K-State Returns Home to Face GWU Sunday
K-State Returns Home to Face GWU Sunday
Kansas State (6-3) vs. Gardner-Webb (2-6)
Date: Sunday, December 14, 2008
Tipoff: 6:06 p.m. CT
Location: Manhattan, Kan.
Arena: Bramlage Coliseum (1988)
Series: K-State leads 2-0 (K-State is 2-0 at home)
(Powercat Passport subscription required)
Radio: K-State Sports Network; Powercat Passport Internet Audio;
Yahoo! Internet Radio; Sirius Satellite 91
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)
Tickets: Tickets are available for purchase for $35 (chairback, sections 3-9) and $30 (general admission) at K-State Athletics Ticket Office, by calling 1.800.221.CATS and online at www.k-statesports.com.
Record: 6-3 (0-0 Big 12)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): --/--
Coach: Frank Martin
Career Record: 27-15/1
School Record: 27-15/1
vs. Gardner-Webb: 0-0
07-08 Record: 21-12 (10-6 Big 12)
Last game: Dec. 11, 2008
Defeated Southern Miss, 74-55
SID: Tom Gilbert
Record: 2-6 (0-0 Big South)
Ranking (AP/Coaches): --/--
Coach: Rick Scruggs
Career Record: 358-301/21
School Record: 180-186/14
07-08 Record: 16-16 (9-7 Big South)
Last game: Dec. 12, 2008
Lost at Wichita State, 76-64
SID: Marc Rabb
G - #0 Jacob Pullen (6-0, 200, So.)
G - #21 Denis Clemente (6-1, 175, Jr.)
F - #23 Dominique Sutton (6-5, 210, So.)
F - #42 Darren Kent (6-11, 230, Sr.)
F - #50 Luis
G - #4 Grayson Flittner (6-0, 200, Jr.)
G - #23 Aaron Linn (6-3, 200, Sr.)
F - #25 Nate Blank (6-4, 225, So.)
F - #35 Jonathan Moore (6-4, 190, So.)
C - #42 Auryn MacMillian (6-8, 235, Jr.)
The contest begins a season-long six-game homestand for
Eight Wildcats scored, including a career night for junior forward Luis Colon, who led the team with both career-highs in scoring (18) and rebounding (11).
Sophomore guard Jacob Pullen added 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while senior forward Darren Kent chipped in 11 points, including a 9-of-9 effort from the free throw line, to go with seven rebounds. Junior guard Denis Clemente posted six points, six assists and two steals, while sophomore forward Dominique Sutton collected a career-best six assists and six rebounds in a career-high 34 minutes.
The game will be webcast on its official site, www.k-statesports.com, via Powercat Passport, the online destination for exclusive live and on-demand streaming video and audio for Wildcat fans. There are subscription packages available on an annual and monthly basis. This will be third of five live webcasts in 2008-09, which includes contests with Centenary (Dec. 20) and North Carolina Central (Feb. 17).
Fans will also be able to listen to the audio broadcast on the 29-station K-State Sports Network (Powercat Passport Internet Audio; Yahoo! Internet Radio) with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) and Stan Weber (analyst) on the call.
Season tickets are still available this season in a variety of ticket packages, which can be viewed online at www.k-statesports.com. Single-game tickets are available for purchase for $35 (chairback, sections 3-9) and $30 (general admission) at Athletics Ticket Office, by calling 1.800.221.CATS and online at www.k-statesports.com.
’Cats in December
Last season, K-State posted its sixth consecutive winning December dating back to the 2002-03 season. The squad went 4-2 in the month in 2007-08, defeating
Most November Wins
K-State was down 17 points (54-37) to
The Wildcats trailed
The 697 points tie for the second-most through nine games in the last 15 years at
Since Frank Martin’s arrival in 2007, K-State has shown the ability to score points, totaling two of the most prolific scoring teams in school history. Last year, the Wildcats set the school mark with 2,574 points, while also posting the second-most field goals attempted (2067) and the third-most field goals (916) and 3-point field goals made (210) as well as the third-highest scoring average (78.0). The 2,467 points in 2006-07 rank as the fourth-most in school history.
Unlike last season when consensus All-American Michael Beasley paced the squad at 26.2 points per game, the 2008-09 team has shown a lot more diversity with its scoring output thus far.
Through nine games, 12 of the 13 players that have seen action have tallied at least two points with nine totaling double-digit points. Just two players - sophomore guard Jacob Pullen and junior guard Denis Clemente - are averaging in double figures led by Pullen’s 15.2 points per game. Six players are averaging eight or more points, including redshirt freshman forward Jamar Samuels (9.3 ppg.), senior forward Darren Kent (8.9 ppg.), sophomore forward Dominique Sutton (8.8 ppg) and sophomore guard Fred Brown (8.0 ppg.).
Since statistics became available during the 1950-51 season, there has been just six teams to have four players average in double figures with the last coming in 2004-05. Just one team - the 1955-56 squad - has had six players average eight or more points in a season.
There has already been five different leading scorers in nine games. Brown, Clemente and Pullen are the only players to repeat as leading scorer, as Brown had a team-high 21 points against SE Missouri State on Nov. 16 then tied Sutton with 14 points each against
In all, there have been 32 double-digit scoring games thus far with Pullen and Samuels doing it a team-best six times in nine games.
Rebounding Still a Strength
Most critics wondered how
Through nine games, K-State is averaging 39.6 rebounds, including a Big 12-best 16.3 on the offensive end, with five players averaging four or more boards per game. Three players - Ron Anderson, Luis Colon and Darren Kent - have grabbed double-digit rebounds five times with Kent and Dominique Sutton averaging a team best 5.9 rebounds per game.
Pressure is the Key
The core of Frank Martin’s coaching philosophy is pressure, whether its on the offensive or defensive end of the floor. His theory is the more pressure you apply on a team, the more difficult you make it for your opponent. In other words, pressure makes a team breakdown.
Pressure has been a big key for the Wildcats so far, as the team has scored 194 points (28 percent of their season total of 697 points) off 172 opponent turnovers. The squad has also outscored its opponents 101-52 on fast-break opportunities.
The Wildcats are averaging 7.6 steals per contest with eight players grabbing at least four led by Jacob Pullen’s team-high 18 steals. Dominique Sutton is second with 13 steals, while Denis Clemente is third with seven thefts.
After dominating the paint a year ago with the likes of Michael Beasley and Bill Walker, Kansas State’s strength has shifted to the backcourt where the Wildcats start two of the best at their positions in junior Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen.
The duo, which has started all nine games, have combined for 242 points on 37.8 percent shooting (84-of-222), including 31.7 percent from 3-point range (33-of-104), with 58 of the team’s 130 assists. Pullen ranks first on the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game on 36.8 percent shooting with team-highs in field goals made (46), 3-point field goals made (21), assists (31) and steals (18). Clemente is second in scoring at 11.7 points per game on 39.2 percent shooting and assists (27), while is first in free throw shooting (81.0), second in assists and third in 3-point field goals (12).
Ironically, the two have scored in double figures four times in the same game with a combined 36 points against Florida A&M on Nov. 14, 31 against both
A starter down low in the post, junior Luis Colon is starting to come into his own this season. He is averaging 6.8 points on a team-best 64.1 percent shooting with 5.3 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game. His 61 points are over half his entire total from his first two seasons, while his 48 rebounds are more than his entire total from 2007-08. In the last four games, he has been even more impressive, averaging 8.8 points on 76.9 percent shooting with 7.0 rebounds in 20.6 minutes per game. He had a career night against Southern Miss on Thursday, posting highs in points (18), rebounds (11) and minutes (27) en route to becoming the first Wildcat since 2002 to go 9-of-9 from the field.
Samuels an Impact off Bench
An unknown but talented player, redshirt freshman forward Jamar Samuels has become an impact player off the bench for the Wildcats. Despite not starting one game, he is third in scoring at 9.3 points on 56.6 percent shooting (30-of-53) with 4.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 blocks in 20.3 minutes per game. Samuels and Jacob Pullen are the only players to score in double figures in six of the first nine games with a season-high 16 points against SE Missouri State on Nov. 16.
Samuels has also made improvements from the free throw line, where he connected on 78.3 percent (18-of-23) in the last six games. He started the season hitting just 31.5 percent (6-of-19) from the stripe.
The native of
Sutton Steals the Show
After getting a late start to his time at K-State, sophomore Dominique Sutton has become an all-around factor for the Wildcats this season. He ranks second on the squad in both minutes (26.0) and steals (1.4 spg.), while he is tied with Darren Kent for the lead in rebounds (5.9 rpg.) and is fifth in scoring at 8.8 points per game. He nearly collected his first career double-double in the win over
One of the bright spots for the Wildcats this season has been the play of senior forward Darren Kent.
Gardner-Webb enters Sunday’s contest with a 2-6 overall record after dropping a 76-64 decision at
GWU has played particularily well against BCS-caliber opponents, including a three-point loss at Virginia Tech (65-62), four-point loss at top-10 Oklahoma (80-76) and at South Carolina (85-70).
The Bulldogs are averaging 72.5 points through eight games on 42.7 percent shooting, including 33 percent from 3-point range, with 37.5 rebounds, 15.3 assists, 8.8 steals and 2.1 blocks per game. The team averages nearly eight 3-point field goals made per game.
Gardner-Webb is led by a stellar backcourt of junior Grayson Flittner and senior Aaron Linn. Flittner, is averaging a team-best 15.9 points with a team-high 3-point field goals to go with 4.6 assists, while Linn, a native of
Sophomore forward Nate Blank averages 11.4 points per game and junior center Auryn MacMillian adds 8.1 points per game to go with a team-best 5.4 rebounds per contest. In all, six players are averaging six or more points per contest.
Gardner-Webb returns nine lettermen, including four starters, from a team that finished the 2007-08 season with a 16-16 overall record and 9-7 mark in Big South play. The team has won 39 games in each of the past two seasons.
The Bulldogs are led by head coach Rick Scruggs, who has a 180-186 record in his 14th season at the helm. Scruggs has a 358-301 mark in 21 years as a head coach, which includes stints at Milligan (Tenn.) College, Pikeville (Ky.) College, Belmont Abbey (Tenn.) College and North Greenville (S.C.) College. He has a 0-2 record against K-State.
K-State is 2-0 all-time against teams from the Big South, with both wins coming against Gardner-Webb.
12-1-01 K-State 75-57
11-29-03 K-State 68-65
Recruiting Class Praised
The four-man recruiting class that
college, the Wildcats are one of the youngest teams in its history.
Dating back to the 1981-82 season, there has been just one team - the 1983-84 squad which had no seniors - with fewer seniors on its roster. The 1996-97 also had just one senior on its roster.
Martin Inks Stellar Class
The four-man recruiting class, which was ranked 16th nationally by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and 21st by Rivals.com, includes prep school standout Jordan Henriquez (Winchendon [
The headliner of this class, Wally Judge is a 6-foot-9, 220-pound power forward originally from
Judge is in his second year at
A teammate of Judge at Arlington Country Day, Rodney McGruder is considered one of the best shooting guards in the country. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard is rated among the top players in the country, including the No. 89 overall prospect by ESPN Scouts, Inc. and No. 91 prospect in the Rivals150 by Rivals.com. McGruder is also ranked among the top-35 at the position by a number of outlets, including No. 23 by Rivals.com and No. 31 by ESPN Scouts, Inc.
McGruder transferred to Arlington Country Day in the off-season from
One of the top point guard prospects in the country, Nick Russell comes to K-State from
Russell helped Grace Prep to a 26-12 overall record, including a 7-3 mark in league play, as a junior in 2006-07. He helped the Lions to a runner-up finish at the TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and
Jordan Henriquez comes to
The recruiting class will join a loaded