K-State Travels to Missouri Wednesday

Game Information
Kansas State (19-8, 7-5 Big 12) 
at 11/8 Missouri (23-4, 10-2 Big 12)

Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tipoff: 8:05 p.m. CT
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Arena: Mizzou Arena (2004)
Capacity: 15,061

Series: K-State leads 115-113
(Missouri is 61-41 at home)

Television: ESPNU
Doug Bell (play-by-play)
Jon Sundvold (analyst)
Bryan Jaroch (producer)
Scott Barke (director)

Radio: K-State Sports Network (29-station); Yahoo! Internet Radio; Sirius Satellite 147
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)

Tickets: Available for $10, $25, $32 at Mizzou Arena Ticket Office, by calling 1.800.228.1297 or online at www.mutigers.com                              

Kansas State Wildcats
Record: 19-8 (7-5 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): RV/--
Coach: Frank Martin
Alma Mater: Florida International, 93
Career Record: 40-20/2
School Record: 40-20/2
vs. Missouri: 2-1
07-08 Record: 21-12 (10-6 Big 12)
Last game: Feb. 21, 2009
Won at Iowa State, 50-46
SID: Tom Gilbert
Website: www.k-statesports.com

Missouri Tigers
Record: 23-4 (10-2 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): 11/8
Coach: Mike Anderson
Alma Mater: Tulsa, 82
Career Record: 146-73/6
School Record: 57-32/3
vs. Kansas State: 1-4
07-08 Record: 16-16 (6-10 Big 12)
Last game: Feb. 21, 2009
Won at Colorado, 66-53
SID: Dave Reiter
Website: www.mutigers.com

Projected Starters
Kansas State (19-8, 7-5 Big 12)
G - #0 Jacob Pullen (6-0, 200, So.)
G - #21 Denis Clemente (6-1, 175, Jr.)
F - #23 Dominique Sutton (6-5, 210, So.)
F - #42 Darren Kent (6-11, 230, Sr.)
F - #15 Luis Colon (6-10, 265, Jr.)

Missouri (23-4, 10-2 Big 12)
G - #4 J.T. Tiller (6-3, 200, Jr.)
G - #11 Zaire Taylor (6-4, 189, Jr.)
G - #24 Kim English (6-6, 200, So.)
F - #1 DeMarre Carroll (6-8, 225, Sr.)
F - #5 Leo Lyons (6-9, 240, Sr.)

Game Preview
Kansas State (19-8, 7-5 Big 12) concludes its two-game road swing on Wednesday, as the Wildcats travel to face No. 11/8 Missouri (23-4, 10-2 Big 12) at Mizzou Arena beginning at 8:05 p.m.  K-State will be looking for its 20th win of the season and in the process become the first team to win 20 or more games in three consecutive years since it was done in the 1979-80, 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons.  Although it struggled mightly from the field, the squad found a way to grind out a 50-46 victory over Iowa State on Saturday.  It was the second-lowest scoring win in the shot clock era and the lowest since the Wildcats posted a 47-45 win over Nebraska in the first round of the Big Eight Tournament on March 12, 1993.  The squad posted a season-low in points (50) and its second-lowest shooting percentage (33.3), while it held the Cyclones to opponent lows in points (46), field goal percentage (30.2) and 3-point field goal percentage (11.8).   The win also gave head coach Frank Martin his 40th career victory at K-State, making him just the second head coach in school history to win 40 or more games in his first two seasons and the first since Lon Kruger won 45 from 1986-88.  The Wildcats have now won seven of its last eight games, including six of the last seven in league play, since a four-game losing streak from Jan. 10-21.  The win against Iowa State gave the team four straight road conference victories for the first time since the 1979-80 season.

Kansas State continued its recent dominance over Iowa State on Saturday, as the Wildcats ran their winning streak to seven straight in the series with a 50-46 victory at Hilton Coliseum.  The streak is the longest since the team won eight in a row from 1975-77, while the three-game winning streak in Ames is the longest since winning four straight from 1974-77.  The Wildcats trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half before a pair of unlikely heroes - Buchi Awaji and Jamar Samuels - made crucial plays.  Awaji made a key three-pointer just before the half to cut into the deficit, while Samuels hit on several big baskets down the stretch.  Five players scored seven or more points led by Samuels’ first double-double with team-high 13 points and career-high 10 rebounds.  Junior Denis Clemente posted nine points, five rebounds and four assists, while senior Darren Kent and sophomore Jacob Pullen each added eight points.

K-State remains the definition of balance with seven different leading scorers, nine different assist leaders and seven different rebounding leaders.  Right now, six players are averaging seven or more points, while five players are averaging four or more rebounds.  There have been 93 double-digit scoring games by 10 players.  Of the 10 players, six have registered double figures 10 or more times.
 
The Wildcats have been a solid team defensively, allowing just 64.5 points on 40.6 percent shooting, including 34.6 percent from 3-point range.  The team is forcing an average of 17.4 turnovers per game, while averaging 20.6 points off those turnovers. 

The contest against Missouri will be televised nationally on ESPNU HD with Doug Bell (play-by-play) and Jon Sundvold (analyst) calling the action.  Fans will also be able to watch the game on the ESPN Full Court package as well as ESPN360.com.  Information on these
outlets can be found at http://proxy.espn.go.com/ncb/fullcourt/.  This will be the third and final appearance on ESPNU.

Fans will also be able to listen to the audio broadcast on the K-State Sports Network (Yahoo! Internet Radio; Sirius Satellite 147) with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst).

Ticket Information
Available by calling Mizzou Arena Ticket Office at (800) 228.1297.

Digging Out
Kansas State became just the second school in Big 12 history to rally from 0-4 start to get back to at least .500 in league play.  Iowa State did it first in 2004-05, rallying from a 0-5 start to win seven in a row and eventually finish 9-7 in conference action.  Two other squads (Missouri - 2006-07 and Nebraska - 2007-08) both started 0-4 and came to within one game of getting back to .500 in league play before finishing 7-9.  In the previous 10 occasions, no other Wildcat team in school history has ever rallied back to .500 after starting 0-4 in league play.  The previous best finish after such a start came in 1983-84 when K-State finished Big Eight play with a 5-9 mark. 
 
Quite a Turnaround
After starting Big 12 play with four straight losses, Kansas State has seemed to have found its groove again with wins in seven of its last eight league games.  The Wildcats have averaged 73.6 points on 43 percent shooting, including 39.5 percent from 3-point range, in the last eight Big 12 games after averaging 60 points on 38.4 percent shooting, including 29 percent from beyond the arc, in the first four league contests.  During this stretch, the team is also forcing twice as many turnovers (125-56) than the previous four contests, while scoring 100 more points off those turnovers (113-13).  The defensive numbers have also improved with the Wildcats holding the eight foes to an average of 67.8 points on 41.4 percent shooting compared to 76 points on 51 percent shooting in the first four league games.

Back on Track
Despite its early struggles in Big 12 play, K-State is still averaging nearly 77 points points per game.  The team has scored 70 or more points in 19 of 27 games, including 80 or more points 12 times.  The squad has posted four games of 90 or more points, including a 107-point output against Gardner-Webb on Dec. 14, which ranks as the most in a non-conference game since 1994 and the highest point total since the Wildcats scored 111 against Missouri on Jan. 3, 1998.  The four 90-point games are the most since the 1997-98 season (five).

The 2,065 points are the fifth-most through 27 games in school history, trailing the 1986-87 (2,185), 2007-08 (2,154), 1987-88 (2,075) and 1997-98 (2,074) teams and just ahead of the 2006-07 squad (1,925).  This year’s team is on pace to top 2,400 points for the third consecutive season for the first time in school history.  Prior to the 2006-07 season, the squad had scored 2,000 or more points in a season just four times in the previous 12 years.  The 12 80-point games tie for the fifth-most in school history with the 1952-53, 1976-77 and 1987-88 teams.
 
Since Frank Martin’s arrival in 2007, K-State has shown the ability to score points, totaling two of the most prolific scoring teams in school history.  Last year, the Wildcats set the school mark with 2,574 points, while also posting the second-most field goals attempted (2,067) and the third-most field goals (916) and 3-point field goals made (210) as well as the third-highest scoring average (78.0). 

Improving D
K-State has shown the ability to play solid defense as well, holding its 27 opponents thus far to an average of 64.8 points per game.  The Wildcats have held 17 foes to less than 70 points, including 12 to 60 points or less.  The 1,749 points yielded are the second-fewest through 27 games in the last 25 seasons and fewest since the 1998-99 team allowed just 1,708 points.  This year, 15 foes have been held to below 40 percent shooting, while 12 have been held to below 30 percent from 3-point range.  Despite allowing 70.5 points during Big 12 play, the team had held two of the more potent offenses - Oklahoma and Missouri - to 15 or more points under their averages.

Diverse Offense
Unlike last season when consensus All-American Michael Beasley paced the squad at 26.2 points per game, the 2008-09 team has shown a lot more diversity with its scoring output thus far. 

Through 27 games, all 12 players have totaled double-digit points with eight scoring in triple digits.  The duo of junior Denis Clemente and sophomore Jacob Pullen are averaging in double figures led by Clemente’s 14.6 points per game.  Six players are averaging seven or more points, including redshirt freshman Jamar Samuels (9.0 ppg.), senior Darren Kent (9.0 ppg.), sophomore Fred Brown (8.9 ppg.),  and sophomore Dominique Sutton (7.8 ppg.).  Since statistics became available in 1950, there has been just one team - the 1955-56 squad - to have six players average eight or more points in a season. 

There have already been seven different leading scorers in 26 games, including a league-best six players with 20-point outings.  In all, there have been 93 double-digit scoring games with Clemente and Pullen each doing it a team-best 17 times.  Ten players have scored in double figures with six of those players doing it 10 or more times. 

Backcourt Play has been Key
A big key to Kansas State’s hopes this season has been the play of its three primary guards - Fred Brown, Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen.  The trio represent nearly half of the team’s point (969), field goals (337) and field goals attempted (825) total this season as well as over 85 percent of the 3-point field goals (156). 

The play of these three guards has been key to the team’s fortunes this year.  In the 19 wins, the trio is averaging 37.1 points on 43.3 percent (245-of-566) shooting from the field, including 41.9 percent (121-of-289) from 3-point range.  The squad is 2-0 when all three players score in double figures, while they are 11-1 when both Clemente and Pullen score 10 or more points.  In the eight losses, the trio averages 32.9 points on 35.5 percent (92-of-259) shooting, including just 29.7 percent (35-of-118) from beyond the arc. 

The trio became just the third in school history to each tally 40 or more 3-pointers in a single-season and the first since the threesome of Brian Henson (48), Askia Jones (45) and Anthony Beane (42) did it during the 1992-93 season.  The only other trio to perform the feat since the inception of the 3-point line was Will Scott (70), Mitch Richmond (46) and Steve Henson (42) during the 1987-88 season. 

Rebounding Still a Strength
Most critics wondered how Kansas State would replace two of the best Big 12 rebounders - Michael Beasley and Bill Walker - after the duo helped the program average 41.3 rebounds a year ago.  The duo plus departed seniors Clent Stewart and Blake Young averaged over 25 boards per game.  Despite their absence, rebounding continues to be a strength with seven players averaging at least two boards per game.

Through 27 games, K-State is averaging 39.3 rebounds, including a Big 12-best 15.8 on the offensive end, with five players averaging four or more boards.  The team ranks among the best in the Big 12 in four categories, including first in offensive rebounds and overall rebounds and second in margin (+7.0) and rebounding defense (32.4).  Five players - Ron Anderson, Luis Colon, Darren Kent, Jamar Samuels and Dominique Sutton - have grabbed double-digit rebounds 12 times with Kent averaging a team-best 5.6 boards per game.  Kent has a team-leading four double-doubles thus far this season, while Anderson, Colon and Sutton each has two and Samuels has one.

Pressure is the Key
Pressure has been a big key for the Wildcats so far, as the team has scored 556 points (almost 30 percent of season total of 2,065 points) off 471 opponent turnovers.  The squad has also outscored its foes, 278-171, on fast-break opportunities.  Kansas State has scored 20 or more points off turnovers in 14 of the team’s 27 games, including 30 or more points twice with a season-best 41 against Gardner-Webb.
 
In its 19 wins, the squad has outscored its foes, 425-209 (22.4 ppg.), in points off turnovers with an average of 17.8 turnovers.  In contrast, the team has been outscored 147-131 (18.4 ppg.) in points off turnovers in its eight losses with an average of 16.6 turnovers.  In all, the Wildcats have forced nine foes into 20 or more turnovers.  The squad is averaging 7.1 steals per game with seven players grabbing 10 or more this year led by Jacob Pullen’s 43 steals. 

Dynamic Duo
After dominating the paint a year ago with the likes of Michael Beasley and Bill Walker, Kansas State’s strength has shifted to the backcourt where the Wildcats start two of the best at their positions in junior Denis Clemente and sophomore Jacob Pullen.

The duo, which has started 25 of 27 games, have combined for 730 points on 40.3 percent shooting (251-of-623), including 36.0 percent
from 3-point range (105-of-292), with 170 of the team’s 391 assists.  Clemente ranks first on the team in scoring at 14.6 points per game on 42 percent shooting with team-highs in field goals made (128) and free throw percentage (78.5).  He is second to Pullen in assists (80) and minutes (711) and third in 3-point field goals (46) and steals (22).  Pullen is second in scoring at 13.6 points per game on 38.7 percent shooting with team-highs in 3-point field goals made (59), assists (90), steals (43) and minutes (803).

The two have scored in double figures 12 times in the same game (team is 11-1) with a combined 36 points against Florida A&M, 31 against Cleveland State and Kentucky, 45 against Oakland, 34 against Gardner-Webb, 39 against Wagner, 32 against Colorado, 33 against Missouri, 28 against Iowa State, 30 against Texas A&M, 27 against Texas Tech and 48 against Kansas.  Clemente has led in scoring a team-best 10 times with a Big 12 record-tying 44 points against Texas, while Pullen, who like Clemente has scored in double figures a team-best 17 times, posted a career-best 26 against Oakland.

Clemente Earns Honors
Junior Denis Clemente was named the ESPN.com National Player of the Week as well as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week Feb. 2.  In wins over Missouri and No. 11 Texas, he averaged 27.0 points on 54.8 percent shooting (17-of-31), including 77.8 percent (7-of-9) from 3-point range, with 5.0 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 31.0 minutes per game.  He also went a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line, including a stellar 10-of-10 in the last five minutes against the Longhorns.  He is the first K-State player to earn Big 12 Player of the Week honors this season and the first since Michael Beasley won it for a third time on March 9, 2008.  He is the first guard to win the honor since Galen Morrison won it on Jan. 10, 2000.   

Clemente's Big Day
Junior Denis Clemente tied Michael Beasley’s Big 12 single-game record for points with his career-best 44 points against Texas on Jan. 31.  He went 13-of-25 from the field, including a perfect 6-of-6 from 3-point range, and 12-of-12 from the free throw line.  He scored the first 17 points of the second half for the Wildcats, including five straight 3-point field goals.  He tied Beasley for the fifth-most points in school history, including the second-most in a conference game.   It marked just the 12th 40-point game in school history, including just the eighth in a conference game.  It was the most points by a guard since Askia Jones broke the school mark with 62 points against Fresno State on March 24, 1994.  The 44 points were also the most by a single player in Erwin Center history, surpassing the 43 by Texas’ Reggie Freeman against Fresno State on Dec. 14, 1996.

Nobody's Perfect
Junior Denis Clemente saw his streak of 29 consecutive free throws end against Iowa State on Feb. 3.  It had started in the Big 12 opener against Oklahoma on Jan. 10 and had run through seven consecutive games before ending on his second attempt of the second half at the 10:57 mark.  He has been stellar from the line, connecting on a team-best 78.5 percent (62-of-79) overall for the season and 78.4 percent (40-of-51) in Big 12 play.  Before missing three on Feb. 3 against Iowa State, he had connected on 33 of his last 34 attempts.  He is an impressive 20-of-24 from the line in the last five minutes. 

Brown from Outside
Sophomore Fred Brown has emerged as a dangerous threat from the outside for the Wildcats, as he ranks third in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (44.3) and 14th in 3-point field goals (51).  He has at least one 3-pointer in 21 games, including two or more 15 times.  He ranks third in the Big 12 in 3-point percentage in league-only games at 45.5 percent (20-of-41).  He has also hit big 3-point shots at critical moments this season, knocking down an arching trey with 18.6 seconds left in overtime in the win at No. 11 Texas then hitting the clinching 3-pointer with 43 seconds left in the victory at Texas A&M.  He has scored in double figures 10 times, including two 20-point outings against SE Missouri (21) and Chicago State (26).

Kent Stepping Up as a Senior
One of the bright spots for the Wildcats this season has been the play of Darren Kent.  Kent, the team’s only senior, has been a force on the boards, ranking first with 5.6 rebounds per game.  He is averaging 9.0 points on 42.6 percent shooting (80-of-188) to go with 1.3 assists and 0.6 blocks in 21.9 minutes per game.  His improvement has been evident this year, as he has already scored in double figures in 13 games, including seven times in Big 12 play, and totaled 242 points.  In contrast, he came into the year with 104 career points and just one double-figure scoring game.  Kent has also totaled his four career double-doubles all this season, which leads the squad.  He turned in a career day against Centenary on Dec. 20 with career-highs in points (24), field goals (nine) and field goals attempted (14). 

Samuels a Spark off the Bench
Redshirt freshman Jamar Samuels has provided a spark off the bench, averaging over 20 minutes per contest despite just two starts this year.  He is tied for third in scoring at 9.0 points on a team-best 54 percent shooting with 4.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 blocks in 20.3 minutes per game.  He ties for third with 13 double-figure scoring games, including a season-high 20 points against Gardner-Webb on Dec. 14.  He scored in double figures in four straight games to start the season and tallied 10 or more points in 10 of the first 16 contests.  He collected his first career double-double against Iowa State on Saturday with a team-best 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.  Samuels was sensational against Missouri on Jan. 28, posting a personal Big 12-high 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting with six rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 24 minutes.

Sutton Steals the Show
After getting a late start to his time at K-State, sophomore Dominique Sutton has become an all-around factor for the Wildcats this season.   One of five Wildcats shooting 45 percent or better from the field, he is  averaging 7.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 assists in 22.6 minutes per game.  He posted double figures for the third time in five games against N.C. Central on Feb. 17 with a team-high 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting to go with eight rebounds.  He has now scored in double figures 10 times this season.  Sutton collected his second double-double of the season against Iowa State on Feb. 3  and first in Big 12 play with 13 points and a career-tying 10 rebounds.  Sutton tied the school single-game record for steals against Idaho State on Jan. 3 with eight, matching a mark set by Lynn Smith against South Dakota on Nov. 29, 1986 then followed by Elliot Hatcher against Wichita State on Jan. 2, 1996.  He posted a career night against Wagner on Dec. 30 with highs in six categories, including points (21), boards (10), field goals (7) and field goals attempts (11).

Colon a Force in the Middle
A starter in the post all season, junior Luis Colon is finally coming into his own this year.  He is averaging 5.2 points on 50.4 percent shooting with 5.4 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game.  He, along with sophomore Jacob Pullen, are the only Wildcats to start in all 27 games this season, while he has seen action in 33 games in a row.  Like Kent, Colon’s improvement has been dramatic this season.  He has already surpassed his career totals for points (87) and rebounds (84) in his previous two years combined.  He has scored in double figures five times this season, while has collected double-figure rebounds three times after never doing it in the previous 57 games.  He collected his second double-double of the season and first since Southern Miss on Dec. 11 with 12 points and career-high 12 rebounds against NC Central.  He had a career night against Southern Miss, posting a career-high 18 points and 11 rebounds en route to becoming the first Wildcat since 2002 to go 9-of-9 from the field.  

Home Sweet Home
Bramlage Coliseum has become a strong homecourt advantage for Kansas State in its 21 years of existence, as the Wildcats have posted a 242-87 (.734) record since its opening in 1988.  The team has earned 10 or more home wins in 16 of its 21 seasons, including a school-record tying 14 in 1998-99, 2006-07 and 2007-08.  The Wildcats have been even better in the last eight years at home with the team tallying double-digit victories each season.  In the win over Iowa State, the squad posted its 100th home since the 2001-02 season, where the record currently stands at 102-30 (.773) in that span.  It is the longest stretch of consecutive seasons with 10 or more home wins since the program did it 10 years in row from 1972-82 and posted a record of 122-18 (.871) at Ahearn Field House.

K-State to Retire Jerseys of Murrell and Richmond
Kansas State Director of Athletics Bob Krause announced Jan. 20 that the school will retire the jerseys of basketball greats Willie Murrell (1962-64) and Mitch Richmond (1986-88) in a halftime ceremony during the Nebraska game on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009.
 
The duo becomes the fourth class of jersey retirements following those of Bob Boozer, Ernie Barrett and Jack Parr in 2005, Mike Evans, Lon Kruger and Chuckie Williams in 2006 and Rolando Blackman and Dick Knostman in 2007.  The criteria for determining the honor includes statistical achievement, conference and national records, honors received (i.e., all-conference, All-America, Academic All-
America, etc.), character and sportsmanship.  

One of just 11 players to earn first team All-America honors, Murrell was a two-year letterman for head coach Tex Winter from 1962-64.  He guided the Wildcats to a 38-16 record, including a pair of Big Eight titles and a Final Four appearance in 1964. 
 
The 6-foot-6 native of Taft, Okla., Murrell is one of just six players in K-State history to average a double-double for his career, averaging 20.6 points and 10.7 rebounds in 54 career games.  He was twice named an All-American during his record-setting senior season in 1964 and was also a two-time first team All-Big Eight selection.  His career averages in scoring and rebounding still rank among the top-5 in school history, including third in rebounding (10.7 rpg.) and fifth in scoring (20.6 ppg.).

Murrell averaged 25.3 points during the Wildcats’ run through the 1964 NCAA Tournament, including a 29-point, 13-rebound effort in the national semifinals against UCLA on March 20, en route to earning recognition to the All-Midwest Regional Tournament team and the All-Final Four squad.  He is the only player to ever record a double-double in a Final Four game and the only one ever named to an All-Final Four team.  His 29 points against the Bruins are the most in a Final Four game in school history. 

One of the most recognizable players in Kansas State history, Mitch Richmond was a two-year letterman for coach Lon Kruger from 1986-88.  He helped guide the Wildcats to a 45-20 record, including a pair of NCAA Tournaments and a trip to the 1988 NCAA Elite Eight.  

The 6-foot-5 native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Richmond assembled perhaps the greatest two-year playing career in school history.  He is one of just 20 players in school history to top 1,000 points, while he ranks eighth on the all-time scoring list with 1,327 points and fourth in career scoring average (20.7 ppg.).  His 1,327 points are the most by a player in a two-year career.  He still ranks among the top 10 in 21 single-game, season and/or career statistical categories at K-State. 

As a senior, he led the Wildcats to a school-record tying 25 wins, a second-place finish in the Big Eight and a rousing trip through the NCAA Tournament that led Kansas State to an Elite Eight appearance.  He broke the then single-season scoring mark by pouring in 786 points.  Fellow All-American Michael Beasley broke the record in 2007-08 with 866 points.  He averaged 22.6 points on 51.4 percent shooting in 1987-88 with 6.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists en route to earning second team All-America honors from UPI, Basketball Weekly, The Sporting News and U.S. Basketball Writers of America (USBWA).  He was also named first team All-Big Eight and first team All-District by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Following graduation, Richmond won a spot on the 1988 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team and was a first-round draft pick (fifth selection) by the Golden State Warriors.  He became one of the premier shooting guards in the NBA, appearing in six NBA All-Star games, and being named the most valuable player of the 1995 NBA All-Star game.  He also earned second team All-NBA honors in 1994, 1995 and 1997 and third team honors in 1996 and 1998 with the Sacramento Kings.

Richmond is one of just six players in NBA history to average 21.0 or more points in each of his first 10 seasons (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Oscar Robertson).  He was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1989 after averaging 22.0 points per game.  After three seasons with Golden State, he spent six years with Sacramento before being traded to Washington following the 1998 season.  He retired following his 14th season after helping the Lakers win a NBA title in 2002.
   
Missouri Update
Missouri enters Wednesday’s game with a 23-4 overall record and 10-2 mark in Big 12 after posting its sixth straight victory with a 66-53 win at Colorado on Saturday.  The Tigers shot 50 percent from the field, including 52.4 percent in the second half, as they clinched the season series from the Buffaloes.  Six players scored six or more points in the contest, including three in double figures, led by senior forward Leo Lyons’ 13 points and 15-rebound effort.  Missouri is a perfect 16-0 at home this season, including 6-0 in Big 12 play.

The Tigers are averaging 82.2 points on 48 percent shooting, including 36.4 percent from 3-point range, with 37.2 rebounds, 18.9 assists, 10.4 steals and 4.1 blocks per game.  The squad ranks first in the Big 12 in six categories, including scoring margin (+17.1), 3-point field goal percentage defense (30.5), assists, steals, turnover margin (+6.6) and assists-to-turnover ratio (1.5).

Missouri is paced by senior forward DeMarre Carroll, who averages 17.0 points on 57.2 percent shooting with a team-high 6.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steals in 26.9 minutes per game.  Senior Leo Lyons is second in scoring at 14.3 points on 50.2 percent shooting with 6.0 rebounds per contest.  Senior Matt Lawrence averages 8.7 points to go with a team-high 57 3-pointers, while junior J.T. Tiller and freshman Marcus Dehmon add 7.5 points and 7.3 points per game.  

The Tigers are led by third-year head coach Mike Anderson, who has posted a 57-32 mark at the helm.  He has a 146-73 overall record in six years as a college head coach, which includes a stint at UAB.

Series Information
K-State and Missouri will be meeting for the 229th time on Wednesday with the Wildcats holding a slight 115-113 edge in the series. The 228 meetings are the second-most against one foe in school history, while the 115 victories are the third-most against one opponent.  The Tigers hold a 61-41 advantage in the series at home, including a 77-74 win last season at Mizzou Arena.  The Tigers own a 15-11 advantage since the start of Big 12 play, including a 10-2 mark at home.  K-State has won seven of the last nine meetings since 2005.  
 
Last 5 meetings:
1/13/07   K-State 85-81     Columbia
1/31/07   K-State 80-73     Manhattan
2/2/08    Missouri 77-74    Columbia
2/16/08   K-State 100-63    Manhattan
1/28/09   K-State 88-72     Manhattan

Solid Non-Conference Season
Kansas State’s win against North Carolina Central on Feb. 17 gave the team 12 non-conference wins, including a perfect 11-0 mark at home.  The 12 non-conference wins tie the 1985-86 team for the second-most in school history and the most since the 1993-94 squad tallied a school-record 13.  It marks the first time the team has posted consecutive seasons of at least 10 non-conference wins since the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.  The Wildcats have won at least 10 non-league contests four times in the last five seasons. 

Recruiting Class Praised
The four-man recruiting class that Kansas State pulled down on Nov. 12 has been rated among the best in the country.  The class, which includes McDonald’s All-American and ESPNU100 prospect Wally Judge, has been rated the 17th-best class by ESPN Scouts, Inc., as well as 21st- best class by Rivals.com.  The quartet includes Judge, fellow high school teammate Rodney McGruder, Dallas (Texas) point guard Nick Russell and prep school forward Jordan Henriquez. Judge recently became the fourth Wildcat to be named a McDonald’s All-American, joining Tom Freeman (1976), Deryl Cunningham (1990) and Michael Beasley (2007).   

Young Cats
Kansas State enters the 2008-09 season with one its youngest teams in recent history, as senior forward Darren Kent is the lone senior on a roster of 13 players.  When you factor in that four of the six juniors are either transfers from another Division I school or a junior college, the Wildcats are one of the youngest teams in its history.  Dating back to the 1981-82 season, there has been just one team - the 1983-84 squad which had no seniors - with fewer seniors on its roster.  The 1996-97 also had just one senior on its roster.

Martin Inks Stellar Class
Kansas State head coach Frank Martin announced the signing of four high school seniors to National Letters of Intent on the second day of the fall signing period on Nov. 13.

The four-man recruiting class, which was ranked 16th nationally by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and 21st by Rivals.com, includes prep school standout Jordan Henriquez (Winchendon [Mass.] School/Port Chester, N.Y.) and high school seniors Wally Judge (Arlington (Fla.) Country Day/Washington, D.C.), Rodney McGruder (Arlington (Fla.) Country Day/Washington, D.C.) and Nick Russell (Grace Preparatory Academy/Arlington, Texas).

The headliner of this class, Wally Judge is a 6-foot-9, 220-pound power forward originally from Washington, D.C., who is entering his second year at Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Fla.  Considered one of the top power forwards in the high school ranks, Judge was rated as a top 25 recruit by several recruiting services, including the No. 17 prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 23 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  He was also rated as an ESPNU Top 100 recruit.  In addition, he is ranked among the top-10 at his position, including No. 6 by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 9 by Rivals.com.   

Judge is in his second year at Florida powerhouse, Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, where he helped the Apaches to their fourth
consecutive Class 2A state title with a 24-6 record in 2007-08.   Judge averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds and was named second team Class 2A All-State by the Florida Sports Writers Association.

A teammate of Judge at Arlington Country Day, Rodney McGruder is considered one of the best shooting guards in the country.  The 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard is rated among the top players in the country, including the No. 89 overall prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 91 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  McGruder is also ranked among the top-35 at the position by a number of outlets, including No. 23 by Rivals.com and No. 31 by ESPN Scouts, Inc. 

McGruder transferred to Arlington Country Day in the off-season from Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C.  As a junior, he averaged 21.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals in leading the Lions to a 16-10 overall record and an appearance in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) semifinals in 2007-08.  He was named to the Washington Post All-Met first team. 

One of the top point guard prospects in the country, Nick Russell comes to K-State from Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington, Texas.  The 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard is rated among the top players in the country, including the No. 89 overall prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 114 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  Russell is also ranked among the top-40 at his position by a number of outlets, including No. 20 by Rivals.com and No. 36 by ESPN Scouts, Inc.  In addition, he is rated the No. 4 player in the state of Texas for the Class of 2009 by Texashoops.com.

Russell helped Grace Prep to a 26-12 overall record, including a 7-3 mark in league play, as a junior in 2006-07.  He helped the Lions to a runner-up finish at the TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parachial Schools) Class 5A state tournament, where they lost to
Midland Christian, 74-60.  Russell averaged 23 points, six assists and five rebounds as a junior.  He was named first team TAPPS Class 5A all-state as well as co-most valuable player of the District 1-5A and first team all-district. 

Jordan Henriquez comes to Kansas State from The Winchendon School in Winchendon, Mass., where he is playing a postgraduate year in 2008-09.  The 6-foot-11, 220-pound center from New Rochelle, N.Y. signed with the Wildcats this past May after finishing his career at Port Chester High School in Port Chester, N.Y.  As a senior, he led the team to an 18-6 record and an 8-0 mark in league play en route to a runner-up finish at the Section I Championship.  In averaging a team-best 15.3 points, Henriquez scored in double figures in 21 of 22 games in 2007-08, including six 20-point contests. 

The recruiting class will join a loaded Kansas State squad in 2009-10, as the Wildcats will return all but one player.  They will be joined by junior forward Curtis Kelly, who is sitting out the 2008-09 season after transferring from University of Connecticut this past summer.