K-State Meets Tennessee in SEC/Big 12 Challenge
K-State Meets Tennessee in SEC/Big 12 Challenge
KANSAS STATE (4-3, 0-0 Big 12)
at TENNESSEE (2-3, 0-0 SEC)
Saturday, December 6, 2014 >> Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678)
>> Knoxville, Tenn. >> 2:15 p.m. CT >> ESPN2
Dave LaMont (play-by-play)
Sean Farnham (analyst)
WatchESPN Link - http://es.pn/1tvANJX
K-State Sports Network
Brian Smoller (play-by-play)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 112/XM 192
Stats - http://bit.ly/1yqDy3x
Audio - http://bit.ly/15rNnVB
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 364-179 (17th year)
at K-State: 51-24 (3rd year)
vs. Tennessee: 0-1
Tennessee: Donnie Tyndall (Morehead State ’93)
Overall: 202-110 (10th year)
at Tennessee: 2-3 (1st year)
vs. K-State: 0-0
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (4-3)
G – #1 Jevon Thomas (6.7 ppg., 4.1 apg.)
G – #2 Marcus Foster (14.9 ppg., 2.4 rpg.)
G – #25 Wesley Iwundu (5.8 ppg., 4.3 rpg.)
F – #11 Nino Williams (11.6 ppg., 2.8 rpg.)
F – #42 Thomas Gipson (13.0 ppg., 4.4 rpg.)
G – #0 Kevin Punter (9.6 ppg., 2.8 apg.)
G – #1 Josh Richardson (15.8 ppg., 4.6 rpg.)
G – #3 Robert Hubbs III (4.0 ppg., 1.4 rpg.)
F – #4 Armani Moore (12.0 ppg., 7.0 rpg.)
F – #24 Willie Carmichael III (3.2 ppg., 2.8 rpg.)
INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: First meeting
vs. SEC: K-State leads 158-145 (47-80 on the road)
In Manhattan: First meeting
In Knoxville: First meeting
Current Streak: n/a
Last Meeting: n/a
Weber vs. Tyndall: First meeting
LAST GAME SUMMARY
Kansas State 84, Omaha 66
Game 7 * Bramlage Coliseum * December 2, 2014
Senior Nino Williams led three Wildcats in double figures with 19 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists, as Kansas State pulled away from Nebraska-Omaha, 84-66, in its return to Bramlage Coliseum on Tuesday. Sophomore Marcus Foster added 16 points and a team-tying seven rebounds, while sophomore Jevon Thomas tallied a career-best 12 points to go with a team-high seven assists. The Wildcats tied their season-high for field goal percentage (53.3), while they set highs for both rebounding (43) and assists (23). Down by as many as six points in the early going, the team finished off the half on a 12-3 run, taking the lead for good on a lay-up by Justin Edwards with 2:58 left before halftime. K-State then opened the second half with five straight point to push the lead to double figures, which ballooned to as many as 21 with 2:57 remaining.
GAME 7 - QUICK HITTERS
• K-State plays its second true road game of the season on Saturday, as the Wildcats travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to face the Tennessee Volunteers (2-3) in the second annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge presented by Sonic. Tip is set for 2:15 p.m. CT on ESPN2 as well as via the WatchESPN app.
• Not counting Friday’s results, the Big 12 is 22-10 against the SEC since the 2012-13 season, including a 4-1 mark in this season’s Challenge. Last season, the Big 12 won the inaugural Challenge series with a 7-3 record, including the Wildcats’ 61-58 home win over Ole Miss on Dec. 5, 2013.
• This will be K-State’s first meeting with Tennessee on the hardwood. The Wildcats are 158-145 all-time against SEC teams, including a 47-80 mark on the road. The squad has played at least one SEC foe in each of the last seven seasons, posting a 4-4 record, including the win over Ole Miss and the NCAA Tournament loss to Kentucky. The last true road win vs. the SEC came in a 78-68 win over former SEC foe Missouri on Feb. 21, 2012.
• Tennessee will be the first of three SEC foes for K-State, as the squad faces Texas A&M at Kansas City’s Sprint Center on Dec. 20 before hosting Georgia in the start of a home-and-home series on Dec. 31.
• K-State is playing two true road games in non-conference play for the first time since the 2010-11 season and the fifth time in the last 10 seasons.
• The squad is 0-1 on the road this season after dropping a 69-60 decision at Long Beach State on Nov. 21 prior to its trip to the Maui Invitational.
• K-State has won its last five true road games in December dating back to 2009, including a 65-62 win at George Washington in its last such game on Dec. 8, 2012. The last loss came at Oregon, 75-70, on Dec. 7, 2008.
• K-State is 14-1 (.929) under head coach Bruce Weber in December with 12 consecutive wins dating back to 2012. The team posted the fifth perfect record in the month in school history last season with a 7-0 mark.
• K-State is off to a 4-3 start after defeating Omaha, 84-66, on Tuesday in its first game back from a nine-day road trip to Long Beach State and Maui. The Wildcats tied their season-high for field goal percentage (53.3), while posting season-bests for assists (23) and rebounds (43).
• K-State is averaging 75.4 points on 47.6 percent shooting, including a Big 12-best 39.7 percent from 3-point range. The team has scored more than 80 points and shot better than 50 percent on four occasions.
• K-State is averaging 88.2 points on 55.6 percent shooting in its four wins and just 58.3 points on 36.5 percent shooting in its three losses.
THE OPPONENT: TENNESSEE (2-3)
• Tennessee enters Saturday’s game with a 2-3 record after going 1-2 at the Orlando Classic which included a win over Santa Clara (64-57) on Nov. 27 before losses to Kansas (82-67) and Marquette (67-59).
• This will be just the second home game for the Volunteers and the first since a 70-58 win over Texas Southern (70-58) Nov. 20.
• The Volunteers are averaging 65.8 points on 43.6 percent shooting, including 26.8 percent from 3-point range, on the season with 35.4 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 7.2 steals and 3.2 blocks per game... They are allowing opponent to 69.8 points per game on 43.9 percent shooting, including 38.2 percent from beyond the arc... The team is shooting 61.8 percent from the free throw line.
• Two players are averaging in double figures led by senior guard and SEC All-Defensive Team selection Josh Richardson, who is averaging a team-best 15.8 points on 43.5 percent shooting to go with 4.6 rebounds per game... Junior forward Armani Moore is also averaging in double figures at 12 points per game on 47.7 percent shooting to go with a team-best 7.0 rebounds per outing... Transfer Kevin Punter is third in scoring at 9.6 per game, while dishing out a team-best 2.8 assists per game.
• Tennessee is coming off a sensational 2013-14 season, in which, the Vols tallied a 24-13 overall record and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Michigan, 73-71.
• Tennessee returns just three lettermen, including one starter (Richardson) from last season’s Sweet 16 squad.
• Tennessee also has a new head coach in former St. Catharine College, Morehead State and Southern Miss coach Donnie Tyndall, who has a 202-110 mark in 10 seasons... He has posted six 20-win seasons in his career and made three NCAA Tournaments.
BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
• Saturday’s game will mark the first meeting between K-State and Tennessee on the hardwood.
• K-State is 158-145 all-time against teams from the SEC, including a 47-80 mark in true road games... Most of those match-ups have come against former Big 12 foes and current SEC members Missouri (235, 119-116) and Texas A&M (24, 17-7)... K-State is 22-22 against the rest of the 12 teams in the SEC, including a 3-9 mark on the road.
• K-State has played at least one SEC foe each of the last seven seasons, posting a 4-4 record... Seven of those eight match-ups have come at neutral sites, including twice in Kansas City as well as Las Vegas, Miami, San Juan, P.R., St. Louis and Dothan, Ala.
• K-State went 1-1 vs. the SEC last season, including a 61-58 win over Ole Miss at home on Dec. 5, 2013 in the inaugural SEC/Big 12 Challenge series and 56-49 loss to Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA Midwest Regional in St. Louis on March 21.
• K-State’s last match-up against an SEC team other than Missouri and Texas A&M on the road came against Ole Miss in 2000.
• K-State and Tennessee have a number of connections despite having never met on the hardwood.
• Athletics director John Currie spent 13 years at Tennessee (1997-2009) prior to his hiring at K-State in May 2009.
• Both schools share 1968 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Zora Clevenger, who served as the head coach of each school’s football, men’s basketball and baseball teams in the early 20th century... Clevenger coached all three sports at Tennessee (1911-16) before arriving at K-State and coaching all three sports from 1916-20... He holds the highest winning percentage of any men’s basketball coach in K-State history at .761 (54-17, 1916-20), while he went 50-14 as the Vols’ hoops coach (1911-16).
• K-State has one player from the state of Tennessee in Murfreesboro native Stephen Hurt, who helped Siegel High School to a 31-3 record and an appearance in the Final Four of the Class 3A state tournament in 2010-11... He also spent two seasons (2011-13) at Lipscomb, where he was named the 2012-13 Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year.
• K-State has posted a 94-24 record in non-conference play dating back to 2006-07, including 8-5 in true road games.
• K-State has a 68-3 record at home in non-conference play in that span, including a 66-2 mark during the regular season.
• The Wildcats are 25-8 in non-conference play under head coach Bruce Weber, including 1-1 in true road games.
• 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
• Kansas State is averaging 75.4 points through seven games on 47.6 percent shooting (176-of-370), including 39.7 percent (46-of-116) from 3-point range, to go with 15.3 assists per game. The team has an assist on 60.8 percent of their field goals.
• The Wildcats rank 4th in the Big 12 in scoring offense and field goal percentage and 1st in 3-point field goal percentage.
• K-State also ranks 4th in the Big 12 in assists, assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2) and turnover margin (+1.9).
• The team averages 30.6 points in the paint, 23.9 bench points, 18.7 points off of turnovers and 10.1 second-chance points.
• K-State has connected on 50 percent or better from the field in four games and shot better than 50 percent from 3-point range on three occasions... The team has also scored 80 or more points in four contests, the most through seven games since 2009-10.
• 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 three players averaging in double figures (Marcus Foster, Thomas Gipson and Nino Williams), 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 - 14.9 ppg.) and 10th (Gipson - 13.0 ppg.).
• Point guards Jevon Thomas and Nigel Johnson both rank in the Top 10 in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio.
• K-State has tallied 46 3-pointers with eight players collecting at least one trey... Marcus Foster leads the way with a 21 triples (2nd in Big 12) on 47.7 percent shooting, while freshman Tre Harris is connecting on a team-best 62.5 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 ranks 3rd in the Big 12 in free throws (130) and attempts (193), while they are tops with 18.6 free throws per game.
SECOND HALF SIZZLE
• K-State is averaging 41.3 points in the second half this season on 53 percent shooting (96-of-181), including 43.6 percent (24-of-55) from 3-point range... The Wildcats are out-scoring their opponents, 289-272, in the second half.
• K-State has connected on better than 50 percent from the field in the second half of five games, including 60 percent or better on four occasions... The team is averaging 49.2 points on 64.1 percent shooting in the second half of its four wins.
• Seven players are averaging 3.0 points or better in the second half led by Thomas Gipson (7.6 on 70 FG%) and Marcus Foster (7.3 on 51.5%)... Eight of the 11 players to score in the second half are shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
• In comparison, K-State is averaging 34.1 points in the first half this season on 42.3 percent shooting (80-of-189), including 36.1 percent (22-of-61) from beyond the arc... The squad is out-scoring their opponents, 239-225, in the opening half.
• Foster averages more points in the first (7.6) than second half (7.3), but he is shooting just 38.6 percent in the first half.
• There is a stark contrast for K-State in its four wins versus its three losses in 2014-15.
• K-State is averaging 88.2 points in its four wins on 55.6 percent shooting (119-of-214), including 48.6 percent (34-of-70) from 3-point range, while allowing opponents 71.5 points on 46.7 percent shooting, including 36.9 from beyond the arc.
• In contrast, K-State is averaging 58.3 points in its three losses on 36.5 percent shooting (57-of-156), including 26.1 percent (12-of-46) from 3-point range, while allowing 70.3 points on 50.7 percent shooting, including 44.7 percent from beyond the arc.
• Four Wildcats are averaging in double figures in the four wins, including Marcus Foster (17.3 ppg. on 56.1 FG%), Nino Williams (14.5 ppg., on 60 FG%), Thomas Gipson (14.0 ppg., on 70.8 FG%) and Nigel Johnson (10.3 ppg., on 56.5 FG%)... In all, eight players are shooting better than 50 percent from the field in those four wins.
• Only two Wildcats are averaging in double figures in the three losses (Gipson and Foster at 11.7 ppg.).
• K-State is averaging 20.5 assists during its wins compared to just 8.3 assists in its losses.
• Guards Jevon Thomas and Nigel Johnson have compiled a 3.72 assist-to-turnover ratio in the four wins, which includes a combined 41 assists to 11 turnovers... The duo has a 1.125 ratio in the three losses with a combined nine assists and eight turnovers.
POINTS OFF OF TURNOVERS
• K-State has taken advantage of its opponents’ mistakes, scoring 131 points off of 105 turnovers in the first seven games.
• The 131 points represents nearly one-quarter of the 528 points, as the team is averaging 18.7 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.
• 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).
• K-State has had a difficult start defensively to start the season, allowing 71 points on 48.3 percent shooting, including 39.3 percent from 3-point range... The squad ranks 10th in the Big 12 in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense, 3-point field goal percentage defense, rebounding (32.4) and blocked shots (2.0).
FOSTER REGAINS TOUCH
• Sophomore Marcus Foster leads the way in scoring at 14.9 points per game on 44.2 percent shooting (34-of-77), including 47.7 percent (21-of-44) from 3-point range... He has scored in double figures in five 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, 5th in 3-point field goal percentage and 2nd in 3-point field goals made.
• Foster leads the Wildcats in seven categories, including scoring, double-digit scoring games (5), 20-point games (2), field goals (34), field goals attempted (77), 3-point field goals (21), 3-point field goals attempted (44).
• 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.
• Foster has scored in double figures in 32 of his 40 career games, including 10 20-point outings. He led in scoring 19 times.
• Thomas Gipson has displayed that all important senior leadership, ranking second in both scoring (13.0 ppg.) and rebounding (4.4 rpg.), while shooting a team-best 68.4 percent (26-of-38) from the field and 81.3 percent (39-of-48) from the charity stripe.
• Gipson ranks 10th in the Big 12 in scoring and 9th in free throw percentage.
• In the Big 12, only Oklahoma State’s Le’Bryan Nash has more free throws made (44) and attempted (54).
• Gipson, who played in his 100th career game in the opener against Southern Utah, has scored in double figures in 13 of the last 16 games (including four times this season)... 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... Ironically, he has scored nine points in the three other games this season.
• Gipson collected his fifth career 20-point game vs. UMKC (11/17/14) with a team-high 21.
• Gipson is closing in on 1,000 career points, as he enters Saturday with 963 points... He would become the 26th Wildcat to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier, while he would be the 12th player with 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.
• Gipson’s career 53.7 field goal percentage is just outside the school’s Top 10 list and highest since Tony Kitt (54.5, 1998-2000).
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.
• Williams, who ranks third in scoring at 11.6 points per game at 51.1 percent shooting, has scored in double-digits in three of his first five games, including a season-high 19 points vs. Omaha (12/2/14) on 8-of-11 field goals in just 20 minutes of action.
• 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 51 assists (to 18 turnovers) to go with 96 points on 44.3 percent shooting and 21 steals while playing 323 minutes in the first seven games, as Thomas averages 25.1 minutes to Johnson’s 21.0 minutes per game (tops among reserves).
• Johnson ranks in the Big 12’s Top 15 in three categories, including 2nd in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.7), 6th in steals (1.7 spg.) and 13th in assists (3.1 apg.), while Thomas is in the Top 10 in both assists (4.1 apg.) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4).
• The duo is even more impressive in the four wins, combining for 41 assists to 11 turnovers (3.72 assist-to-turnover ratio), as Johnson is averaging 10.3 points on 56.5 percent shooting and Thomas is averaging 7.5 points on 44.4 percent shooting.
• Johnson is averaging 7.0 points per game on 45.2 percent shooting (14-of-31), including 35 percent (7-of-20) from 3-point range, to go with a team-leading 12 steals, while Thomas is averaging 6.7 points per game on 43.3 percent shooting (13-of-30), including 33.3 percent (3-of-9) from 3-point range, to go with a team-leading 29 assists.
• 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 collected his first career double-digit scoring game with 12 points vs. Omaha (12/2/14) to go with a team-best 7 assists... Thomas dished out a season-best 9 assists vs. 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 CANDIDATE FOR WOODEN, NAISMITH
• 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... He followed that distinction up by being named to the 50-player Watch List for the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T on Dec. 3.
• 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), while he joins Pullen and McGruder has the third Wildcat to receive mention for the Naismith Trophy... Both Pullen (2010) and McGruder (2012) made the Naismith Top 30 list.
• Foster was one of 10 Big 12 players selected to the Wooden Watch List and was one of nine named to the Naismith list.
• 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.
• The honor marks the fourth of the preseason for Foster, as he was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team by a number of publications, including Athlon, Blue Ribbon Yearbook and The Sporting News.
• 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).
• Staten was voted as the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year and Bryce Dejean-Jones (Iowa State) was the Preseason Newcomer of the Year, while Cliff Alexander (Kansas) and Myles Turner (Texas) were selected as the Preseason Freshmen of the Year.