K-State Returns Home To Play Omaha Tuesday

Game Notes in PDF Format

GAME 7
NEBRASKA-OMAHA (3-2, 0-0 Summit)
at KANSAS STATE (3-3, 0-0 Big 12)
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 >> Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)  >> Manhattan, Kan.  >> 7:10 p.m. CT

TELEVISION
FOX Sports Kansas City
Brian Smoller (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)
DirecTV 671-5  |  AT&T 750/1750
Dish 450/412-38

RADIO

K-State Sports Network
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Matt Walters (analyst)
Satellite Radio: none

LIVE STATS/AUDIO
kstatesports.com
Stats - http://bit.ly/1yqDy3x
Audio - http://bit.ly/15rNnVB

TICKETS
kstatesports.com
(800) 221.CATS
$15 (bench), $25 (chairbacks)
Wildcat4Pack: $50 | $10 (12+group)

COACHES
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (UW-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 363-179 (17th year)
at K-State: 50-24 (3rd year)
vs. Nebraska-Omaha: First meeting

Nebraska-Omaha: Derrin Hansen
Overall: 152-123 (10th year)
at Omaha: 152-123 (10th year)
vs. K-State: First meeting

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (3-3, 0-0 Big 12)
G - #1 Jevon Thomas (5.8 ppg., 3.7 apg.)
G - #2 Marcus Foster (14.7 ppg., 1.7 rpg.)
G - #25 Wesley Iwundu (6.6 ppg., 4.8 rpg.)
F - #11 Nino Williams (9.8 rpg., 2.5 rpg.)
F - #42 Thomas Gipson (13.7 ppg., 4.7 rpg.)

Omaha (3-2, 0-0 Summit)
G - #3 Devin Patterson (16.4 ppg,, 5.4 rpg.)
G - #10 C.J. Carter (16.6 ppg., 3.2 rpg.)
G - #23 Marcus Tyus (8.4 ppg., 3.0 rpg.)
F - #5 Mike Rostampour (9.8 ppg., 8.2 rpg.)
F - #15 Tre’Shawn Thurman (10.8 ppg., 4.2 rpg.)

INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: First meeting
vs. Summit: K-State leads 27-2 (26-0 at home)
In Manhattan: First meeting
In Omaha: First meeting
Current Streak: n/a
Last Meeting: n/a
Weber vs. Hansen: First meeting

LAST GAME SUMMARY
Pittsburgh 70, Kansas State 47
Game 6  *  Lahaina Civic Center  * November 26, 2014
Pittsburgh connected on 55.3 percent from the field, including 65.2 percent in the second half, to post a 70-47 win over K-State in the third-place game of the EA Sports Maui Invitational Nov. 26. The Panthers blew open a tight game early in the second half, out-scoring the Wildcats, 11-3, to push the lead to double figures in an eventual 23-point win. A 30-27 game at halftime, Pittsburgh out-scored K-State, 40-20, in the second half and held the Wildcats to just 26.1 percent shooting, including 16.7 percent from 3-point range. Overall, K-State set season-lows for points (47), field goals (15) and field goal percentage (32.6), while only one player - Thomas Gipson (13) - scored in double figures. It marked the 13th time in the last 15 games has scored in double digits. For the first time, K-State lost the points-off-turnover battle, as Pittsburgh held a 17-10 edge in the category.

GAME 7 - QUICK HITTERS
•    K-State returns home from its nine-day road trip on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats play host to Nebraska-Omaha (3-2) at Bramlage Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City.
•    This will be K-State’s first meeting with Omaha, as the Mavericks recently joined the Division I ranks during the 2012-13 season. The Wildcats are 27-2 against teams from the Summit League, including a 26-0 mark at home. Last season, the squad defeated current conference members Oral Roberts (71-63) and South Dakota (64-62) in home games.
•    K-State is off to a 3-3 start for the second straight season after posting a 1-3 mark on its recent road trip, which included a 69-60 loss at Long Beach State on Nov. 21 to go with a fourth-place finish (1-2) at the EA Sports Maui Invitational, Nov. 24-26. The Wildcats knocked off Purdue, 88-79, before losing back-to-back contests to No. 3/4 Arizona (72-68) and Pittsburgh (70-47) in their first appearance in the tournament since 1998.
•    K-State has won 35 consecutive home games in December dating back to 2004. The last home loss came to Rutgers (76-66) on Dec. 28, 2004. Overall, the Wildcats are 47-8 (.852) in the month since 2006.
•    K-State went 7-0 in December last season, which was the fifth perfect record in the month in school history and the first since 2009.
•    K-State is 13-1 (.929) under head coach Bruce Weber in December with 11 consecutive wins dating back to 2012.
•    K-State has a 67-3 record at home in non-conference play dating back to 2006-07, including a 65-2 mark during the regular season. The squad has won 56 of its last 57 non-conference home games.
•    Weber is 34-3 (.919) at Bramlage Coliseum since taking over as head coach at K-State with losses to No. 3 Kansas (2012), Northern Colorado (2013) and Baylor (2013). Those 3 losses came by a total of 8 points.
•    K-State is averaging 74.0 points on 46.5 percent shooting, including a Big 12-best 38.9 percent from 3-point range. The team has scored more than 80 points and shot better than 50 percent on three occasions. 
•    K-State is averaging 19.5 points per game off of turnovers, including totaling more than 20 three times. The Wildcats scored a season-best 30 points off of turnovers in the opener with Southern Utah.
•    After Saturday’s trip to Tennessee (2-3) for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, the Wildcats will have four home games and a contest against Texas A&M at Kansas City’s Sprint Center before opening Big 12 play in January.

THE OPPONENT: OMAHA (3-2)
•    Omaha enters Tuesday’s game with a 3-2 record after posting a 78-54 win over Nevada at home on Sunday.
•    Both of Omaha’s losses came on the road at Seattle (98-74) on Nov. 19 and at Nebraska (80-67) on Nov. 25. The Mavericks did knock off Marquette, 97-89, in Milwaukee on Nov. 22. The other win came in the opener over Central Arkansas (100-75).
•    The Mavericks are averaging 83.2 points on 45.2 percent shooting, including 38.6 percent from 3-point range, on the season with 37.2 rebounds, 14.6 assists, 9.0 steals and 2.8 blocks per game... They are allowing opponent to 79.2 points per game on 45.9 percent shooting, including 34 percent from beyond the arc... The team is shooting 71.4 percent from the free throw line.
•    Three players are averaging in double figures led by a pair of 16.0 points per game scorers in senior guard C.J. Carter (16.6 ppg.) and junior guard Devin Patterson (16.4 ppg.), while freshman forward Tre’Shawn Thurman is averaging 10.8 points on a team-best 56.8 percent shooting... The squad also has four other players averaging better than 6.6 points per game.
•    Carter was named the Summit League Player of the Week on Nov. 23 after scoring a season-high 25 points at Marquette.
•    Omaha returns four starters from a team that posted a 17-15 overall record and advanced to the second round of the CIT.
•    Head coach Derrin Hansen is 152-123 in his 10th season at Omaha.

BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
•    Tuesday’s game will mark the first meeting between K-State and Omaha on the hardwood.
•    K-State is 27-2 all-time against teams from the Summit League, including a 26-0 mark at home.
•    K-State posted wins over two Summit League teams last season, including a 71-63 win over Oral Roberts on Nov. 13 and a 64-62 win over South Dakota on Dec. 10.
•    K-State’s two losses to Summit League teams came against Oral Roberts in 1978 and 1985, both in Tulsa.
•    K-State will face a team from Nebraska for the first time since ending its rivalry with Nebraska on Feb. 23, 2011 in Lincoln.

NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS
•    K-State has posted a 93-24 (.795) record in non-conference play dating back to 2006-07.
•    K-State has a 67-3 record at home in non-conference play in that span, including a 65-2 mark during the regular season.
•    The Wildcats are 24-8 (.750) in non-conference play under head coach Bruce Weber.
•    K-State posted a 10-3 record in non-conference play in 2013-14, tallying 8 consecutive wins and 7 straight wins at home.
•    K-State has totaled at least 10 wins in non-conference play in each of the last eight games, including 13 in 2009-10.

OFFENSIVE SURGE TO START YEAR
•    Despite a poor offensive performance in the loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 26, Kansas State is still averaging 74 points through six games on 46.5 percent shooting (144-of-310), including 38.9 percent (37-of-95) from 3-point range, to go with a 70.4 percent  clip (119-of-169) from the free throw line... The team is also averaging 14 assists per game.
•    The Wildcats rank 6th in the Big 12 in scoring offense, 4th in field goal percentage and 1st in 3-point field goal percentage.
•    K-State has connected on 50 percent or better from the field in three of six games and shot better than 50 percent from 3-point range on three occasions.
•    The 98 points in the season opener against Southern Utah (11/14/14) were the most in the Bruce Weber era, surpassing the 87 against Central Arkansas (12/1/13), and the most since scoring 100 against North Florida (12/31/10)... The 98 points were also the most in an opener since scoring 103 vs. Texas-San Antonio (11/23/91) and the fourth-most overall a season opener.
•    The Wildcats also posted Bruce Weber era highs for field goal percentage (58.7), 3-point field goal percentage (55.6), free throws made (34) and attempted (48) in the win over Southern Utah (11/14/14)... The 58.7 field goal percentage is the highest by a Wildcat team since shooting 60.3 percent (35-of-58) vs. North Carolina Central (2/17/09).
•    K-State shot better than 50 percent in both halves of its first two games, while the overall field goal percentages against Southern Utah (58.7) and UMKC (58.3) are the two highest in Bruce Weber’s tenure at K-State.
•    K-State has two players averaging in double figures (Thomas Gipson and Marcus Foster), while eight players have had at least one double-digit scoring game... Six players scored in double figures in the opener against Southern Utah, which was the most since six also scored in twin figures against North Carolina Central (2/17/09).
•    Both Foster and Gipson rank in the Big 12’s Top 10 in scoring at eighth (Foster - 14.7 ppg.) and ninth (Gipson - 13.7 ppg.).
•    K-State has 84 assists on 144 made field goals this season, including a season-best 22 assists on 28 field goals vs. UMKC.
•    K-State has tallied 37 3-pointers in six games with seven players collecting at least one trey... Marcus Foster leads the way with a Big 12-best 18 triples on 50 percent shooting, while freshman Tre Harris is connecting on a team-best 61.5 percent.
•    K-State has also taken advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line... The Wildcats’ 34 free throws and 48 attempts vs.  Southern Utah (11/14/14) were not only the most in the Bruce Weber era, but both one shy of the Top 10 in school history... The 34 free throws are the most since making 38 at Colorado (1/16/10), while the 48 attempts are the most since 54 at Colorado.
•    K-State ties for second in the Big 12 with 119 free throws made on the fourth-most attempts (169).

SECOND HALF SIZZLE
•    K-State is averaging 40.3 points in the second half this season on 51.7 percent shooting (78-of-151), including 41.9 percent (18-of-43) from 3-point range... The Wildcats are out-scoring their opponents, 242-237.
•    In comparison, K-State is averaging 33.7 points in the first half this season on 41.5 percent shooting (66-of-159), including 36.5 percent (19-of-52) from beyond the arc... The squad is out-scoring their opponents, 202-194, in the opening half.
•    Six players are averaging 4.0 points or better in the second half led by Thomas Gipson (7.7) and Marcus Foster (6.8)... Five of the 11 players to score in the second half are shooting better than 50 percent from the field.

POINTS OFF OF TURNOVERS
•    K-State has taken advantage of its opponents’ mistakes, scoring 117 points off of 93 turnovers in the first six games.
•    The 117 points represents nearly one-quarter of the 444 points, as the team is averaging 19.5 points per game off of turnovers.
•    K-State has scored 20 or more points off of turnovers in three games, including back-to-back games to start the season against Southern Utah and UMKC... It marked the first time that K-State has tallied 20 or more points off of turnovers in consecutive games since posting 20 against TCU (1/16/13) and 26 against Oklahoma (1/19/13) during the 2012-13 season.
•    The 30 points scored off of turnovers against Southern Utah (11/14/14) in the season opener were the most since scoring 33 against Texas (1/30/13) and tied for the ninth-most since the stat began being kept in 2000-01.
•    The Wildcats averaged 12.2 points off of turnovers in 2013-14, including just three games of 20 or more points.

GETTING DEFENSIVE
•    K-State has put up some impressive defensive numbers under head coach Bruce Weber, leading the Big 12 in scoring defense each of the past two seasons (60.4 ppg. in 2012-13 and 65.4 ppg. in 2013-14).
•    31 opponents have been held to 60 points or less in Weber’s two seasons as head coach with the Wildcats boasting a 28-3 mark in those contests (only losses to Kansas in 2012 and Northern Colorado and Kentucky in 2013).
•    15 Big 12 opponents have been held to 60 points or less (13 in regular-season Big 12 play) with the Wildcats posting a 14-1 record in those matchups, including a 12-1 mark in Big 12 play (only loss to Kansas in 2012).

FOSTER REGAIN TOUCH
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster leads the way in scoring at 14.7 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting (28-of-64), including 50 percent (18-of-36) from 3-point range... He has scored in double figures in four games, including 20 or more points in back-to-back games against Purdue (24) and No. 3/4 Arizona (23)... It is the fourth time has had 20+ points in consecutive games.
•    Foster currently ranks 8th in the Big 12 in scoring, 4th in 3-point field goal percentage and 1st in 3-point field goals made.
•    Foster averaged 18 points on 51.4 percent (19-of-37) from the field, including 57.1 percent (12-of-21) from 3-point range, in three games at the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
•    Foster connected on 6-of-9 from 3-point range against Arizona (11/25/14), which marked the second-most in his career and the most since knocking down 7 vs. Baylor (3/8/14)... This came on the heels of hitting 5 treys vs. Purdue (11/24/14).
•    Foster’s impressive display in Maui came after a low moment in his career at Long Beach State (11/21/14), in which, he had just 5 points on 1-of-13 field goals, including 0-of-6 from 3-point range.

SENIOR LEADER
•    Thomas Gipson has displayed that all important senior leadership, ranking second in both scoring (13.7 ppg.) and rebounding (4.7 rpg.), while shooting a team-best 69.7 percent (23-of-33) from the field and 85.7 percent (36-of-42) from the charity stripe.
•    Gipson ranks 9th in the Big 12 in scoring and 5th in free throw percentage.
•    In the Big 12, only Oklahoma State’s Le’Bryan Nash has made more free throws (44), while Nash (54) and Kansas’ Perry Ellis (46) are the only players with more free throw attempts.
•    Gipson, who played in his 100th career game in the opener against Southern Utah, has scored in double figures in 13 of the last 15 games (including four times this season) after being lone Wildcat in double figures with 13 vs. Pittsburgh (11/26/14)... He saw his streak of 12 double-digit scoring games in a row end against Purdue (11/24/14)... He has led in scoring in three games.
•    Gipson collected his fifth career 20-point game vs. UMKC (11/17/14) with a team-high 21.
•    Gipson’s career 53.6 field goal percentage is just outside the school’s Top 10 list and highest since Tony Kitt (54.5, 1998-2000).
•    Gipson has a team-leading 36 charges taken in career, including 6 this season.

BACK IN THE FOLD
•    Senior Nino Williams made his return to the court vs. Long Beach State (11/21/14) after missing the exhibition and the first two games due to a knee injury... It marked just the second time in the last three seasons that he missed a game due to injury.
•    Williams performed well despite the layoff, scoring 12 points on 5-of-9 field goals with 5 rebounds in 26 minutes... It marked the 14th double-digit scoring effort of Williams’ era.
•    Williams, who ranks third in scoring at 9.8 points per game, has scored in double-digits in two of his first four games.
•    Williams is the team’s most veteran player, as he enters his fifth season in the program after earning a medical redshirt.

TWO BETTER THAN ONE
•    Sophomore point guards Nigel Johnson and Jevon Thomas make an impressive 1-2 punch for the K-State backcourt... The duo have combined for 39 assists (to 16 turnovers) to go with 82 points on 42.3 percent shooting and 19 steals while playing 277 minutes in the first six games, as Thomas averages 24.7 minutes per game to Johnson’s 21.5 minutes per game.
•    Johnson is averaging 7.8 points per game on 48.1 percent shooting (13-of-27), including 38.9 percent (7-of-18) from 3-point range, to go with a team-leading 11 steals, while Thomas is averaging a team-best 3.7 assists to go with 5.8 points per game.
•    Johnson scored in double figures in the first two games, including a career and team-best 18 points in the opener against Southern Utah (11/14/14) and Thomas dished out a career-best 9 assists in the win over UMKC (11/17/14).

‘CATS PICKED 4th IN BIG 12 PRESEASON POLL
•    Kansas State was selected to finish fourth in the preseason 2014-15 Big 12 Conference coaches’ poll released by the league office on Oct. 9. The Wildcats received 53 points to earn the nod in fourth place, just two points ahead of fifth-place Iowa State (51). The fourth-place prediction was the highest since the squad was selected as the preseason favorite in 2010-11.
•    K-State was also chosen fourth in the preseason polls of 2007-08 and 2009-10.
•    Kansas was picked as the conference favorite with 78 points and six first-place votes by the league coaches. Texas was a close second with 74 points and three first-place votes, while Oklahoma voted third with 67 points and the final first-place vote.

FOSTER NAMED PRESEASON TOP 50 WOODEN AWARD CANDIDATE

•    Sophomore Marcus Foster was named one of 50 preseason candidates for the prestigious John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s announced by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Nov. 17.
•    Foster becomes the third Wildcat in the last four seasons to be selected as a preseason Top 50 candidate for the Wooden Award, joining Jacob Pullen (2010) and Rodney McGruder (2012).
•    Foster was one of 10 Big 12 players selected to the Wooden Watch List, including four Kansas players and two from Texas.
•    Foster was also recently selected to the Lute Olson Award Watch List, which is presented to the nation’s top Division I players who has played at least two seasons with his respective team. He is one of four Big 12 players on the list.

FOSTER NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 TEAM
•    Sophomore Marcus Foster was selected to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team released by the conference office on Oct. 2.
•    Foster is the first Wildcat named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team since Rodney McGruder was selected to the squad in 2012. It marks just the fifth time that a Wildcat men’s basketball player has been named to the preseason team, joining Manny Dies in 1998-99, Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly in 2010-11 and McGruder in 2012.
•    Foster was joined on the 5-man preseason team by unanimous choices Perry Ellis (Kansas) and Juwan Staten (West Virginia), along with Buddy Hield (Oklahoma) and Georges Niang (Iowa State).