'Cats Conclude Homestand Monday vs. Hornets

Sophomore Jordan Henriquez-Roberts had a near double-double vs. Texas Southern with nine points and seven rebounds.

Nov. 28, 2010

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4/4 Kansas State (5-1, 0-0 Big 12)
vs. Emporia State (3-2, 0-0 MIAA)

Date: Monday, November 29, 2010  |  Tipoff: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Manhattan, Kan.  |  Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)  | 
Live Stats: www.k-statesports.com  |  Internet: ESPN Full Court/ESPN3.com
Television: FOX Sports Kansas City (Ben Boyle, play-by-play; Stan Weber, analyst; Max Leinwand, producer)  |  Channels: DirecTV 672, Dish 447
Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, play-by-play; Matt Walters, analyst)  | 
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS 122/XM 143   
Head Coaches: Kansas State - Frank Martin (Florida International `93) is 77-33 (.700) in his fourth season as a head coach and at the school.  Emporia State - David Moe (Texas Lutheran `86) is 149-114 (.567) in his 10th season as a head coach and at the school.
Series: K-State leads 11-8  |  Martin vs. Moe:  Martin 1-0  |  K-State vs. MIAA:  47-26  |  Last time vs. MIAA:  W, Fort Hays State, 83-76, 12/1/09
Last Time Out:  K-State knocked off Texas Southern, 84-60, on Friday at home, while Emporia State beat Southwestern, 72-61, Wednesday at home.
Rankings: K-State is No. 4 in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls, while Emporia State is not ranked in the Division II poll.
Tickets: Sold out. 

K-State concludes homestand with Emporia State Monday
No. 4/4 Kansas State (5-1) closes out the month of November on Monday night, as the Wildcats play host to Division II foe Emporia State (3-2) at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 7 p.m.  A win against the Hornets would give the squad a school-record six in November, surpassing the five set in 1998-99 (5-2), 2007-08 (5-2), 2008-09 (5-2) and 2009-10 (5-1).  By virtue of its win over Texas Southern on Friday, the team has at least five wins in the month for the fourth consecutive season for the first time in school history.  K-State can post its best winning percentage in November for the second straight season with a win on Monday, surpassing .833 mark set a season ago. 

It will be the second home game in a four-day period for the Wildcats, following Friday's 84-60 victory over Texas Southern on Friday, and the last until Alcorn State on Dec. 6.  The team embarks on their first road test of the season on Friday, Dec. 6 at Washington State (4-0) in the last Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series game.    

Monday's game marks the fourth consecutive season that Kansas State has played a Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) opponent during the regular season, following tilts with Pittsburg State (76-66) on Nov. 11, 2007, Emporia State (82-60) on Nov. 19, 2008 and Fort Hays State (83-76) on Dec. 1, 2009.  The Wildcats are 11-8 all-time against the Hornets, including 9-4 at home, and have won four consecutive games in the series dating back to 1948.  This will be just the third meeting in the last 60 years between the two schools in a rivalry that dates back to 1906.  The team has a 47-26 record against MIAA teams, including 15 straight wins dating back to 1946.  The team knocked off two Division II foes during the exhibition season, defeating Newman, 83-56, on Nov. 2 and MIAA member Washburn, 90-44, on Nov. 7.

The Wildcats rebounded from their first loss of the season against top-ranked Duke on Tuesday with a solid 84-60 victory at home over Texas Southern on Friday night.  K-State connected on 49.2 percent from the field, including 50 percent in the second half, as it posted a season-high 84 points in gaining their fourth win at Bramlage Coliseum this season.  It was the squad's 50th win under head coach Frank Martin when scoring 80 or more points, while they move to 54-6 when holding an opponent to 70 points or less.  Once again, the team got scoring from a variety of different options as 12 different players scored led by senior guard Jacob Pullen's team-high 16 points.  Pullen, who has led the team in scoring in five of its first six games, also added a team-best seven assists and four steals in a season-high 30 minutes of action.  The squad once again got an impressive effort from their bench, getting 41 of their 84 points from its nine-man bench.  The team has now scored 30 or more points off the bench in five of its first six games, including five consecutive games for the first time under Martin.  Senior forward Curtis Kelly followed up his 19-point effort against the Blue Devils with a 13-point output off the bench to go with five rebounds and four assists.  Sophomore guard Rodney McGruder scored in double figures for the fourth time this season with 10 points, while fellow sophomore Jordan Henriquez-Roberts added a near double-double with nine points and seven rebounds.  Junior forward Freddy Asprilla paced the team with eight rebounds.  Asprilla, who also tallied a season-high two blocks, is averaging 5.5 points on 56.3 percent shooting with 5.8 rebounds in the last four games.   

Prior to the win over Texas Southern on Friday night, K-State earned a second-place finish in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.  The Wildcats knocked off No. 18/22 Gonzaga, 81-64, in last Monday's second semifinal game before losing to No. 1/1 Duke, 82-68, in Tuesday's championship game in Kansas City's Sprint Center.  The squad opened the Classic with wins over James Madison (75-61) and Presbyterian (76-67) in Manhattan Regional Round action before the Championship Round in Kansas City.  The squad was attempting to win its first regular-season tournament title since beating New Mexico, 72-56, in the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Holiday Classic on Dec. 23, 2006, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.  The team was once again balanced scoring in the two-game tournament with eight players averaging five or more points, led by seniors Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly, who averaged 11.0 points, while all-tournament team selection, junior Jamar Samuels, averaged 10 points. 

The Wildcats are ranked No. 4 in the second edition of both The Associated Press and USA Today/ ESPN Coaches Top 25 polls after starting the season at No. 3 for their highest ever preseason rankings in both polls.  The No. 3 ranking was the highest in an AP poll in almost 50 years since the team ranked No. 3 on March 6, 1962.  K-State has been ranked in the AP Top 10 for 10 consecutive polls dating back to last season, including a No. 7 ranking prior to the NCAA Tournament.  Overall, the school has appeared in 17 consecutive AP polls dating back to Dec. 14, 2009.  The squad returns nine lettermen from a team that won a school-record 29 games and advanced to their first Elite Eight since 1988. 

K-State is 225-81 (.735) as a ranked team all-time in The Associated Press poll (which dates to 1949-50), including 142-37 (.793) as a Top 10 squad and 90-23 (.800) as a Top 5 team.  The Wildcats have played 38 games previously as the nation's No. 4 team in the country, boasting a 33-5 (.868) mark.  This will be just the fourth game as the No. 4 team since defeating Iowa State, 69-54, on February 26, 1962.

Postgame Notes vs. Texas Southern
• Friday's contest was the first against Texas Southern... The Wildcats are now 6-0 against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
• The Wildcats' starting lineup consisted of senior guard Jacob Pullen, sophomore guard Nick Russell, sophomore guard Rodney McGruder, sophomore forward Wally Judge and junior forward Freddy Asprilla... This was the sixth time K-State has used this line-up this season.
• The win ties for the most wins in November in program history... K-State has won five games in November five times now.
•The team moved to 50-2 under Frank Martin when scoring 80+points, while they moved to 54-6 when holding an opponent under 70 points.
• K-State scored 30+ points off the bench for the fifth consecutive game... The Wildcat non-starters contributed 41 points, and after scoring 45 against Duke on Nov. 23, the team has their most points off the bench in back-to-back games since the 2008-09 season.
• The Wildcats allowed only 18 points in the first half... This is the fewest points an opponent has scored in the opening stanza this season... The previous low was 29 by No. 22/24 Virginia Tech... It is the fewest points allowed in the opening half since Loyola-Chicago scored 18 in the season opener last year... Cleveland State scored just 19 in the first period last season as well.
• K-State scored 21 points off turnovers.... The Wildcats are now 45-5 in the Frank Martin era when scoring 20+ points off opponents' mistakes.
• The Wildcats are now 50-2 under Frank Martin when scoring 80 or more points... They are also 54-6 when allowing fewer than 70 points.
• Senior Jacob Pullen scored 16 points to lead all K-State scorers and bring his career total to 1,592 career points... He needs 63 to pass Steve Henson for fifth in scoring all-time... His pair of 3-pointers give him 237 and move him into a tie for second in school history with Askia Jones.
• The following players posted season-highs in points scored: Victor Ojeleye (7), Shane Southwell (3) and Juevol Myles (3).

The Book on Emporia State
A Division II program from nearby Emporia, Kan., Emporia State enters Monday night's contest with a 3-2 overall record.  The Hornets have won three straight home games since opening the season with losses to West Texas A&M (67-70) and Midwestern State (54-67) on a neutral court.   The squad, which returns five lettermen, including one starter, from a squad that posted a 14-15 overall record in 2009-10, have won home contests against Ottawa (85-66) on Nov. 16, Bethany (81-71) on Nov. 22 and Southwestern College (72-61) on Nov. 24.  The team is senior-laden with eight on the roster, including all five starters.

The Hornets are averaging 71.8 points on 45.1 percent shooting, including 26.5 percent from 3-point range, with 29.2 rebounds, 14.2 assists, 7.6 steals per game.  The team has four players averaging in double figures led by senior forward Adam Holthaus, who is averaging 14.6 points on a team-best 60.9 percent shooting from the field.  Senior Michael Tyler is averaging 13.5 points on 47.6 percent shooting, while fellow seniors Xavier Burnette and Matt Boswell add 12.6 and 11.6 points per game, respectively.  In all, the squad is balanced with eight players averaging five or more points per game, while seven have averaged at least three rebounds per contest.  Boswell leads the Hornets in rebounding (5.6 rpg.), assists (2.6 apg.) and free throws (19), while senior Robert Moores is the leader in 3-point field goals (nine). 
Emporia State is led by 10th-year head coach David Moe, who has posted a 149-114 (.567) at the school, including 138 wins since 2002-03.  He is the third-winningest coach in school history behind Gus Fish and Ron Slaymaker.  Moe has led the Hornets to NCAA Tournament on two occasions (2004 and 2007) and winning season in six of the last eight seasons.  He is 0-1 all-time against K-State in the regular season.

Series vs. Emporia State
This will be 20th meeting between Kansas State and Emporia State on the hardwood, but just the third with the school in the last 60 years.  The series began over 100 years ago when the Wildcats posted a 48-13 win over the Hornets on March 2, 1906.  K-State has won four in a row against Emporia State, including an 82-60 win in the schools' last meeting on Nov. 19, 2008.  Before wins in 1995 and 2008, the last regular-season meeting between the schools came way back on Dec. 4, 1949.  The two teams have met once in exhibition play with the Wildcats earning a 79-75 win on Nov. 10, 2005.  The Wildcats are 47-26 all-time against teams from the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), including 15 consecutive wins dating all the way back to 1946.  The last loss to a MIAA foe came to Washburn, 42-38, on Dec. 11, 1945.  This will mark the fourth year in a row that K-State will play a regular-season contest against a team from the MIAA, which includes games against Pittsburg State (76-66) on Nov. 11, 2007, Emporia State (82-60) on Nov. 19, 2008 and Fort Hays State (83-76) on Dec. 1, 2009.
Up Next: at Washington State
K-State will play its first official road game of the seaosn on Friday, Dec. 3, as the Wildcats travel to Pullman, Wash., to complete the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series with Washington State (4-0) at Friel Court.  Last season, the squad knocked off the Cougars, 86-69, at home on Dec. 5.

`Cats in November
Kansas State is 86-25 (.775) all-time in the month of November, including wins in 35 of its last 43 games.  The Wildcats have won 26 of their last 27 games at home in November dating back to the 2003-04 season, including 11 in a row dating back to an 80-77 overtime loss to No. 17 Oregon on Nov. 29, 2008.  The Oregon loss snapped a 17-game homecourt winning streak in the month and was the first November home loss since a 59-55 setback to Northwestern on Nov. 30, 2002.  A win against Emporia State on Monday would give the Wildcats a school-record six wins in November, surpassing the five recorded in 1998-99 (5-2), 2007-08 (5-2), 2008-09 (5-2) and 2009-10 (5-1).  By virtue of its win over Texas Southern on Friday, the team has at least five wins in the month for the fourth consecutive season for the first time in school history.  K-State can post its best winning percentage in November for the second straight season with a win on Monday, surpassing .833 mark set a season ago.

Bench Points
One of the definite advantage of this year's Kansas State squad is its depth and versatility.  The Wildcats have played at least 10 players in each of its first six games, including a high of 14 against both No. 18/22 Gonzaga (11/22) and Texas Southern (11/26).  The team has used this depth to its advantage, averaging 35.8 points per game off the bench, while out-scoring its six opponents by a margin of 215-69.  The squad has scored 30 or more points from the bench in five consecutive games for the first time under head coach Frank Martin, while it has posted 40 or more points of production in back-to-back games for just the second time under Martin and the first time since 2008-09.  The Wildcats have scored 86 points (45 vs. Duke and 41 vs. Texas Southern) from the bench in the last two games, which is the most in consecutive games since they totaled 104 points in contests against Idaho State (45, 1/3/09) and Chicago State (59, 1/5/09).  The team has seen nine different players record 20 double-digit scoring efforts this season, including nine coming off the bench from five separate players.  Junior Jamar Samuels has tallied three double-digit scoring efforts from the bench, while Martavious Irving and Curtis Kelly have two each.           

Youngsters Stepping Up
For all the attention Kansas State seniors Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly have gotten in the preseason, it has been the play of the team's freshmen and sophomores, who have helped the Wildcats off to an impressive 5-1 start for this season.  This nucleus has scored 253 of the team's 457 points thus far (55 percent), while posting 119 of 238 rebounds (50 percent), 54 of 94 assists (57 percent) and 19 of 36 steals (53 percent).  The group represents five of the team's top eight scorers and six of the Top 10, while it includes three of the Top 5 rebounders and three of the Top 5 assists leaders.  Nine of 20 double-digit scoring efforts have come from sophomores and freshmen led by guard Rodney McGruder, who is first in rebounding (6.7 rpg.) and minutes (30.0 mpg.), second in 3-point field goals (10), assists (2.7 apg.) and steals (1.0 spg.) and third in scoring (10.3 ppg.).  Sophomore Martavious Irving is fifth in scoring at 7.8 points per game, while sophomore Nick Russell (6.7 ppg.) and rookie Will Spradling (5.8 ppg.) rank sixth and seventh, respectively, in scoring.  Sophomore Jordan Henriquez-Roberts is fifth in rebounding (4.5 rpg.).

Points Off Turnovers
A trademark of Frank Martin-coached teams are their ability to score points off of opponent's mistakes.  Since he became coach, the Wildcats have scored 2,087 points off of 1,847 turnovers in 110 games, an average of 19 points per game.  Nearly 25 percent of the points scored in the past four years have come off of offense generated from turnovers, including the current season, in which, the team has outscored its opponents, 111-81, through six games.  In the season opener, the squad scored 21 points off 26 James Madison turnovers before converting 18 Presbyterian miscues into 19 points on Nov. 18.  The Wildcats pressured Texas Southern into 17 turnovers on Friday, outscoring the Tigers, 21-18.   

In 2007-08, K-State averaged 18.9 points off of 16.2 turnovers per game, while in 2008-09, the team scored 25.7 points off of an average of 17.0 turnovers.  The 2009-10 season was no different with the squad averaging 19.9 points off of 16.9 turnovers per game.  K-State scored 20+ points off of turnovers 17 times a year ago, including a school-record 40 against South Dakota.  The team scored 20 or more points off of turnovers versus several marquee opponents, including UNLV (26), Alabama (22), Texas A&M (23), Colorado (23 and 26), Nebraska (22 and 29), Oklahoma (23), Missouri (21), Oklahoma State (23) and Baylor (22).  The Wildcats have a 45-5 record when scoring 20+ points off turnovers under Martin.
Pullen Named Preseason AP All-American
The accolades for Jacob Pullen continue to mount, as the senior was named a preseason first team All-American by The Associated Press earlier this month.  Pullen, who has been selected to a number of All-American teams, was joined on the first team by North Carolina's Harrison Barnes, BYU's Jimmer Fredette, Purdue's JaJuan Johnson and Duke's Kyle Singler.  Pullen was an honorable mention AP All-American as a junior after leading Kansas State to its first Elite Eight since 1988.  He has already been named a preseason All-American by a number of media outlets, including to the first team by ESPN.com, Blue Ribbon Yearbook and The Sporting News, to the second team by Dick Vitale and to the third team by Athlon Sports.  He was also selected a preseason Top 50 candidate for the Wooden Award, given to the nation's top player by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, while he was named one of 50 preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T on Nov. 16.  Pullen is also a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, given to the nation's top all-around senior basketball player.   

Pullen Moving Up the Charts
Senior guard Jacob Pullen is nearing several career milestone as he enters his fourth and final season.  With his game-high 15 points against Presbyterian on Nov. 18, he moved into sixth-place all-time in scoring at K-State, passing current Washington Wizard Cartier Martin (1,546, 2003-07).  His current total of 1,592 points in 110 career games is less than 70 points behind current UNLV assistant coach Steve Henson (1,655, 1987-90) to push him into the school's Top 5.  He needs less than 10 points to become the first Wildcat since Askia Jones in 1994 to post 1,600 career points.  One of three players (Mike Evans and Rolando Blackman) in school history to score 1,500 points in his first three seasons, Pullen has an outside chance (needs 523 points) to become the school's all-time scoring champion, which is currently held by Mike Evans with 2,115 points from 1974-78.  A season ago, he was one of three players (along with Denis Clemente and Curtis Kelly) to set the single-season record for games played (37) and started (37), while also setting school marks for double-digit scoring games (37), 3-point field goals (110) and steals (67).

Pullen ranks among the Top 10 in 18 career categories, including 11 in the Top 5 in school history.  He is already the school's career record holder for 3-point field goal attempted (669), while he paces second in 3-point field goals (237), steals (175), free throws (379), third in assists (364), consecutive starts (77) and fourth in double-digit scoring games (81), minutes played (3,122) and free throws attempted (496).  He is fifth in consecutive games played (110) and starts (91), sixth in field goals attempted (1,219), eighth in field goals (488) and ninth in 20-point games (26).  He needs just one 3-point field goal to surpass Askia Jones (237, 1989-94) and own second place all-time in 3-point field goals, while he needs four to take first place from Steve Henson (240, 1987-90).  Despite playing 19 minutes against Presbyterian, he became just the fifth player with 3,000 minutes played.  Pullen is the first player in school history to be named team captain three consecutive years.