K-State returns home to face Oakland Tuesday

Game Information

Kansas State (4-0) vs. Oakland (1-3)

Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tipoff: 7:10 p.m.

Location: Manhattan, Kan.

Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (1988)

Capacity: 12,528

Series: K-State leads 1-0 (W, 76-69 at home on 12/6/04)

Television: FOX Sports Kansas City/ESPN Full Court/ESPN360

Ben Boyle (play-by-play)

Stan Weber (analyst)

Max Leinwand (producer)

Satellite Channels: DirecTV 672, Dish Network 446

Coordinates: Galaxy 17, Transponder 13 Lower (KU Band)

Radio: K-State Sports Network; Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio; Sirius Satellite 147

Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)

Matt Walters (analyst)

Tickets: Tickets are available by calling (800) 221-CATS


Kansas State Wildcats

Record: 4-0 (0-0 Big 12)

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

Coach: Frank Martin

Alma Mater: Florida International, 93

Career Record: 25-12/1

School Record: 25-12/1

vs. Oakland: 0-0

07-08 Record: 21-12 (10-6 Big 12)

Last game: Nov. 22, 2008

Won at Cleveland State, 69-59

SID: Tom Gilbert

Website: www.k-statesports.com


Oakland Grizzlies

Record: 1-3 (0-0 Summitt)

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

Coach: Greg Kampe

Alma Mater: Bowling Green, 78

Career Record: 397-304/25

School Record: 397-304/25

vs. Kansas State: 0-1

07-08 Record: 17-14 (11-7 Summitt)

Last game: Nov. 23, 2008

Lost at Iowa, 66-57

SID: Scott MacDonald

Website: www.ougrizzlies.com


Projected Starters

Kansas State (4-0)

G - #0 Jacob Pullen (6-0, 200, So.)

G - #21 Denis Clemente (6-1, 175, Jr.)

F - #23 Dominique Sutton (6-5, 210, So.)

F - #42 Darren Kent (6-11, 230, Sr.)

F - #50 Luis Colon (6-10, 265, Jr.)


F - #4 Will Hudson (6-9, 225, So.)

G - #22 Blake Cushingberry (6-4, 225, Fr.)

G - #23 Johnathon Jones (5-11, 165, Jr.)

G - #30 Erik Kangas (6-3, 205, Sr.)

C - #34 Keith Benson (6-11, 225, So.)

Game Preview

Kansas State continues a difficult stretch to non-conference play on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats play host to Summitt League member Oakland (1-3) at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 7 p.m.  The game is the final preliminary game of the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Invitational, which concludes this weekend with a pair of games for the Wildcats at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.  It will also be the final home game for nearly 19 days for the Wildcats, who begin a stretch of four straight road games on Friday against Kentucky (1-2).

K-State is coming off a solid 69-59 win on the road over Cleveland State (1-2) at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio, on Saturday.  It was the team’s first road victory against Horizon League team in six tries and the first in non-conference since an 83-81 win over North Dakota State on Dec. 9, 2006.  Again, balance was the key for the team, as four players scored in double figures led by junior guard Denis Clemente, who had 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting.  Backcourt mate Jacob Pullen and redshirt freshman Jamar Samuels each chipped in 15 points, while senior Darren Kent grabbed his second double-double with 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. 

The Wildcats connected on 44.7 percent from the field, including 46.2 percent from 3-point range, while it out-rebounded the Vikings, 36-30.  The team also shot 75 percent from the foul line.

The contest against Oakland will be televised on FOX Sports Kansas City (DirecTV 672 and Dish Network 446) with Ben Boyle (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) calling the action.  Fans will also be able to watch the contest on the ESPN Full Court package as well as ESPN360.com.  For more information on the ESPN Full Court package as well as ESPN360.com, fans should consult ESPN’s website at http://proxy.espn.go.com/ncb/fullcourt/. It will be the third of 12 appearances on the FSN Kansas City for the Wildcats this season and one of 26 regular-season contests that will be televised.

Fans will also be able to listen to the audio broadcast on the 29-station K-State Sports Network (Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio) with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Matt Walters (analyst) on the call.

Ticket Information

Season tickets are still available this season in a variety of ticket packages, including courtside/loge box ($440), chairback ($390),

faculty/staff chairback ($312), Cat Cushion ($350), faculty/staff Cat Cushion ($280), bench ($320), faculty/staff bench ($256), family plan (2 adults/2 children - $640) and Young Alumni ($160).

Single-game tickets are available for purchase for $35 (chairback, sections 3-9) and $30 (general admission) at Athletics Ticket Office, by calling 1.800.221.CATS and online at www.k-statesports.com.

Cats in November

Kansas State is 75-21 (.781) all-time in the month of November,including wins in 24 of its last 28 games.  The Wildcats have won 20 of their last 21 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 of November with wins against Sacramento State (94-63), Pittsburg State (76-66), Western Illinois (77-64), UCF (73-71) and Rider (82-69) and losses to George Mason (87-77) and Oregon (80-77).

Explosive Offense

Kansas State has shown the ability to score early and often, as the Wildcats have totaled 335 points in their first four games.  The 335 points are the most in the first four games in almost 11 years since the team totaled 342 points against Western Carolina (93), Long Beach State (89), Mercer (89) and UMKC (71-50) to start the 1997-98 season.  The 96 points scored against Florida A&M were the most in an opener since scoring 103 against UTSA on Nov. 23, 1991.

The 335 points rank as the fourth-most through four games in school history, trailing the 1991-92 (367), 1956-57 (361) and 1997-98 (342) teams.  The Wildcats scored 80 or more points in each of its first three games for just the sixth in their history, including the 1956-57, 1976-77, 1981-82, 1991-92 and 1997-98 seasons.  It also marked the first time the squad scored 80 or more points in three consecutive games since it did it four straight times in games 9-12 of last season.


Diverse Offense

Unlike last season when consensus All-American Michael Beasley paced the squad at 26.2 points per game, the 2008-09 team has shown a lot more diversity with its scoring output thus far. 

Through four games, all 12 players that have seen action have tallied at least two points with eight totaling double-digit points.  Six players are averaging in double figures led by redshirt freshman forward Jamar Samuels’ 13.3 points per game.  Five other players - Jacob Pullen, Denis Clemente, Darren Kent, Dominique Sutton and Fred Brown - are all averaging 10.5 points or more per game.  Since the 1950-51 season, there has not been a K-State team to have more than four players finish a season in double figures.  

There has already been three different leading scorers with Clemente posting a team-high 19 points against Florida A&M on Nov. 14, Brown collecting his second career 20-point outing with a team-high 21 points against SE Missouri State on Nov. 16, Brown and Sutton each totaling 14 points each against Emporia State on Nov. 22 and Clemente scoring 16 points against Cleveland State on Saturday.

In all, there has been 16 double-digit scoring games thus far with only Samuels doing it in all four games.

Rebounding Still a Strength

Most critics wondered how Kansas State would replace two of the best Big 12 rebounders - Michael Beasley and Bill Walker - after the duo helped the program average 41.3 rebounds a year ago.  The duo plus departed seniors Clent Stewart and Blake Young averaged over 25 boards per game.  Despite their absence, rebounding still seems to be a strength with 10 players averaging at least one board per game.

Through four games, K-State is averaging 44.8 rebounds, including 18.5 on the offensive end, with all 12 players grabbing at least one board.  Two players - sophomore Ron Anderson and senior Darren Kent - have grabbed double-digit rebounds in a single game four times thus far with Kent averaging a team-best 8.3 rebounds per game and Anderson placing second with 7.5 per contest.  Kent has posted two double-doubles with 15 points and 12 rebounds against SE Missouri State on Nov. 16 and 14 points and 10 rebounds against Cleveland State on Nov. 22, while Anderson has totaled one with 10 points and 10 rebounds against Emporia State on Nov. 19. 

In all, four players are averaging six or more rebounds per game, including 6.5 by both sophomore Dominique Sutton and redshirt freshman Jamar Samuels.  

Pressure is the Key

The core of Frank Martin’s coaching philosophy is pressure, whether its on the offensive or defensive end of the floor.  His theory is the more pressure you apply on a team, the more difficult you make it for your opponent.  In other words, pressure makes a team breakdown.

Pressure has been a big key for the Wildcats so far, as the team has scored 96 points (29 percent of their season total of 335 points) off 76 opponent turnovers.  The squad has also outscored its opponents 66-20 on fast-break opportunities.

outscored Florida A&M, 23-5, in points off turnovers then followed it up by turning 21 SE Missouri State turnovers into 26 points.  The Wildcats outscored Emporia State, 30-6, in points off turnovers, while forcing the Hornets into an opponent season-high 26 turnovers.  The team scored 17 points off 16 Cleveland State miscues on Saturday.  K-State is forcing an averaging of 19.0 turnovers.  

The Wildcats are averaging 9.8 steals per contest with 11 players grabbing at least one led by sophomore Dominique Sutton’s team-high nine steals.  Three players - Darren Kent, Jacob Pullen and Chris Merriewether - are all in second place with five thefts apiece.

Samuels an Impact off Bench

An unknown but talented player, redshirt freshman forward Jamar Samuels has become an impact player off the bench for the Wildcats.  Despite not starting one game this season, he is averaging a team-best 13.3 points on a team-high 65.6 percent shooting (21-of-32) with 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 block in 25.0 minutes.  He is the only player to score in double figures in each of the first four games with a season-high 16 points against SE Missouri State.   

The native of Washington, D.C., Samuels was redshirt a year ago after joining the squad after the semester break on Dec. 26.  He originally signed with the program out of The Patterson (N.C.) School in the spring of 2007, but wasn’t clear by the NCAA until December.  The 19-year-old actually had one year of high school eligibility remaining, but opted to finish his requirements and head to college early.  He is one of three former AAU D.C. Assault players on the roster, along with sophomores Ron Anderson and Dominique Sutton.  Samuels played alongside Sutton with Patterson during the 2006-07 season. 

Stepping Up as a Senior

One of the bright spots for the Wildcats this season has been the play of senior forward Darren Kent.  Kent, the team’s only senior, has been a force on the boards, averaging a team-best 8.3 rebounds per game.  He is also averaging 11.3 points on 53.3 percent shooting (16-of-30) to go with 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 21.8 minutes per game.

Kent, who entered the season averaging 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in his three-year career, has also totaled double-doubles in two of the last three games, including career-highs in both points (15) and rebounds (12) against SE Missouri State on Nov. 16.  He paced the team with 10 rebounds in the win against Cleveland State on Nov. 22 to go with 14 points.  His 45 points in the first four games are nearly 30 percent of his entire total so far in his career, while his 33 rebounds are 25 percent of all his rebounds.  Kent had scored in double figures just one time in his previous three years as a Wildcat.

Dynamic Duo

After dominating the paint a year ago with the likes of Michael Beasley and Bill Walker, Kansas State’s strength has shifted to the backcourt where the Wildcats start two of the best at their positions in junior Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen.

The duo, which has started all four games, have combined for 96 points on 36 percent shooting (31-of-86), including 26.3 percent from 3-point range (10-of-38), with 29 of the team’s 71 assists.  Both are averaging 12.0 points with Pullen adding 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals per contest and Clemente averaging 2.8 assists and 0.8 steals. Clemente has paced the team in scoring in two games, including a season-best 19 points in the opener against Florida A&M on Nov. 14, while Pullen has scored in double figures twice, including a 17-point effort against the Rattlers.  Ironically, the two have scored in double figures in the same two games with a combined 36 points against Florida A&M and 31 points against Cleveland State on Nov. 22. 

Oakland Update

Oakland enters Tuesday’s game with a 1-3 record this season after dropping a 66-57 decision at Iowa on Sunday night.  The Grizzlies are in the midst of a nine-game road trip to start the season.  The team opened the year with 58-55 loss at Cleveland State on Nov. 15 before earning a dramatic 82-79 win in overtime at Oregon on Nov. 17.  The squad then dropped a game at Syracuse, 86-66, before falling to Iowa.  The Grizzlies are averaging 65.0 points through four games on 38.3 percent shooting, including 28.6 percent shooting from 3-point range, with 35.2 rebounds, 11.5 assists and 6.8 steals. 

The team is led by preseason Mid-Major All-American guard Johnathon Jones, who is averaging a team-best 19.3 points per game on 36.6 percent shooting.  Backcourt mate Erik Kangas is averaging 15.5 points per game on 37.9 percent shooting to go with a team-high 11 3-point field goals.  Four other players are averaging five or more points, including forward Will Benson is third in scoring at 7.8 points to go with a team-best 6.0 rebounds per contest. 

The preseason favorite in the Summitt League, Oakland returns nine lettermen, including all five starters, from a squad that finished 17-14 in 2007-08, including a 11-7 mark in conference play.  

The Grizzlies are led by legendary head coach Greg Kampe, who owns a 397-304 (.566) mark at the school.  He ranks sixth nationally in most seasons with a current Division I school, while he is 32nd in active wins among Division I coaches.  Kampe has coached seven All-Americans and 44 all-conference selections at Oakland.

Series Information

K-State and Oakland have met just one other time in their histories.  The Wildcats posted a 76-69 win over the Grizzlies on Dec. 6, 2004 in Manhattan, Kan.  This is the first for coach Frank Martin against the Summitt League squad, while Oaklands Greg Kampe is 0-1. 

is 27-3 all-time against teams from the Summitt League, including a 20-0 mark in games played at home.  This will be the first of two meetings against Summitt League foes, as the squad faces Centenary on Dec. 20.  The team is 1-0 against Centenary, 4-0 against North Dakota State, 2-2 against Oral Roberts, 3-0 against Southern Utah, 14-1 against UMKC and 2-0 against Western Illinois.   

12-6-04   K-State 76-69    Manhattan

Brown Delivers

Sophomore guard Fred Brown has provided a big lift on the bench this season, averaging a 10.5 points on 50.0 percent shooting (16-of-32), including 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from beyond the arc.  He has nearly 40 percent of the team’s 3-point field goals thus far. 

Brown tends to score a majority of his points in spurts with 35 of his 42 points coming in back-to-back games, including his second career 20-point game in a 21-point effort against SE Missouri State on Nov. 16.  In his career, he has tended to score his points in bunches.  Of the 106 points Brown scored as a freshman, 61 came in a five-game stretch from Dec. 17-31, which included a career-best 25-point effort against Xavier (Ohio) on New Year’s Eve.

Recruiting Class Praised

The four-man recruiting class that Kansas State pulled down on Nov. 12 has been rated among the best in the country.  The class, which includes ESPNU100 prospect and power forward Wally Judge, has been rated the 17th-best class by ESPN Scouts, Inc., as well as 21st- best class by Rivals.com.  The quartet includes Judge, fellow high school teammate Rodney McGruder, Dallas (Texas) point guard Nick Russell and prep school forward Jordan Henriquez.

Young Cats

Kansas State enters the 2008-09 season with one its youngest teams in recent history, as senior forward Darren Kent is the lone senior on a roster of 15 players.  When you factor in that four of the six juniors are either transfers from another Division I school or a junior college, the Wildcats are one of the youngest teams in its history. 

Dating back to the 1981-82 season, there has been just one team - the 1983-84 squad which had no seniors - with fewer seniors on its roster.  The 1996-97 also had just one senior on its roster.

Emporia State Postgame Notes

Kansas State has now won four straight games against Emporia State...The Wildcats’ improved to 11-8 all-time against the Hornets, including 9-4 at home.

Kansas State posted their third consecutive home win to move to 3-0 for the season... Wednesday’s win marks the sixth straight season that the Wildcats have started 3-0 ...The Wildcats moved to 233-85 (.744) all-time in Bramlage Coliseum... The attendance in Bramlage Coliseum on Wednesday night was 8,083.

The Wildcats’ starting lineup was sophomore guard Jacob Pullen, junior guard Denis Clemente, sophomore forward Dominique Sutton, senior forward Darren Kent and junior forward Luis Coln... Kansas State has used the same starting lineup all three games this season.

The Wildcats went on a 17-4 run in the first half in a 2:53 span... During that run, sophomore guard Fred Brown went 3-for-3 from three-point range... The team forced four steals during the run, including two from Dominique Sutton.

The Wildcats out-rebounded the Hornets, 40-36, in the contest after trailing by three rebounds at the end of the first half... It is the eighth straight game the team has either outrebounded or tied their foe.

Sophomore Fred Brown and Dominique Sutton led the Wildcats and all scorers with 14 points each... The two combined to go 11-for-19 shooting and six rebounds.

The Wildcats defeated the Hornets by 22 points, and led by as many as 26, giving them their third straight win of 20 points or more.

Dominique Sutton put on another solid effort for the Wildcats as he scored a career-high 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting... Sutton has now scored in double figures all three games this season, matching his career total from last season... He joins Jamar Samuels as the only Wildcats this season to score double figures in all three games.


Sophomore Fred Brown scored in double figures for the second straight game, scoring 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting... He was perfect 3-for-3 from three point range... In the last two games, Brown has shot 7-for-9 from the three point line.

Ron Anderson recorded the first double-double of his career on Wednesday, scoring 10 points and pulling down 10 rebounds... The sophomore shot 4-for-9 from the field and grabbed five offensive and five defensive rebounds on the night.

Both Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente did not score in the first half, but combined to tally 18 points in the second frame... Pullen scored nine points on 3-of-17 shooting, including a 1-for-7 mark from 3-point line... Clemente scored nine points on 4-of-8 shooting and hit the only three pointer he attempted.

Four Wildcats scored in double figures for the third consecutive time on Wednesday night... The last time that K-State had three straight games with four players with double digits was last season against Kansas (1/30/08), Missouri (2/2/08) and Nebraska (2/6/08).

K-State in Season Openers

With Kansas State’s win over Florida A&M on Friday, the program is now 81-24 (.769) all-time in season openers, including a 67-9 (.880) mark when debuting in Manhattan.  The Wildcats have won 14 of their last 17 season openers with all three losses coming on the road.  The squad last lost a season opener in 2002, as the Wildcats dropped a 73-64 decision to BYU at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands.

K-State has won 12 straight home season openers dating back to a 74-60 loss to Southern Miss on Nov. 27, 1993.  The Wildcats are 17-1 when opening the season at Bramlage Coliseum.  In all, the team has won 33 of its last 34 season openers at home.  The last home loss prior to 1993 was a 60-59 setback to Minnesota on Dec. 1, 1966. 


Martin Inks Stellar Cass

Kansas State head coach Frank Martin announced the signing of four high school seniors to National Letters of Intent on the second day of the fall signing period on Nov. 13.

The four-man recruiting class, which was ranked 16th nationally by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and 21st by Rivals.com, includes prep school standout Jordan Henriquez (Winchendon [Mass.] School/Port Chester, N.Y.) and high school seniors Wally Judge (Arlington (Fla.) Country Day/Washington, D.C.), Rodney McGruder (Arlington (Fla.) Country Day/Washington, D.C.) and Nick Russell (Grace Preparatory Academy/Arlington, Texas).

The headliner of this class, Wally Judge is a 6-foot-9, 220-pound power forward originally from Washington, D.C., who is entering his second year at Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Fla.  Considered one of the top power forwards in the high school ranks, Judge was rated as a top 25 recruit by several recruiting services, including the No. 17 prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 23 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  He was also rated as an ESPNU Top 100 recruit.  In addition, he is ranked among the top-10 at his position, including No. 6 by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 9 by Rivals.com.   

Judge is in his second year at Florida powerhouse, Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, where he helped the Apaches to their fourth consecutive Class 2A state title with a 24-6 record in 2007-08.   Judge averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds and was named second team Class 2A All-State by the Florida Sports Writers Association.

A teammate of Judge at Arlington Country Day, Rodney McGruder is considered one of the best shooting guards in the country.  The 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard is rated among the top players in the country, including the No. 89 overall prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 91 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  McGruder is also ranked among the top-35 at the position by a number of outlets, including No. 23 by Rivals.com and No. 31 by ESPN Scouts, Inc. 

McGruder transferred to Arlington Country Day in the off-season from Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C.  As a junior, he averaged 21.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.1 steals in leading the Lions to a 16-10 overall record and an appearance in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) semifinals in 2007-08.  He was named to the Washington Post All-Met first team. 

One of the top point guard prospects in the country, Nick Russell comes to K-State from Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington, Texas.  The 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard is rated among the top players in the country, including the No. 89 overall prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 114 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com.  Russell is also ranked among the top-40 at his position by a number of outlets, including No. 20 by Rivals.com and No. 36 by ESPN Scouts, Inc.  In addition, he is rated the No. 4 player in the state of Texas for the Class of 2009 by Texashoops.com.

Russell helped Grace Prep to a 26-12 overall record, including a 7-3 mark in league play, as a junior in 2006-07.  He helped the Lions to a runner-up finish at the TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parachial Schools) Class 5A state tournament, where they lost to Midland Christian, 74-60.  Russell averaged 23 points, six assists and five rebounds as a junior.  He was named first team TAPPS Class 5A all-state as well as co-most valuable player of the District 1-5A and first team all-district. 

Jordan Henriquez comes to Kansas State from The Winchendon School in Winchendon, Mass., where he is playing a postgraduate year in 2008-09.  The 6-foot-11, 220-pound center from New Rochelle, N.Y. signed with the Wildcats this past May after finishing his career at Port Chester High School in Port Chester, N.Y.  As a senior, he led the team to an 18-6 record and an 8-0 mark in league play en route to a runner-up finish at the Section I Championship.  In averaging a team-best 15.3 points, Henriquez scored in double figures in 21 of 22 games in 2007-08, including six 20-point contests. 

The recruiting class will join a loaded Kansas State squad in 2009-10, as the Wildcats will return all but one player.  They will be joined by junior forward Curtis Kelly, who is sitting out the 2008-09 season after transferring from University of Connecticut this past summer.