K-State Plays Host To Pitt State in Lone Exhibition Friday

Nov. 1, 2013

K-State Athletics

Game Notes in PDF Format


Friday, November 1, 2013
8:10 p.m. CT * Manhattan, Kan. * Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)

Television: FSN Kansas City
Ben Boyle (play-by-play); Stan Weber (analyst)
Channel Directory: DirecTV 672-1 | Dish 440 | Hopper 412-28
Internet: none

Radio: K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play); Mike Clark (analyst)
Satellite Radio: None

Live Stats: http://www.kstatesports.com/multimedia/ksu-gt-live-stats.html
Live Audio: www.k-statesports.com/allaccess (free)
Twitter Updates: twitter.com/kstate_gameday

K-State in Exhibition Play: 54-18 (42-9 at home)
Current Streak: Won 2 (Won 14 at home)
vs. Pittsburg State: 2-0 (W, 89-53, 11/8/2009)

Kansas State (0-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Head coach: Bruce Weber (Wisconsin-Milwaukee ‘78)
School Record: 27-8 (2nd season) * Career Record: 340-163 (16th season) 

Pittsburg State (0-0, 0-0 MIAA)
Head coach: Kevin Muff (Kansas State ‘86)
Career/School Record: 48-37 (Third season)

Kansas State
#55 Will Spradling
#2 Marcus Foster
#1 Shane Southwell
#11 Nino Williams
#50 DJ Johnson

Pittsburg State
#1 Jake Bullard
#4 Josiah Gustafson
#5 Devon Branch
#24 Terrell Eaddy
#32 Trevor Gregory

The defending Big 12 champions open year two of the Bruce Weber Era on Friday at 8 p.m., as the Wildcats play host to Division II foe Pittsburg State (0-0) at Bramlage Coliseum in their lone exhibition game. The game will be the second of a doubleheader, as the women’s team hosts Alaska-Anchorage in their second exhibition contest at 5:45 p.m. Single-game tickets start as low as $10 for bench and general admission seating and $20 for chairbacks and includes admission to the women’s game.

K-State is 54-18 (.750) all-time in exhibition play dating back to 1964, including 42-9 (.824) at home. The Wildcats are 36-9 (.800) at Bramlage Coliseum in exhibition play, including 14 consecutive wins dating back to 2004, which includes wins over the Gorillas in 2004 (88-69) and 2009 (89-53). The last home setback in exhibition play came to the EA Sports All-Stars, 79-67, on Nov. 6, 2003. Last season, the squad won both of its exhibition games, defeating Washburn, 81-61, on Oct. 30, 2012 and Emporia State, 81-51, on Nov. 4, 2012. Current junior Nino Williams (14 points) led four Wildcats in double figures in the win over Washburn, while current sophomore D.J. Johnson had a game-high 17 points to go with nine rebounds in the victory over ESU.

Pittsburg State will be playing the second of its two-game exhibition season on Friday night after dropping a 97-57 decision to No. 6 Kansas on Oct. 29. The Gorillas return five lettermen in 2013-14, including just one starter, from a squad that posted an 18-10 overall record and an eight-place finish in the MIAA with a 10-8 mark. Community college transfer Devon Branch was the star in the loss to the Jayhawks, posting a game-high 27 points on 9-of-22 field goals, while junior Alex Williams came off the bench to score 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The squad shot just 31.5 percent against Kansas and were out-rebounded 51-26, while the Jayhawks converted 19 turnovers into 24 points.

The Gorillas are led by fourth-year coach Kevin Muff, a 1986 graduate of K-State and a two-year lettermen for legendary Wildcat head coach Jack Hartman. He was also a student assistant for then-head coach Lon Kruger in 1986-87. His daughter, Alex, was a four-year letterwinner for the Wildcat volleyball team (2009-12).

Led by reigning Big 12 Coach of the Year Bruce Weber, Kansas State returns eight lettermen in 2013-14, including starters Shane Southwell and Will Spradling, from a team that posted a 27-8 record and a 14-4 mark in league play en route to their first-ever Big 12 regular-season championship and a fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. The 27 wins were the second-most in school history, while the 14 in league play tied the school record held by the 1958-59 team.

An honorable mention All-Big 12 selection, Southwell ranked among the team’s Top 5 in a number of categories, including first in 3-point field goal percentage, second in assists, defensive rebounds and blocked shots and third in scoring, 3-point field goals and steals. Spradling, who has started 66 of the last 68 games, ranked third on the team in minutes and assists and fourth in 3-point field goals and steals in 2012-13. Others returning with significant experience including juniors Thomas Gipson (7.9 ppg., 5.0 rpg.) and Nino Williams (4.2 ppg., 3.3 rpg.), sophomore D.J. Johnson (2.3 ppg., 2.5 rpg.) and senior Omari Lawrence (2.1 ppg., 1.4 rpg.). The team will rely on the influx of seven new players, including freshmen Marcus Foster and Wesley Iwundu.

K-State lost six lettermen from 2012-13, including three seniors (Jordan Henriquez, Martavious Irving and Rodney McGruder) from the winningest class in school history. An All-Big 12 First Team selection, McGruder finished his career in the Top 10 in both career scoring and rebounding at K-State, while Henriquez owns nearly all the school’s blocking records. The squad also lost All-Big 12 Second Team selection Angel Rodriguez who posted the second-most assists (173) in school history.    

K-State officially opens the 2013-14 season on Friday, as the Wildcats play host to Northern Colorado (0-0) on Friday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. The school is 85-24 all-time in season openers, including 73-8 at home, with 10 consecutive wins dating back to 2003. 

The Kansas State men’s and women’s basketball team ushered in the start of the new season on Oct. 25, as more than 5,500 fans enjoyed “Madness in Manhattan” festivities. The event began with the unveiling of new banners to the rafters of Bramlage Coliseum honoring the two programs’ championship heritage as well as jersey retirees. Each of the 26 banners represents program accomplishments, including conference titles, NCAA Tournament, WNIT and NIT appearances and berths in the NCAA Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. The men’s four trips to the Final Four and the 2006 WNIT Championship are commemorated with their own banner.

After performances by the K-State pep band and the Classy Cats as well as a repelling Willie Wildcat, the new-look Wildcat women’s basketball played a spirited 10-minute scrimmage with the Purple defeating the Black, 14-11. Freshman Kindred Wesemann led all scorers with nine points on 3-of-4 field goals for the Black squad, while junior Haley Texada paced the victorious Purple team with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting. The duo of junior Thomas Gipson and senior Katya Leick won the skills competition with a score of 46.6, which included timed drills by each individual through an obstacle course. They beat out fellow competitors senior Shane Southwell and freshman Leti Romero (47.8) and senior Will Spradling and Wesemann (47.6).   

The dunk contest featured four participants – junior Justin Edwards, sophomore randon Bolden and freshmen Wesley Iwundu and Nigel Johnson. Edwards and Johnson advanced to the finals after two rounds with Edwards ultimately winning with his perfect score of 50. The judging panel consisted of Southwell, 2013 graduates Jordan Henriquez and Martavious Irving, recent Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Nicole Ohlde and internet sensation “Trick Shot” Titus Ashby of Derby, Kan.

The men’s scrimmage ended the evening, as the Purple defeated the Gray, 51-48, in a 15-minute scrimmage. Freshman Marcus Foster led all scorers with 15 points on 7-of-11 field goals for the Gray squad, while Gipson was one of four players in double figures for the winning Purple team with 11 points. Edwards, Southwell and Bolden each had 10 points for the Purple team.

For the second consecutive year, Kansas State was selected to finish fifth in the preseason 2013-14 Big 12 Conference coaches’ poll released by the league office on Oct. 10. The Wildcats received 43 points to earn a tie for fifth place with Oklahoma, 13 points behind fourth-place Iowa State (56) and 20 behind third-place Baylor (63). Kansas and Oklahoma State tied for first place in voting by the coaches with each team receiving 77 points and five first-place votes. After the top 5, the rest of the poll included seventh-place West Virginia (35), Texas (30), Texas Tech (14) and TCU (12). Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams.

Kansas State will host nine non-conference games at Bramlage Coliseum in 2013-14, including matchups with Oral Roberts, Long Beach State, Ole Miss and George Washington. The school previously announced its participation in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Nov. 21-24 in San Juan, P.R., to go with its home game vs. Ole Miss in the Big 12-SEC Challenge on Thursday, Dec. 5 and neutral site contests with Gonzaga in Wichita on Saturday, Dec. 21 and Tulane in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Saturday, Dec. 28. The squad will play three games in Puerto Rico against the likes of Charlotte, Florida State, Georgetown, Long Beach State, Michigan, Northeastern or VCU with matchups to be determined later. The Wildcats and Green Wave will play in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival at the world-renowned Barclays Center on the final Saturday in 2013.

Friday’s exhibition with Pittsburg State will be the first of four straight home games for the Wildcats, which also includes the opener with Northern Colorado and contests against Oral Roberts on Wednesday, Nov.13 and Big West champion Long Beach State on Sunday, Nov. 17. It will be the first meeting since 1985 with the Golden Eagles, who won 20 games and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament last season. The game with the 49ers could be the first of two meetings in 2013-14, as both teams will participate in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

Following its trip to Puerto Rico, K-State opens the month of December with four consecutive home games before its contest with Gonzaga at INTRUST Bank Arena. The Wildcats play Central Arkansas on Sunday, Dec.1 before hosting NCAA Tournament participant Ole Miss four days later on Dec. 5. The squad then concludes the homestand with South Dakota on Tuesday, Dec. 10 and Troy on Sunday, Dec. 15. After trips to Wichita and Brooklyn, the Wildcats wrap up non-conference play on Tuesday, Dec. 31 with a home game against the Atlantic 10’s George Washington. The contest marks the end of a three-game contract with the Colonials with K-State posting a 69-56 win in Manhattan in 2011 and a 65-62 victory in Washington, D.C., last season.

Four Wildcats – Thomas Gipson, D.J. Johnson, Will Spradling and Jevon Thomas – competed internationally over the past summer. Johnson played with Reach USA on a cultural exchange trip to the Far East from May 11-26, while Gipson and Thomas competed with the Athletes in Action Tour to Lithuania from August 6-19. Spradling spent seven days with the Global Sports Academy playing five games against various club teams in Belgium and the Netherlands from August 8-16.

Johnson averaged 8.3 points on 45.8 percent shooting with 8.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game during Reach USA’s six-game tour. He scored in double figures twice, including a tour-high 13 points in a win over Lithuania. Gipson and Thomas helped AIA post a 4-1 record during its tour of Lithuania. Thomas averaged 13.6 points on 47.2 percent shooting with 4.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals with three double figure scoring games to go with a tour-best 23 points. Gipson averaged 11.4 points on 49 percent shooting with 7.2 rebounds in 20.2 minutes per game with three double-digit scoring games to go with a tour-high of 19 points. Spradling averaged 11 points, three assists and three rebounds in helping Global Sports post a 5-0 record.