K-State Concludes Homestand vs. Presbyterian

Sophomore Nick Russell had a career-high 19 points in the opener vs. James Madison.

Nov. 17, 2010

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3/3 Kansas State (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
vs. Presbyterian (0-1, 0-0 Big South)
O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic Regional Round

Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010  |  Tipoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Manhattan, Kan.  |  Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)  | 
Live Stats: www.k-statesports.com  |  Internet: ESPN3.com
Television: FOX Sports Kansas City (Ben Boyle, play-by-play; Stan Weber, analyst; Kevin Landy, producer)  |  Channels: DirecTV 672, Dish 447
Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, play-by-play; Matt Walters, analyst)  | 
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS 113 
Head Coaches: Kansas State - Frank Martin (Florida International ‘93) is 74-32 (.698) in his fourth season.  Presbyterian - Gregg Nibert
(Marietta College ‘75) is 349-275 (.559) in his 22nd season as a head coach and at the school.
Series: First meeting  |  Martin vs. Nibert:  First meeting  |  K-State vs. Big South:  5-0  |  Last time vs. Big South:  W, Gardner-Webb, 12/14/08
Last Time Out:  K-State knocked off No. 22/24 Virginia Tech, 73-57, on Tuesday at home, while Presbyterian lost at Vanderbilt, 88-47, on Nov. 12.
Rankings: K-State is No. 3 in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls.  Presbyterian is not ranked in either poll.
Tickets: Sold out.  Selected tickets for holiday games [Dec. 23, Dec. 31, Jan. 3] are available at www.k-statesports.com.

K-State plays Presbyterian before heading to Kansas City
No. 3/3 Kansas State (2-0) plays host to its third game in a seven-game stretch to start the season on Thursday night, as the Wildcats play host to Presbyterian (0-1) at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 7 p.m. CT.  It will be the final game of the Manhattan Regional Round of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic, which began on Nov. 12 with a 75-61 victory over James Madison.  K-State will move to the Championship Round of the CBE Classic to be played at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., on Monday-Tuesday, Nov. 22-23.  The squad will play No. 11/12 Gonzaga (2-1) in Monday’s night-cap with the winner advancing to play either No. 1/1 Duke (2-0) or Marquette (2-0) on Tuesday at 9 p.m. CT.  The loser of the first two games in Kansas City will square off at 6:45 p.m. CT. on Tuesday.  All four games of the Championship Round will be broadcast on ESPN2.

The Wildcats moved to 2-0 on the season for the eighth consecutive season on Tuesday afternoon with an impressive 73-57 win over No. 22/24 Virginia Tech.  The game had a unique tip-off (3 p.m.) as it was played as part of ESPN’s third annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, but was still played before a sell-out crowd of 12,528.  The victory was the 11th against a ranked opponent under head coach Frank Martin in just the fourth match-up of ranked foes in Bramlage Coliseum history. 

The squad got a balanced scoring effort with four players in double figures led by the 13-point effort of Jacob Pullen, Rodney McGruder and Jamar Samuels.  It marked the 33rd time in Pullen’s career he led the team in scoring, while it represented his 78th career double-figure scoring game.  He now ranks fifth all-time in career double-digit scoring games. McGruder toppled his career-high in rebounds for the second straight game with a game-high nine boards in a career-best 31 minutes, while Samuels was solid all-around with eight rebounds and a team-high five assists in 23 minutes.  Sophomore Jordan Henriquez-Roberts added a near double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds, while fellow sophomore Martavious Irving added nine points in 25 minutes.   In all, nine players scored in the contest, while 10 grabbed at least one rebound.  The Wildcats out-scored the Hokies, 37-10, off the bench.            

The Wildcats own their highest ever preseason rankings in both major polls, checking at No. 3 in both The Associated Press and USA Today/ ESPN Coaches polls.  The No. 3 ranking ties for the highest of any of the major polls, in which, the squad is ranked in the Top 10 in nearly every poll.  The No. 3 ranking is the highest in an AP poll in almost 50 years since the Wildcats ranked No. 3 on March 6, 1962.  The team has been ranked in the AP Top 10 for nine consecutive polls dating back to last season, including a No. 7 ranking prior to the NCAA Tournament.  Overall, the school has appeared in 16 consecutive AP polls dating back to Dec. 14, 2009.  The squad returns nine lettermen, including two starters, from a team that won a school-record 29 games, including a Big 12 era high 11 in league play, and advanced to their first Elite Eight since 1988. 

K-State is 222-80 (.734) as a ranked team all-time in The Associated Press poll (which dates to 1949-50), including 139-36 (.793) as a Top 10 squad and 87-22 (.796) as a Top 5 team.  The Wildcats have played 34 games previously as the nation’s No. 3 team in the country, boasting a 27-7 (.788) mark.  This will be just the third game as the No. 3 team since defeating Nebraska 84-60 on March 7, 1962. 

This will be the first meeting between K-State and Presbyterian on the hardwood.  The Wildcats are 5-0 all-time against teams from the Big South Conference with an average margin of victory of 27 points.  This will be the first meeting with Big South foe since posting a 107-48 win over Gardner-Webb on Dec. 14, 2008.  The 59-point victory is the third-largest against one opponent in school history and just two short of the school-record of 61 set against Delaware State in 1991.  The Blue Hose are in their second year of transition to the Division I level.

Postgame Notes vs. Virginia Tech
• Tuesday’s contest was the first ever between K-State and Virginia Tech... K-State is now 9-8 against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
• The Wildcats’ starting lineup vs. Virginia Tech consisted of senior guard Jacob Pullen, sophomore guard Nick Russell, sophomore guard Rodney McGruder, sophomore forward Wally Judge, and junior forward Freddy Asprilla... This was the second time K-State has used this lineup this year... Three players - Juevol Myles, Devon Peterson and Shane Southwell - all saw their first action as Wildcats in the contest.
• Kansas State is now 27-0 when holding opponents to less than 60 points under head coach Frank Martin.
• The Wildcats scored 37 points from their bench to outscore the starters... With Jacob Pullen in foul trouble early K-State went to the bench and saw major impacts from Jamar Samuels (13), Jordan Henriquez-Roberts (10), Martavious Irving (9) and Will Spradling (5)... The 37 points off the bench were the most in a game since scoring 41 against Fort Hays State on Dec. 1, 2009... It was also higher than all but two games last year.
• Rodney McGruder had a season-best 13 points on the afternoon... He also pulled down a career-high 9 rebounds.
• Martavious Irving had a career-high in 3-pointers with 3 in today’s contest with a career-high 9 points... It marked the second straight game he has tied or broken his career-high for 3’s.
•Will Spradling played a big role on defense for the Wildcats taking 3 charges.

K-State honors Winter at halftime of Virginia Tech game
Kansas State honored the accomplishments of former coach Tex Winter at halftime of the Virginia Tech game for his induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame later this month.  He is one of eight individuals who will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2010. The 2010 induction ceremonies will be held on Sunday, Nov. 21 at the College Basketball Experience (CBE) and the historic Midland Theatre in Kansas City.  Winter, who led the Wildcats to 261 wins and eight league titles from 1953-68, will be joined in the 2010 induction class with players Christian Laettner (Duke), David Thompson (N.C. State), Jerry West (West Virginia) and Sidney Wicks (UCLA), fellow coach Davey Whitney (Alcorn State) and contributors Wayne Duke and Tom Jernstedt. 

A renowned basketball innovator credited with the triangle offense, Winter led the Wildcats to a 261-118 (.689) record, which included eight Big Seven/Eight conference titles, five Big Seven/Eight Holiday Tournament crowns and six trips to the NCAA Tournament.  His 261 wins rank second all-time in school history behind Jack Hartman’s 295, while he is second in NCAA Tournament victories (seven) and 20-win seasons (five). 

Winter’s .689 winning percentage ranks fourth all-time in school history behind Zora Clevenger (.761; 1916-20); current coach Frank Martin (.702) and E.A. Knoth (.700; 1920-21). He also laid claim to more conference titles (eight) than any other head coach in the program’s history, while his teams finished among the Top 20 nationally nine times in his 15 seasons, including No. 1 in both polls in 1958-59.

The Book on Presbyterian
Presbyterian College, one of the smallest Division I schools at just 1,200 undergraduates, is in the midst of its second year making the transition to Division I college basketball after posting more than 1,000 victories at the Division II level since 1913-14.  Located in Clinton, S.C., the Blue Hose returns nine lettermen, including all five starters, from a squad that posted a 5-26 overall record, including 2-16 mark in Big South play.  The Blue Hose, one of the more unique nicknames in all of college sports, is a fierce Scotch-Irish warrior and was adopted as the mascot in the 1950s.

The youthful squad with just one senior, Presbyterian has not played since opening the season with an 88-47 loss at Vanderbilt on Nov. 12.  Junior center Al’Lonzo Coleman led two players in double figures with 17 points to go with team-highs in both rebounds (six) and steals (three).  Junior Josh Johnson added 11 points, while fellow junior Pierre Miller had eight points and four rebounds.  The Blue Hose connected on just 32.7 percent of their field goals against the Commodores, including just 28.6 percent from 3-point range, and were out-rebounded 40-21.   

Sophomore guard Jake Troyli was the team’s leading scorer a year ago, averaging 12.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.  Fellow guard Khalid Mutakabbir was second in scoring at 8.4 points per game, while the team’s lone senior - Walt Allen - averaged 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per outing in 2009-10.   Troyli struggled in the opener, scoring just four points on 1-of-9 field goals, while Mutakabbir went scoreless.  In addition to K-State, the Blue Hose play a difficult non-conference schedule this season with trips to Missouri, Auburn and Wake Forest.     
Presbyterian is led by veteran head coach Gregg Nibert, who posted a 349-274 (.584) record in 22 seasons at the school.  He has led the squad to six 20-win seasons, including 27 victories in both 1992-93 and 2002-03.  Nibert has spent more than 25 seasons at the school, having served as an assistant from 1981-84 before being named head coach in 1989.  He is a former assistant at Rice (1979-81) and Furman (1984-89).  

Series vs. Presbyterian
This will mark the first meeting between K-State and Presbyterian on the hardwood.  The Wildcats are 5-0 all-time against teams currently in the Big South Conference, including contests against Gardner-Webb (3-0), Coastal Carolina (1-0) and North Carolina-Asheville (1-0).  This will be the first meeting with Big South foe since posting a 107-48 win over Gardner-Webb on Dec. 14, 2008.  The 59-point victory is the third-largest against one opponent in school history and just two short of the school-record of 61 set against Delaware State in 1991.  All five games against Big South foes have come in Manhattan by an average margin of victory of 27 points with four of the five decided by at least 18 points.   

Up Next: No. 11/12 Gonzaga
K-State battles its second Top 25 in a three-game stretch with a tilt against No. 11/12 Gonzaga (2-1) on Monday in the Championship Round of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic at the Sprint Center.  The winner will play either No. 1/1 Duke (2-0) or Marquette (2-0) on Tuesday in the title game.   K-State and Gonzaga have met just once in their respective histories with the Wildcats earning a 66-64 win in the second round of the 1994 NIT.

‘Cats in November
Kansas State is 83-24 (.776) all-time in the month of November, including wins in 32 of its last 39 games.  The Wildcats have won 24 of their last 25 games at home in November dating back to the 2003-04 season, including nine in a row dating back to an 80-77 overtime loss to No. 17
Oregon on Nov. 29, 2008.  The Oregon loss snapped a 17-game homecourt winning streak in the month and was the first November home loss since a 59-55 setback to Northwestern on Nov. 30, 2002.  A year ago, the Wildcats posted their best winning percentage in the November since 2005-06, posting a 5-1 record.  The team totaled at least five wins in the month for the third consecutive season – a first in school history – while tying the 1998-99 (5-2), 2007-08 (5-2) and 2008-09 (5-2) teams for the most wins in the month.  Last season, the squad earned wins over Loyola Chicago (92-54), Western Illinois (82-50), Boston U. (80-70), No. 18/21 Dayton (83-75) and IUPUI (70-57) to go with a loss to Ole Miss (86-74).

Points Off Turnovers
A trademark of Frank Martin-coached teams are their ability to score points off of opponent’s mistakes.  Since he became coach, the Wildcats have scored 2,011 points off of 1,781 turnovers in 106 games, an average of just under 19 points per game.  Nearly 25 percent of the points scored in the past four years have come off of offense generated from turnovers.  In the season opener, the squad scored 21 points off 26 James Madison turnovers, while they converted 17 Virginia Tech miscues into 14 points.  In 2007-08, the Wildcats scored 18.9 points per game off of 16.2 turnovers per game, while in 2008-09, the team scored 25.7 points off of an average of 17.0 turnovers.  The 2009-10 season was no different with the squad averaging 19.9 points off of 16.9 turnovers per game.  K-State scored 20+ points off of turnovers 17 times a year ago, including a school-record 40 against South Dakota on Jan. 3.  The team also scored 20 or more points off of turnovers against Loyola (29), IUPUI (28), WSU (39), UNLV (26), Alabama (22), UAPB (29), Cleveland State (30), Texas A&M (23), Colorado (23 & 26), Nebraska (22 & 29), Oklahoma (23) and Missouri (21), Oklahoma State (23) and Baylor (22).  The Wildcats have a 44-5 record when scoring 20+ points off turnovers under Martin.
Pullen Named Preseason AP All-American
The accolades for Jacob Pullen continue to mount, as the senior was named a preseason first team All-American by The Associated Press earlier this month.  Pullen, who has been selected to a number of All-American teams, was joined on the first team by North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson and Duke’s Kyle Singler.  Pullen was an honorable mention AP All-American as a junior after leading K-State to its first Elite Eight since 1988.  He has already been named a preseason All-American by a number of media outlets, including to the first team by ESPN.com, Blue Ribbon Yearbook and The Sporting News, to the second team by Dick Vitale and to the third team by Athlon Sports.  He was also selected a preseason Top 50 candidate for the Wooden Award, given to the nation’s top player by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, while he was named one of 50 preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T on Nov. 16.  He is also a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, given to the nation’s top all-around senior basketball player.  A year ago, Pullen led the Wildcats in scoring at 19.3 points per game, while setting school single-season marks for games played (37), 3-point field goals (110) and steals (67). 

Pullen Moving Up the Charts
Senior Jacob Pullen is nearing several career milestone as he enters his fourth and final season.  After his team-tying 13-point effort against No. 22/24 Virginia Tech, he moved to within seven points off for Cartier Martin (1,546, 2003-07) for sixth place in scoring at K-State.  His current total of 1,539 points in 106 games ranks seventh on the scoring list, as he is one of just three players (Mike Evans and Rolando Blackman) in school history to score 1,500 points in his first three seasons.  If Pullen keeps up his current scoring average (14.4 ppg.), he would finish in the Top 5 just behind Mike Evans (2,115; 1974-78), Rolando Blackman (1,844; 1977-81) and Askia Jones (1,834; 1989-94) with over 1,700 points.  A year ago, he was one of three players (along with Denis Clemente and Curtis Kelly) to set the single-season record for games played (37) and started (37), while also setting school marks for double-digit scoring games (37), 3-point field goals (110) and steals (67).

Pullen ranks among the Top 10 in 14 career categories, including eight in the Top 5 in school history.  He is already the school’s career record holder for 3-point field goal attempted (640), while he paces second in steals (166), third in 3-point field goals (228), assists (348) and free throws (369), fourth in consecutive starts (73) and fifth in minutes (3,004) and double-digit scoring games (78).  He ranks sixth in free throws attempted (482) and consecutive games (106), seventh in starts (87) and field goals attempted (1,169), eighth in field goals (471) and ninth in 20-point games (26).  Within the next few games, he has an opportunity to surpass Askia Jones (237, 1989-94) for second place in 3-point field goals (needs 10 treys), while he needs 13 to take first place from Steve Henson (240, 1987-90).  Despite playing 19 minutes Tuesday, he became just the fifth player with 3,000 minutes played.  Pullen is the first player in school history to be named team captain three consecutive years.

Recapping the Exhibition Season
Kansas State completed its exhibition slate a perfect 2-0 with a pair of wins over Division II foes, Newman (83-56) on Nov. 2 and Washburn (90-44) on Nov. 7.  The Wildcats have won 10 consecutive exhibition games dating back to the 2004-05 season and are 33-9 in exhibitions since 1987.

*K-State averaged 86.5 points on 41.5 percent shooting (54-130), including 38.3 percent (18-of-47) from 3-point range, with 56.0 rebounds, 17.5 assists, 8.5 steals and 7.0 blocks per game.  The Wildcats out-scored their opposition, 68-45 in the paint, 50-22 off turnovers, 41-12 on second chance opportunities and 88-33 off the bench.  The team allowed 50 points off 29.1 percent shooting, including 27 percent from beyond the arc.

*Senior guard Jacob Pullen led a balanced scoring attack with 13.5 points per game in the two exhibition games, while playing a team-high 24 mintues per game.  In all, 10 players averaged at least five points per game, while five averaged at least four boards per game.  Sophomores Wally Judge and Rodney McGruder averaged 10.5 and 10.0 points per game, respectively, while senior Curtis Kelly posted 8.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per outing.  Newcomers Shane Southwell and Freddy Asprilla averaged 7.0 and 6.5 points, while Asprilla hauled in a team-best 9.5 rebounds.