Huggins Era Tips Off Saturday

Game 1

William & Mary (0-0) at Kansas State (0-0)

Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006

Bramlage Coliseum (13,340) in Manhattan, Kan.

 

Game Information:

Tipoff: 1:05 p.m. Central

Series: First Meeting (K-State is 5-1 vs. Colonial Athletic Conference)

TV: None

Webcast: www.k-statesports.com (Powercat Passport subscription required)

Radio: K-State Sports Network (31 affiliates across Kansas), Yahoo! Radio

Talent: Wyatt Thompson (Play-by-Play) and Stan Weber (color)

Tickets: Limited number available at (800) 221.CATS (2287)

 

Huggins Era Begins at Kansas State on Saturday against William & Mary

The highly-anticipated 2006-07 Kansas State men’s basketball season begins Saturday, as the Wildcats officially tip-off the Bob Huggins era with a game against William & Mary (0-0) at a sold-out Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 1:05 p.m.  The game will be apart of the “Ultimate Wildcat Weekend,” in which K-State will not only host the men’s basketball season opener, but the football season finale against No. 4 Texas at 7 p.m. and the women’s basketball opener with UW-Green Bay on Friday.  Fans can show either the football or men’s basketball ticket and receive free admission to the women’s game.

 

The contest will be broadcast on the 31-station K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (color) calling the action.  Fans may view a webcast of the game on the school’s website at www.k-statesports.com.  There is a subscription fee to view the website as it is apart of the Powercat Passport program.

 

Kansas State is 78-24 (.765) all-time in season openers, including a 64-9 (.877) mark when debuting in Manhattan.  The Wildcats have won 11 of their last 14 season openers with all three losses coming on the road, including a 73-64 setback to BYU at the 2002 Paradise Jam in St. Thomas.  In addition, K-State has won 11 of its last 12 home openers with the loss to Northwestern in 2002 the first in a home lid-lifter since a 74-60 loss to Southern Miss in 1993.  Head coach Bob Huggins has a 20-1 (.952) record in season openers since going to Akron in 1984, including a perfect 18-0 mark in home games.

 

Recapping the Exhibition Season

Kansas State overcame a poor shooting performance to power past Washburn, 94-90, in triple overtime its only exhibition game on Saturday night.  The Wildcats shot just 33 percent for the contest, including just 13.3 percent from 3-point range, and were out-rebounded by the smaller Ichabods, 62-59.  The team trailed by as many as nine points to the Division II power in the second half before tying the game on a free throw by junior David Hoskins with 51 second remaining.  The two teams continued to slug it out for the next 15 minutes before freshman Chris Merriewether gave the Wildcats the lead for good on a free throw with 2:17 remaining in third overtime.

 

Hoskins led all scorers with 29 points on 11-of-24 field goals with 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in 44 minutes of action.  His minutes, points, field goals, field goal attempts, rebounds and blocks would have all been career-highs had it been a regulation game.  Senior Cartier Martin followed with 19 points and nine rebounds, but struggled to find his shooting touch connecting on just 4-of-19 field goal attempts.  Senior transfer Jermaine Maybank and junior Clent Stewart each chipped in 11 points to the effort.

 

Almost a Record-Breaking Night

Junior David Hoskins put up one of his best performances in the exhibition win over Washburn.  The second-year starter picked up where he left off in the season finale against Texas Tech in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship with a team-high 29 points and 10 rebounds against the Ichabods.  In addition, he tallied a team-tying four assists, a team-high three blocks and one steal (to just one turnover) in 44 minutes.  If the contest would have been counted toward the regular season, he would have posted career highs seven categories, including points, rebounds, field goals (11), field goal attempts (24), 3-point field goal attempts (4), blocks (3) and minutes.  The totals might have been higher had Hoskins not suffered from severe cramps in the

second half and three overtime periods, as he played just 26 of the 35 total minutes.

 

Hoskins, who transferred to K-State after redshirting at Schoolcraft (Mich.) College, was named to the All-Newcomer team by the Big 12 media last season after averaging 13.1 points on a team-best 50.8 percent shooting with 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists.  He was twice named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week, first on Nov. 28, 2005 then on Dec. 12, 2005.  Hoskins scored in double figures in 20 contests, with 10 in Big 12 games, including four 20-point efforts.  He earned the starting nod in 21 of the last 22 games after coming off the bench in the first six contests of last season.  Hoskins ended the season on a high note with a career-tying 25 points against Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 Championship.  He connected on 10-of-17 field goals against the Red Raiders with seven rebounds in 28 minutes of action.  

 

Of notes, Hoskins will be playing for his fourth college coach, in this, his fourth collegiate year.  He began his playing career at Central Michigan in 2003-04 for head coach Jay Smith then transferred to Schoolcraft College in 2004-05 where he redshirted under head coach Carlos Briggs.  He was recruited to K-State by former coach Jim Wooldridge and his staff, of which he played his sophomore year in 2005-06.

 

350 Unclaimed Student Tickets Available for Opener

Approximately 350 tickets unclaimed from the student allotment have been released for public sale for Kansas State’s season-opening men’s basketball game Saturday against William & Mary.  The tickets are priced at $30 each will go on sale beginning at 11 a.m., at the Northeast and Northwest ticket booths of Bramlage Coliseum.  The tickets are for general admission seating in Sections 21-25 of the arena.  There is a limit of eight tickets per person for purchase.  All other tickets have been sold.

 

K-State Announces Changes to TV Schedule

Kansas State announced a revised schedule of men’s basketball games that will be televised by FSN Midwest.  The Kennesaw State game on Sunday, Dec. 17, has been added to the slate in place of Wednesday’s game at Rutgers, which K-State officials were informed this week will be available only online at ESPN360.  ESPN, the contractual rights-holder of Big East Conference events, exercised its selection rights to the Rutgers game and elected to televise it exclusively on ESPN360.  To accommodate the Kennesaw State telecast on FSN Midwest, the time of the game will move to 2:30 p.m.  The Wildcat women’s game later that day against Weber State, originally scheduled for 5 p.m., will begin at 6:30 p.m.

 

ESPN360 is a multi-feature broadband service free to fans that receive high-speed broadband service through an ESPN-affiliated provider.  ESPN360 is currently available to more than six million homes but is not offered through all internet providers.  To view a list of participating internet providers, logon to www.espn360.com.  ESPN is making the service available for those whose online connections are through either campus networks.

 

Season Tickets Sold Out

For the first time in the 19-year history of Bramlage Coliseum all available season-ticket packages have been sold.  The last time K-State could boast a sellout of its season tickets was 1982-83 when the Wildcats played in Ahearn Field House.

“There was no question when we hired Bob Huggins that interest in K-State basketball would be rekindled,” said Director of Athletics Tim Weiser.  “But to think we would reach this point so quickly ... it’s amazing.  This is just further evidence of the passion and support of K-State fans.”

 

Public and student season ticket allocations have accounted for approximately 13,000 of the 13,340 capacity of Bramlage Coliseum.  K-State will make available 300 tickets on an individual-game basis, which were already sold out for the Washburn exhibition game and the regular-season opener against William & Mary.  Tickets remain for K-State’s other non-conference games.  The individual-game allotment for Big 12 Conference games will go on sale Nov. 14 to Ahearn Scholarship Fund donors and season-ticket holders with a priority deadline of Dec. 7.

 

’Cats Chosen Fifth in Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll

The Kansas State men’s basketball team was given its highest-ever ranking in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll, as the Wildcats were chosen fifth with 76 points.  Boosted by the hiring of legendary head coach Bob Huggins and the return of four starters and eight lettermen, the Wildcats received their highest ranking in nine preseason polls dating back to the 1997-98 season.  The previous high came in 1998-99 when the team was selected sixth. 

 

For the seventh time in Big 12 history, Kansas is the preseason favorite to win the conference title as the Jayhawks gained 121 total points and received all 11 possible first-place votes in polling of the head coaches.  Texas A&M was picked second in the poll, as the Aggies received the other first-place vote and 109 points.  Oklahoma State and Texas were selected just ahead of the Wildcats in third and fourth place, respectively.  Texas Tech was chosen sixth with 68 points, while Baylor followed in seventh with 60 points for its highest predicted finish in Big 12 history.  Missouri (44) and Oklahoma (42) were picked eighth and ninth, respectively, while Nebraska (37), Iowa State (23) and Colorado (20) rounded out the poll. 

 

The Book on William & Mary

Like K-State, William & Mary played just one exhibition game in the preseason, earning a 85-73 win over Barton College on Nov. 1.  The Tribe shot a blistering 58.2 percent from the field, including 52.6 percent from 3-point range.   Fifth-year senior Adam Payton paced four players in double figures with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while junior transfer Laimis Kisielius added 17 points.

 

The Tribe return three starters and 10 lettermen from the 2005-06 season, which produced an 8-20 overall record and 3-15 mark in Colonial Athletic play.  The Colonial Athletic Conference made headlines last season when George Mason made its miraculous run to the Final Four.  The conference also had an NIT Final Four participant in Old Dominion. 

The Tribe are coached by fourth-year head coach Tony Shaver, who was a four-year guard at North Carolina for Dean Smith from 1972-75.  He earned much of coaching reputation during a 17-year stint at Division II Hampden-Sydney, which he guided to 11 NCAA Tournaments.

 

K-State in Season Openers

Kansas State is 78-24 (.765) all-time in season openers, including a 64-9 (.877) mark when debuting in Manhattan.  The Wildcats have won 11 of their last 14 season openers with all three losses coming on the road.  The team last lost a season opener in 2002, as the Wildcats dropped a 73-64 decision to BYU at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands on Nov. 23.

K-State has won nine straight home season openers dating back to a 74-60 loss to Southern Miss on Nov. 27, 1993.  The Wildcats are 14-1 when opening the season at Bramlage Coliseum.  In all, the team has won 30 of its last 31 season openers at home.  The last loss in a home prior to 1993 was a 60-59 setback to Minnesota on Dec. 1, 1966. 

 

Huggins’ Dominant in Season Openers

Kansas State head coach Bob Huggins has an impressive 20-1 (.952) record in season openers since moving to the Division I level at Akron in 1984.  He is a perfect 18-0 in season openers at home combining his time at both Akron (1984-89) and Cincinnati (1989-2005).  He went 5-0 at the helm of the Zips in season lid-lifters before posting a 15-1 mark in 16 seasons on the sidelines for the Bearcats.  Huggins’ teams won 17 consecutive season openers before his 2001-02 Cincinnati team lost at No. 18 Oklahoma State, 69-62.    

 

Up Next: At Rutgers (0-0)

Kansas State hits the road for its first big test of the season, as the Wildcats travel to face Big East foe Rutgers on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J.  Led by first-year head coach Fred Hill, the Scarlet Knights return four starters and 12 lettermen from a 2005-06 squad that posted a 19-14 overall record and advanced to the second round of the Postseason NIT.