K-State faces No. 6/7 Kansas on ESPN Saturday

game information
kansas state (18-9, 8-5 Big 12)
vs. 6/7 kansas (25-3, 10-3 Big 12)

Saturday, March 1, 2008
Tipoff: 8:03 p.m. CT
Location: Lawrence, Kan.
Arena: Allen Fieldhouse (1955)
Capacity: 16,300

Series: Kansas leads 173-90
(Kansas leads 78-35 at home)

Television: ESPN   
Dan Shulman (play-by-play)
Dick Vitale (analyst)
Erin Andrews (sideline reporter)
Phil Dean (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 111th time that Kansas has sold out Allen Fieldhouse dating back to the season opener in 2001. 

kansas state wildcats
Record: 18-9 (8-5 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): rv/rv
Coach: Frank Martin
Alma Mater: Florida International, 93
Career Record: 18-9/1
School Record: 18-9/1
vs. Kansas: 1-0
06-07 Record: 23-12 (10-6 Big 12)
Last game: Feb. 25, 2008
lost to Texas, 74-65
SID: Tom Gilbert
Website: www.k-statesports.com

kansas jayhawks
Record: 25-3 (10-3 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): 6/7
Coach: Bill Self
Alma Mater: Oklahoma State 85
Career Record: 337-137/15
School Record: 130-32/5
vs. Kansas State: 10-2
06-07 Record: 33-5 (14-2 Big 12)
Last game: Feb. 27, 2008
defeated Iowa State, 75-64
SID: Chris Theisen
Website: www.kuathletics.com

game preview
Kansas State (18-9, 8-5 Big 12) will attempt to snap a four-game road losing streak on Saturday, as the Wildcats travel to Lawrence, Kan., to face archrival and No. 6/7 Kansas (25-3, 10-3 Big 12) at Allen Fieldhouse before an ESPN College Gameday audience at 8 p.m. CT.  The squad will be looking to sweep the regular season series from the Jayhawks for the first time since 1983, while they will be in search of their first win in Lawrence since 2006.  Kansas has won 35 of the last 38 meetings since 1994, including 12 of the last 14 at home.

The game will be televised nationally on ESPN as apart of its Saturday night telecast with Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Dick Vitale
(analyst) and Erin Andrews (sideline reporter) calling the action. It will be the 13th and final regular-season appearance on national
television for the Wildcats, including the fifth on ESPN.  The game will also be the focal point of ESPN’s College Gameday program presented by State Farm with Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis and Digger Phelps all broadcasting live from Allen Fieldhouse. 

Kansas State is 12-24 all-time on ESPN, including 2-2 this season.  The team dropped a 68-59 decision to Notre Dame at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 4, 2007 before posting home wins over No. 10 Texas A&M (75-54) on Jan. 19 and Oklahoma State (82-61) on Feb. 9.  The Wildcats lost the first of their back-to-back appearances on the network on Monday with a 74-65 setback to No. 5 Texas at home.

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 saw its nine-game winning streak at home come to an end on Monday, as the Wildcats dropped a 74-65 decision to red-hot Texas at Bramlage Coliseum.  It was the team’s first home loss in Big 12 play this season and its first since losing in overtime to No. 17 Oregon on Nov. 29, 2007.  It was the first Big 12 home setback in more than a year since No. 9 Kansas earned a 71-62 win on Feb. 19, 2007.  The nine-game mark tied three other marks for the second-longest in the arena’s history and just two shy of the record 11 set in 1997-98.

With the score knotted at 50-all with 11:13 remaining, Texas used a 7-0 run to take the lead for good and run its winning streak to seven in a row.  The Longhorns shot 55.2 percent in the second half, including 50 percent from beyond the arc, and became just the second opponent to out-rebound the Wildcats at home.  K-State recorded season-lows for field goals (22), field goal percentage (32.8) and blocks (1), while totaling its lowest point total at home this season.  Freshman Michael Beasley ran his NCAA freshman-record streak of double-doubles to 24 with a game-high 30 points and 15 rebounds.  Fellow rookie Jacob Pullen tossed in 19 points on a career-tying five 3-point field goals to go with a game-high four assists and three steals in 28 minutes.

the book on kansas state
Kansas State fell out of both major Top 25 polls on Monday for the first time in four weeks, but is still receiving votes in both with 14 in The Associated Press poll and two in ESPN/USA Today poll.  The squad began its recent four-week run in the rankings on Jan. 28 and climbed as high as No. 18 in the AP poll and No. 22 on the coaches poll on Feb. 11.  The program opened the season with its first preseason ranking since 1975 in The Associated Press poll and advanced as high as No. 18 before falling out on Dec. 3.   

Kansas State’s 18 wins this season is the third-highest total in 10 seasons and the best start to a season since the 2006-07 squad went 19-8.  The eight league wins are the second-highest total in the last 20 seasons and the second-best in the Big 12 era. 

Kansas State is averaging 79.8 points on 44.4 percent shooting with 42.1 rebounds, 16.3 assists, 7.7 steals and 3.6 blocks per game, while holding their foes to 68.3 points on 41.4 percent shooting.  Only one team at Kansas State - the 1952-53 squad -  has averaged more points in a single season with 81.4 points per game in 21 games.  The Wildcats rank among the top-30 nationally in scoring (17th), scoring margin (20th) and assists (28th).  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 third nationally in scoring at 26.2 points per game.  Beasley, who paces the nation in rebounding at 12.5 per game, is shooting 54.3 percent from the field to go with 1.6 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.3 assists in 31.3 minutes per game.  He leads the squad in 15 categories, including scoring, double-doubles (24), 20-point games (21), field goals (254), free throws (172), rebounds, blocks, steals and minutes. 

Beasley, who joins Mitch Richmond (1987-88) and Askia Jones (1993-94) as the only players in school history to top the 700-point plateau in a single-season, already owns numerous school records.  He is the freshman leader in points (708), rebounds (341), highest
rebound average (12.6 rpg.), double-doubles (24), field goals made (254), free throws made (172) and free throws attempted (225).  He also boasts the single-season marks for 40-point games (three), 30-point games (11), double-doubles and double-digit rebounds (25).  He broke Big 12 records for points in a single-game (44), points in a half (28) and field goals made in a half (12) against Baylor on Feb. 23.

Beasley, who became the first player in Big 12 history to win any weekly award in five consecutive weeks when he was selected the Rookie of the Week on Monday, leads the conference in both scoring and rebounding in overall and league-only games.  Overall, he has earned Player or Rookie of the Week honors nine times this season,  which is one behind the Big 12 men’s basketball record for combined honors set by Durant (four player, six rookie) a year ago.  Already the NCAA freshman record holder for double-doubles, he is now one shy of Drew Gooden’s (25; 2001-02) Big 12 record.

Rookie Bill Walker ranks second to Beasley in numerous categories, including scoring (16.2 ppg.), rebounding (6.7 rpg.), field goals (145), field goal attempts (318), blocks (16), double-digit scoring (21) and double-doubles (four).  Since moving back to the interior 19 games ago, Walker is averaging 17.7 points on 47.3 percent shooting with 6.9 rebounds in 27.3 minutes per game.  He has scored in double figures in 25 of 31 career games, including 21 of 25 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 seven games, is first on the team in assists (3.3 apg.) and 3-point field goals (36) and third in scoring (10.3 ppg.).  He has scored in double figures in seven of the last 10 games, including a season-best 20 points in the last meeting with Kansas on Jan. 30.

Stewart, who ranks among the school’s career leaders in assists (374), minutes played (3,112), games played (115) and starts (89), ranks second on the team in minutes (28.8 mpg.) and assists (3.0 apg.) and fourth in scoring (7.1 ppg.).  He missed games against
Nebraska and Oklahoma State 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 62 games, ranks third in minutes (28.4 mpg.), assists (2.0 apg.) and steals (1.0 spg.). He is joined by Beasley as the only players to start all 27 games.

homecourt advantage
Bramlage Coliseum continues to be one of the best home courts in the Big 12 Conference, as the Wildcats have constructed a 228-85 (.728) 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 88-28 (.759) 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 Wildcats have two home wins over top-10 foes (No. 2 Kansas and No. 10 Texas A&M), which has not happened in the same season since 1989-90.

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 21st-ranked women’s team has won 14 of its last 17 games, which includes a 10-game winning streak from Dec. 28 to Feb. 2, and is tied for second place in the Big 12 with a 19-8 overall record and a 11-3 mark in league play.  The men’s team has already posted its third-highest win total in the past 10 seasons and has its second-most wins (8) since the inception of the Big 12.  For the first time in their respective histories, both teams were ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 poll at the same time for four consecutive weeks.

off to a good start
First-year head coach Frank Martin has posted an impressive debut as the Wildcats’ mentor.  His 18-9 start to his career is second only to his mentor, Bob Huggins, for the best start ever by a first-year head coach, while his 8-5 start in league play also second only to Huggins for the best by a rookie coach.  His 18 wins have 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.  Martin’s 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. 

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 19 games.  The squad is averaging 81.0 points on 45.1 percent shooting (536-of-1188), including 35.5 percent from 3-point range (136-of-383), 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 19 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 19 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 27 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.  

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  (8.8) and are among the top-5 in the Big 12 in four categories, including first in both rebounding (42.1), rebounding margin and offensive rebounds (16.63) and third in defensive rebounds (25.52).  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 on pace to break Kevin Durant’s (390; 2006-07) Big 12 freshman mark for rebounds and has an outside shot at eclipsing Drew Gooden’s (423; 2001-02) conference record.  He broke Jack Parr’s (340; 1955-56) school single-season mark for rebounding against Texas on Monday.  He already owns the the single-season record for double-digit rebounding games (25) as well as the freshman single-game (24) and single-season rebounding marks.

the book on kansas (25-3)
Kansas (25-3, 10-3 Big 12) recovered from its heartbreaking loss at Oklahoma State with a 75-64 victory at Iowa State on Wednesday.  The victory snapped a two-game road skid for the Jayhawks and in the process clinched a bye at Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships.  The squad jumped out to a 36-23 halftime advantage then held on in the second half to clinch the victory.  The team shot 46.6 percent from the field, including 63.6 percent from 3-point range, while grabbing a 43-30 rebounding edge.  Three players scored in double figures led by sophomore Darrell Arthur’s 18 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Brandon Rush and junior Mario Chalmers added 15 points each.

Kansas is averaging a Big 12-best 81.3 points on 50.4 percent shooting, including 37.9 percent from 3-point range, with 38.9 rebounds, 18.4 assists, 9.0 steals and 6.3 blocks per game.  The team is holding opponents to just 61.3 points per game on 38.4 percent shooting.  The Jayhawks rank first in nine categories in the Big 12, including scoring, scoring margin (+20.0), field goal percentage, field goal percentage defense, rebounding defense (31.3), blocked shots, assists, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.41).   

A balanced scoring squad, the team has four players averaging in double figures led by Arthur’s 13.7-point per game average.  He is shooting 53 percent from the field, to go with 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.  Senior Darnell Jackson, perhaps the most improved player in the Big 12, is averaging 12.3 points on a team-best 64.1 percent shooting, along with a team-high 6.9 rebounds.  Rush and Chalmers each average 12.2 points per game, while Chalmers paces the squad in assists (4.7 apg.) and steals (2.3 spg.). 

The team is led by head coach Bill Self, who has a 337-137 record in 15 years overall as a head coach and a 130-32 mark in fifth season at Kansas.  Self has led the Jayhawks to three straight Big 12 titles and two appearances in the NCAA Elite Eight.  He was previously the head coach at Oral Roberts (1993-97), Tulsa (1997-2000) and Illinois (2000-03) prior to taking the job at Kansas.  He has led teams to nine consecutive NCAA appearances and seven conference titles. 

series vs. kansas
This will be the 264th meeting between Kansas State and Kansas in a series that dates back to 1907.  The rivalry ranks as the eighth-longest in NCAA history, as the teams have played 103 consecutive seasons, while the 263 meetings ranks as the seventh-most played in NCAA history.  The 173 wins by the Jayhawks also rank as the third-most over one opponent.  Kansas leads the all-time series, 173-90, including a 78-35 edge in games played in Lawrence.  Kansas, which holds a 27-2 mark since the inception of the Big 12, has won 35 of its last 37 meetings with K-State, including 12 of 14 at Allen Fieldhouse. 

The Wildcats’ last win in Lawrence came on Jan. 14, 2006 when they ended a 31-game losing streak with a 59-55 win at Allen Fieldhouse.  It was the first win in nearly 12 years since Kansas State toppled top-ranked Kansas, 68-64, at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 17, 1994.
last meeting vs. kansas
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 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.  Head coach Frank Martin became the first first-year coach to win his first game at home against Kansas since E.A. Knoth did it twice in 1921.

Kansas State connected on 42.9 percent from the field, including 46.2 percent from 3-point range, and held a 34-30 rebounding edge.  The team hit a team-high 12 3-point field goals.  Freshman Michael Beasley led four players in double figures in the win with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-18 field goals, including 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.  Fellow rookie Bill Walker posted 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting, while freshman Jacob Pullen tossed in a career-best 20 points to go with a perfect 10-of-10 effort from the free throw line.  Senior Clent Stewart added 11 points and senior Blake Young dished five assists.   
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 third in scoring in conference-only games. 

Beasley paces the league in four categories - scoring (26.2 ppg.), rebounding (12.6 rpg.), offensive rebounds (4.33 rpg.) and defensive rebounds (8.30 rpg.) - and is the top-10 in four others - blocked shots (third - 1.56 bpg.), field goal percentage (fourth - 54.3), free throw percentage (seventh - 76.4) and steals (10th - 1.37).  He owns the most double-doubles (24) and the most 30-point games (11).

Walker ranks fifth in the Big 12 in scoring (16.2 ppg.) and eighth (6.7 rpg.) in rebounding.  He places among the top-15 in three other categories, including sixth in offensive rebounds (2.76 rpg.), ninth in field goal percentage (45.6) and 11th in free throw percentage (71.1).

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 42.4 points per game.  The duo trails VMI’s Reggie Williams (27.6 ppg.) and Chavis Holmes (17.7 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 42.4 points per game average is also on track to among the best in Big 12 history, a half-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 45.4 points per game in league-only games and rank first and third in the Big 12 in scoring in these games (Beasley - 28.3 ppg. and Walker - 17.1 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)
45.3, Reggie Williams (27.6) & Chavis Holmes (17.7), VMI
43.5, Charron Fisher (27.6) & Tyrone Lewis (15.9), Niagara
42.4, Michael Beasley (26.2) & Bill Walker (16.2), 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)
42.4, Michael Beasley (26.2) & Bill Walker (16.2), K-State
32.4, Donte Greene (17.1) & Jonny Flynn (15.3), Syracuse
32.4, O.J. Mayo (20.1) & Davon Jefferson (12.3), USC

top scoring tandems in big 12 history
42.4, Michael Beasley (26.2) & Bill Walker (16.2), 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 30-point performance against Texas on Feb. 25, Beasley now has notched 11 contests of 30 or more points this season, which surpasses 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 Longhorns, 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 19 (five more than Santa Clara’s John Bryant).  In comparison to other recent National Freshmen of the Year, his eleven 30-point, 10-rebound games equal Kevin Durant’s entire total from the 2006-07 season (35 games) and are nearly four 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 19, 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 (1304) and blocks (58) and over 50 percent of the rebounds (597), steals (116) and assists (203). 

Most of these have come from phenom Michael Beasley, who owns over 30 percent of the team’s points (708) and rebounds (341).  He already owns both the freshman marks for single-season scoring and rebounding as well as the best single-season rebounding total, while his scoring total ranks as the third-highest 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 (1709) and blocks (75) and over 65 percent of the rebounds (746) and steals (138).

okay, this guy’s pretty good
Freshman Michael Beasley became the first player in Big 12 history to win any weekly award in five consecutive weeks, as he was named as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week after averaging 30.5 points and 11.5 rebounds last week.  The streak of five 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 seven rookie honors are the most by any men’s basketball player in Big 12 history, surpassing the six by Texas’ Kevin Durant in 2006-07.  The player of the week award is his ninth 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, Feb. 18 and Feb. 25.

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 26.2 points and 12.5 rebounds per game with 24 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 24 double-doubles are the most by a freshman in Division I history, while he is one 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 (16.2 pg.) and rebounding (6.7 rpg.), blocks (0.6 bpg.) and free throws (86), 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 31 career games,
including 21 of 25 games this season.  Walker might be playing the finest basketball of his Wildcat career in the team’s last 19 games.  In gaining the start in each of these contests, he is averaging 17.7 points on 47.3 percent shooting (121-of-256), including 36.5 percent shooting (27-of-74) from 3-point range, with 6.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.7 steals in 27.3 minutes per game.  He has connected on 72 percent (68-of-95) from the free throw line during his current playing streak.

After battling through a variety injuries to start the season, Walker has played in 21 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 19 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 17.1 points on 46.9 percent shooting, including 33.3 percent from 3-point range, to go with 6.5 rebounds per game.  The scoring average is the third-highest in the Big 12 behind Beasley and Texas’ D.J. Augustin.  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 11 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 374 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 3,112, 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 89th career start against Texas.  He also broke into the top-10 list for career games played at Baylor and is now ninth with 115 games played.

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 6.1 points on 40.3 percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 30.5
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 (6.2 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 27 games this season.  He also has the longest active game streak on the team with 62 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 (36), is second in steals (1.3 spg.), third in scoring (10.3 ppg.) and fifth in minutes played (24.1 mpg.).

Pullen might be playing his best basketball in the last four 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 10 games, he is averaging 12.3 points on 44.6 percent shooting, including 41.7 percent from 3-point range, to go with 3.2 assists and 1.1 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 seventh time in last 10 games with 19 points against Texas on Feb. 25.

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 9.6 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 five leagues games.  He has averaged 4.2 points on 53.8 percent shooting (7-of-13) in that span with 3.6 rebounds on just 10.4 minutes per game.