K-State, Boston U. play in Puerto Rico Tipoff

Game Information

Kansas State (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
vs. Boston University (0-2)

Date: Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tipoff: 6:30 p.m. CT [8:30 p.m. Atlantic Time in Puerto Rico]
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Arena: Coliseo de Puerto Rico (18,000)

Television: None.  Selected games in the tournament will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPNU (Jon Sciambi, Doug Sherman, play-by-play; Fran Fraschilla, Hubert Davis, analysts).  Internet: www.ESPN360.com (only those televised)

Radio: K-State Sports Network (Ben Boyle, play-by-play; Mike Clark, analyst).  Live Stats: www.PuertoRicoTipoff.comLocal Stations: 101.5-FM (KMKF; Manhattan), 102.9-FM (KQTP; Topeka).  Satellite Radio: n/a

Head Coaches: Kansas State - Frank Martin (Florida International '93) is 45-24 (.652) in his third season.  Boston University -Patrick Chambers (Philadelphia '94) is 0-2 (.000) in his first season as a head coach.

Last Time Out: K-State defeated Western Illinois, 82-50, on Nov. 15, while Boston University lost to George Washington, 69-59, on Nov. 17.

Series: First meeting.  Last time: n/a.  vs. America East Conference: K-State is 1-0 (defeated Vermont, 59-57, in NIT First Round in 2007.)  Frank Martin is 0-0 all-time vs. Boston University, while Patrick Chambers is 0-0 all-time vs. K-State.    

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

Tickets: $18 (Single-session tickets), $99 (All-Tournament tickets) at Coliseo de Puerto Rico Box Office or via www.Ticketpop.com.

K-State faces first major test at the Puerto Rico Tipoff
Kansas State will face one of its toughest challenges of the young season this week, as the Wildcats travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico to play in the third annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tipoff at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico from Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 19-22.  The squad will open the tournament with America East favorite Boston University (0-2) on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. CT then will play either Indiana (2-0) or Ole Miss (2-0) on Friday at either 5:30 or 7 p.m. CT. 

The other side of the bracket includes three ranked teams, including No. 5 Villanova (1-0), No. 18 Dayton (1-0), No. 21 Georgia Tech (1-0) and George Mason (0-0).  The Yellow Jackets and Flyers open the tournament at 10:30 a.m. CT followed by the Wildcats-Patriots tilt at 1 p.m. CT.

This will be the 73rd in-season tournament for Kansas State dating back to 1935.  The Wildcats played in at least one in-season tournament for 36 straight seasons from 1943-78, including the annual Big Six/Seven/Eight Holiday Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.  This will be the team's sixth tournament outside the continental United States and the first since playing in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands in 2002.  The school's other tournaments outside the continental U.S. include the Silver Sword Tournament in Maui, Hawai'i (1985), the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Alaska (1989), the Hawai'i Nike Festival in Honolulu (1993) and the Maui Invitational (1998). 

K-State has a 107-71 (.601) all-time record in its 72 previous in-season tournaments.  The Wildcats have won 13 in-season tournament titles, including seven Big Six/Seven/Eight Holiday Tournaments, the Sun Met Classic (1987), BMA Holiday Classic (1990), Hawai'i Nike Festival (1993), Capital City Classic (1994), Otis Spunkmeyer Classic (1995) and the Las Vegas Holiday Classic (2006).

This week's tournament will be a homecoming for two of K-State's seniors, as guard Denis Clemente and forward Luis Colon are both natives of Puerto Rico.  The duo, which played their prep basketball in Miami, will be playing basketball in their homeland for the first time in their careers.  Clemente and Colon are both from San Juan suburbs (Bayamon and Carolina), which are only 15-20 minutes away from the arena, and should bring large cheer sections.

K-State opened the 2009-10 season with a pair of home wins this past weekend over Loyola Chicago (92-54) and Western Illinois (82-50).  It marked the seventh consecutive season that the Wildcats have started 2-0 in a season, including third straight year under head coach Frank Martin.  The squad shot over 50 percent in both contests, while holding their opponents to less than 30 percent from the field.  The team has been balanced so far shooting the ball with five players each scoring in double figures in the first two games.  Junior transfer Curtis Kelly, who posted a career-high 22 in the opener with Loyola Chicago, paces five players in double-digit scoring at 15.5 points per game.  He is also averaging a team-high 7.5 boards per contest.        

Recapping the win over Western Illinois
Kansas State played its second game in three days, improving to 2-0 on the young season after defeating Western Illinois, 82-50, before a sold-out crowd of 12,528 at Bramlage Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.

Sophomore guard/forward Jamar Samuels provided the spark off the K-State bench, dropping 19 points on the Leathernecks to lead all scorers.  He set a career-high in steals with three, while also adding seven rebounds along with three assists.  He was one of five players to tally double digit scoring, which also included 13 from Denis Clemente, 11 from both freshmen Wally Judge and Rodney McGruder and 10 from Jacob Pullen.  Clemente and Pullen scored in double figures for the 42nd and 41st times in their respective careers.  It marked the first career double-digit scoring game for Judge, while McGruder tallied 11 points for the second consecutive game.

Freshman Jordan Henriquez-Roberts earned his first collegiate start on the afternoon and was a constant presence in the paint, blocking five shots and grabbing 10 rebounds to go along with his seven points.  Henriquez-Roberts has had nine blocks in his first two games as a Wildcat.

Kansas State went into the break with a 31-20 lead, while holding Western Illinois to just 27.3 percent shooting.  After the half, the Wildcats shot 60 percent from the floor, allowing them to stretch their lead to 32 at the buzzer.  The squad was impressive in transition, holding the Leathernecks to zero points on fast-break opportunities, while converting 22 points off of fast breaks themselves.     

Postgame Notes vs. Western Illinois
--Kansas State is now 3-0 all-time against Western Illinois... The Wildcats improved to 30-3 all-time against teams from the Summit League.

--Kansas State moved to 2-0 on the season... The victory marks the sixth consecutive season the Wildcats have won their first two contests... Kansas State is 248-88 (.738) all-time in Bramlage Coliseum... The paid attendance on Sunday was a sold-out 12,528.

--The Wildcats' starting lineup Sunday afternoon was junior guard Jacob Pullen, senior guard Denis Clemente, junior forward Dominique Sutton, junior forward Curtis Kelly and freshman forward Jordan Henriquez-Roberts... It marks the first time this season the team has used this starting combination... Pullen has now started in 36 straight games for the Wildcats, extending his streak as the team's leader in most consecutive games played to 69... Henriquez-Roberts made his first collegiate start.

--The K-State transition defense shut down the Leathernecks to not allow any points on fast breaks in the contest, while the Wildcats converted on the break for 22 points.

--The Wildcats went into the half with a 31-20 lead, marking the second time this season the team has gone into the break with the lead.

--K-State's defense held Western Illinois to 27.3 percent (9-of-33) shooting in the first half, while blocking six shots and forcing five turnovers.

--The Wildcats out-rebounded the Leathernecks 26-18 in the first stanza.

--Five Wildcats' scored in double figures on Sunday... K-State has had five players score in double figures in both games to open the season.  Sophomore Jamar Samuels came off the bench to lead all Wildcats in scoring with 19 points, marking his 17th career double digit scoring game... Samuels has scored double figures in both games... He also pulled down seven rebounds, while also setting a career-high three steals.

--The Wildcats dominated on the boards by out-rebounding the Leathernecks, 48-31... The team also blocked a season-high 10 shots... Jordan Henriquez-Roberts led the squad in both categories grabbing a career-high 10 rebounds and blocking a career-high five shots.

--Freshman Rodney McGruder scored 11 points for the second time this season... McGruder has been a consistent shooter for the Wildcats making 7-of-9 shots attempted this season, including 5-of-7 beyond the arc.

--Wally Judge set a career-high in scoring and rebounds with 11 points and five rebounds in his 15 minutes of play.

'Cats win 7th consecutive opener in win over Loyola
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 Chicago, including 27 by the heralded five-man recruiting class.

In all, six first-year Wildcats played in their first career games against Loyola Chicago, including four of them earning their first career points.  The junior transfer Kelly led all newcomers with his 22 points, but McGruder also registered double figure scoring at 11 points.  Nick Russell (7), Wally Judge (5), Jordan Henriquez-Roberts (4) also tallied points in their first career games.

The Book on Boston University
A member of the America East Conference, Boston University returns 12 lettermen, including four starters, from a team that posted a 17-13 overall record, including 11-5 mark in league play, in 2008-09.  The team is the preseason favorite in the America East.

The Terriers are 0-2 on the young season under first-year head coach Patrick Chambers with a road loss at Iona (82-73) on Nov. 13 to go with a 69-59 loss at home to George Washington on Nov. 17.  Boston shot just 38.2 percent from the field in the opener with Iona, as four players scored in double figures led by senior guard Tyler Morris' 21-point effort.  The Colonials led most of the way in defeating Boston for the second straight season.  Preseason all-conference selection and junior John Holland led the way for the Terriers with a game-high 24 points to go with 11 boards, while fellow senior Corey Lowe added 21 points.  Boston shot just 30.6 percent from the field, including 18.5 percent from 3-point range.

The squad has three players averaging in double figures led by junior guard John Holland, who is averaging 20.5 points per game.  Senior guard Corey Lowe is second in scoring at 18.5 points per game, while senior guard  Tyler Morris is adding 12.5 points per contest.  Senior guard Carlos Strong is the team's top rebounder at 10.0 per game.

Chambers is in his first season at Boston University after spending time as the associate head coach at Villanova, where he helped the Wildcats to the Final Four in 2009.  He spent five years at Villanova, where he helped the squad to a 126-45 (.737) overall record and four NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances.  He is a former point guard at Philadelphia University, where he left as the school's all-time assists leader.  He led the squad to four NCAA Division II Sweet 16 appearances and two Elite Eight finishes.  

Series vs. Boston University
This will be the first all-time meeting between Kansas State and Boston University on the hardwood.  The Wildcats have played just one other America East Conference school in their history, a 59-57 win over Vermont in the first round of the Postseason NIT on March 14, 2007. 

Head coach Frank Martin has ties to the Boston area, having broken into the college assistant coaching ranks at Northeastern University in 2000. He would serve four years on first Rudy Keeling's staff then Ron Everhart's staff at Northeastern, helping the Huskies post their first winning season in eight years in 2002-03 with a 16-15 record and a win over crosstown rival and NIT participant Boston College.  The following year, the team collected the school's best record in 11 seasons with a 19-11 record and a third-place finish in the America East.  Martin helped coach eight all-league players at Northeastern, including first team All-America East selection and current Dallas Maverick Jose Juan Barea in 2004.

'Cats in November
Kansas State is 78-23 (.772) all-time in the month of November, including wins in 27 of its last 33 games.  The Wildcats have won 22 of their last 23 games at home in November dating back to the 2003-04 season.  The team saw its 17-game homecourt winning streak in the month end in an 80-77 overtime loss to No. 17 Oregon on Nov. 29, 2008.  It was the first November home loss since a 59-55 loss to Northwestern on Nov. 30, 2002. 

Last season, the squad posted a 5-2 mark in the month with wins against Florida A&M (88-68), Emporia State (82-60), Cleveland State (69-59) and Oakland (83-64) to go with losses to Kentucky (74-72) and Iowa (65-63) at the Findley Toyota Las Vegas Inviational.

Friends Could Meet
A match-up between Kansas State and Ole Miss in the second round would pit two close friends against each other in Frank Martin and Andy Kennedy.  The two coaches became close during their coaching stints at the University of Cincinnati.  Martin joined the Bearcat coaching staff as an assistant coach with Kennedy under Bob Huggins in 2004-05.  He then became the top assistant to Kennedy when he was named the interim head coach for the 2005-06 season upon the abrupt firing of Huggins.  Martin and Kennedy helped guide the Bearcats to a 21-13 overall record in 2005-06 and a trip to the quarterfinals of the Postseason NIT.    

Series vs. Ole Miss
A meeting between Kansas State and Ole Miss would be the third meeting in their respective histories.  The Rebels have won both previous games, including a 60-46 victory in Oxford, Miss., on Dec. 5, 2000 and a 67-65 win in Manhattan, Kan., on Nov. 24, 2001.  This would be the Wildcats' first meeting with an SEC school since losing to Kentucky at the Las Vegas Invitational last season.  K-State is 18-19 all-time against the SEC.

Series vs. Indiana
A meeting between Kansas State and Indiana would be 32nd meeting in their respective histories.  The Hooisers hold a 19-12 all-time advantage in the series, including nine consecutive wins.  The series dates all the way back a 60-33 win by the Hooisers on Dec. 14, 1936.  The two teams met annually from 1950-70 and then again each season from 1980-85.  The last meeting came at the Maui Invitational, a 71-70 win on Nov. 23, 1998.  The Wildcats' last win in the series came in an 87-83 overtime victory at Ahearn Field House on Dec. 9, 1968.  This would be the Wildcats' first meeting with a Big Ten team since losing to Iowa at the Las Vegas Invitational last season.  K-State is 40-54 all-time against the Big Ten.  

Other potential match-ups
Kansas State has never met Dayton or Georgia Tech on the hardwood, while have meet George Mason and Villanova just once.  The Wildcats lost to Villanova, 51-34, all the way back on Dec. 27, 1940, while they lost to the Patriots, 87-77, in the first round of the Old Spice Classic on Nov. 22, 2007... K-State is 16-17 all-time against the Atlantic 10, 7-9 against the ACC, 18-25 against the Big East and 6-2 against the Colonial.