike Wroblewski had 46 points against Kansas on Feb. 7, 1962.  His two 40-point efforts tie Mike Evans (40, vs. Colorado, 1/15/77) for the ninth-highest scoring totals in a single-game in school history.

Michael Beasley is well on his way to becoming 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 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game with 23 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 23 double-doubles are the most by a freshman in Division I history, while he is two shy of the Big 12 single-season record of 25 held by Drew Gooden (2002-03).  Remarkably, Boozer and Parr averaged a double-double in three straight seasons, while Murrell
accomplished it back-to-back seasons.  At his pace, Beasley has a chance at the single-season scoring and rebounding averages held by Boozer (25.6 ppg. in 1958-59) and 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 emerging as a star
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 scoring (16.8 pg.) and rebounding (6.8 rpg.), blocks (0.7 bpg.) and free throws (85), while he is also second in 3-point field goals (29) and third in steals (1.0 spg.).  He has now scored in double figures in 25 of his 30 career games, including 21 of 24 games this season.  Walker might be playing the finest basketball of his Wildcat career in the team’s last 18 games.  In gaining the start in each of these contests, he is averaging 18.7 points on 50 percent shooting (121-of-242), including 38.6 percent shooting (27-of-70) from 3-point range, with 6.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.8 steals in 26.9 minutes per game.  He has connected on 72 percent (67-of-93) from the free throw line during his current playing streak.

After battling through a variety injuries to start the season, Walker has played in 20 straight games for the Wildcats, including a career-high 38 minutes of action against Baylor on Feb. 23.  He tied his career-best with 31 points against the Bears on 13-of-21 field goals to go with a new career-high 11 rebounds.  It marked his third 30-point game in just the last 18 games, including his third double-double.  He posted his first career 30-point game against California on Dec. 9 to go with 10 rebounds then topped it later that month with 31 points against Xavier on Dec. 31.  He went a career-high 13-of-23 from the field against the Musketeers with six rebounds in 34 minutes. 

Walker has been just as impressive during Big 12 play, averaging 18.4 points on 50.9 percent shooting, including 36 percent from 3-point range, to go with 6.6 rebounds per game.  The scoring average is the second-highest in the Big 12 behind teammate Michael Beasley.  He has eclipsed the 20-point barrier four times in Big 12 play, including the 31-point effort against Baylor, 27 against Texas Tech on Feb. 13 and 22 against both Oklahoma on Jan. 12 and Kansas on Jan. 30.

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 Kansas 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 10 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 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 four categories (assists, minutes played, games started and appearances), 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 373 assists, Stewart now trails just leader Steve Henson (585, 1987-90) on the all-time list.  He currently sits in third place all-time in minutes played with 3,095, passing former teammate Cartier Martin (3,090; 2003-07) with 36 minutes against Baylor.  He will finish his career behind leader 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 his 88th career start against Baylor.  He also broke into the top-10 list for career games played with his 114th vs. the Bears.

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 40.6 percent shooting with 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 31.3 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 on Feb. 2 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 (6.4 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 26 games this season.  He also has the longest active game streak on the team with 61 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 (31), is second in steals (1.2 spg.), third in scoring (10.0 ppg.) and fifth in minutes played (24.0 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 nine games, he is averaging 11.6 points on 43 percent shooting, including 39 percent from 3-point range, to go with 3.1 assists and 0.9 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.  He scored in double figures for the sixth time in eight games with 15 points against Nebraska on Feb. 20.

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.

kent solid off the bench
Junior Darren Kent has become a key component of the Wildcats’ success of late in the last nine contests, as he has averaged 2.9 points on 45.5 percent shooting, including 40 percent from 3-point range, with 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 15.4 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 also scored 61 of his 71 season point total during this span.  He 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 Big 12 season, he has averaged 9.4 minutes in each of the last eight games with a high of 18 minutes against Missouri on Feb. 2.

anderson a monster on boards
Another true freshman making an impact for the Wildcats is Ron Anderson, who ranks first on the team in field goal percentage (55.9) and third in rebounding (3.9 rpg.).  After scoring just 13 points in the previous six games, he had a career day shooting the ball against Wagner (12/29).  Anderson posted a season-high 14 points in the game on 5-of-6 field goals with six rebounds in 22 minutes.    

A late addition to the squad in August, he has already performed well during the season, averaging 7.0 points on 75 percent shooting with 6.0 rebounds in 20.7 minutes at the Old Spice Classic.  He nearly posted his first double-double against UCF on Nov. 23 with 11 points and eight rebounds to go with three assists after turning in six points and nine rebounds against George Mason.  After a slow start to Big 12 play, he has played well against in the last four leagues games.  He has averaged 4.8 points on 63.6 percent shooting (7-of-11) in that span with 3.8 rebounds on just 9.8 minutes per game.