K-State faces Kentucky Friday in Las Vegas
K-State faces Kentucky Friday in Las Vegas
Date: Friday, November 28, 2008
Tipoff: 11 p.m. CT (9 p.m. PT)
Rankings: Neither team is ranked
Jim Barbar (play-by-play)
Larry Conley (analyst)
Joe McCoy (producer)
Radio: K-State Sports Network; Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio; Sirius Satellite 147
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)
Tickets: Tickets are sold as two-day packages only with prices of $94, $115, $136 and $168 and are available at (702) 284.7777.
Record: 5-0 (0-0 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): --/--
Coach: Frank Martin
Career Record: 26-12/1
School Record: 26-12/1
07-08 Record: 21-12 (10-6 Big 12)
Last game: Nov. 25, 2008
SID: Tom Gilbert
Record: 2-2 (0-0 SEC)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): --/--
Coach: Billy Gillispie
Career Record: 120-73/7
School Record: 20-15/2
07-08 Record: 18-13 (12-4 SEC)
Last game: Nov. 24, 2008
Defeated Longwood, 91-57
SID: DeWayne Peevy
K-State concluded preliminary action of the Las Vegas Invitational with a perfect 2-0 record, as the Wildcats used stellar all-around play to post a 83-54 win over
The backcourt tandem of sophomore Jacob Pullen and junior Denis Clemente combined for 45 points against
The contest with
It will be the first of eight appearances on national television for the Wildcats, including three on ESPNU, and one of 26 regular-season contests that will be televised. The winners of the two semifinal games on Friday will play on Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN2. The consolation game on Saturday will not 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 Stan Weber (analyst) on the call.
Tickets are sold as two-day packages only with prices of $94, $115, $136 and $168 and are available at the Orleans Arena Ticket Office at (702) 284.7777 or online at www.orleansarena.com.
Cats in November
The five wins in November tie the 1998-99 (5-2) and 2007-08 (5-2) squads for the most in the month in school history since the program regularly began playing games in the month in the mid-1970s.
The 418 points rank as the seventh-most through five games in school history, trailing the 1991-92 (466), 1976-77 (445), 1986-87 (440), 1956-57 (433), 1990-91 (421) and 1979-80 (420) teams. The team has scored 80 or more points in four of the their first five 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 nine through 12 of last season.
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 five games, 12 of the 13 players that have seen action have tallied at least two points with eight totaling double-digit points. Five players are averaging in double figures led by guard Jacob Pullen’s 14.8 points per game. Four other players - Denis Clemente, Jamar Samuels, Dominique Sutton and Fred Brown - are all averaging 10.0 points or more per game, while a fifth player - Darren Kent - is averaging 9.8 points per game. Since the 1950-51 season, there has not been a team to have more than four players finish a season in double figures. The last squad to have four double-digit scorers was the 1976-77 team of Mike Evans (18.3 ppg.), Curtis Redding (16.6 ppg.), Larry Dassie (12.9 ppg.) and Darryl Winston (10.3 ppg.)
There has already been four different leading scorers in five games. Brown and Clemente are the only players to repeat as leading scorer, as Brown had a team-high 21 points against SE Missouri State on Nov. 16 then tied Sutton with 14 points each in the win over
In all, there has been 19 double-digit scoring games thus far with only Samuels doing it four times in five games.
Rebounding Still a Strength
Most critics wondered how
Through five games, K-State is averaging 43.0 rebounds, including 18.0 on the offensive end, with all 13 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 with Anderson averaging a team-best 7.2 rebounds per game and Kent placing second with Dominique Sutton with 7.0 per contest.
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 123 points (29 percent of their season total of 418 points) off 98 opponent turnovers. The squad has also outscored its opponents 83-31 on fast-break opportunities.
The Wildcats are averaging 9.4 steals per contest with 11 players grabbing at least one led by sophomore Dominique Sutton’s team-high 12 steals. Jacob Pullen is second with eight steals, while Darren Kent and Chris Merriewether are third with five thefts apiece.
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 five games, have combined for 141 points on 39.1 percent shooting (45-of-115), including 35.6 percent from 3-point range (21-of-59), with 42 of the team’s 95 assists. Pullen ranks first on the team in scoring at 14.8 points per game on 35.3 percent shooting with team-highs in field goals made (24), 3-point field goals made (12) and assists (23) and is second in steals (eight). Clemente is second in scoring at 13.4 points per game on 44.7 percent shooting and assists (19), while is first in free throw shooting (84.2) and third in 3-point field goals (nine).
Ironically, the two have scored in double figures in the same three games with a combined 36 points against Florida A&M on Nov. 14, 31 against
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 third in scoring at 11.0 points on a team-high 64.7 percent shooting (22-of-34) with 5.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.8 steals in 22.6 minutes per game. He is the only player to score in double figures in four of the team’s first five games with a season-high 16 points against SE Missouri State.
The native of
Sutton Steals the Show
After getting a late start to his time at K-State, sophomore Dominique Sutton has become an all-around factor for the Wildcats this season. He ranks first on the squad in both minutes (27.0) and steals (2.4 spg.), while he is tied with Darren Kent for second in rebounds (7.0 rpg.) and is fourth in scoring at 10.4 points per game.
Sutton nearly collected his first career double-double in the win over
The Wildcats are led by junior guard Jodie Meeks, who is averaging a team-best 24.3 points per game on 42.1 percent shooting. The SEC co-Freshman of the Year Patrick Patterson is second on the squad at 16.0 points per game on a team-best 67.5 percent shooting to go with a team-high 8.5 rebounds. Junior guard Ramon Harris also averages in double figures at 11.0 points on 62.1 percent shooting.
The Wildcats are led by second-year coach Billy Gillispie, who boasts a 20-15 record. He is 120-73 in seven years as a coach, including stints at Texas-El Paso (2002-04) and Texas A&M (2004-07).
The squads’ two meetings on a neutral floor have been in postseason play with
+NCAA Championship game
Cats in Vegas
This will be
K-State first visited the city for a game against the hometown UNLV on Dec. 17, 1983, which it dropped 84-78. The team returned the next year for the Running Rebel Classic on Dec. 27-28, 1984, defeating UT Pan American (coached by then K-State alum and current UNLV head coach Lon Kruger), 75-68, before dropping a 77-68 decision to UNLV.
The Wildcats’ last visit came in 2006 when the squad won the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Holiday Classic on Dec. 22-23 with victories over USC (68-55) and
Day Two Match-ups
Sophomore guard Fred Brown has provided a big lift on the bench this season, averaging a 10.0 points on 47.5 percent shooting (19-of-40), including 50 percent (10-of-20) from beyond the arc. He has nearly 30 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 50 points coming in back-to-back games against SE Missouri State and
One of the bright spots for the Wildcats this season has been the play of senior forward Darren Kent.
Kent, who entered the season averaging 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in his three-year career, has totaled double-doubles in two of the last four 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
Recruiting Class Praised
The four-man recruiting class that
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.
The Wildcats sunk 13 three-point field goals on Tuesday evening marking the most three-point baskets in a game by the Wildcats since they dropped 15 against
Sophomore Jacob Pullen led the Wildcats in scoring on Tuesday with a career-high 26 points... His previous career-high was 20 points against
Martin inks Stellar Class
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 [
The headliner of this class, Wally Judge is a 6-foot-9, 220-pound power forward originally from
Judge is in his second year at
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
One of the top point guard prospects in the country, Nick Russell comes to K-State from
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
Jordan Henriquez comes to
The recruiting class will join a loaded