K-State makes tough trip to New Mexico Tuesday

Game 4

Kansas State (3-0) at New Mexico (3-0)

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2006

The Pit (18,018) in Albuquerque, N.M.


Game Information:

Tipoff: 7 p.m. Central

Series: K-State leads 3-1, including 1-0 in Albuquerque (12/12/60)

TV: the mnt. (Mountain West Sports Network)

Talent: Tim Neverett (Play-by-Play) and Dave Bollwinkel (Analyst)

Coordinates: SBS 6; Transponder K4 lower; Downlink FREQ 11787(V)

Radio: K-State Sports Network (31 affiliates), Yahoo! Radio

Talent: Wyatt Thompson (Play-by-Play) and Stan Weber (Analyst)


Kansas State visit historic Pit for the first time on Tuesday against New Mexico

Kansas State hits the road for the second time in three games on Tuesday, as the Wildcats venture to the legendary Pit in Albuquerque, N.M., to face surging New Mexico (3-0) at 7 p.m. Central.  K-State is off to a 3-0 start for the fourth straight season after dispatching of Tennessee Tech, 101-79, on Saturday night.  It marked the first time the Wildcats eclipsed the 100-point barrier since December 2002.

The contest will be broadcast on the newly-formed Mountain West Sports Network (the mnt.) with Tim Neverett (play-by-play) and Dave Bollwinkel (analyst) calling the action.  The network is the first and only one completely dedicated to covering men’s and women’s sports in the Mountain West Conference.  It has or will air 165 contests during the 2006-07 season, including 75 live men’s basketball games.                


The UNM game will be the first of two Wildcat games broadcast on the network, as the Dec. 2 tilt at Colorado State will also be shown to viewers in the region.  To view a list of participating cable network providers, log-on to http://themtn.cstv.com/how/.  Fans may also listen to the radio broadcast on the 31-station K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (color).

K-State and New Mexico will be meeting for fifth time in their respective histories and for the first time at The Pit.  The Wildcats own a 3-1 edge in the series, including a 68-56 win over the Lobos in the first game of this home-and-home series on Nov. 23, 2005 at Bramlage Coliseum.  K-State won its only meeting in Albuquerque in 1960.


Noting the Tennessee Tech Game

*Kansas State is now 2-0 in the series with Tennessee Tech... The first meeting and last meeting between the teams was Dec. 27, 1985 in Portland, Ore.; the Wildcats won 89-61... K-State head coach Bob Huggins is now 7-2 all-time against the Golden Eagles, including a 4-1 mark in home contests.

*The output of 101 points by the Wildcats is a new season-high... The previous high was 70 against William & Mary... The last time the Wildcats scored 100 or more points was Dec. 11, 2002 against Texas-Pan American (102-68).  The 57 second-half points for the Wildcats were a season-high for a half... The previous high was 44 in the first half tonight... Entering the night, the previous high for a half was 36 in the second half against William & Mary on Nov. 11... K-State also set a season-high for field goal percentage in a half (57.7 percent; 15-of-26) and 3-point percentage (55.6 percent; 5-of-9).

*All 16 players on the roster, including walk-ons James Franklin and Brady Johnson, played in the contest with nine players scoring.


*K-State was 32-of-43 (74.4 percent) from the free throw line on Saturday night... It is a new season-high for free throws made and attempted... The last time K-State made 30 free throws was Nov. 18, 2005 against Georgia Southern (30-of-38; 78.9 percent). 

*Cartier Martin scored a game- and career-high 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the field, including 3-of-7 from the 3-point arc... It is the 16th time in his career he has scored 20 or more points... It is also the 16th time he has knocked down three or more 3-point attempts in a game.

*David Hoskins scored his 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and 10-of-13 (76.9 percent) from the free throw line... It is the most free throws he has converted since making 10-of-12 against Oklahoma State on Feb. 4, 2006.

*Blake Young was 6-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range for a new career-high of 24 points... He was 8-of-10 from the charity stripe, a new career-high... His previous high with the Wildcats was 11 against William & Mary.

*Jermaine Maybank surpassed his career-high in points, rebounds and minutes played with 8, 6 and 22, respectively... His previous high for points was five while at St. John’s against Hofstra on Nov. 29, 2005... His previous career-high for boards was four, also as a member of the Red Storm against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Nov. 19, 2005... His previous high in minutes played was 16 while at St John’s against Seton Hall on Feb. 21, 2006.


’Cats Finally Show Some Offense

After using strong defense and an efficient offense to capture wins in the first two games, Kansas State broke out their offensive slump with a 101-79 win over Tennessee Tech on Saturday night.  The Wildcats eclipsed the 100-point barrier for the first time in nearly four seasons and for the first time since scoring 102 points in a win over Texas-Pan American (102-68) on Dec. 11, 2002.  The team shot a season-best 50.8 percent from the field, including 57.7 percent in the second half, and registered season-highs in field goals (30), 3-point field goals (9) and assists (22).  Prior to Saturday’s game, the Wildcats had averaged just 62.5 points on 30.9 percent shooting (43-of-139), including 23.5 percent (12-of-51) from 3-point range.

Several individuals finally got on track offensively in the big win, as three players - Cartier Martin, David Hoskins and Blake Young -- all set career-highs and became the first Wildcat trio to score 20 or more points in the same contest in nearly 15 years.  Martin posted a career-best 28 points for his 16th 20-point scoring effort in his career, while setting new career-highs in both makes (10) and attempts (19).  Hoskins tallied a career-high 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go with a 10-of-13 effort from the free throw and Young earned his first career 20-point effort with 24 points on 6-of-10 field goals, including a 4-of-6 effort from beyond the arc.  The last three players to score 20 or more points in the same game were Jean Derouillere (23), Jeff Wires (21) and Maurice Brittain (20) in a 95-70 win over Oklahoma at Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 5, 1991.  

Martin Closing In On 1,000 Career Points

After averaging just 5.5 points on 33.3 percent shooting in the first two games, senior forward Cartier Martin busted out of his shooting slump against Tennessee Tech with a career-high 28 points on a career-best 10-of-19 field goals.  It marked the 16th time in his career, the Houston, Texas native has scored 20 or more points, while it marked the 48th time he has recorded double-figure scoring.  With the 28-point outburst against the Eagles, Martin is now a mere 14 points for becoming the just the 19th player in Kansas State history to score 1,000 career points. 

A second team All-Big 12 performer from numerous outlets last season, Martin would become the first Wildcat to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier since Askia Jones did it during the 1992-93 season.  Already among the school’s top-20 scorers of all-time, he needs just 60 points to jump into the top-15 and 200 to crack the top-10.  Last season, Martin became the third player since 1990-91 to top 500 points in a single-season, while his 18.0 scoring average was the highest by a Wildcat since Askia Jones averaged 22.1 points in 1993-94.   

Hoskins Picking Up Where He Left Off

Junior David Hoskins has been the Wildcats’ most consistent performer across the board, as the Canton, Mich., native paces the team in scoring at 18.7 points per game, while averaging 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 blocks per game.  He also leads the squad in field goals (16), field goal attempts (40), free throws (21), free throw attempts (29). The only Wildcat to score in double figures in each game, he came up with a stellar all-around game against Tennessee Tech with a career-best 27 points on 57.1 percent shooting (8-of-14) to go with seven rebounds, three assists (to zero turnovers) and a career-high three blocks in 32 minutes of action. 

A member of the Big 12’s All-Newcomer team, Hoskins averaged 13.1 points on 50.8 percent shooting as a sophomore with 4.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.9 steals in 26.5 minutes per game.  Twice selected the Big 12’s Rookie of the Week, he has made the most of his opportunites since transferring from Schoolcraft College, scoring in double figures in 23 of his 31 career games played at Kansas State, including five 20-point efforts.     

Young A Valuable Addition

Junior Blake Young has made an immediate impact for the Wildcats this season since transferring from Daytona Beach Community College, where he was an honorable mention All-American as a sophomore in 2005-06.  The Orlando, Fla., native is averaging 12.3 points, a team-best 5.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals in a team-high 30.3 minutes per game this season.  After ranking third in NJCAA in scoring at 23.2 points as a sophomore at Daytona Beach, Young displayed his offensive potential with a big offensive effort against Tennessee Tech with a season-high 24 points on 6-of-10 field goals, including 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, to go with four assists, two steals and one block.     

Harris Stepping Up His Game

Bob Huggins has always been a coach that has gotten the most out of his talent and senior guard Lance Harris has been a prime example of that influence.  Although he struggled against Tennessee Tech, he has been a solid performer for the Wildcats averaging 11.0 points and 7.3 rebounds through the first three games.  Harris registered his first career double-double against Rutgers with 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds just four days after opening the season with a team-high 22-point effort against William & Mary.  He ranks among the top 10 in four Big 12 categories, including eighth in  defensive rebounds (5.33) and 3-point field goals made (2.00) and 10th in rebounding (7.3) and 3-point field goal percentage (35.3).  A member of the Big 12’s All-Reserve team as a sophomore, Harris has averaged double-figure scoring the past two seasons (10.5 ppg.) but just 2.3 rebounds.

Getting Defensive

Kansas State has demonstrated trademark Bob Huggins’ defensive basketball in starting 3-0 for the fourth consecutive season.  The Wildcats rank among the top 5 in most every defensive category in the Big 12, including first in offensive rebounds (22.33), second in rebounding margin (+16.7) and defensive rebounds (30.6), third in field goal percentage defense (35.0) and blocked shots (6.00) and fourth in scoring defense (60.0)  and 3-point field goal percentage (27.6).  The team has held each of its three opponents to under 45 percent shooting, while grabbing an average of 53.0 rebounds.

In the win over Rutgers, the Wildcats were even more impressive on defense.  In addition to holding its second straight opponent to 60 points or less and to below 40 percent shooting from the field, the team held the Scarlet Knight to just 41 points on just nine field goals and 19.1 percent shooting.  The nine field goals allowed are the fewest since the Wildcats allowed Washburn a school-record low seven in a 23-15 K-State win on Dec. 6, 1940, while the 41 points are the fewest since Arkansas-Pine Bluff managed just 39 on Dec. 4, 2002.  It was the fewest points allowed an opponent on their own floor since the introduction of the shot clock in 1986-87 and fewest since a 41-39 win over Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., on March 6, 1984.     

Get These Guys Some Windex

Kansas State posted 50 or more rebounds in back-to-back games against William & Mary and Rutgers.  The 59 rebounds in the opener against the Tribe were the most by a Wildcat team since collecting 61 in a triple-overtime loss at Oregon State on Dec. 6, 2003 and the most in a regulation game since totaling a Bramlage Coliseum-record 62 against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 16, 1998.


The mark was a mere 15 shy of the school-record 74 set against Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 2, 1967.  The last time a K-State team surpassed 50 rebounds in a game prior to this season was a 54-board effort against Savannah State on Jan. 1, 2004.  The Wildcats also tallied 32 offensive rebounds against the Tribe, which is thought to be the most in school history.

Block Party

Through three games, Kansas State is averaging 6.0 blocked shots per game, including an eight-block performance in the season opening win over William & Mary on Nov. 11.  The eight blocks against the Tribe is the most by a Wildcat team since blocking nine shots against Longwood on Dec. 5, 2005.  The team’s per game average is the third-highest in the Big 12 behind Texas (8.50 per game) and Kansas (7.67 per game). 

At no surprise, freshman center Jason Bennett, the tallest player in school history at 7-foot-3, is the team-leader in blocked shots so far this season with a 2.67 per game average.  He ranks second in the Big 12 behind fellow rookie Texas’ Kevin Durant (3.25 per game).  Bennett’s four blocks against William & Mary in the opener were the most by an individual player since  Dramane Diarra had a school-tying six blocked shots against Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 26, 2005.  The total was also the most blocks by a true freshman since Travis Canby registered four against Kansas on Feb. 27, 2002.

Non-Conference A Mixed Bag

Kansas State has posted at least eight non-conference wins in 21 of the last 25 seasons, including each of the last four seasons.  The Wildcats have earned a winning record in non-conference play in 34 consecutive seasons dating back to the 1972-73 season with 10 or more victories on 16 occasions.

K-State has won 21 of its last 25 games against non-conference opponents, including a remarkable 19-1 (.950) mark at home.  The one setback at home came in a 76-66 loss to Rutgers at Bramlage Coliseum on Dec. 28, 2004, which the Wildcats’ avenged on Nov. 15 in a 55-41 victory in Piscataway, N.J.   

However, Kansas State has posted just a 2-12 mark in non-conference road games dating back to the 2000-01 season. The Wildcats snapped a five-game losing streak in the 55-41 win over Rutgers on Nov. 15.  It was the program’s first non-conference road victory since a 79-66 win over Wichita State on Dec. 14, 2002 and the first in a true’ (on an opponent’s home court) road opener since a 71-50 win over UMKC on Dec. 3, 1997. 

Road Less Traveled

Kansas State will be making the second of eight road trips during non-conference play with its journey to New Mexico on Tuesday, Nov. 21.  The team’s eight non-conference road games tie four other squads for the most in school history and the most since the 1989-90 squad also played eight. 

The game against Rutgers was the earliest true’ road contest in school history, surpassing the previous mark of Nov. 16 set twice (1994, 1999).  It is also the second-earliest of any road contest in K-State history, which was set during the 1989-90 season when the team played Florida State, Hawai’i and Michigan State at the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Alaska on Nov. 9-11, 1989.  Of note, the game against William & Mary was the earliest home opener in school history and the second-earliest start to a season since the 1989 Great Alaska Shootout. 

The Book On New Mexico

High-flying New Mexico enters Tuesday’s game with a perfect 3-0 record after dismantling Big 12 foe Colorado, 106-65, a week ago on Nov. 14 at the Pit.  The Lobos shot an impressive 54.3 percent from the field, including 67.6 percent in the second half, to turn a 13-point halftime lead into a 41-point victory.  The team saw four players score in double figures against the Buffaloes, including a career-high 25 points and nine rebounds by Kansas transfer J.R. Giddens.  Sophomore Daniel Faris chipped in 14 points, while Ryan Kersten and Tony Dandridge added 11 and 10 points, respectively. 

New Mexico
is averaging 96.3 points per game on 54.3 percent shooting and have won their first three games by an average of 38.0 points.  The Lobos are led by a pair of transfer -- J.R. Giddens and Aaron Johnson, formerly of Penn State.  Giddens is averaging a team-best 20.7 points per game to go with 8.3 rebounds per game, while Johnson has been a monster on the boards, averaging a team-high 10.7 rebounds per game to go with 7.3 points. 

New Mexico
is coached by fifth-year head coach Ritchie McKay, who also served stints at Portland State, Colorado State and Oregon State before coaching the Lobos.  He was hired as Colorado State’s head coach in 1998 by current K-State and former Rams’ athletics director Tim Weiser.  McKay led the Lobos to the 2004-05 Mountain West Tournament Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.  

Series Versus New Mexico

Tuesday’s contest will be the sixth all-time meeting between Kansas State and New Mexico in a series that dates back to 1960.  The teams conducted their first home-and-home series back in 1960 and 1961 with the Wildcats posting an 81-64 win in Albuquerque, N.M. on Dec. 12, 1960 and a 94-52 win in Manhattan on Nov. 28, 1961.  The Lobos gained their revenge nearly 35 years later with their 69-48 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Richmond, Va., on March 15, 1996.  The teams most recently met on Nov. 23, 2005 with K-State earning a 68-56 win at Bramlage Coliseum.

In last season’s 68-56 victory, the Wildcats shot 55.3 percent from the field, including 69.6 percent in the second half, to overcome a 35-26 deficit to the Lobos at halftime en route to the 11-point victory.  Cartier Martin led two Wildcats in double figures with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go with 11 rebounds in 38 minutes, while David Hoskins added 17 points off the bench.  Akeem Wright added eight points, five rebounds and four assists.    

is 30-18 all-time against teams from the Mountain West Conference, including a 6-12 mark on the road.  This will be head coach Bob Huggins’ first meeting with New Mexico, but he holds a perfect 11-0 mark against MWC schools (1-0 BYU; 3-0 TCU; 4-0 UNLV and 3-0 Wyoming).  

Up Next: Coppin State (0-3)

Kansas State returns home from it road trip to face Coppin State (0-3) at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25.  The Eagles have had a rough stretch with games on the road against Virginia Tech (94-43), Hawai’i (79-67) and No. 24 Tennessee (99-65) prior to their first home game against Winston-Salem State on Tuesday, Nov. 21.  The team is led by junior guard Tywain McKee, who is averaging a team-best 17.7 points on 48.6 percent shooting.  McKee registered a team-high 21 points and five steals in the loss to the Volunteers on Sunday.


Recapping the William & Mary Game

Kansas State opened the Bob Huggins era with a come-from-behind victory over William & Mary in the season opener at Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 11.  After missing 15 of its first 18 field goals, the Wildcats found themselves down 18-7 midway through the first half.  However, sparked by senior Lance Harris’ reverse dunk off a turnover, the team used a 20-2 run to take the lead for good and earn a 70-60 win over the Tribe.

*Head coach Bob Huggins moved to 21-1 all-time in season openers since moving to the Division I level at Akron in 1984, including a perfect 18-0 mark in home games... He became the 15th K-State head coach to win his first game, joining legends Jack Gardner, Tex Winter and Jack Hartman.

*Kansas State moved to 79-24 all-time in season openers and 65-9 when debuting in Manhattan... The Wildcats have won 12 of their last 15 openers with all three losses coming on the road... The program has won 12 of their last 13 home openers.   

*The paid attendance was 13,340... The actual attendance in Bramlage Coliseum was 11,340, making it the second-largest season-opening crowd in 20 years and the second-largest since Bramlage was opened in 1988... Kansas State’s largest season-opening crowd was Bramlage Coliseum’s grand-opening, an 81-77 win over Purdue on Nov. 26, 1988, which was witnessed by 13,304 fans... Despite not topping the record of the 1988 grand opening, the average attendance in Kansas State’s 18 home openers in Bramlage Coliseum before Saturday’s game was just 7,418.

*Lance Harris paced four players in double figures with 22 points... It marked the fourth time he eclipsed the 20-point barrier... Blake Young turned in 11 points in his first career game... Akeem Wright posted 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for his first career double-double.

*Freshmen Jason Bennett, Luis Colon and Chris Merriewether made their collegiate debuts, while junior Blake Young made his first Division I appearance... Colon became the first true freshman to start an opener since Ed Nealy did it against Northern Iowa  on Nov. 25, 1978. 


Season Tickets Sold Out

For the first time in the 19-year history of Bramlage Coliseum all available season-ticket packages have been sold.  The last time K-State could boast a sellout of its season tickets was 1982-83 when the Wildcats played in Ahearn Field House.


“There was no question when we hired Bob Huggins that interest in K-State basketball would be rekindled,” said Director of Athletics Tim Weiser.  “But to think we would reach this point so quickly ... it’s amazing.  This is just further evidence of the passion and support of K-State fans.”


Public and student season ticket allocations have accounted for approximately 13,000 of the 13,340 capacity of Bramlage Coliseum.  K-State will make available 300 tickets on an individual-game basis, which were already sold out for the Washburn exhibition game and the regular-season opener against William & Mary.  Tickets remain for K-State’s other non-conference games.  The individual-game allotment for Big 12 Conference games will go on sale Nov. 14 to Ahearn Scholarship Fund donors and season-ticket holders with a priority deadline of Dec. 7.


’Cats Chosen Fifth in Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll

 The Kansas State men’s basketball team was given its highest-ever ranking in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll, as the Wildcats were chosen fifth with 76 points.  Boosted by the hiring of legendary head coach Bob Huggins and the return of four starters and eight lettermen, the Wildcats received their highest ranking in nine preseason polls dating back to the 1997-98 season.  The previous high came in 1998-99 when the team was selected sixth.  


For the seventh time in Big 12 history, Kansas is the preseason favorite to win the conference title as the Jayhawks gained 121 total points and received all 11 possible first-place votes in polling of the head coaches.  Texas A&M was picked second in the poll, as the Aggies received the other first-place vote and 109 points.  Oklahoma State and Texas were selected just ahead of the Wildcats in third and fourth place, respectively.  Texas Tech was chosen sixth with 68 points, while Baylor followed in seventh with 60 points for its highest predicted finish in Big 12 history.  Missouri (44) and Oklahoma (42) were picked eighth and ninth, respectively, while Nebraska (37), Iowa State (23) and Colorado (20) rounded out the poll.