K-State travels to Omaha to face USC Thursday

game information
ncaa midwest regional
11 kansas state (20-11, 10-6 Big 12)
vs. 6 usc (21-11, 11-7 Pac-10)

Thursday, March 20, 2008
Tipoff: 6:10 p.m. CT
Location: Omaha, Neb.
Arena: Qwest Center Omaha (2003)
Capacity: 17,560

NCAA Tournament Record: 27-26
(22 appearances)
NCAA Midwest Region Record: 16-17
(14 appearances)
Series vs. USC: K-State leads 3-1
(Tied 1-1 at neutral sites)

Television: CBS Sports   
Kevin Harlan (play-by-play)
Dan Bonner (analyst)
Craig Silver (producer)

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

Tickets: Sold out.

kansas state wildcats
Record: 20-11 (10-6 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): nr/nr
Seed: 11 (at-large bid)
Coach: Frank Martin
Alma Mater: Florida International, 93
Career Record: 20-11/1
School Record: 20-11/1
vs. USC: First meeting
Last game: March 14, 2008
lost to Texas A&M, 63-60
SID: Tom Gilbert
Website: www.k-statesports.com

usc trojans
Record: 21-11 (11-7 Pac-10)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): rv/rv
Seed: 6 (at-large bid)
Coach: Tim Floyd
Alma Mater: Louisiana Tech, 77
Career Record: 306-166/15
School Record: 63-36/3
vs. Kansas State: 5-4
Last game: March 14, 2008
lost to UCLA, 57-54
SID: David Tuttle
Website: www.usctrojans.com

game preview
Kansas State (20-11, 10-6 Big 12) was rewarded for its successful 2007-08 season on Sunday night, as the Wildcats earned their 23rd appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first in 12 seasons by receiving one of 34 at-large bids to the tournament.  In snapping a 12-year absence from the NCAA Tournament, K-State ended one of the longest NCAA Tournament droughts in the nation.  The streak tied for 12th among programs hailing from a major conference, joining San Jose State (1996).  In addition, Kansas State was one of six Big 12 squads to earned berths in the tournament, joining No. 1 seed Kansas (Midwest), No. 2 seed Texas (South), No. 6 Oklahoma (East), No. 9 Texas A&M (West) and No. 11 Baylor (West) in the field.  The six bids tie for the most in league history and most since 2005.

Kansas State was selected as a No. 11 seed in the Midwest Region and will travel to Omaha, Neb., to play No. 6 seed USC (21-11, 11-7 Pac-10) at the Qwest Center Omaha on Thursday, March 20 at 6:10 p.m. CST.  The winner will advance to play either No. 3 seed Wisconsin (29-4, 16-2 Big Ten) or No. 14 seed Cal State Fullerton (24-8, 12-4 Big West) on Saturday, March 22.  Since 1979, the Wildcats are 0-1 as a No. 11 seed and 0-2 against a No. 6 seed.  K-State will be joined at the venue by No. 1 seed Kansas, No. 8 seed UNLV, No. 9 Kent State and No. 16 Portland State.  The top four seeds in the region are No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Georgetown, No. 3 Wisconsin and No. 4 Vanderbilt.  The program will be making its 15th appearance in the Midwest Regional and first since 1990 with a 16-17 record all-time.  

Thursday’s contest will be televised nationally on CBS with Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Dan Bonner (analyst) calling the action.  It will extend the school record for national television appearances this season to 14, while it will be just the school’s second appearance on CBS and first since losing to Kansas, 69-62, on Jan. 17, 1998.  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) on the call. 

K-State is making its 29th postseason appearance, which includes 23 in the NCAA Tournament and six in the Postseason NIT.  It marks the second straight postseason appearance for the Wildcats and the first in the NCAA Tournament since losing to No. 7 seed New Mexico, 69-48, in the first round of the East Regional in Richmond, Va., on March 15, 1996.  The program has posted a 27-26 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play, including an 8-4 mark in first round games.  However, K-State has dropped four straight in first round play and has not won a tournament game since beating No. 1 seed Purdue, 73-70, in the Midwest Regional Semifinals on March 25, 1988.    

In K-State’s 22 previous NCAA Tournament appearances, the Wildcats have advanced to the Sweet 16 a total of 16 times.  The program has reached the Elite Eight 11 times, made four Final Four appearances and played in one National Championship game (1951).

the book on kansas state
Kansas State fell out of both major Top 25 polls on Feb. 25 for the first time in four weeks.  The squad began its recent four-week run in the rankings on Jan. 28 and climbed as high as No. 18 in The Associated Press 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 AP poll and advanced as high as No. 18 before falling out on Dec. 3.

Kansas State could not duplicate its regular-season victory over Texas A&M on March 14, as the Wildcats dropped a 63-60 decision to the Aggies in the quarterfinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.  The squad struggled shooting the ball in the contest, posting its second-lowest point total on 43.1 percent shooting, including just 40.7 percent in the second half.

Kansas State boasts 20 overall wins and 10 league victories for the second consecutive season.  The 20-win season is the 20th in school history, including the 13th posted during the regular season.  It is just the fourth 20-win season in the last 20 years, joining the 1993-94 (20-14), 1998-99 (20-14) and the 2006-07 (23-12) squads.  It marks the first time since the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons that the school has posted back-to-back 20-wins seasons, while the 10 Big 12 victories tie the 2006-07 squad for the most in the Big 12 era.   The 10 league wins also secured a third-place finish, which is the highest for the program since it also finished third in the Big Eight in 1988-89. 

Kansas State is averaging 78.7 points on 44.3 percent shooting with 41.4 rebounds, 15.9 assists, 7.7 steals and 3.6 blocks per game, while holding their foes to 68.9 points on 42.2 percent shooting.  Only two teams in school history - the 1952-53 (81.4 ppg.) and 1986-87 (78.8 ppg.) squads -  have averaged more points in a single season.  The Wildcats rank among the top-35 nationally in scoring (22nd), scoring margin (31st) and assists (34th).  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 26.5 points per game.  Beasley, who paces the nation in rebounding at 12.4 per game, is shooting 53.5 percent from the field to go with 1.7 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.2 assists in 31.5 minutes per game.  He leads the squad in 17 categories, including scoring, double-doubles (26), 20-point games (24), field goals (292), free throws (201), rebounds, blocks, steals and minutes.

Beasley, who joined Texas’ Kevin Durant and Iowa State’s Marcus Fizer as the only Big 12 players to top 800 in a season, owns 29 school single-game, single-season, career and freshman records and 13 Big 12 single-game, single-season and freshman marks.  He is the leader in single-season scoring (820), rebounding (384), double-doubles (26), 40-point games (four), 30-point games (13), 20-point games (24), 20-point, 20-rebound games (two) and double-digit rebounds (27).  He leads the nation in five categories, including 40-point games, 30-point, 10-rebound games (13), 20-point, 10-rebound games (20), rebounding average and double-doubles. 

Beasley became the first player in school history to earn National Player of the Year accolades on March 13 when he was selected to the honor by CBS Sports.com.  He has been named National Freshman of the Year by CBS Sports.com, The Sporting News and U.S. Basketball Writers Association as well as a first team All-American by Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, ESPN.com, Dick Vitale and USBWA.

Beasley became the second consecutive standout freshman to win both Phillips 66 Big 12 Player and Freshman of the Year accolades on March 11 from the league coaches.  He becomes the fourth player in school history to be honored as the league’s Player of the Year and the first since the inception of the Big 12.  He joins Lon Kruger (1973 and 1974), Mike Evans (1977 and 1978) and Rolando Blackman (1980) as Wildcats to be named to conference Player of The Year.  He is the first player to earn the distinction of league Freshman of the Year and the 12th overall to be selected as either Freshman or Newcomer of the Year since 1970.  He was also named Big 12 Player and Freshman of the Year by The Associated Press, Kansas City Star and Rivals.com.

In addition, Beasley was one of two players (Texas’ D.J. Augustin) to be selected unanimously to the All-Big 12 first team.  He is not only the school’s first unanimous first team honoree in the Big 12 era, but also the inaugural first team selection since the league’s inception.  He is the first player since Steve Henson in 1989 to garner first team accolades from the coaches.  He was joined on the all-conference team by teammate Bill Walker, who was selected to third team.

the book on usc (21-11)
The No. 6 seed in the Midwest Region, Southern California (21-11, 11-7 Pacific-10) will be making its 14th trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2007-08, including its second straight appearance, after advancing to the round of 16 last season.  The Trojans, who have posted back-to-back 20-wins season, tied No. 21 Washington State for third place in perhaps toughest league in the nation - the Pacific-10 with identical 11-7 league marks.  The team has won three of its last four games, including a 1-1 showing in the Pacific Life Pacific 10 Tournament, in which USC defeated Arizona State, 59-55, on March 13 before losing to crosstown rival and No. 1 seed UCLA, 57-54 on March 14.  

USC is averaging 69.1 points on 48.1 percent shooting, including 38.4 percent from 3-point range, with 33.7 rebounds, 12.4 assists, 5.7 steals and 4.4 blocks per game.  The team is holding foes to 63.2 points per game on 39.1 percent shooting from the field. 

A balanced squad, the team has four players in double figures led by freshman phenom O.J. Mayo, who is averaging 20.8 points on 44. 4 percent shooting.  Mayo, the childhood friend of K-State’s own rookie sensation Bill Walker, has connected on a team-best 86 3-point field goals to go with team-bests in assists (3.3 apg.) and steals (1.6 spg.).    Fellow freshman Davon Jefferson is averaging 12.0 points on 56.7 percent shooting to go with 6.3 rebounds per game, while sophomores Dwight Lewis and Taj Gibson add 10.9 and 10.8 points per game, respectively.  Gibson leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per game.

The team is led by veteran head coach Tim Floyd, who boasts a 306-166 record in 15 years overall as aa head coach and a 63-36 mark in his third season at USC.  He has been a head coach at four Division I institutions - Idaho (1986-88), New Orleans (1988-94) and Iowa State (1994-98) - along with two stints in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls (1998-2002) and New Orleans Hornets (2003-04).  He has a 5-4 record all-time against K-State, including a 0-1 mark at USC.  He is the college roommate of former K-State head coach Jim Wooldridge.

Ironically, K-State and USC have an interesting connection to two of the greatest head coaches in NCAA history.  Both Jack Gardner and Tex Winter played basketball and graduated from Southern California before embarking on distinguished coaching careers, which included stints at K-State.  Gardner led the Wildcats to the Final Four in 1948 and 1951, while Winter was an assistant on both those squads before taking K-State to the Final Four in 1958 and 1964 as head coach.

series vs. usc
This will be the fifth all-time meeting between Kansas State and USC and the first in the NCAA Tournament.  The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 3-1, including a 1-1 mark in games played on a neutral floor.  K-State won games against USC in 1960 (65-57) in Los Angeles and in 1963 (82-58) in Manhattan before the Trojans took an 81-80 win on Dec. 6, 1975 in Nashville, Tenn., at the Vanderbilt Tournament.  The Wildcats won the most recent meeting between the two squads with a 68-55 win on Dec. 22, 2006 at the Las Vegas Holiday Classic at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. 

Kansas State has a 36-22 record against teams from the Pacific-10, including a 80-77 loss at home to Oregon on Nov. 29, 2007.  The team is 2-1 against the league in the NCAA Tournament with wins against Arizona (1951) and Oregon State (1981) and a loss to UCLA (1964).

last meeting vs. usc
Freshman Bill Walker scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and Kansas State ran away from USC over the final 30 minutes for a 68-55 victory in the first semifinal of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic at the Orleans Arena on Dec. 22, 2006.  Junior David Hoskins shared game-high scoring honors with 19 points and senior Cartier Martin and junior Blake Young each added nine points for K-State.

Kansas State trailed by five at the break and by seven after a dunk by USC’s Taj Gibson to open the second half scoring gave the Trojans a 30-23 lead.  But Walker, who was 7-for-8 at the free throw line for the game, ignited a 20-3 run with nine unanswered points to put K-State on top 32-30 and the Wildcats never trailed again.  A free throw by Nick Young briefly stemmed the bleeding for USC to make it 34-31 with 13:47 to play, but K-State scored 11 of the next 15 points to build the lead to 45-35.  The team had its biggest lead of the game at 66-49 with two minutes to play before USC scored six of the last eight.

homecourt advantage
Bramlage Coliseum continues to be one of the best home courts in the Big 12 Conference, as the Wildcats have constructed a 229-85 (.729) 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 89-28 (.761) overall. 

With the win over Colorado, Kansas State tied the Bramlage Coliseum single-season mark (14) for victories for the third time (1998-99 and 2006-07), including the second straight season.  Included in those wins is two 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 15th-ranked women’s team collected its first outright Big 12 regular-season title with a 21-9 overall record and a 13-3 mark in league play.  The squad received a No. 5 seed in the New Orleans Regional and will play No. 12 seed Chattanooga on Sunday, March 23 at 11 a.m. in Bridgeport, Conn.  The men’s team, which received its first NCAA bid since 1996, has already posted 20 wins for just the fourth time in the past 20 seasons.  It marks just the third time in school history that both squads have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in the same season and the first time since the 1986-87 season. 

off to a good start
First-year head coach Frank Martin has posted an impressive debut as the Wildcats’ mentor.  He became just the second rookie coach in school history to lead his team to the NCAA Tournament and the first since Lon Kruger did it in 1986-87.  He is just the third coach at
K-State to post 20 wins in his first season, joining Lon Kruger (20; 1986-87) and Bob Huggins (23; 2006-07), while he joins Huggins as the only rookie coaches to achieve 10 conference wins.  His 20 wins have already surpassed the win totals of some of the program’s most prominent coaches, including Jack Gardner (6), Tex Winter (11), Cotton Fitzsimmons (14) and Jack Hartman (11).  Martin is one of only eight first-year coaches to take his team to the NCAA Tournament and joins Butler’s Brad Stevens and Drake’s Keno Davis as the only ones to do it in their first year as a college head coach.

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 23 games.  The squad is averaging 79.3 points on 45 percent shooting in that span after averaging 76.9 points on 42.6 percent shooting in the first eight.  Most notably, the team has scored 80 or more points 11 times in the last 23 games compared to just twice 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 15 of the last 23 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 21 of its 31 games this season, which is not only twice the total from the 2006-07 season (10), but the most by a squad in a single-season 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 fifth nationally in rebounding margin (8.0) and are among the top-5 in the Big 12 in four categories, including first in rebounding (41.4), rebounding margin and offensive rebounds (16.32) and fifth in defensive rebounds (25.03).  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 8.0 rebounding margin is on pace to tie the 1998-99 squad for the best in school history.  The nation’s leader in rebounding at 12.4 per game, freshman Michael Beasley (384) 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 Feb. 25.  He already owns the the single-season record for double-digit rebounding games (27) as well as the freshman single-game (24) and single-season rebounding marks.

record-breaking season
In the process of posting just its fourth 20-win season in the last 20 years, K-State has put up some impressive numbers this season.  The team already ranks among the top-5 in eight categories, including the third-best scoring average (78.7 ppg.) in a single season and the highest since the 1986-87 squad averaged 78.8 points.  The Wildcats have tallied third-most 3-point field goals (203) and 3-point field goal attempts (633), fourth-most steals (238) and assists (492) and fifth-most points (2439) and fouls (622).  The 8.0 rebounding margin is on pace to tie the 1998-99 team for the best in school history.  The team is also on pace to crack the school’s top-5 for most field goals made (866), most field goals attempted (1954), most rebounds (1282) and most blocks (111).  In addition, freshman phenom Michael Beasley has collected 29 school freshman, single-season and career records and 13 Big 12 single-game and single-season marks.   

treys falling
Despite losing two of the best 3-point shooters in school history, Kansas State has proven to once again be a threat beyond the arc.  The Wildcats have posted 200 or more 3-point field goals in a single-season for the second straight season and for just the third time in school history (1994, 2007).  The team’s current totals of 203 3-point field goals and 633 3-point field goal attempts rank third for a single-season at Kansas State.  The squad has gotten its treys from a variety of players with seven different Wildcats totaling 10 or more 3-pointers and five posting 25 or more 3-pointers, which has never happened in the program’s history since the introduction of the line in 1986-87.  The team has hit on eight or more 3-pointers in 13 games, including 10 or more makes on three occasions.  Freshman Jacob Pullen leads the team with 40 treys on the season, which is two away from the freshman record held by Brian Henson (42; 1991-92). 
Fellow rookies Michael Beasley and Bill Walker are close behind with 35 and 32 each, while seniors Clent Stewart and Blake Young have totaled 29 and 27, respectively, this season.

cashing in from the charity stripe
Kansas State has found success this season when getting to the free throw line.  The team is averaging 23.6 attempts from the line with an average of 16.3 makes per game.  The disparity is even greater in its victories, as the Wildcats have averaged 26.9 attempts in their 20 wins with 18.5 makes per game.  In comparison, the squad averaged just 17.7 attempts in their 11 losses with just 12.2 makes per game.  The Wildcats have connected on 20 or more free throws in 13 games (11 wins), while they have posted single-digit free throw makes on six occasions (just two wins).  The team has tallied 25 or more free throw attempts in 17 games (15 wins), including a season-best 36 attempts against Missouri on Feb. 16.  K-State is 17-2 when attempting more free throws, while just 3-9 when the opponent has more attempts.

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 84 points were the most allowed by Kansas this season and the most in the series in more 29 years since a 96-69 win on Jan. 20, 1979.  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.

historic night
K-State served up a historic defensive effort in the win over Savannah State on Jan. 7.  The Wildcats helped the Tigers set or tie three NCAA records since the introduction of the shot clock in 1986, including lowest field goal percentage in a half (4.3 percent; 1-of-23), fewest points in a half (4) and fewest field goals in half (1).  In addition, the 25 points were the fewest allowed by a K-State team in the shot clock era and the fewest since Missouri scored just 14 on March 4, 1944.  The Wildcats set eight Bramlage Coliseum marks for fewest points (25), fewest points in a half (4), fewest field goals made (9), fewest field goals made in a half (1), lowest field goal percentage (15.5 percent), lowest field goal percentage in a half (4.3 percent) and fewest assists (4).  The 60-point victory ranked as the second highest in school history and one point short of the record set on Dec. 7, 1991.

beasley, walker among the best
Freshmen Michael Beasley and Bill Walker are proving to be two of the best players in Big 12.  They are two of only three rookies (along with Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin) to rank in the top-15 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage in the Big 12.  In fact, they are the only freshmen to rank in the top-5 in scoring in league-only games. 

Beasley paces the Big 12 in seven categories - four in overall games - scoring (26.5 ppg.), rebounding (12.4 rpg.), offensive rebounds (4.06 rpg.) and defensive rebounds (8.32 rpg.) - three in conference-only games - scoring (28.4 ppg.), rebounds (11.8 rpg.) and defensive
rebounds (7.81 rpg.).  He also owns the most double-doubles (26) and the most 30-point games (13).  In addition, he is the top-10 in three other overall categories and five other Big 12-only statistics.

Walker ranks seventh in the Big 12 in scoring (15.8 ppg.) and 10th (6.4 rpg.) in rebounding.  He places among the top-15 in three other categories, including sixth in offensive rebounds (2.59 rpg.) and 11th in both field goal percentage (45.6) and free throw percentage (71.9).

among best scoring tandems
Michael Beasley and Bill Walker are among the best scoring tandems in Division I, as they rank fourth nationally with a combined at 42.3 points per game.  The duo trails VMI’s Reggie Williams (27.8 ppg.) and Chavis Holmes (18.3 ppg.), Niagara’s Charron Fisher (27.6 ppg.) and Tyrone Lewis (16.1 ppg.) and UT-Martin’s Lester Hudson (25.7 ppg.) and Marquis Weddle (17.1 ppg.) among all scoring tandems in Division I.  Beasley and Walker are one of just four duos nationally to combine for 40 or more points and the only ones that are both freshmen.  The 42.3 points per game average is also on track to be the best in Big 12 history, less than a 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 that the duo combined for 45.0 points per game in league-only games and ranked first and third in the Big 12 in scoring in these games (Beasley - 28.4 ppg. and Walker - 16.6 ppg.).  The duo became the first duo 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)
46.1, Reggie Williams (27.8) & Chavis Holmes (18.3), VMI (done)
43.7, Charron Fisher (27.6) & Tyrone Lewis (16.1), Niagara (done)
42.8, Lester Hudson (25.7) & Marquis Weddle (17.1), UT-Martin (done)
42.3, Michael Beasley (26.5) & Bill Walker (15.8), K-State
39.9, Ben Woodside (20.7) & Brett Winkelman (19.2), N.D. State (done)

top scoring tandems in division I (freshmen)
42.3, Michael Beasley (26.5) & Bill Walker (16.0), K-State
33.4, Donte Greene (17.5) & Jonny Flynn (15.9), Syracuse
32.8, O.J. Mayo (20.8) & Davon Jefferson (12.0), USC

top scoring tandems in big 12 history
42.3, Michael Beasley (26.5) & Bill Walker (15.8), 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 33-point performance against Colorado on March 4, he now has notched 13 contests of 30 or more points this season, which already 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 Buffaloes, he is 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 21 (five more than Santa Clara’s John Bryant).  In comparison to other National Freshmen of the Year, his 13 30-point, 10-rebound games are two more than Kevin Durant’s entire total from the 2006-07 season (35 games) and are 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 22, 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 (1475) and blocks (70) and over 50 percent of the rebounds (669), 3-pointers (106) and steals (132).  Most of these have come from phenom Michael Beasley, who owns over 30 percent of the team’s points (820) and rebounds (384).  He already owns both the overall and freshman marks for single-season scoring and rebounding, while he is on pace to post the highest single-season scoring average.  In all, seven of the top-9 scorers and two of the top-3 rebounders are either freshmen or first-year players.  If you include redshirt freshman Bill Walker, the totals increase to over 75 percent of the points (1933) and blocks (87) and over 65 percent of the rebounds (850), 3-pointers (138) and steals (159).

okay, this guy’s pretty good
Freshman Michael Beasley became the first player in Big 12 history to win any weekly award in seven consecutive weeks, as he was named the Big 12 co-Player of the Week on March 9 after averaging 24.0 points and 11.5 rebounds during the week.  The streak of seven straight weekly awards 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  11 combined weekly awards (three player, eight rookie) as well as his eight rookie honors are the most by any men’s basketball player in Big 12
history.  Both top the records set by Texas’ Kevin Durant, who won 10 combined awards and six rookie honors last season.  He earned Big Player of the Week accolades on Nov. 12, 2007, Jan. 14 and March 9, 2008 and Rookie of the Week accolades on Nov. 19 and Dec. 26, 2007, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, Feb. 11, Feb. 18 Feb. 25 and March 3, 2008.

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.

double-double
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 26.5 points and 12.4 rebounds per game with 26 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.

Already the most ever by a freshman in Division I history, Beasley’s 26 double-doubles are the most by a Big 12 player in a single-season regardless of classification.  Remarkably, he has posted a double-double in a half five times (four in first half and once in the second half) this season.  At his current 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 (15.8 ppg.) and rebounding (6.4 rpg.), blocks (0.6 bpg.) and free throws (92), while he is also second in 3-point field goals (32) and third in steals (0.9 spg.).  He has now scored in double figures in 27 of his 35 career games,
including 23 of 29 games this season. Walker might be playing the finest basketball of his Wildcat career in the team’s last 23 games.  In gaining the start in each of these contests, he is averaging 17.0 points on 47 percent shooting (143-of-304), including 32.3 percent shooting (30-of-93) from 3-point range, with 6.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.7 steals in 27.6 minutes per game.  He has posted all eight of his career 20-point games during this span, including three 30-point outings.

After battling through a variety injuries to start the season, Walker has played in 26 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 23 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 was just as impressive during Big 12 play, averaging 16.6 points on 47.2 percent shooting, including 31.3 percent from 3-point range, to go with 6.1 rebounds per game.  The scoring average was the third-highest in the Big 12.  He eclipsed the 20-point barrier five times in Big 12 play, including the 31-point effort against Baylor, 27 against Texas Tech on Feb. 13, 25 against Colorado on March 4 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 captured Player or Rookie of the Week honors 13 times this season.

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 this season.  He ranks second on the squad in minutes (28.9 mpg.) and assists (3.2 apg.), fourth in scoring (7.0 ppg.), 3-point field goals (29) and fifth in rebounding (3.1 rpg.)

Stewart continues to move up the career charts in six categories (assists, minutes played, games started, appearances, 3-point field goals and 3-point field goal attempts), in this, his last season at K-State.  With 390 assists,he 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 3,231 trailing just Steve Henson (4,474) and Askia Jones (3,547; 1990-94).  In addition, he is in fifth place on the games started list with his 93rd career start against Texas A&M.  He also broke into the top-10 list for career games played at Kansas and now ranks fifth with 119 games played.  In addition, he ranks seventh in 3-point field goals attempted (310) and eighth in 3-point field goals (109).  He is also just outside the top-10 in steals (11th; 78).

young comes through in the clutch
Senior Blake Young has been one of the biggest keys to the team’s successful conference season.  Fully healthy for the first time in nearly a month, the guard averaged 5.8 points on 40 percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals in 30.6 minutes per game in 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 (6.1 ppg.) and third in rebounding (3.5 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 31 games this season.  He also has the longest active game streak on the team with 66 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 (3.2 apg.) and 3-pointers (40), is second in steals (1.3 spg.), third in scoring (9.8 ppg.) and fifth in minutes played (23.4 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 14 games, he is averaging 10.6 points on 42.9 percent shooting, including 37.5 percent from 3-point range, to go with 3.0 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 has scored in double figures eight times in the last 14 games, including the 20-point effort against No. 2 Kansas, 19-point outings against No. 5 Texas and Iowa State and a 17-point performance against Oklahoma State with a career-high 5 3-pointers.

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 solid contributor off the bench for the Wildcats this season, averaging 13.6 minutes in 28 appearances.  He has averaged 13.8 minutes in the last 14 games, including double-digit efforts in 11 games in that span.  Kent has scored in 15 contests, including five or more points on eight occasions.  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 five-point efforts against Colorado on Jan. 23, at Missouri on Feb. 2 and at Kansas on March 1.

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 106 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).  He connected on an individual season-best 81.8 percent from the field against Xavier, 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 8.4 minutes in 11 of the last 12 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 second on the team in field goal percentage (53.1) and third in rebounding (3.5 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 played well in the last seven leagues games, averaging 2.7 points on 46.2 percent shooting (6-of-13) in that span with 2.9 rebounds on just 9.9 minutes per game.

samuels, sutton join squad
K-State head coach Frank Martin received a pair of belated holiday gifts on Dec. 26 when high school recruits Jamar Samuels and
Dominique Sutton were cleared to begin competing for the Wildcats.  Both Samuels and Sutton come to Kansas State after playing at The Patterson School in Lenoir, N.C., for head coach Chris Chaney.  The duo played a major role in helping the Bulldogs to a 36-4 overall record and a No. 3 national prep school ranking in 2006-07.  The squad advanced to the inaugural Prep School National Championship, where they lost in the semifinals to the eventual national champions Notre Dame (Mass.) Prep, led by future teammate Michael Beasley.

Sutton averaged 15.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and a team-leading 3.0 steals per game as a senior, while Samuels was the first players off the bench for the Bulldogs.  Both players starred on the AAU circuit with the DC Assault alongside Beasley and Ron Anderson. 

A 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward from Washington, D.C., Samuels played just one season at The Patterson School after a stellar career at Archibishop Carroll High School.  He averaged 22 points, nine rebounds and three blocks per game as a junior, while he averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks as a sophomore. 

A 6-foot-5, 220-pound forward from Durham, N.C., Sutton was rated among the top players in the country in 2006, including the No. 57 overall prospect by Scout.com and No. 131 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  He was also ranked among the top-50 at his position by a number of outlets, including No. 11 by Scout.com, No. 21 by High School Hoops magazine and No. 39 by Rivals.com.  In addition, he was rated the No. 2 in North Carolina by Rivals.com. Sutton played two year for The Patterson School after transferring from Durham Jordan High School.  As a sophomore, he averaged 19.7 points in guiding the Falcons to a 19-8 record and the 4-A Western Regional semifinals.  He was named to AP All-State second team and was the Durham Sun-Herald Player of the Year.