Cats play host Western Illinois Saturday

Game Information

Kansas State (2-0) vs. Western Illinois (1-1)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tipoff: 6:05 p.m.

Location: Manhattan, Kan.

Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (1988)

Capacity: 12,547

Series: Kansas State leads 1-0

(W, 67-57, 1/9/82 at home)

Television: none


Highlight Feed: Galaxy 17/K 12 (74 EQ) KU Band;

Downlink Frequency 11940 Vertical;

Time: 8:30 - 8:45 p.m CT


Radio: K-State Sports Network

Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio

Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)

Stan Weber (analyst)

Sold out


Kansas State Wildcats

Record: 2-0 (0-0 Big 12)

Ranking (AP/Coaches): 22/24

Coach: Frank Martin

Alma Mater: Florida International, 93

Career Record: 2-0/1

School Record: 2-0/1

vs. Western Illinois: First meeting

06-07 Record: 23-12 (10-6 Big 12)

Last game: Nov. 11, 2007

beat Western Illinois, 76-66

SID: Tom Gilbert



Western Illinois Leathernecks

Record: 1-1 (0-0 Summitt)

Ranking (AP/Coaches): --/--

Coach: Derek Thomas

Alma Mater: Missouri-St. Louis, 89

Career Record: 29-87/5

School Record: 29-87/5

vs. Kansas State: First meeting

06-07 Record: 18-13 (9-9 MIAA)

Last game: Nov. 13, 2007

lost at Morehead State, 61-49

SID: Jason Kaufman



game preview

Kansas State (2-0) will conclude its brief three-game homestand to start the season, as the Wildcats play host Western Illinois (1-1) at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 6 p.m. 

It will be a busy day for Wildcat fans, as the football team (5-5) will wrap up their home schedule with No. 6 Missouri at Bill Snyder Family Stadium at 11:30 a.m., while the 12th-ranked women’s volleyball squad (21-7) closes out their home season with Colorado at Ahearn Field House at 7:30 p.m.  Fans can use either their men’s basketball or football tickets to get into the volleyball match for just $1.

Saturday’s contest will be the only game this season not televised, but fans listen to the call from Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) on the 31-station K-State Sports Network (Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio).

the book on kansas state

The Wildcats are off to a 2-0 start for the fifth consecutive season after posting a pair of victories over Sacramento State (94-63) and Pittsburg State (76-66) last weekend.  The team is averaging 85.0 points on 44.9 percent shooting with 48.0 rebounds, 21.0 assists and nine steals and four blocks per game, while holding their opponents to just 64.5 points on 38.6 percent shooting.  The squad is also forcing their opponents into 26.5 turnovers per game. 

Kansas State led by freshman phenom Michael Beasley, who won numerous National Player of the Week accolades after averaging 31.0 points and 19.0 rebounds in the first two games.  He was named the National Player of the Week by several media outlets, including, and as well as Big 12 Player of the Week.  Beasley is the first Wildcat since Askia Jones in 1994 to score 30 or more points in back-to-back games and the first true freshman to accomplish the feat.

Beasley is one of four players averaging in double figures for the Wildcats, including senior Blake Young (15.5 ppg.), freshmen Jacob Pullen (11.5 ppg.) and Bill Walker (11.0 ppg.).  Young, who owns the team’s longest games played streak at 37 games, is also averaging 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.5 steals in 28.0 minutes per game.  The team’s first-year point guard is third in scoring at 11.5 points per game on 56.3 percent shooting to go with a team-best 4.5 assists.  Walker, who played in his first game of the season against Pitt State on Nov. 11, is back to full health after sitting out with a calf cramp.  


ticket information

Sold out.  It is the first sellout of the season and the first since the DePaul game in the MasterCard NIT on March 19, 2007.  It is the first non-conference sellout since the William & Mary on Nov. 11, 2006.


Basketball schedule magnets (limit one per person) will be given to fans as they leave the arena. 

streaking in november

Kansas State is 68-19 (.782) all-time in the month of November, including wins in 17 of its last 19 games.  The Wildcats have won 16 straight game at home in November dating back to the 2003-04 season.  The last home loss in the month came to Northwestern, 59-55, in the home opener on Nov. 30, 2002.  Last season, the squad posted a 4-2 mark in the month with wins against William & Mary (70-60), Rutgers (55-41), Tennessee Tech (101-79) and Coppin State (68-57) and losses at New Mexico (54-78) and California (48-78).

Incidentally, the Wildcats’ seven games in November tie the 1998-99 squad (5-2) for the most in school history.  The 1998-99 team also owns the most wins (five) of any Wildcat team in the month.

look for win #1400

One of the winningest programs in college basketball history, Kansas State is just 12 wins shy of its 1,400th victory.  The Wildcats, which ranks 47th all-time in victories in Division I with a 1,388-1,012 mark could the fifth Big 12 program to accomplish the feat, following Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri.  The squad could be one of seven programs to eclipse the 1,400-win mark this season, joining Oregon (1395), MichiganState (1393), Illinois State (1393), Tennessee (1392), Ohio State (1392) and Southern Illinois (1384).


martin successful in his debut

Kansas State head coach Frank Martin made a successful coaching debut in the 94-63 win over SacramentoState.  The 23rd head coach in school history continued the successful trend by coaches in their first game, particularily in games played at home. 

K-State coaches are now 16-6 all-time in their first game, including a 16-2 mark when those games started at home.  A Wildcat coach has won his first game when starting at home seven straight times dating back to Fred “Tex” Winter in 1953.  The last coach to lose his debut at home was Fritz Knorr To Fort Riley (35-53) on Dec. 4, 1944. 

The 31-point victory was also the largest win in a head coach’s opening game since Lon Kruger beat South Dakota, 95-45, in 1986.

Martin is the first coach in school history to start his college coaching career (and first assistant coach elevated to head coach) since Cotton Fitzsimmons took over the program from Winter in 1968.  Fitzsimmons was a successful junior college coach at Moberly (Mo.) Junior College from 1956-66 compiling a 224-58 record with two NJCAA national titles prior to becoming Winter’s top assistant in 1966.  Incidentally, he lost his first game at Cincinnati (70-86) in 1968.

the book on western illinois (1-1)

Western Illinois enters Saturday’s contest with a 1-1 record after dropping a 61-49 decision at Morehead State on Nov. 13.  The Leathernecks held a 24-21 lead at halftime, but could not overcome poor second half shooting (38.5 percent shooting) in dropping their first game of the season.  Sophomore guard David Nurse was the only WIU player in double figures with a team-high 14 points.  The squad opened the season with a 76-56 win over Waldorf on Nov. 9.

Picked to finish eighth in the preseason Summitt League poll, Western Illinois is averaging 62.5 points on 41.3 percent shooting with 35.5 rebounds, 11 assists, four steals and two blocks per game, while holding foes to 58.5 points on 37.9 percent shooting.  Junior college transfer David Nurse paces the squad in scoring at 16.5 points on 50 percent shooting, while redshirt freshman James Washington is adding 11.5 points on a team-high 52.6 percent shooting.  Senior David Jackson leads in rebounding at 6.5 boards per game.

Western Illinois returns two starters and five lettermen from the 2006-07 season, in which, the squad posted a 7-23 overall record and a 3-11 mark in the final year of the Mid-Continent Conference. 

The squad is led by fifth-year head coach Derek Thomas, who owns a 29-87 overall record.  He is a former assistant coach at Saint Louis (1995-99), Minnesota (1999-2000), Illinois (2000) and UNLV (2001-03).  A native of Kansas City, Mo., Thomas spent working with former Wildcat Lon Kruger at both Illinois and the Atlanta Hawks.     

series vs. western illinois

The two teams have met just once in their respective histories with Kansas State earning a 67-57 win over Western Illinois on Jan. 9, 1982 at Ahearn Field House.  The Wildcats shot an impressive 53.7 percent from the field, including 56.5 percent in the second half, to earn the victory.  Randy Reed led four players in double figures for Kansas State with a team-high 20 points, while Tyrone Adams and Les Craft each added 16 and 15 points, respectively.

K-State is 26-3 all-time against the Summitt League (formerly the Mid-Continent Conference), including 19-0 at home. 


connection to western illinois

Kansas State assistant coach Brad Underwood spent 10 years as an assistant coach at Western Illinois under Jim Kerwin.  He helped the Leathernecks to a 135-174 (.437) overall record from 1992-2003, including a 79-97 (.449) mark in Mid-Continent play.  The team advanced to the finals of the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament three straight seasons (1955, 1996, 1997) and achieved five straight seasons of winning of at least 16 games.  He helped coach 12 all-conference players, including four first-team selections.

Leading scorer David Nurse spent the 2006-07 season at Kansas City (Kan.) Community College, where he was an honorable mention All-Jayhawk Conference honoree.

Head coach Derek Thomas is a native of Kansas City, Mo., and the son of Kansas City Chiefs’ Hall of Fame inductee Emmitt Thomas.

up next: george mason/old spice classic

Saturday’s game will be the final tune-up for the Wildcats before heading off to the Old Spice Classic at the Milk House at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., from Nov. 22-25.  The squad opens the tournament with George Mason (2-0) on Thursday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN2 before playing either UCF (1-0) and No. 24 Villanova (1-0) on Friday, Nov. 23 at a time to be determined.  Other teams in the tournament include No. 21 N.C. State (1-0), South Carolina (2-0), PennState (1-0) and Rider (0-1).  


beasley named national, big 12 player of the week

Freshman forward Michael Beasley earned the first Big 12 Player of the Week honor on Monday after his record-setting efforts last week.

The nation’s No. 1 high school recruit lived up to his preseason billing in his first two games, as he averaged 31.0 points and 19.0 rebounds in guiding the Cats to a pair of wins to open the 2007-08 season.  In addition to connecting on 61.5 percent of his field goals, he averaged 3.5 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals in 30.0 minutes per game. 

Beasley is the first K-State player to earn Big 12 Player of the Week honors since Jeremiah Massey won the accolade on Jan. 31, 2005 and is just the fourth since the inception of the league.  Manny Dies won the first award on Jan. 18, 1998 followed by Galen Morrison on Jan. 10, 2000 and Massey on Dec. 27, 2004 and Jan. 31, 2005.

Beasley was also named the National Player of the Week by, and as well as the Diaper Dandy of the Week by Dick Vitale.

historic beginning

Michael Beasley had a memorable first game as a Wildcat, he set two school records as well as two Big 12 mark 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, three assists and one steal in 29 minutes.  He is the first player to top 30 points in consecutive games since Askia Jones did it against Colorado (32) and Oklahoma (31) in January 1994.

newcomers a big part of success

One of the nation’s top recruiting classes has panned out well so far for Kansas State, as the newcomers have posted nearly 65 percent of the Wildcats’ total points (109) and rebounds (61) and over 50 percent of the total assists (24) and steals (nine).  Most of these have come from freshman phenom Michael Beasley, who has owns over 35 percent of the team’s points (62) and rebounds (38).

young at heart

Fully healthy for the first time in his K-State career, senior Blake Young looks like a different player in 2007-08.  Hampered by a knee injury for much of last season, he ranks second on the team in scoring (15.5 ppg.) and minutes (28.0 mpg.) and is third in rebounding (5.0 rpg.) and assists (2.5 apg.).  He opened the season with a bang, as he turned in his second career 20-point game in the win over Sacramento State on Nov. 11 with 22 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including career-tying 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.  It was his highest point total since registering a career-high 24 against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 18, 2006.  

Young, the only returning player to start in the opener, continued his solid play against Pittsburg State on Nov. 11 with nine points, a career-high seven rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes.  

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 ranks third on the team in scoring (11.5 ppg.) and minutes (24.0 mpg.) and is tops in assists (4.5 apg.) and second in field goal percentage (56.3).  He opened the season with 18 points against SacramentoState in his first collegian game on 7-of-11 shooting to go with a team-high five assists and two steals. 

Pullen is the third true freshman to start the season at the point since 2003, following Dez Willingham (2003) and Clent Stewart (2004).

game notes vs. pittsburg state

Kansas State is 1-0 all-time against Pittsburg State after winning the first-ever meeting regular season meeting between the schools. The game counts as a regular season contest for the Wildcats, while it’s the third and final exhibition game for the Gorillas... Kansas State is 216-83 all-time in Bramlage Coliseum.

The Wildcats’ starting line-up was freshman guard Jacob Pullen, senior guard Blake Young, freshman forward Bill Walker, freshman forward Michael Beasley and sophomore forward Luis Coln... Pullen, Young and Beasley all made their second starts of the season.

Walker connected on his first collegiate three-pointer at the 17:37 mark in the first half... He scored the first seven Wildcat points in the game... Walker saw his first action this season for the Wildcats after sitting out the opener against Sacramento State due to injury.

Walker had three steals in the contest, breaking his previous career high of two against Maryland-Eastern Shore on December 19, 2006.

Pittsburg State led by as many as 12 points in the first half... Kansas State did not get its first lead until the 5:40 mark in the first half... The Gorillas led by two points at halftime, 40-38.

K-State shot just 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from the line in the first half... Meanwhile, the Gorillas connected on 7-of-9 free throws for 77.8 percent... Pitt State shot 50 percent (14-28) from the field before halftime compared to just 39.5 percent (15-38) by K-State.

Young had a career-best seven boards in the contest... The senior guard had matched his career high with five rebounds in the first half... Young finished with nine points in the game.

Beasley tallied his second double-double in as many games, scoring 30 points and grabbing 14 rebounds... The last time that a Wildcat has reached the 30-point mark in back-to-back games was Askia Jones on Jan. 22 and Jan 26, 1994, when he scored 32 points against Colorado and 31 against Oklahoma, respectively.

Anderson reached double-digits in rebounds with 12 for the game... The freshman forward grabbed six boards in the season opener.

Kansas State scored 48 points in the paint compared to just 26 for Pittsburg State... The Wildcats tallied 20 second-chance points, while the Gorillas were able to manage just two.

All 10 players that saw action on Sunday afternoon for the Wildcats scored in the game.

early start

Kansas State’s regular-season opener against Sacramento State (Nov. 9) tied the 1989-90 squad for the earliest start to a season in school history.  The Wildcats opened the 1989-90 season on Nov. 9 with a 71-70 win over Florida State in the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Alaska.  The squad, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament with an 18-14 record under head coach Lon Kruger, went onto a 2-1 record at the tournament with a win over Hawai’i (79-76) on Nov. 10 and a loss to MichiganState (72-68) on Nov. 11.  

Last season, K-State opened the season on Nov. 11 with a 70-60 win over William & Mary, which ranks as the second-earliest start in school history.  The school, which first started playing games in November in 1961-62, has just 36 starts to a season in the month.

cats continue success in season openers

Kansas State is 80-24 (.769) all-time in season openers, including a 66-9 (.880) mark when debuting in Manhattan.  The Wildcats have won 13 of their last 16 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 11 straight home season openers dating back to a 74-60 loss to Southern Miss on Nov. 27, 1993.  The Wildcats are 16-1 when opening the season at Bramlage Coliseum.  In all, the team has won 32 of its last 33 season openers at home.  The last home loss prior to 1993 was a 60-59 setback to Minnesota on Dec. 1, 1966.

k-state earns first preseason ranking since 75

Kansas State received its first preseason ranking in 32 seasons on Nov. 2, as The Associated Press placed the Wildcats at No. 25 in its annual preseason Top 25 poll.

K-State has not been ranked in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 since opening the 1975-76 season with a No. 14 ranking.  It also marks the first time that the Wildcats have been ranked in the poll in more than 14 years since checking in at No. 23 on Feb. 13, 1993.

“For a program like us, with incredible tradition and success, being ranked again is always a great thing and it reflects the hard work of the players and that they are getting noticed by people out there," said coach Frank Martin. "Will it have an influence on how we play or how good we are? Probably not. But it is an honor to have a program not ranked for 14 years to all of sudden by there again."


Overall, the ranking marks the sixth time in school history that the Wildcats have started a season ranked in the preseason Top 25 since The Associated Press started its poll in 1949.  The squad started the 1961-62 and 1964-65 seasons at No. 8, the 1965-66 season at No. 10, the 1972-73 season at No. 17 and the 1975-76 season at No. 14.  

The preseason ranking is not the first garnered this season, as the teams has been ranked 11th by, 14th by Slam magazine and 17th by The Sporting News. The team has also been ranked 26th by CBS and Dick Vitale and 32nd by

Kansas State was the top vote-getter among teams receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today poll with 94 points, just 17 short of 111 received by No. 25 Villanova.

season tickets sold out... again

K-State scored its first victory of the season Nov. 1 before ever playing a game when it was announced that men’s basketball season tickets are sold out in Bramlage Coliseum. 

The sellout announcement marked the second consecutive year that all season-ticket packages have been purchased.  Last season was the first time in the history of Bramlage Coliseum that K-State games were sold out on a season-ticket basis.  Prior to then, the previous sellout was 1982-83 when the Wildcats played in Ahearn Field House.


ticket available for sprint center game

Tickets for Kansas State’s game against Florida A&M in Kansas City’s Sprint Center went on sale to the general public on Tuesday, Nov. 6.


Tickets are priced at $25 and will be available at all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at 816.931.3330 or online at


The game will be considered K-State's home contest.  It will be included in the season-ticket package for Wildcat fans, excluding students whose season ticket does not contain games played during the semester break.  K-State students are able to purchase tickets at a special price of $10 through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office on Wednesday, Nov. 14.  Season-ticket holders will receive their tickets for the game in a separate mailing.


The Sprint Center is the cornerstone of more than a $4.5 billion revitalization of downtown Kansas City.  The 18,500-seat arena will play host to numerous sporting events, including the 2008 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s First and Second Rounds and 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Regional Finals and Semifinals.


k-state chosen fourth in big 12 preseason poll

The Kansas State men’s basketball team was given its highest-ever ranking in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll on Oct. 11, as the Wildcats were chosen fourth with 91 points.


Boosted by the return of seven lettermen and one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, the Wildcats received their highest ranking in 10 preseason polls dating back to the 1997-98 season.  The previous high came in 2006-07 when K-State was selected fifth, while the previous high to last season came back in 1998-99 when the team was chosen sixth.


For the eighth time in Big 12 history, Kansas is the preseason favorite to win the conference title as the Jayhawks gained 120 total points and received 10 of the possible 12 first-place votes in polling of the head coaches.  The team welcomes back four starters and returns 84.6 percent of its scoring.


Texas was picked second in the poll with 105 points, as the Longhorns received four more points more than third-place Texas A&M, which received the other two first-place vote and 101 points.  Missouri and Oklahoma followed K-State in a tie for fifth with 66 points each.  


Oklahoma State edged Texas Tech for seventh place with 61 points, while the Red Raiders followed in eighth place with 60 points.  Baylor (55) and Nebraska (29) were picked ninth and 10th, respectively, while Iowa State (22) and Colorado (16) rounded out the poll.    


beasley named preseason big 12 frosh of the year

Freshman forward Michael Beasley was selected as the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year in a vote of the league coaches, as the conference office announced its annual preseason honors Oct. 9.


The league also announced that Texas’ D.J. Augustin was named the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year and Missouri’s DeMarre Carroll was selected as the Preseason Newcomer of the Year.  In addition to these superlatives, Augustin was joined on the Preseason All-Big 12 squad by Kansas’ Darrell Arthur and Brandon Rush, Baylor’s Curtis Jerrells, Nebraska’s Aleks Maric and Texas A&M’s Joseph Jones.     


Beasley and freshman Bill Walker were named to the honorable mention preseason team, along with Baylor’s Aaron Bruce, Colorado’s Richard Roby, Kansas’ Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Dove, Texas A&M’s Josh Carter and DeAndre Jordan and Texas Tech’s Martin Zeno.


The honor is one of many earned by the 6-foot-10, 235-pound former No. 1 high school player in the country this preseason.  Beasley has been selected as a Diaper Dandy by Dick Vitale, a second team preseason All-American by Sports Illustrated and a third team All-American by, while he garnered Preseason Freshman All-America distinction from Athlon’s College Basketball Yearbook.  In addition, he was named to the preseason All-Big 12 team by both Athlon’s and The Sporting News.