K-State hosts unbeaten Cal Sunday

Game Information
Kansas State (5-3) vs. California (6-0)

Sunday, December 9, 2007
Tipoff: 1:07 p.m. CT
Location: Manhattan, Kan.
Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (1988)
Capacity: 12,528

Series: Kansas State leads 5-1
(This will be the first meeting at home)
vs. Pac-10 teams: Kansas State leads 36-22
(17-4 at home)

Television: FSN Midwest  
Ben Boyle (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)
Brian McCann (producer)

Satellite Channels: DirecTV 648; Dish Network 444

Radio: K-State Sports Network;
Powercat Passport Internet Audio; 
Yahoo! Internet Radio,
Sirius Satellite 153
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Matt Walters (analyst)

Tickets: Less than 50 tickets remained on Friday and are available by calling (800) 221.CATS or visiting the Bramlage Coliseum Athletic Ticket Office.

kansas state wildcats
Record: 5-3 (0-0 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): rv/rv
Coach: Frank Martin
Alma Mater: Florida International, 93
Career Record: 5-3/1
School Record: 5-3/1
vs. California: First meeting
06-07 Record: 23-12 (10-6 Big 12)
Last game: Dec. 4, 2007
lost to Notre Dame, 68-59
SID: Tom Gilbert
Website: www.kstatesports.com

california golden bears
Record: 6-0 (0-0 Pac-10)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): rv/rv
Coach: Ben Braun
Alma Mater: Wisconsin, 75
Career Record: 541-373/31
School Record: 208-138/12
vs. Kansas State: 1-0
06-07 Record: 16-17 (6-12 Pac-10)
Last game: Dec. 5, 2007
defeated Jackson State, 117-74
SID: Herb Benenson
Website: www.calbears.com

projected starters
Kansas State (5-3)
G - #0 Jacob Pullen (12.1 ppg., 3.5 apg.)
G - #2 Blake Young (8.9 ppg., 3.8 rpg.)
F - #12 Bill Walker (11.3 ppg., 6.2 rpg.)
F - #30 Michael Beasley (25.8 ppg., 14.8 rpg.)
F - #40 Ron Anderson (4.9 ppg., 6.5 rpg.)

California (6-0)
G - #3 Jerome Randle (14.3 ppg., 2.8 rpg.)
G - #23 Patrick Christopher (20.7 ppg., 3.5 apg.)
F - #14 Eric Vierneisel (2.0 ppg., 2.4 rpg.)
F - #34 Ryan Anderson (22.5 ppg., 9.2 rpg.)
C - #35 DeVon Hardin (10.8 ppg., 13.0 rpg.)

game preview
Kansas State (5-3) faces one of its most difficult tests of the season on Sunday, as the Wildcats return home to face unbeaten California (6-0) at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 1 p.m.  It will be the team’s last game before taking a break for semester exams next week.

It will be the first of four straight home contests for the Wildcats, as they are the home team for a neutral site game against Florida A&M in the K-State Holiday Classic presented by Subway at the Sprint Center on Monday, Dec. 17 followed by true home games against Winston-Salem State on Saturday, Dec. 22 and Wagner on Saturday, Dec. 29.        

The team has dropped three of its last five, including two in a row, after falling 68-59 to Notre Dame at the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday. 

Sunday’s contest will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Midwest (DirecTV 648, Dish Network 444) with Ben Boyle (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) calling the action.  The viewing area is restricted to the state of Kansas and the Kansas City area by Big 12 Conference regulations.  It will be the third of 10 appearances on the network and one of a school-record 29 televised contests. 

The game will also be broadcast on the 31-station K-State Sports Network (Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio; Sirius Satellite 153) with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Matt Walters (analyst) behind the mikes.

the book on kansas state
The Wildcats are riding a two-game losing streak after dropping a 68-59 decision to Notre Dame on Tuesday at the 13th annual Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden.  The loss snapped the team’s six-game winning streak in the month of December dating back to last season and kept the team winless in four visits to the Garden.  The squad trailed as much as 11 points to the Fighting Irish before cutting it to 61-59 on a pair of Michael Beasley free throws with 1:47 left.  However, a 3-pointer by Kyle McAlarney on the next possession and 4-of-5 free throws by McAlarney down the stretch sealed the victory.

Beasley led K-State in scoring for the seventh time in eight games with a game-high 19 points to go with a team-high 13 rebounds.  Freshman Bill Walker tied a season-high with 14 points (including 12 in the second half) on 6-of-11 field goals  to go with six rebounds, two blocks and two steals in a season-high 33 minutes.  Senior Blake Young scored in double figures for the time since the opener with 11 points.

The team is averaging 76.9 points on 42.6 percent shooting with 44.0 rebounds, 16.8 assists, 7.5 steals and 4.3 blocks per game, while holding their foes to 71.0 points on 40.4 percent shooting.  Three players are averaging in double figures led by Michael Beasley, who paces the nation in scoring at 25.8 points per game.

After earning their first preseason ranking since 1975, Kansas State dropped out of The Associated Press Top 25 on Monday after a four-week run.  The four-week run in the poll was the longest by the team since the 1981-82 squad also spent four consecutive weeks in the poll from Jan. 20 to Feb. 20, 1982.   The squad is still receiving votes in both polls (15 in the AP poll and two in the ESPN/USA Today poll).

Beasley, who also paces the nation in rebounding at 14.8 per game, is shooting 57.9 percent from the field, including 40.0 percent from 3-point range to go with 1.5 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.1 steals in 32.4 minutes per game.  He has registered a double-double in every game this season and has posted 30 or more points in four of eight games. On Nov. 17, he became the first player in Big 12 history to collect two 20-point/20-rebound performances in a single season -- and just the second player in school history and first since Jack Parr did it twice during the 1955-56 season -- after tallying 28 points and 22 rebounds in 32 minutes against Western Illinois. 

Beasley is one of three players averaging in double figures for the Wildcats, including fellow freshmen Jacob Pullen (12.1 ppg.) and Bill Walker (11.3 ppg.).  Pullen, who tied his career-high with 19 in back-to-back wins against UCF and Rider at the Old Spice Classic, is first in 3-point field goals (11), assists (3.5 apg.) and steals (1.6 spg.) and is second in scoring.  He has scored in double figures in six games. Walker, who posted his first double-double against Rider, is third in scoring and rebounding (6.2 rpg.).  He has scored in double figures in nine of 12 career games, including five of six games this season. 
   
ticket information
Season tickets are sold out for the season, however, there will be selected tickets that have unclaimed from the student allotment
available for purchase on an individual-game basis.  Less than 50 tickets remain for Sunday’s game, which are priced $20 for the
general admission seating in student sections 19-25 in the arena, and  are on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum, by calling 1.800.221.CATS or online at www.k-statesports.com.

k-state offers holiday ticket specials
Kansas State is offering three Holiday Ticket Packs with special pricing on two men’s basketball games and one women’s basketball game during this holiday season. 

For just $50, fans may purchase four tickets to either the Saturday, Dec. 22 men’s game against Winston-Salem or the Saturday, Dec. 29 men’s contest against Wagner.  That’s a savings of $30 from regular pricing for each game.  The Holiday Pack tickets are located in general admission seating Sections 19-25 of Bramlage Coliseum.  Also, for just $20 fans can purchase four general admission tickets to the women’s Western Illinois game on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

Best of all is the Ultimate Holiday Pack.  Fans may purchase four tickets to all three games for just $110, a savings of $76.   

in search of win 1,400
One of the winningest programs in college basketball history, Kansas State is just nine wins shy of its 1,400th victory.  The Wildcats, which ranks 47th all-time in victories in Division I with a 1,391-1,015 (.578) mark could become the fifth Big 12 program to accomplish the feat, following Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri.  The squad could be one of seven programs to eclipse the 1,400-win mark this season, joining Tennessee (1,399), Oregon (1,398), Michigan State (1,397), Illinois State (1,396), Ohio State (1,395) and Southern Illinois (1,387).

cats good inside the arc
Kansas State has proven to be better inside the 3-point arc this year, converting on 50.6 percent (182-of-360) of its 2-point field goals.  The team has connected on 50 percent or better from inside the arc in five of eight games, including a season-high 56 percent (28-of-50) against George Mason (11/22).   Three of the Wildcats’ top-5 scorer also prove to better on 2-point baskets, including freshman forward Michael Beasley (60.8; 73-of-120), freshman guard Jacob Pullen (53.8, 21-of-39) and junior forward Andre Gilbert (55.5; 15-of-27).   

cats solid in december
Kansas State is 430-222 (.660) all-time in the month of December, including wins in 25 of its last 33 games.  The loss to Notre Dame ended the Wildcats’ six-game winning streak in the month that dated back to the an 84-83 defeat at Colorado State on Dec. 2, 2006.  After that setback, the team rattled off wins against USC (68-55) and New Mexico (72-56) on a neutral floor to win the Las Vegas Holiday Classic on Dec. 22-23.  K-State has won eight in a row at home in December dating back to a win over Eastern Illinois on Dec. 30, 2005. 
 
non-conference success
Kansas State has posted at least eight non-conference wins in 22 of the last 26 seasons, including each of the last five seasons.  The Wildcats have earned a winning record in non-conference play in 35 consecutive seasons dating back to the 1972-73 season with 10 or more victories on 17 occasions.  K-State has won 33 of its last 44 games against non-conference foes, including a remarkable 27-2 mark at home.  The Wildcats’ loss to Oregon on Nov. 29 was the team’s first to a home non-conference home opponent since 2004.

the book on california (6-0)
California enters Sunday’s contest with a perfect 6-0 record after posting a 117-74 win over Jackson State at home on Wednesday.  It was the Bears’ fifth straight win at home this season and their highest point total since putting up 121 vs. U.S. International on Dec. 19, 1990.  The team shot 58.2 percent from the field and had four players score in double figures led by sophomores Patrick Christopher and Ryan Anderson, who posted 26 and 23 points, respectively.   

One of the top offensive teams in the country, California is averaging 82.5 points on 49.3 percent shooting, including 32.4 percent from 3-point range, with 41.5 rebounds, 16.5 assists, 4.0 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.  The team is just as formiable on the defensive end, holding opponents to 67.3 points per game on 39.4 percent shooting from the field.  The squad returns three starters and seven lettermen from the 2006-07 season, in which, they posted a 16-17 overall record and a 6-12 mark in the Pac-10. 

The squad is led by the powerful attack of Ryan Anderson (22.5 ppg) and Patrick Christopher (20.7 ppg.).  Anderson, who is one of four Bears averaging in double figures, is shooting 54.8 percent from the field to go with a team-high 10 3-pointers and 9.2 rebounds per game.  Sophomore Jerome Randle averages 10.8 points on 54.1 percent shooting, while senior DeVon Hardin adds a double-double with 10.8 points and 13.0 rebounds per game.   

The team is led by veteran coach Ben Braun, who owns a 541-373 record in 31 years as head coach and a 208-138 mark in 12 years at California.  He has led the Bears to seven postseason appearances, including trips to the NCAA Tournament in 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2006.

series vs. california
This will mark the seventh all-time meeting between Kansas State and California on the hardwood, but the first in Manhattan, Kan., and Bramlage Coliseum.  The Bears broke a five-game losing streak to Wildcats last season with a 78-48 win at home in Berkeley, Calif.

K-State won five in a row against California between 1951 and 1995.  The two teams first met on Dec. 11, 1951, in which, the Wildcats posted a 64-50 win in Berkeley, Calif.  Kansas State also earned wins in 1954, 88-75 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo., in 1957, 58-44 in Seattle, Wash., in 1958, 68-65 in Berkeley, Calif., and 1995, 65-58 in Oakland, Calif. 

Interestingly enough, the games in 1957 and 1958 were between two titans in coaching as the legendary Pete Newell led California and Tex Winter paced the sideline for K-State.

The squad has a 36-22 overall record against teams from the Pacific-10 Conference, including a 17-4 mark at home in those match-ups.  It will be the second of two meetings this season with teams from the Pac-10, as the Wildcats dropped an 80-77 overtime decision to No. 17 Oregon at home on Nov. 29. 

rewind to 2006: california 78, k-state 48
Berkeley, Calif. -- Cartier Martin scored 16 points and Jason Bennett tied the school blocked shots record with six, but cold
shooting continued to plague the Wildcats as Kansas State suffered a 78-48 loss to California at Haas Pavilion on Nov. 29, 2006.

Lance Harris added 14 points and was the only other Wildcat in double figures as Kansas State (4-2) shot just 34 percent from the floor and committed 14 turnovers in their first loss in six games against the Golden Bears. 

Ryan Anderson paced the Bears with 15 points and California (6-1) got 14 points from Ayinde Ubaka and 12 from DeVon Hardin.

Kansas State actually hung tough in the early going and trailed 22-21 with just over seven minutes to go in the first half.  But the Wildcats went cold from the field down the stretch and Cal hit the K-State with a 15-2 run to take a 37-23 lead at the half. 

Martin and Harris combined to score the first five points out of the locker room and Kansas State sliced the Cal lead to 37-28 to open the second half.  But the Bears, who turned the ball over just eight times and outrebound the Wildcats by three, once again had an answer as Anderson, Hardin and Ubaka combined for 13 points during an 18-6 Cal run that made it 55-34 with 10:24 to go.

newcomers a big part of success
One of the nation’s top recruiting classes has been a big success so far for Kansas State, as the newcomers have posted over 60 percent of the Wildcats’ total points (407), rebounds (205), steals (34) and blocks (21) and over 50 percent of the total assists (67).

Most of these have come from freshman phenom Michael Beasley, who owns over 34 percent of the team’s points (206) and rebounds (118).  In all, three of the top-5 scorers and two of the top-3 rebounders are either freshmen or first-year players in the program.  If you include redshirt freshman Bill Walker, who played just six games last season, the totals increase to almost 80 percent of the points (475) and blocks (28) and 70 percent of the rebounds (242) and steals (44).

30-30-30-30
At the Old Spice Classic on Nov. 22-25, Beasley recorded back-to-back 30-point games for the second time this season with 30 points each against George Mason on Nov. 22 and UCF on Nov. 23.  His four 30-point game this season already ties four other players for the fourth-most in a single-season in Kansas State history, joining Dick Knostman (1952-53), Willie Murrell (1963-64), Chuckie Williams (twice, 1974-75 and 1975-76) and Askia Jones (1993-94). 

He trails leaders Bob Boozer (7, 1958-59) and Norris Coleman (7, 1985-86) and third-place Mitch Richmond (6, 1987-88) for the most in a single-season.  He already ties Murrell for the ninth-most in a career with four, while Boozer is all-time leader with 10 from 1956-59.

double-double
Michael Beasley will look to become just the sixth player in school history and the first since Gene Williams in 1968-69 to average a double-double for a single-season.  Beasley is currently averaging 25.8 points and 14.8 rebounds per game through eight games with eight consecutive double-doubles.  He would join Bob Boozer (1956-59), Jack Parr (1955-58), Larry Comley (1960-61), Willie Murrell (1962-64) and Gene Williams (1968-69) to average a double-double for a season.  Remarkably, Boozer and Parr averaged a double-double in three consecutive seasons, while Murrell accomplished it back-to-back seasons.  At his current pace, Beasley would also top the school single-season scoring and rebounding averages held by Bob Boozer (25.6 ppg. in 1958-59) and Jack Parr (14.5 rpg. in 1956-57).

better in the second half
Michael Beasley tends to get better as the game goes on, averaging 14.8 points on 63.4 percent shooting to go with 6.3 rebounds per game in the second half this season.  He has scored in double figures in six of eight second halves this season, including 23 points against Western Illinois (11/17) and 24 against George Mason (11/22).  He had a double-double just in the second half against WIU with 12 rebounds to go with 23 points.  In contrast, he is averaging 10.4 points on 51.5 percent shooting with 7.9 rebounds per game in the first half.  He has scored in double figures in just four first halves this season, but he did have a double-double (16 points and 17 rebounds) in his first collegiate half against Sacramento State on Nov. 9.

historic beginning
Michael Beasley had a memorable first game as a Wildcat, he set three school records as well as two Big 12 marks in helping Kansas State to a season-opening victory over Sacramento State on Nov. 9.  He posted 32 points on 12-of-20 field goals with 24 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals in 31 minutes. 

Beasley is just the third player in school history to top 30 points and 20 rebounds in a single-game and the first since Bob Boozer (36 points, 23 rebounds) did it against Colorado in 1957.  The 32 points were the most points by a freshman in a debut in both Kansas State and Big 12 history, while the 24 rebounds were the most by a freshman in a single-game and the third-most by a Wildcat in school history.  The 24 rebounds also eclipsed the all-class Big 12 record of 23 held by Kevin Durant (2006) and Nick Collison (2003).

On Nov. 11, Beasley became just the third player in school history (and first freshman) to tally 30 points in back-to-back games in a win over Pittsburg State.  He tallied 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting with 14 rebounds, three assists and one steal in 29 minutes.  He is the first player to top 30 points in consecutive games since Askia Jones did it against Colorado (32) and Oklahoma (31) in January 1994.

beasley earns big 12 honors again
Freshman forward Michael Beasley earned Big 12 weekly honors for the second straight week on Nov. 19, as he was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week after posting his second career 20-point/20-rebound effort in the 77-64 win over Western Illinois.  He is the first Kansas State player to earn Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors since David Hoskins did it twice during the 2005-06 season and the 10th overall since the inception of the league.

Beasley became the first player in Big 12 history to collect two 20-point/20-rebound performances in a single season with his 28-point, 22-rebounds effort against Western Illinois.  In the first 11 years of Big 12 competition, only nine players had posted 20-point/20-rebound games in their career and none had ever done it more than once in their respective careers.  He is just the second player in school history to post 20 or more points and 20 or more rebounds twice in a season and the first since Jack Parr did it twice during the 1955-56 season. 

After a slow start against WIU, Beasley came on strong in the second half with 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting with 12 rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block in 17 minutes.  The owner of the Big 12 all-class record for rebounds (24) and third-most rebounds in school history, his 22 rebounds tie four other individuals for the ninth-most.

On Nov. 12, he was named the first Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week as well as the National Player of the Week by ESPN.com,
Rivals.com and Collegehoops.net after averaging 31.0 points and 19.0 rebounds in guiding the Wildcats to a pair of wins to open the season.  He was named Dick Vitale’s Diaper Dandy of the Week.

pullen shines at the point
Michael Beasley is not the only true freshman to shine so far this season, as rookie Jacob Pullen has played well in the point guard spot.  The Maywood, Ill., native ranks first on the team in 3-point field goals (11), assists (3.5 apg.) and steals (1.6 spg.), while he is second in scoring (12.1 ppg.) and fourth in minutes (26.6 mpg.). 

He has scored in double figures in six of the team’s first eight games, including tying his career-high with 19 points in back-to-back wins over UCF and Rider at the Old Spice Classic.  He combined to go 6-of-14 from 3-point range in those victories, including a season-high four treys against the Knights.  He has also been stellar from the free throw line, going 18-of-23 (78.3 percent) at the Old Spice Classic to rank second on the team at 73.3 percent for the season.  

He opened the season with 18 points against Sacramento State in his first collegian game on 7-of-11 shooting to go with a team-high five assists and two steals.  He made it double figures in two of his first three games, scoring 10 points against Western Illinois on Nov. 17.

Pullen is the third freshman to start the season at the point since 2003, following Dez Willingham (2003) and Clent Stewart (2004).

debuts by various k-state point guards
Lon Kruger (2-6 FGs, 1-3 FTs, 5 pts, 3 rebs - 1971)
Tim Jankovich (2-6 FGs, 3-4 FTs, 7 pts - 1979)
^Steve Henson (0-3 FGs, 8-8 FTs, 8 pts, 2 rebs - 1986)
Anthony Beane (5-10 FGs, 1-3 3FGs, 11 pts, 3 rebs, 3 asts - 1992)
Elliot Hatcher (2-12 FGs, 0-5 3FGs, 7 pts, 3 rebs, 2 stls - 1994)
^*Clent Stewart (3-8 FGs, 2-4 3FGs, 8 pts, 5 asts - 2004)
^*Jacob Pullen (7-11 FGs, 2-4 3FGs, 18 pts, 5 asts, 2 stls - 2007)

*Started first game
^True freshman

gilbert not just one-game wonder
Junior college transfer Andre Gilbert broke out against Rider on Nov. 25 and even outshined fellow newcomer Michael Beasley.  The transfer from Mount San Jacinto College in California, nearly doubled his season total for points against the Broncs with a team-high 22 points on 7-of-11 field goals, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, with five rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal in 28 minutes of action.  Gilbert followed this performance with yet another stellar effort against Oregon (11/29), posting 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting with four rebounds and four assists in a season-high 32 minutes.  He averaged 19.0 points on 52.0 percent shooting, including 50.0 percent from beyond the arc, with 4.5 rebounds in those two games. 

Gilbert came into the Rider game with a total of 13 points in the first five games with a previous high of seven against Pitt State on Nov. 11.  The 22 points broke his previous career-high of 17 against Manhattan College on Dec. 20, 2005 when he was a redshirt freshman at South Dakota State.  It marked the seventh and eighth time in his Division I career that he registered double-digit points and just the second time he has scored in double-digits in back-to-back games.  

walker back to full strength
Redshirt freshman Bill Walker is finally back to full strength as he played his first complete game of the season in the win over Western Illinois on Nov. 17.  Walker, who played just six games as a freshman before tearing his ACL against Texas A&M in the first Big 12 game of the season, scored a season-high 14 points against the Leathernecks with a career-tying eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 28 minutes.  He did play in the opener against Sacramento State and was held to just 16 minutes against Pittsburg State due to a calf cramp. 

Although he hyperextended his knee in practice on Nov. 23 and did not play against UCF that night, he came back with full force two days later to post his first career double-double against Rider on Nov. 25 with a season-tying 14 points to go with a new career-high 10
rebounds to go with three steals.  He continued his impressive play against Notre Dame with a season-tying 14 points on 6-of-11 field goals with six rebounds, two steals and two blocks.  He has now scored in double figures in nine of 12 career games (including five of games this year) with a career-high of 19 vs. USC on Dec. 22, 2006.

anderson a monster on boards
Another true freshman making an immediate impact for the Wildcats is Ron Anderson, who ranks second on the team in both rebounding (6.5 rpg.) and field goal percentage (58.6).  A late addition to the squad in August, he had a solid tournament at the Old Spice Classic, 7.0 points on 75 percent shooting with 6.0 rebounds in 20.7 minutes.   He nearly posted his first double-double against UCF on Nov. 23 with season-high 11 points and eight rebounds to go with three assists after turning in six points and nine rebounds against George Mason.  The rookie has registered eight or more rebounds in four games this year, including a career-high 12 against Pitt State on Nov. 11.

iron man
A mainstay in the line-up the past three seasons, senior guard Clent Stewart continues to move up the career charts in two categories, in this, his last season at K-State.  With two assists against Oregon on Nov. 29, he broke his second-place tie with Tyrone Adams (1979-82) for career assists with 318.  He now trails just leader Steve Henson (582, 1987-90) on the all-time list.  He also ranks seventh in career minutes played with 2,609, as he trails former teammate Lance Harris (2,618; 2003-07) for sixth place by nine minutes.  At his
current pace, he should finish in the top-3 behind only Steve Henson (4,474; 1987-90) and Askia Jones (3,547; 1990-94).  He needs just one start to crack the career starts list (73), while he is just 15 games away from breaking into the top-10 for career games played list (98).

up next: florida a&m (2-6)
Kansas State will take a break for semester exams next week before returning to action against Florida A&M (2-6) in the K-State Holiday Classic presented by Subway on Monday, Dec. 17 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.  The Rattlers, under new coach Eugene Harris, have lost three in row, including a 91-52 decision at Florida on Dec. 5. 

k-state earns first preseason ranking since 75
Kansas State received its first preseason ranking in 32 seasons on Nov. 2, as The Associated Press placed the Wildcats at No. 25 in its annual preseason Top 25 poll.

 

K-State has not been ranked in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 since opening the 1975-76 season with a No. 14 ranking.  It also marks the first time that the Wildcats have been ranked in the poll in more than 14 years since checking in at No. 23 on Feb. 13, 1993.

“For a program like us, with incredible tradition and success, being ranked again is always a great thing and it reflects the hard work of the players and that they are getting noticed by people out there," said coach Frank Martin. "Will it have an influence on how we play or how good we are? Probably not. But it is an honor to have a program not ranked for 14 years to all of sudden by there again."
 
Overall, the ranking marks the sixth time in school history that the Wildcats have started a season ranked in the preseason Top 25 since The Associated Press started its poll in 1949.  The squad started the 1961-62 and 1964-65 seasons at No. 8, the 1965-66 season at No. 10, the 1972-73 season at No. 17 and the 1975-76 season at No. 14.  

The preseason ranking is not the first garnered this season, as the teams has been ranked 11th by Rivals.com, 14th by Slam magazine and 17th by The Sporting News. The team has also been ranked 26th by CBS Sports.com and Dick Vitale and 32nd by FoxSports.com.

Kansas State was the top vote-getter among teams receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today poll with 94 points, just 17 short of 111 received by No. 25 Villanova.

martin successful in his debut
Kansas State head coach Frank Martin made a successful coaching debut in the 94-63 win over Sacramento State on Nov. 9.  The 23rd head coach in school history continued the successful trend by coaches in their first game, particularily in games played at home.

K-State coaches are now 16-6 all-time in their first game, including a 16-2 mark when those games started at home.  A Wildcat coach has won his first game when starting at home seven straight times dating back to Fred “Tex” Winter in 1953.  

Martin is the first coach in school history to start his college coaching career (and first assistant coach elevated to head coach) since Cotton Fitzsimmons took over the program from Winter in 1968. 
  
season tickets sold out... again
K-State scored its first victory of the season Nov. 1 before ever playing a game when it was announced that men’s basketball season tickets are sold out in Bramlage Coliseum. 

The sellout announcement marked the second consecutive year that all season-ticket packages have been purchased.  Last season was the first time in the history of Bramlage Coliseum that K-State games were sold out on a season-ticket basis.  Prior to then, the previous sellout was 1982-83 when the Wildcats played in Ahearn Field House.

viva las vegas
Kansas State has been selected to participate in a regular-season tournament in Las Vegas for the second time in three seasons in 2008 when the Wildcats will join traditional powers Kentucky, Iowa and West Virginia in the Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Invitational.  The squad will face two teams at home in mid-November (Delaware State, SE Missouri State, Longwood and/or Oakland) before making the trek to Las Vegas and playing two games at the Orleans Arena.

The Wildcats captured the 2007 Findlay Toyota Las Vegas Holiday Classic by beating Kennesaw State (82-54) and Maryland-Eastern Shore (79-58) at home before defeating USC (68-55) and New Mexico (72-56) in Las Vegas.  It was the first tournament title since 1995.

The K-State Athletics Ticket Office will begin selling tickets after the 2007-08 season, but the general public will have a chance to
purchase a limited number of tickets for the final rounds in Las Vegas beginning on Saturday, Nov. 3.

ticket available for sprint center game
Tickets for Kansas State’s game against Florida A&M in Kansas City’s Sprint Center went on sale to the general public on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Tickets are priced at $25 and will be available at all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at 816.931.3330 or online at
Ticketmaster.com.

The game will be considered K-State's home contest.  It will be included in the season-ticket package for Wildcat fans, excluding
students whose season ticket does not contain games played during the semester break.  K-State students are able to purchase tickets at a special price of $10 through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office on Wednesday, Nov. 14.  Season-ticket holders will receive their tickets for the game in a separate mailing.

The Sprint Center is the cornerstone of more than a $4.5 billion revitalization of downtown Kansas City.  The 18,500-seat arena will play host to numerous sporting events, including the 2008 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s First and Second Rounds and 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Regional Finals and Semifinals.

k-state chosen fourth in big 12 preseason poll
The Kansas State men’s basketball team was given its highest-ever ranking in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll on Oct. 11, as the
Wildcats were chosen fourth with 91 points.

Boosted by the return of seven lettermen and one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, the Wildcats received their highest ranking in 10 preseason polls dating back to the 1997-98 season.  The previous high came in 2006-07 when K-State was selected fifth, while the
previous high to last season came back in 1998-99 when the team was chosen sixth.

For the eighth time in Big 12 history, Kansas is the preseason favorite to win the conference title as the Jayhawks gained 120 total points and received 10 of the possible 12 first-place votes in polling of the head coaches.  The team welcomes back four starters and returns 84.6 percent of its scoring.

Texas was picked second in the poll with 105 points, as the Longhorns received four more points more than third-place Texas A&M, which received the other two first-place vote and 101 points.  Missouri and Oklahoma followed K-State in a tie for fifth with 66 points each.  

Oklahoma State edged Texas Tech for seventh place with 61 points, while the Red Raiders followed in eighth place with 60 points.  Baylor (55) and Nebraska (29) were picked ninth and 10th, respectively, while Iowa State (22) and Colorado (16) rounded out the poll.    

beasley named preseason big 12 frosh of the year
Freshman forward Michael Beasley was selected as the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year in a vote of the league coaches, as the conference office announced its annual preseason honors Oct. 9.

The league also announced that Texas’ D.J. Augustin was named the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year and Missouri’s DeMarre Carroll was selected as the Preseason Newcomer of the Year.  In addition to these superlatives, Augustin was joined on the Preseason All-Big 12 squad by Kansas’ Darrell Arthur and Brandon Rush, Baylor’s Curtis Jerrells, Nebraska’s Aleks Maric and Texas A&M’s Joseph Jones.     

Beasley and freshman Bill Walker were named to the honorable mention preseason team, along with Baylor’s Aaron Bruce, Colorado’s Richard Roby, Kansas’ Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Dove, Texas A&M’s Josh Carter and DeAndre Jordan and Texas Tech’s Martin Zeno.
 
The honor is one of many earned by the 6-foot-10, 235-pound former No. 1 high school player in the country this preseason.  Beasley has been selected as a Diaper Dandy by Dick Vitale, a second team preseason All-American by Sports Illustrated and a third team All-American by Collegehoops.net, while he garnered Preseason Freshman All-America distinction from Athlon’s College Basketball Yearbook.  In addition, he was named to the preseason All-Big 12 team by both Athlon’s and The Sporting News.