K-State Continues Homestand with Loyola Chicago

Junior Jordan Henriquez nearly recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds vs. Charleston Southern.

Nov. 13, 2011

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Loyola Chicago Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Game 2: Loyola Chicago (0-1)
Monday, November 14, 2011 * 7:10 pm CT
Manhattan, Kan. (Bramlage Coliseum)

Television: FOX Sports Kansas City HD  [ESPN Full Court]
Ben Boyle (play-by-play); Stan Weber (analyst)
Channel Directory: DirecTV 672, Dish 445, AT&T U-verse 750
HD Channel Directory: DirecTV 672-1, Dish 9515, AT&T 1750
Internet: ESPN3.com

Radio: K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play); Matt Walters (analyst)
Satellite Radio: n/a

Live Stats:  www.k-statesports.com/multimedia
Live Audio: www.k-statesports.com/allaccess (free)
Twitter Updates: twitter.com/kstate_gameday

K-State vs. Loyola Chicago: Tied 4-4 (K-State 3-0 at home)
vs. Horizon League: 8-6 (6-0 at home)

Kansas State (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Head coach: Frank Martin (Florida International ‘93)
Career/School Record: 96-43 (5th season) * vs. Loyola Chicago: 2-0 (1-0 at home)
Starting Lineup:
G - #55 Will Spradling (15.0 ppg., 3.0 apg.)
G - #3 Martavious Irving (8.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg.)
G - #22 Rodney McGruder (18.0 ppg., 11.0 rpg.)
F - #42 Thomas Gipson (2.0 ppg., 0.0 rpg.)
F - #21 Jordan Henriquez (11.0 ppg., 9.0 rpg.)

Loyola Chicago (0-1, 0-0 Horizon League)
Head coach: Porter Moser (Creighton ‘90)
Career Record: 105-102 (8th season) * School Record: 0-1 (1st season) * vs. K-State: 0-0
Starting Lineup:
G - #0 Denzel Brito (7.0 ppg., 6.0 apg.)
G - #5 Joe Crisman (8.0 ppg., 3.0 rpg.)
G - #32 Christian Thomas (0.0 ppg., 3.0 rpg.)
F - #24 Ben Averkamp (9.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg.)
F - #33 Walt Gibler (19.0 ppg., 6.0 rpg.)

K-State will play its second game in a four-day period on Monday, as the Wildcats continue their homestand by hosting Loyola Chicago (0-1) at Bramlage Coliseum.  The contest will complete a 3-game contract between the two schools that began on Nov. 13, 2009 with a 92-54 Wildcat win at home and continued with a 68-60 victory last season at the Gentile Center in Chicago.   This will be the ninth meeting between the two schools dating back to 1936 with the all-time series knotted at 4-all.  K-State has won three of the last four meetings and is 3-0 all-time at home against Loyola Chicago.  The team is 8-6 all-time against schools from the Horizon League, including 6-0 at home.  Monday’s game will mark the sixth time in the past six years that the Wildcats have played a Horizon League squad with the only loss in that span coming to Butler in the 2010 West Regional Final in Salt Lake City.  K-State will be looking to go 2-0 on the season for the ninth consecutive season.

Loyola Chicago enters Monday’s game with a 0-1 record after dropping its season opener to in-state rival Illinois, 67-49, on Friday at Assembly Hall in Champaign.  The Ramblers shot just 35.3 percent from the field, including 28.6 percent from 3-point range, while posting 22 turnovers.  Senior forward Walt Gibler paced all scorers with 19 points on 7-of-11 field goals, while fellow junior Ben Averkamp added nine points and five rebounds.  Led by first-year head coach Porter Moser, Loyola returns eight lettermen, including two starters, from a team that posted a 16-15 overall record and 7-11 mark in Horizon League play in 2010-11.  Moser, who spent the last four years on Rick Majerus’ staff at Saint Louis, has a 105-102 (.507) overall record as a head coach, including stints at Arkansas-Little Rock (2000-03) and Illinois State (2003-07).  Averkamp is the team’s top returning player after averaging 12 points on 47.8 percent shooting to go with 5.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore.  Senior Jordan Hicks averaged 11.7 points from the bench to go with 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, while Gibler added 9.4 points and 4.4 assists per outing.

Behind Chicago native Jacob Pullen’s 19 points, No. 5 K-State was able to hold off a strong rally by host Loyola Chicago to earn a 68-60  win before 4,821 fans at the Gentile Center in Chicago, Ill., on Dec. 11, 2010.  The senior struggled from the field, connecting on just 5-of-17 field goals, but went 9-of-12 from the free throw line to go with nine rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes.  Sophomore Martavious Irving chipped in a career-best 12 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the bench, while senior Curtis Kelly added 10 points.  The Wildcats connected on 42 percent from the field, including 47.6 percent in the second half, while holding the Ramblers to just 31.3 percent shooting, including 21.1 percent from 3-point range.  Averkamp led LUC with 17 points on 5-of-10 field goals to go with seven rebounds and four blocks, while Gabe Kindred and Geoff McCammon added 12 points each.   It was K-State’s first and only win in five tries against Loyola Chicago dating back to 1936.  

K-State opened the season on Friday night with a come-from-behind victory over Charleston Southern, 72-67, before a sold-out crowd at Bramlage Coliseum.  Down as many as 15 points in the second half, the Wildcats used a 19-4 run over an 11-minute span early in the half to tie it at 60-all at the 4:35 mark before taking over the lead for good with 2:24 left.  The 15-point deficit overcome for victory (52-37) was one of the biggest in recent history for K-State, as it ranks only behind a 16-point deficit in a win against New Mexico at home on Nov. 23, 2005.  The 14-point deficit at halftime (49-35) ties for the largest overcome for victory in recent history with a 98-90 overtime win against Arizona State on Nov. 24, 1998 at the Maui Invitational.  It was the largest overcome at home since 1998-99, surpassing a 12-point deficit faced against Saint Louis on Dec. 1, 1999.

K-State will have an eight-day break between games when the Wildcats play host to Maryland-Eastern Shore (0-1) on Nov. 22.

Kansas State has won 34 consecutive non-conference games at Bramlage Coliseum dating back to its last loss  -- an 80-77 overtime setback to No. 17 Oregon on Nov. 29, 2007.  Last season, the Wildcats were a perfect 9-0 at Bramlage Coliseum with an average margin of victory of 21.3 points per game.  The five-point win over Charleston Southern on Friday night was the second-closest during the 34-game winning streak since a four-point victory over Illinois State in the first round of the Postseason NIT on March 18, 2009.   During the streak, the squad has won by average margin of 24.0 points per game.

The “Octogon of Doom” as it has been affectionately called by the fan base, has been a tremendous home court advantage for the Wildcats in its 24 seasons with the squad winning nearly 75 percent of its home games.  The team earned its highest winning percentage (16-1, .941) in a home venue in 2010-11, while tying the school record for home wins (16 at Ahearn Field House in 1981-82).  K-State is 75-12 (.862) over the past six seasons at Bramlage Coliseum, including an impressive 30-10 (.750) mark in Big 12 games.  Twice in the past two seasons that Wildcats have knocked off the nation’s top-ranked team (No. 1 Texas in 2010 and No. 1 Kansas in 2011), while the No. 2 Jayhawks and No. 10 Texas A&M went down in 2007 and No. 11 Texas in 2009.

K-State has been solid in the opening month of the season under head coach Frank Martin, posting a 21-6 (.778) overall record in November since 2007-08, including a stellar 15-1 (.938) mark at Bramlage Coliseum.  The lone loss at home in the month came in overtime to No. 17 Oregon on Nov. 29, 2007.  The Wildcats have won 30 of their last 31 games at home in November.

Head coach Frank Martin is now just four wins shy of 100 for his career at Kansas State.  He would become just the fourth head coach in school history to eclipse the 100-victory plateau and the first since Jack Hartman (295-169; 1970-86) did it in midway through the 1975-76 season.  Other 100-win coaches include Naismith Hall of Famers Jack Gardner (147-81, 1939-42, 1946-53) and Fred “Tex” Winter (261-118, 1954-68).  Martin has a chance to win 100 games faster than all but Winter, who notched his 100th win in his 142nd game as head coach midway through the 1958-59.  Hartman won 100 games in 149 games, while Gardner did it in his 170th game in his second stint as head coach in 1950-51.  The 2009-10 Big 12 Coach of the Year, Martin is the first Wildcat head coach to post a 20-win season in each of his first four years and joined Lon Kruger as the only coaches in school history to guide teams to the postseason in his first four seasons.  The three NCAA Tournament appearances in a four-year span are the most since the squad went to four consecutive tournaments from 1986-90.

The starting line-up of juniors Martavious Irving, Rodney McGruder and Jordan Henriquez, sophomore Will Spradling and freshman Thomas Gipson against Charleston Southern on Friday was unique in that it marked the first time since 1983-84 that K-State opened a season with a senior starter.  It marked the first career starts for Irving and Gipson, while only McGruder was a starter in last season’s opening win over James Madison on Nov. 12, 2010.  McGruder has now started 35 consecutive games dating back to that JMU contest.  It was the seventh career starts for both Henriquez and Spradling, while Irving earned his first start after playing in 66 of the last 71 games as a reserve.  Gipson also joined a special group by becoming the first true freshman to start an opener since three rookies - Ron Anderson, Michael Beasley and Jacob Pullen - earned the starting nod against Sacramento State on Nov. 9, 2007.  It was Spradling’s first start since the North Florida game on Dec. 31, 2010. 

Several Wildcats enjoyed career nights in the opener with Charleston Southern on Friday, including sophomore Shane Southwell who posted a career-high in both points (11) and minutes played (32).  In all, three Wildcats posted career-best for minutes played in the game, including Martavious Irving (37) and Jordan Henriquez (32).  Henriquez, who nearly had his first career double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds, tied a career-high with five blocks.  His nine boards were one off his career-best of 10 set against Western Illinois on Nov. 15, 2009.  Will Spradling (15 points) was also two points off his career-high of 17 points against Baylor on Jan. 24, 2011.  Five newcomers - Thomas Gipson, Omari Lawrence, Angel Rodriguez, Adrian Diaz and Jeremy Jones - saw their first career action - with Gipson, Rodriguez and Diaz all registering their first career points.

With Friday’s win over Charleston Southern, the school is now 84-24 (.776) all-time in season openers, including a 72-8 (.899) mark at home.  The team has won nine consecutive season openers since 2003 with their last loss coming to BYU, 73-64, on Nov. 23, 2002 at the Paradise Jam held in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Overall, the Wildcats have won 18 straight openers at home, including a remarkable 19-1 (.947) record at Bramlage Coliseum, with the last setback coming to Southern Miss, 74-60, on Nov. 27, 1993.  Head coach Frank Martin is 5-0 in season openers with an average margin of 25.4 points in victories against Sacramento State (94-63), Florida A&M (96-57), Loyola Chicago (92-54), James Madison (75-61) and Charleston Southern (72-67).

WHAT’S BACK IN 2011-12
K-State returns seven lettermen in 2011-12, including five players with starting experience, from a team that posted a 23-11 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four seasons.  Rodney McGruder is the returning leader in scoring (11.1 ppg.) and rebounding (5.9 rpg.) after starting all 34 games a year ago.  McGruder earned third team All-Big 12 honors from the league coaches.  Others returning include Jamar Samuels (8.5 ppg., 5.4 rpg.), Jordan Henriquez (3.7 ppg., 4.3 rpg.), Will Spradling (6.4 ppg., 1.9 apg.) and Shane Southwell (1.8 ppg., 2.1 rpg.).  In all, the squad returns 50 percent of its scoring and field goals, 57 percent of its rebounding, 53 percent of its assists and 61 percent of its minutes.

This will mark the first time since 2006-07 that K-State will enter a season without guard Jacob Pullen.  The school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,132 points, Pullen left with six other career school records, including games played (135), double-digit scoring (105), 3-point field goals (299) and steals (210).  He also led the Wildcats to a school-record 95 wins and four consecutive postseason appearances, including three trips to the NCAA Tournament.  A two-time All-American and first team All-Big 12 pick, Pullen was the 2011 winner of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, given annually to the nation’s top senior, six-foot and under.

Senior walk-on Victor Ojeleye was recently elected by his conference peers to serve as Vice-Chair of the Big 12 Conference’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) during the 2011-12 athletics season.  A two-time first team Academic All-Big 12 selection, Ojeleye saw action in 24 games as a junior in 2010-11, averaging 1.8 points on 46.2 percent shooting with 1.6 rebounds in 8.0 minutes per game.  He scored in 10 games, including a season-high 12 points against North Florida on Dec. 31, 2010.   

A double major in accounting and finance, Ojeleye earned the inaugural Dr. Gerald Lage Award from the Big 12 Conference in 2010-11, which is given to student-athletes who have earned 100 or more hours of credit with a cumulative 3.8 GPA.  He also has been named to both the Fall and Spring Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Rolls each of the past two years, including a perfect 4.0 GPA during the Spring 2011 semester. 

FOX Sports Kansas City announced Nov. 4 that all 10 Kansas State men’s basketball games on the network are scheduled to be broadcast in high definition.  In addition, six of these broadcasts will be available to the entire FOX Sports Midwest footprint, which includes more than 5.9 million cable and satellite television homes in the states of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana.  These games include Maryland-Eastern Shore on Tuesday, Nov. 22, George Washington on Thursday, Dec. 1, North Florida on Sunday, Dec. 11, Howard on Saturday, Dec. 31, Oklahoma on Saturday, Jan. 28 and Iowa State on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

The remaining four contests will be shown on the FOX Sports Kansas City footprint, which includes 1.2 million cable and satellite homes in the state of Kansas and Kansas City metro area.  These contests include Sunday’s exhibition against Fort Hays State, the season opener against Charleston Southern on Nov. 11, Loyola Chicago on Nov. 14 and Baylor on Jan. 10.

Kansas State was selected to finish sixth in the preseason 2011-12 Big 12 Conference coaches’ poll released by the league office in early October.  The Wildcats received 39 points to earn sixth place in the new 10-team conference configuration, just 12 points behind fifth-place Texas (51) and six points ahead of seventh-place Oklahoma State (33).  The coaches were deadlocked on the preseason favorite with Kansas and Texas A&M each garnering 73 points, however, the Jayhawks did receive five of 10 first-place votes.  In all, four teams collected first-place recognition for just the second time with Texas A&M (2), Baylor (2) and Missouri each earning at least one first-place vote.  Baylor (63) and Missouri (61) followed the preseason duo in third and fourth-places, respectively, while Texas and K-State rounded out the top 6.  The rest of the poll included OSU, Iowa State (27), Oklahoma (15) and Texas Tech (15).  Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams.

The sixth-place prediction is the lowest since K-State was picked eighth prior to the 2008-09 season.  The Wildcats, who tied Texas A&M for third place in the Big 12 in 2010-11, are one of only two teams to finish in the league’s top-4 and receive a bye at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship each of the past five seasons.  With only 10 teams, the top-6 will earn a bye in the 2012 event with the lower four seeds playing on the first day. 

Looking to maintain the program’s momentum and consistency, head coach Frank Martin announced coaching staff promotions in early June, including the elevation of Lamont Evans as a full-time assistant.  In addition, he also promoted Brad Underwood to associate head coach and assistant coach Matt Figger to recruiting coordinator.  Evans has played a pivotal role in the development of the program the past three years, beginning as an undergraduate manager in 2008-09 the continuing as a graduate manager from 2009-11.  During this span, he helped K-State post a 74-31 (.705) record, which including three trips to the postseason highlighted by consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2011.  A native of Eleuthera, Bahamas, Evans came to the U.S. at the age of 5, eventually settling in Deerfield Beach, Fla.  He played his first two years of college basketball at Seminole (Fla.) Junior College in Sanford, Fla., and St. Catharine College in St. Catharine, Ky., before enrolling as Drake in 1999.  He played two seasons for the Bulldogs, appearing in 42 games from 1999 to 2001.  For his career, he averaged 8.0 points on 41.5 percent shooting with 5.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.  He spent seven years playing professionally, including stops internationally in Slovenia, Germany, Finland, Belgium and Venezuela.  A former Wildcat lettermen, Underwood is in his 24th season as a college coach, including his sixth at K-State.  He received much acclaim last season, as Martin took his suggestion of adjusting the offensive scheme to the “pinch-post” in early January.  Figger is in his 19th season as a coach, including his fifth at K-State and assumes the recruiting coordinator position.

Junior Rodney McGruder and sophomore Will Spradling both competed for all-stars teams in Europe this past summer.  Spradling played for Athletes in Action’s tour of Macedonia and Kosovo in Eastern Europe from May 25-30, while McGruder played with the East Coast All-Stars during their trip to the Four Nations Cup in Estonia in early August.  Spradling, playing alongside Big 12 brethren Cory Jefferson and A.J. Walton of Baylor and Jordan Juenemann and Jeff Withey of Kansas helped the AIA squad to a 6-1 record, including the tournament championship against Poland.  He was named the most valuable player and to the All-Tournament team.  He scored 20 or more points twice in the tournament, including a team-high 23 in the team’s only loss to Poland (May 24) and a team-best 25 vs.  the Bulgarian U20 National Team (May 27).  He posted 14 vs. Bulgaria Select (May 26), while he had eight points and four assists vs. the Kosovoan National Team (May 31).  McGruder was named to the Four Nations Cup All-Tournament, as the East Coast All-Stars finished third in the event behind Estonia (2-1) and Georgia (2-1) and ahead of fourth-place Sweden (1-2).  He was the only All-Star named to the all-tournament team after averaging 13.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.7 steals in the three-game tournament.  He hit the game-winning shot in the win over Sweden (August 5) before pouring in 22 points and 14 rebounds in the 98-81 loss to Georgia (August 6).