K-State Continues Home Slate vs. UMES Tuesday

Junior Jordan Henriquez nearly has a double-double each of his first two games this season.

Nov. 21, 2011

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Game 3
Kansas State (2-0) vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore (1-3)
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 * 7:10 p.m. CT * Manhattan, Kan. * Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)

Game Information
Television: FOX Sports Kansas City/Midwest HD
Ben Boyle (play-by-play); Stan Weber (analyst)
Channels: DirecTV 671, Dish 418, AT&T U-verse 748, TWC 309
HD Channels: DirecTV 671-1, Dish 418-1, AT&T 1748, TWC 1309
Internet: ESPN3.com
Radio: K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play); Matt Walters (analyst)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 93
Live Stats: www.k-statesports.com/multimedia
Live Audio: www.k-statesports.com/allaccess (free)
Twitter Updates: twitter.com/kstate_gameday
K-State vs. Md.-Eastern Shore: 1-0 (W, 79-58; 12/19/2006)
vs. Mid-Eastern Athletic: 23-0 (23-0 at home)

The Game
K-State will return to the court after a seven-day layoff on Tuesday, as the Wildcats play host to Maryland-Eastern Shore (1-3) at Bramlage Coliseum on 1-7 FA Regiment Appreciation Night.  The men’s basketball team has a partnership with the 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, which is stationed at Fort Riley.  In addition to $10 tickets for those with a military ID, soldiers from Operation Santa Claus will be at several entrances to collect toy donations for needy families.  There will also be a moment of silence before the national anthem with the names of the seven 1-7 FA soldiers killed in action during the last deployment on the video board. 

K-State enters the game with a 35-game non-conference winning streak at Bramlage Coliseum and wins in 31 of their last 32 home games in November.  In addition, the Wildcats will be looking to go 3-0 for the ninth consecutive season.

K-State non-conference single-game tickets can be purchased by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 221.CATS or by visiting online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets.  These tickets are priced at $30 for chairback and cushion seats and $20 each for bench seating.  In addition, general admission seats for the New Year’s Eve contest with Howard are $20, while four or more GA tickets can be purchased for $15 each with a group rate of $10 each for 12 or more tickets.  A limited number of single-game tickets for K-State’s nine Big 12 games are also on sale.  The five weekend contests are priced at $70 (chairback/cushion) and $60 (bench), while the three weekday games are $50 (chairback/cushion) and $40 (bench).  All Kansas tickets are $125. 

Television Note
Tuesday’s game will be the first of six broadcasts that will be available on the entire FOX Sports Midwest footprint, which includes more than 5.9 million cable and satellite homes in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana.  Other games include George Washington on Dec. 1, North Florida on Dec. 11, Howard on Dec. 31, Oklahoma on Jan. 28 and Iowa State on Jan. 31.

The Opponent
Maryland-Eastern Shore enters the game with a 1-3 record after dropping an 81-49 decision at Rice on Sunday.  The Hawks are currently 0-2 on their current road trip, which began with a 72-53 loss at Tulane on Nov. 18.  Under head coach Frankie Allen, the squad returns four lettermen and two starters from a team that posted a 9-22 record and 5-12 mark in MEAC play in 2010-11.  Through four games, the Hawks are averaging 53.2 points per game on 33.9 percent shooting, including 32.9 percent from 3-point range, with 38.5 rebounds, 10.0 assists, 5.5 steals and 4.0 blocks per game.  They are allowing 70 points per game on 39.9 percent shooting, including 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.  Sophomore Louis Bell is the team’s leading scorer at 14 points per game on 50 percent shooting, including 56 percent from 3-point range, while junior college transfer Percy Woods is second on the squad at 9.3 points to go with a team-best 4.5 assists per game. 

A familiar face on the UMES bench is assistant coach Ricardo Patton, who is in first year with the program after stints as the head coach at Colorado (1996-2007) and Northern Illinois (2007-11).  He led the Buffaloes to the posteason six times, including two NCAA Tournament appearances.  During his CU tenure, he went 15-11 against K-State, which represents nearly a third of the school’s all-time wins (47) against the Wildcats.  Patton is reunited with Allen after serving as his assistant coach at Tennessee State from 1991-93.

This will be just the second meeting between K-State and UMES in its respective histories and the first since a 79-58 win by the Wildcats on Dec. 19, 2006.  Overall, the school is 23-0 all-time against teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) with all 23 wins coming at home.  This will be the first of two meetings with MEAC schools this season with the second coming against Howard on New Year’s Eve.  Head coach Frank Martin is 5-0 all-time against schools from the MEAC.  

Samuels Returns
The Wildcats will get receive a big boost with the return of senior forward Jamar Samuels, who sat out the exhibition and the first two games due to violations of team rules.  The 2009-10 Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year has played in 103 games in his career with 24 starts, averaging 9.3 points on 48.8 percent shooting with 5.0 rebounds per outing.  He is 41 points shy of becoming the 23rd player to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier in his career, including the third under Frank Martin

Non-Conference Winning Streak
Kansas State has won 35 consecutive non-conference games at Bramlage Coliseum dating back to its last loss  -- an 80-77 overtime setback to No. 17 Oregon on Nov. 29, 2007.  Last season, the Wildcats were a perfect 9-0 at Bramlage Coliseum with an average margin of victory of 21.3 points per game.  The five-point win over Charleston Southern on Nov. 11 was the second-closest during the 35-game winning streak since a four-point victory over Illinois State in the first round of the Postseason NIT on March 18, 2009.   During the streak, the squad has won by average margin of 24.4 points per game.

The “Octogon of Doom” as it has been affectionately called by the fan base, has been a tremendous home court advantage for the Wildcats in its 24 seasons with the squad winning nearly 75 percent of its home games.  The team earned its highest winning percentage (16-1, .941) in a home venue in 2010-11, while tying the school record for home wins (16 at Ahearn Field House in 1981-82).  K-State is 76-12 (.864) over the past six seasons at Bramlage Coliseum, including an impressive 30-10 (.750) mark in Big 12 games.  Twice in the past two seasons that Wildcats have knocked off the nation’s top-ranked team (No. 1 Texas in 2010 and No. 1 Kansas in 2011), while the No. 2 Jayhawks and No. 10 Texas A&M went down in 2007 and No. 11 Texas in 2009.

In November
K-State has been solid in the opening month of the season under head coach Frank Martin, posting a 22-6 (.786) overall record in November since 2007-08, including a stellar 16-1 (.941) mark at Bramlage Coliseum.  The lone loss at home in the month came in overtime to No. 17 Oregon on Nov. 29, 2007.  The Wildcats have won 31 of their last 32 games at home in November.

The Race For 100 
Head coach Frank Martin is now just three wins shy of 100 for his career at Kansas State.  He would become just the fourth head coach in school history to eclipse the 100-victory plateau and the first since Jack Hartman (295-169; 1970-86) did it in midway through the 1975-76 season.  Other 100-win coaches include Naismith Hall of Famers Jack Gardner (147-81, 1939-42, 1946-53) and Fred “Tex” Winter (261-118, 1954-68).  Martin has a chance to win 100 games faster than all but Winter, who notched his 100th win in his 142nd game as head coach midway through the 1958-59.  Hartman won 100 games in 149 games, while Gardner did it in his 170th game in his second stint as head coach in 1950-51. 

The 2009-10 Big 12 Coach of the Year, Martin is the first Wildcat head coach to post a 20-win season in each of his first four years and joined Lon Kruger as the only coaches in school history to guide teams to the postseason in his first four seasons.  The three NCAA Tournament appearances in a four-year span are the most since the squad went to four consecutive tournaments from 1986-90.

Second Half Surge
Just two games into the season, it appears that Kansas State should start its game in the second half.  The Wildcats are averaging 41.5 points on 52.8 percent shooting (28-of-53) from the field in the second half compared to just 31.5 points on 37 percent shooting (20-of-54) in the opening half.  The squad also appears to be a better defensive team in the second half, as opponents are averaging 28 points on 27.1 percent shooting (13-of-48), including 17.6 percent (3-of-17) from 3-point range compared to 36 points on 39.4 percent shooting (26-of-66), including 38.5 percent (5-of-13) from beyond the arc, in the first half.  There is also a marked difference from first to second half from the free throw line, where the Wildcats are hitting at 76 percent (22-of-29) after halftime compared to just 52.8 percent (19-of-36) in the opening half.  In addition, the squad has reduced its turnovers in the second half, averaging seven miscues through two games, compared to 11.0 on average in the first half. 

K-State’s top three scorers - Rodney McGruder, Will Spradling and Thomas Gipson - also are better in the second half with McGruder and Spradling averaging 12 points and Gipson seven points after halftime.  The trio have combined to score 62 of their 85 combined points this season in the second half, including 24 each by McGruder and Spradling.  In particular, Spradling has tallied 24 of his 30 points after halftime, including all 15 against Loyola Chicago on Nov. 11.

No Blowouts 
Much like its football counterpart, which has a nation-leading seven wins by 29 points this season, the men’s basketball team likes to play close games.  Through the first two contests, the Wildcats have had to rally back from a 15-point deficit against Charleston Southern in the season opener on Nov. 6 then pull away from Loyola Chicago in the second half on Nov. 11 after leading 28-23 at the break.  The 18-point combined margin of victory is the fewest through the first two games of the season since the Wildcats combined for 13 in wins against North Dakota State (70-61) and Denver (60-56) to start the 2004-05 season.

Comeback ‘Cats
K-State opened the season on Nov. 6 with a come-from-behind victory over Charleston Southern, 72-67, before a sold-out crowd at Bramlage Coliseum.  Down as many as 15 points in the second half, the Wildcats used a 19-4 run over an 11-minute span early in the half to tie it at 60-all at the 4:35 mark before taking over the lead for good with 2:24 left.  The 15-point deficit overcome for victory (52-37) was one of the biggest in recent history for K-State, as it ties for fifth currently behind a pair of 17-point deficits in wins against Bradley (47-30) on Nov. 25, 1995 and California (38-21) on Dec. 29, 1995 and two 16-point deficits in wins against LaSalle (57-41) on Jan. 5, 1994 and New Mexico (30-14) on Nov. 23, 2005.  The 14-point deficit at halftime (49-35) ties for the largest overcome for victory since a 98-90 overtime win against Arizona State on Nov. 24, 1998 at the Maui Invitational.  It was also the largest deficit overcome at home since the 1995-96 season behind the Bradley game on Nov. 25, 1995.

No Senior Starter
The starting line-up of juniors Martavious Irving, Rodney McGruder and Jordan Henriquez, sophomore Will Spradling and freshman Thomas Gipson against Charleston Southern on Nov. 6 was unique in that it marked the first time since 1983-84 that K-State opened a season without a senior starter.  It marked the first career starts for Irving and Gipson, while only McGruder was a starter in last season’s opening win over James Madison on Nov. 12, 2010.  Including the Loyola Chicago game on Nov. 11, McGruder has now started 36 consecutive games dating back to that JMU contest, while Henriquez and Spradling now have eight starts.  Gipson joined a special group by becoming the first true freshman to start an opener since three rookies - Ron Anderson, Michael Beasley and Jacob Pullen - earned the starting nod against Sacramento State on Nov. 9, 2007.  With Southwell
replacing Irving in the line-up against Loyola, the Wildcats got even younger with two juniors, two sophomore and a true freshman. 

Season Openers
With the win over Charleston Southern over Nov. 6, the school is now 84-24 (.776) all-time in season openers, including a 72-8 (.899) mark at home.  The team has won nine consecutive season openers since 2003 with their last loss coming to BYU, 73-64, on Nov. 23, 2002 at the Paradise Jam held in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Overall, the Wildcats have won 18 straight openers at home, including a remarkable 19-1 (.947) record at Bramlage Coliseum, with the last setback coming to Southern Miss, 74-60, on Nov. 27, 1993.  Head coach Frank Martin is 5-0 in season openers with an average margin of 25.4 points in victories against Sacramento State (94-63), Florida A&M (96-57), Loyola Chicago (92-54), James Madison (75-61) and Charleston Southern (72-67).

Closing on 1500
Kansas State is closing in on a milestone as a program, as the Wildcats are just 10 victories shy of 1,500.  The school currently stands at 1,490-1,056 (.585) in 108 seasons, which ranks 41st all-time in NCAA Division I history.  K-State would become the sixth current Big 12 program (West Virginia already has more than 1,600) to eclipse the milestone, following Kansas (2,039), Texas (1,641), Oklahoma (1,529), Oklahoma State (1,522) and Missouri (1,503).  The Cowboys and Tigers earned their 1,500th victories last season.  The Wildcats could become the seventh team to top 1,500 wins this season, joining St. Joseph’s (1,502), Ohio State (1,501), Michigan State (1,498), Washington State (1,497), Tennessee (1,491) and Iowa (1,490).

Up Next: George Washington (1-1)
K-State will have an nine-day break between games when the Wildcats play host to George Washington (1-1) on Dec. 1.  It will be the first meeting betweent the two schools since 1940.