'Cats, Cougars Clash in Hardwood Series

Game Information

Kansas State (6-1, 0-0 Big 12)
vs. Washington State (6-1)

Date: Saturday, December 5, 2009
Tipoff: 8:05 p.m. CT
Location: Manhattan, Kan.  |  Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)

Television: ESPNU (Dave Armstrong, play-by-play; Rich Zvosec, analyst; Jim Gaiero, producer)  |  Channel Directory: n/a   |  Internet: www.ESPN360.com

Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, play-by-play; Stan Weber, analyst)   |  Live Stats: www.k-statesports.com  |  Local Stations: Sports Radio 1350 AM (KMAN; Manhattan), 102.9-FM (KQTP; Topeka)  |  Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 121

Head Coaches: Kansas State - Frank Martin (Florida International '93) is 49-25 (.662) in his third season.  Washington State - Ken Bone (Seattle Pacific '83) is 6-1 (.857) in his first season at Washington State and 341-168 (.670) in his 18th year overall as a head coach.    

Last Time Out: K-State defeated Fort Hays State, 83-76 on Tuesday, while Washington State lost to No. 17/16 Gonzaga, 74-69, on Wednesday.

Series: Tied 2-2 (K-State is 2-0 at home)  |  Last time: Washington State, 58-57, at home on Dec. 3, 2005  |  vs. Pac-10: K-State is 38-23  |  Frank Martin is 0-0 all-time vs. Washington State, while Ken Bone is 0-0 all-time vs. K-State.     

Rankings: Both teams are receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls. 

Tickets: $20 (bench and Cat Cushion), $30 (chairbacks) at the Athletics Ticket Office at 800.221.CATS or via www.k-statesports.com

Projected Starters

Kansas State (6-1)
G - #0 Jacob Pullen (18.1 ppg., 4.1 apg.)
G - #21 Denis Clemente (13.9 ppg., 3.0 apg.)
F - #23 Dominique Sutton (5.3 ppg., 4.4 rpg.)
F - #24 Curtis Kelly (11.9 ppg., 7.6 rpg.)
C - #15 Jordan Henriquez-Roberts (4.2 ppg., 4.5 rpg.)

Washington State (6-1)
G - #0 Marcus Capers (6.4 ppg., 5.1 rpg.)
G - #1 Klay Thompson (26.4 ppg., 5.0 rpg.)
G - #3 Reggie Moore (13.0 ppg., 3.6 apg.)
G - #31 Abe Lodwick (3.9 ppg., 3.3 rpg.)
F - #23 DeAngelo Casto (12.4 ppg., 6.3 rpg.)

K-State faces Washington State in Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series
Kansas State faces perhaps its toughest test of the season on Saturday, as the Wildcats play host to Washington State (6-1) and the nation's second-leading scorer - Klay Thompson (26.4 ppg.) - in the third annual Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series at Bramlage Coliseum at 8 p.m. CT.  The team has won 29 of their last 30 games at Bramlage Coliseum in the month of December dating back to the 2002-03 season, including 17 consecutive home wins since Dec. 30, 2004.  The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU with Dave Armstrong (play-by-play) and Rich Zvosec (analyst) on the call.  It will mark the third time the Wildcats have appeared on ESPNU this season after playing their last two games of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on the network. 

K-State will be looking for its first win in the Hardwood Series after losing twice to Oregon, first at home, 80-77, in overtime on Nov. 29, 2007 and then in Eugene, 75-70, on Dec. 7, 2008.  Washington State has split its first two games in the Series, knocking off Baylor, 67-64, in Waco, Texas on Nov. 30, 2007 before losing at home to the Bears, 58-52, on Dec. 6, 2008.  The Wildcats are 38-23 (.623) all-time against teams from the Pac-10, including an 18-4 (.818) mark at home.  The two teams have met four other times in their histories with each school winning twice on their own home court.  This will be the first meeting since the squads split a home-and-home series in 2003-04 and 2004-05 with WSU winning most recently, 58-57, at home on Dec. 3, 2005.

The Big 12 will be looking for its first conference win in the Hardwood Series after the Pac-10 won the inaugural Series, 7-5, in 2007 before the leagues split its 12 games last season.  The bulk of the games (nine of the 12) take place this week with the Big 12 already holding a 4-0 edge after three wins on Thursday evening by Baylor, Texas and Texas Tech.  Three games, including Missouri-Oregon and Iowa State-California, will be contested on Saturday, while two more (Kansas-UCLA and Arizona-Oklahoma) will be played on Sunday.  The week kicked off with three games on Thursday and one more on Friday.

The Wildcats look to raise their game after a sluggish 83-76 win over Division II foe Fort Hays State on Tuesday night.  The team were down as many as 10 points in the first half before using a 17-7 run midway through the second half to finally put the pesky Tigers away.  K-State shot 49.1 percent for the game, including 55.6 percent in the second half, while tallying 20 assists for just the second time this season.  Sophomore reserve Jamar Samuels eclipsed his career-high with 21 points on 6-of-9 field goals to go with a team-high seven rebounds, while the backcourt tandem of Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente combined for 37 points on 13-of-25 shooting from the field.  It marked the 34th time (in 39 games) the two have combined for 20 or more points, including 30 or more points on 20 occasions.  Pullen topped 20 or more points for the third consecutive game for only the second time in his career.

A Quick Look at Kansas State
K-State is averaging just over 80 points per game (80.6 ppg.) on 46.9 percent shooting (189-of-403), including 32.8 percent from 3-point range (40-of-122), with 39.9 rebounds, 15.7 assists, 6.1 steals and 5.3 blocks per game.  The squad has topped 80 or more points in five of seven games, while hitting on 45 percent or better from the field on five occasions.  The 564 points scored are the most through seven games in 12 years since the 1997-98 squad scored 600 points, while the five 80-point contests are the most since 1997-98 team also had five.  

Junior Jacob Pullen leads four players in double figures at 18.1 points per game on 41.9 percent shooting from the field to go with team bests in field goals (36), 3-point field goals (14), free throws (41), free throw percentage (80.4), assists (29) and steals (10), while backcourt mate Denis Clemente is second in scoring at 13.9 points per game on 35.9 percent shooting from the field and is tops on the team in minutes per game (31.6).  The duo has combined for nearly 40 percent of the scoring (224) so far this season, while historically, they are the second-most productive (as far as combined points per game at 27.2) guard tandem since former NBA players Mike Evans and Chuckie Williams combined to average 38.9 points per game for the Wildcats between 1974-76.  Clemente recently topped the 1,000-point plateau for his career (includes his two-year stint at Miami) with a pair of free throws just over a minute into the IUPUI game on Nov. 28.  Pullen's 918 points in 74 career games ranks 28th all-time in school history, while he has scored in double figures in all seven games and a team-best 46 times in his career.  

Sophomore Jamar Samuels, who has come off the bench in six of seven games this season, is averaging 12.7 points on a team-best 64.1 percent shooting (25-of-39) to go with 5.5 rebounds per game.  He has scored in double figures in five games, including his a career-best 21 points against Fort Hays State.  Dubbed the "X-Factor" for his ability to change the game off the bench, 19 of his 20 double-digit scoring efforts have come as a reserve.  Junior Curtis Kelly is the lone other Wildcat to average double figures at 11.9 points on 61.5 percent shooting (32-of-52) to go with a team-high 7.6 rebounds per game.  He has grabbed double-doubles in two of his last four outings, including 11 points and 11 rebounds against IUPUI.  All 12 players have scored this season with eight different players registering double-digit scoring.

The Book on Washington State
A member of the Pacific-10 Conference, Washington State enters the game on Saturday night with a 6-1 record after dropping a 74-69 loss to No. 17/16 Gonzaga on Wednesday in Spokane, Wash.  The Cougars had won their first six games of the season for the second time in the last three seasons, including the championship of the Great Alaska Shootout, before the loss to the Bulldogs.  The team had earned easy home wins over Mississippi Valley State (94-66), Eastern Washington (67-61) and IPFW (89-70) to start the season before beating host Alaska-Anchorage (87-68), Nicholls State (78-69) and San Diego (93-56) in the Shootout. 

Washington State is averaging 82.4 points per game on the season on 50.5 percent shooting, including 44.8 percent from 3-point range, with 36.7 rebounds, 15.6 assists, 8.4 steals and 4.6 blocks per game.  The team is shooting a solid 72 percent from the free throw line.  A very young team with 15 freshmen and sophomores and just one senior, there are seven players that are shooting 50 percent or better.  The Cougars have three players averaging in double figures led by sophomore guard Klay Thompson, who ranks second nationally in scoring at 26.4 points per game.  Thompson, who is the son of former No. 1 NBA Draft pick and Laker Mychal Thompson, is connecting on 51.6 percent from the field, including 51.2 percent from 3-point range, to go with 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals in a team-best 34.7 minutes per game.  Freshman guard Reggie Moore is second in scoring at 13.0 point per game on 49 percent shooting to go with a team-best 3.6 assists per game, while sophomore forward DeAngelo Casto is third at 12.4 points per game on 54.8 percent shooting with a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game. 

Washington State is led by first-year head coach Ken Bone, who has posted won over 341 years in 18 years as a head coach at the Division I, II and III levels.  He replaced Tony Bennett as head coach on April 6, 2009 after spending four season at Portland State, where he led the Vikings to back-to-back 23-win seasons and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007-08 and 2008-09.  He came to Portland State in 2005 from Division II Seattle Pacific, where he led the school to eight 20-win seasons and eight trips to the NCAA Tournament from 1990 to 2002.

Series vs. Washington State
This will be the fifth meeting between K-State and Washington State on the hardwood with each school winning on its home court.  The teams first met in 1941 with the Cougars posting a 47-22 win.  The last meeting between the schools came in a home-and-home series in 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons with the Wildcats winning 62-53 at home on Nov. 27, 2004 and the Cougars earning a 58-57 victory in Pullman on Dec. 3, 2005.

'Cats in December
Kansas State will look to continue its strong play in December, where the Wildcats have won 34 of their last 44 games.  The squad is 442-230 (.657) all-time in December with 29 wins in their last 30 games at home in the month dating back to the 2002-03 season, including a current of streak of 17 consecutive home victories dating back to the 2004-05 season.  The team's last home loss in December came to Rutgers (76-66) on Dec. 28, 2004.  K-State has won four or more games in the month the last seven seasons, including six in both 2002-03 and 2006-07.  The squad has posted a winning record in December 61 times in their history, including seven consecutive seasons dating back to 2002-03.   The Wildcats won a school-record nine games in the month nine times in their history, including perfect 9-0 marks in 1947-48 and 1993-94.

Last season, K-State posted a 4-1 mark in the month with a loss at Oregon (75-70) and wins against Southern Miss (74-55) in the Sprint Center and Gardner-Webb (107-48), Centenary (73-51) and Wagner (82-53) at home.  

Quite A Duo
Senior Denis Clemente and junior Jacob Pullen have become quite the scoring duo for the Wildcats in their two seasons together.  The two have combined to score 1,176 points in just over one season together, including finishing first and second in scoring in 2008-09.  They have combined to average 32.0 points per game through seven games this season, including Pullen's team-leading 18.1 points per game.  The 32-point combined average is the fifth-highest by a guard duo in school history, trailing Chuckie Williams and Mike Evans in 1974-75 (39.1) and 1975-76 (38.8), Askia Jones and Anthony Beane in 1993-94 (33.5) and Steve Henson and Jean Derouillere in 1989-90 (33.1).  Historically, Clemente and Pullen are the second-most productive (as far as combined points per game at 27.2) guard tandem since former NBA players Mike Evans and Chuckie Williams combined to average 38.9 points per game for the Wildcats between 1974-76.  They have combined to score 20 or more points 34 times in 39 games dating back to last season, including 30 or more points on 20 occasions.  Clemente and Pullen combined to score 40 or more points for the fifth time in a single game in the win over No. 18/21 Dayton with 21 and 26 points, respectively, while the 47-point effort was only topped by a pair of 48-point outputs against Texas on Jan. 30 (Clemente 44, Pullen 4) and Kansas (Clemente 26, Pullen 22) on Feb. 14.  The contest against the Flyers marked just the second time that both players have topped 20 or more points in the same contest since the Kansas game.      

Clemente Tops 1,000
Senior Denis Clemente eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier with a pair of free throws just over a minute into the IUPUI game on Nov. 28.  Clemente, who transferred to K-State after playing two seasons at Miami (Fla.), has totaled 577 points his two-year career on 39.7 percent shooting (200-of-504) from the field, including 35.7 percent (71-of-199) from 3-point range, in 39 games.  He has a chance to break into the school's top-10 of career points by a transfer, needing just 226 points to tie Elliot Hatcher (803; 1994-96) for 10th place.  He scored 450 points in his two years as a Hurricane, connecting on 38.7 percent (167-of-432) of his field goals, including 31.5 percent (57-of-181) from beyond the arc, in 61 games.

Pullen Moving Up the Charts
Junior Jacob Pullen is nearing several career milestone as he moves into his third season as a Wildcat.  With his 20-point effort against Fort Hays State on Tuesday, Pullen now has 918 career points, which ranks 28th all-time in school history.  He needs 82 points to become the 21st player in school history to tally 1,000 career points.  He ranks in the top 10 in both 3-point field goals made and attempted, ranking fifth in attempts with 397 and sixth in makes with 129.  He needs 42 3-point field goal attempts to move ahead of Lance Harris (439, 2003-07) for fourth place, while he needs 13 3-point field goals to move past Will Scott (142, 1986-88) for fifth place all-time.  Pullen became the sixth player in school history to top 100 steals in a career with his three steals against Boston in the opener in the Puerto Rico.  He needs seven more thefts to move into fourth-place all-time ahead of Belvis Noland (110, 1993-95) and Aaron Swartzendruber (110, 1994-98).  Pullen could join Steve Henson (1987-90) and Askia Jones (1989-94) as the only players with 1,000 points (needs 82 points), 200 3-pointers (needs 71), 250 assists (needs 6) and 100 steals (already has 104).  He currently holds the longest current games played streak at 74 games, while he has started 43 consecutive games.

Up Next: Xavier (4-2)
Kansas State concludes its homestand with a contest against Xavier on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. CT.  The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.