K-State Continues Homestand Sunday

Game Information

Kansas State (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
vs. Western Illinois (0-1)

Date: Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tipoff: 3:10 p.m. CT
Location: Manhattan, Kan.
Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)

Television: FOX Sports Kansas City (Ben Boyle, play-by-play; Stan Weber, analyst; Brian McCann, producer).  Channel Directory: DirecTV 672, Dish Network 445, AT&T U-verse 750.  Internet: www.ESPN360.com

Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, play-by-play; Matt Walters, analyst).  Live Stats: www.k-statesports.com  Local Stations: 101.5-FM (KMKF), Sports Radio 1350-AM (KMAN).  Satellite Radio: n/a

Head Coaches: Kansas State - Frank Martin (Florida International '93) is 44-24 (.647) in his third season.  Western Illinois - Jim Molinari (Illinois Wesleyan '77) is 232-207 (.528) in his 16th season as a head coach, including 9-21 (.300) in his second season.

Last Time Out: K-State defeated Loyola Chicago, 92-54, on Nov. 13, while Western Illinois lost at Arizona State, 87-35, also on Nov. 13.

Series: K-State leads 2-0 (K-State is 2-0 at home).  Last time: K-State, 77-64, in Manhattan, Kan., on Nov. 17, 2007.  Frank Martin is 1-0 all-time vs. Loyola Chicago, while Jim Molinari is 0-0 all-time vs. K-State.  vs. Summit League: K-State is 29-3.  

Rankings: K-State is receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls.  Western Illinois is not ranked in either poll.

Tickets: $20 (bench and Cat Cushion), $30 (chairbacks) at the Athletics Ticket Office at 800.221.CATS or via www.k-statesports.com

K-State continues homestand with Western Illinois Sunday
Kansas State continues its two-game homestand to start the season on Sunday, as the Wildcats host Summit League member Western Illinois (0-1) at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 3 p.m.  It marks the third consecutive year that the squad has opened the season with two games in a three-day period with K-State owning a perfect 4-0 mark in those previous two instances. 

The Wildcats kicked off their brief homestand with a 92-54 win over Loyola Chicago on Friday night.  It marked the team's seventh consecutive season opening win dating back to the 2003-04 season, while it was the 13th straight home season opening win dating back to a 74-60 loss to Southern Miss on Nov. 27, 1993 (which ranks as the only season-opening loss in the 22-year history of Bramlage Coliseum).  The squad connected on 50 percent of their field goals, including 57.1 percent in the second half, while holding Loyola Chicago to just 24.6 percent shooting, including 14.7 percent in the first half.  The Wildcats also scored 29 points off 25 Rambler turnovers to go with a 18-4 advantage in fast-break points. 

Junior transfer Curtis Kelly led five Wildcats in double figures with a career-high 22 points on 9-of-11 field goals to go with a team-high seven rebounds.  Backcourt mates Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen combined for 25 points and seven assists, while sophomore Jamar Samuels and freshman Rodney McGruder tallied 11 points apiece.  In all, 11 of the 13 available Wildcats scored in the game against Loyola, including 27 by the heralded five-man recruiting class.   

Sunday's game continues the Ultimate Wildcat Weekend, in which, fans were able to see four different Wildcat teams in action during a four-day period.  The women's basketball squad concludes the weekend with a game against Arkansas State on Monday night at 7 p.m. 

Third-year head coach Frank Martin returns eight lettermen, including four starters, in 2009-10 from a squad that posted a 22-12 record, including a 9-7 mark in Big 12 play, and advanced to the second round of the Postseason NIT.  It marks the first time in 15 years that the team has gone to the postseason in three consecutive seasons, while the three 20-win seasons are the first in over 25 years.  The squad has received mention in numerous preseason top 25 polls and did receive votes in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25 polls.

Following Sunday's game, the Wildcats will head to San Juan, Puerto Rico to take part in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tipoff from Nov. 19-22.  The team tips off the tournament against Boston University (0-1) on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. CT before playing either Indiana or Ole Miss on Friday night.

Projected Starters
Kansas State (0-1)
G - #0 Jacob Pullen (6-0, 200, Jr.)
G - #21 Denis Clemente (6-1, 180, Sr.)
F - #23 Dominique Sutton (6-5, 218, Jr.)
F - #32 Jamar Samuels (6-7, 220, So.)
F - #24 Curtis Kelly (6-8, 239, Jr.)

Western Illinois (0-1)
G - #5 David Nurse (6-3, 195, Sr.)
G - #23 Ceola Clark (6-3, 180, So.)
G - #32 Quenton Kirby (6-2, 185, Sr.)
F - #43 Abdou Niang (6-9, 195, Fr.)
C - #33 David Gebru (6-10, 215, Fr.)

K-State Connection
Western Illinois head coach Jim Molinari played two seasons for K-State and famed head coach Jack Hartman from 1973-75 before transferring to Illinois Wesleyan to finish his college career.   The 6-foot-1 guard from Glen Ellyn, Ill., played in 22 games in his Wildcat career, averaging 2.2 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.  Molinari helped K-State win 39 games in those two seasons, including 20 victories and a trip to the NCAA East Regional Final in 1974-75.  

Series Information
This will be the third all-time meeting between the two schools with K-State holding a 2-0 series edge.  The teams first met on Jan. 8, 1982 when the Wildcats defeated the Leathernecks 67-57 in Ahearn Field House.  The most recent meeting came in Nov. 17, 2007 with the Wildcats posting a 77-64 victory.  K-State is 29-3 vs. teams from the Summit League.

Scouting Western Illinois
A member of the Summit League, Western Illinois returns five lettermen, including three starters, from a squad that posted a 9-20 overall record, including 6-12 mark in league play, in 2008-09.  The team opened the 2009-10 season on Friday night with an 87-35 loss at Arizona State.  The Leathernecks shot just 23.1 percent from the field, while the Sun Devils converted on 56 percent of their field goals.  Matt Lander led WIU with 14 points.