K-State Returns Home To Face Texas Southern Tuesday

Senior Rodney McGruder is averaging 14.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in the last four games.

Dec. 17, 2012

Game Notes  |  Live Stats  |  Live Audio  |  K-StateHD.TV

Game 10
Kansas State (7-2, 0-0 Big 12) vs. Texas Southern (1-9, 0-0 SWAC)
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 * 7:10 p.m. CT
Manhattan, Kan. * Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)

Television: FOX Sports Midwest/FOX College Sports
Ben Boyle (play-by-play); Stan Weber (analyst)
Channel Directory: DirecTV 671, Dish 418, AT&T U-verse 748
HD Channel Directory: DirecTV 671-1, Dish 418-1, AT&T 1748
Internet: www.K-StateHD.TV

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

Live Stats: http://www.kstatesports.com/multimedia/ksu-gt-live-stats.html
Live Audio: http://www.k-statesports.com/allaccess (free)
Twitter Updates: twitter.com/kstate_gameday

K-State vs. Texas Southern: K-State leads 2-0 (W, 84-60, 11/26/10)
K-State vs. SWAC: 7-0 (7-0 at home)

Kansas State (7-2, 0-0 Big 12)
Head coach: Bruce Weber (Wisconsin-Milwaukee ‘78)
School Record: 7-2 (1st season)  * Career Record: 320-157 (15th season)  * vs. TSU: 0-0 

Texas Southern (1-9, 0-0 SWAC)
Head coach: Mike Davis (Thomas Edison ‘00)
School Record: 1-9 (1st season)  * Career Record: 238-161 (13th season)  * vs. K-State: 0-0

The Game
Kansas State (7-2) will play its first home game in 16 days on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats return to Bramlage Coliseum to host Texas Southern (1-9) at 7 p.m.  After playing just three games in a 22-day span, K-State will play two games in five days this week, including their third Top 15 foe in No. 8/9 Florida (7-1) in the Hy-Vee Wildcat Classic on Saturday night at Kansas City’s Sprint Center.  The Wildcats are 7-0 against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and have now won 26 consecutive non-conference home games in the month of December and boast a 37-1 (.974) mark at Bramlage Coliseum in the month the past 10 seasons with the last loss coming to Rutgers (76-66) on Dec. 28, 2004. 

The squad will be making a quick turnaround after a 68-52 loss to No. 14/14 Gonzaga in the Battle in Seattle at KeyArena on Saturday.  The Wildcats posted season-lows in 11 categories in the loss, including points (52), field goals (16), field goal percentage (33.3) and rebounds (26), while allowing the Bulldogs to score 23 points off of a season-high 18 turnovers and dominate the paint, 38-12.  The team will look to get their offense back on track at Bramlage Coliseum, where they are averaging 79.4 points on 44.3 percent shooting compared to 60 points on a 36.2 percent clip away from home.  Despite their offensive challenges, the Wildcats remain one of the top defensive teams in the Big 12, ranking first in 3-point field goal percentage defense (22.5), second in scoring defense (56.1) and rebounding (42.6), fourth in steals (8.0 spg.) and fifth in field goal percentage defense (38.4).  K-State held Gonzaga to its second fewest points this season - nearly 15 points below their scoring average (82.7 ppg.) - on 47.1 percent shooting from the field. 

Season tickets as well as a variety of other ticket packages are available for K-State men’s basketball by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 221.CATS or by visiting online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets.  Single-game tickets for the seven non-conference contests are priced as low as $20 (bench).  A Wildcat 4 Pack (four bench tickets for $60) and group tickets ($10 each for 12+) are also available, while there is a five-game KU Mini-Plan (two non-conference and two Big 12  games to go with KU game for $250).  A limited number of single-game tickets for the nine-game Big 12 schedule went on sale Nov. 19. 

Television Note
Tuesday’s contest will be the fifth of seven broadcasts that will be available on most of the FOX Sports Midwest footprint, which includes more than six million cable and satellite homes in five states -- Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois.  Most games will also be simulcast live on one of three FOX College Sports (FCS) national networks, which reach more than 60 million homes.  Outside the footprint of the FOX distribution platforms, these games will also be available for the first time on K-StateHD.TV.
The Opponent
Texas Southern (1-9) enters Tuesday’s game on a seven-game losing streak, which includes four losses by seven points or less and two in overtime.  The Tigers have played seven of their 10 games on the road, including a double-overtime loss at Colorado (85-80), an overtime setback at Houston (78-75) and a 12-point defeat at No. 18 San Diego State (74-62).  Under first-year head coach  Mike Davis, the squad is averaging 65.1 points on 38.9 percent shooting, including 31.4 percent from 3-point range, while allowing opponents 78 points on a 47.3 percent clip.  Senior Omar Strong (15.5 ppg.) paces three players in double figures with a team-best 39 3-pointers, while Oklahoma State transfer Ray Penn and senior Fred Sturdivant add 12.9 and 10.8 points per game, respectively.  Penn is first in assists (6.1 apg.) and Sturdivant paces in both rebounds (7.6 rpg.) and blocked shots (3.0 bpg.).  Davis, who helped Indiana to the 2002 NCAA Championship game, enters Tuesday’s game with a 238-161 record in his 13th season.  Weber and Davis will face each other on the sideline for the first time since 2006 with Weber holding a 4-1 edge in those meetings.   

Last Meeting: K-State 84, Texas Southern 60 [Nov. 26, 2010]
K-State shot nearly 50 percent from the field with three players in double figures, as the Wildcats earned an 84-60 win over Texas Southern on Nov. 26, 2010 at Bramlage Coliseum.  Senior Jacob Pullen led all players with 16 points to go with seven assists and four steals, while Rodney McGruder added 10 points. In all, six current Wildcats played in the game, including Jordan Henriquez (9 points and 7 rebounds), Martavious Irving (4), Shane Southwell (3), Will Spradling (2) and Nino Williams (0).      

This will be the second overall meeting between K-State and Texas Southern on the hardwood with both meetings coming in the last three seasons.  The Wildcats are 7-0 all-time against the Southwestern Athletic Conference with all seven wins at home.

Quickly on Kansas State
--K-State’s 7-2 start is the fourth-best to start a season behind the 8-1 records posted by the 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 squads.  The Wildcats’ two losses are to Top 15 teams in current No. 2 Michigan and No. 14 Gonzaga.  Bruce Weber’s 7-2 record ties for the best start by a first-year K-State head coach in the program’s history, along with (current Oklahoma coach) Lon Kruger, who also went 7-2 to start the 1986-87 season.  The best campaign by a first-year coach in school history is still held by College Football Hall of Fame coach Zora G. Clevenger, who led the Wildcats to a 15-2 (.882) mark in his inaugural season in 1916-17.     

--Five of the nine games have been at home, where the Wildcats have won 26 consecutive non-conference home games in the month of December and boast a 37-1 mark in the month at Bramlage Coliseum the past 10 seasons with the last loss coming to Rutgers on Dec. 28, 2004.  The squad is a combined 92-21 (.814) at home in November and December since 2003-04.

--K-State looks to improve on its recent offensive struggles at home, where the Wildcats have averaged 79.4 points on 44.3 percent shooting, including 35.4 percent from 3-point range, in five games.  In the four games away from Bramlage Coliseum this season, the squad is averging nearly 20 points less (60.0 ppg.) on 36.2 percent shooting, including 30.3 percent from 3-point range.  The defensive effort has also been better at home with opponents averaging 48.2 points compared to 66.0 points away from home.
--The Wildcats have posted a .500 or better record in true road games in the past four seasons, including a composite 24-16 (.600) road record since the 2008-09 season.  The team has won seven of its last eight non-conference road games, including six straight wins (Cleveland State, UNLV, Loyola Chicago, Washington State, Virginia Tech and George Washington). 

--K-State ranks in the Top 35 in six categories, including first in offensive rebounds (18.2), third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (22.5), 14th in rebounding (42.6), 15th in scoring defense (56.1), 19th in rebounding margin (+8.4) and 30th in scoring margin (+14.7).  The squad also ranks among the Top 5 in 13 categories in the Big 12, including first in offensive rebounds, 3-point field goal percentage defense and second in scoring defense, rebounding, rebounding margin and assist-to-turnover ratio.

Elite Company
K-State is having a stellar start to the 2012-13 athletics season, as the Wildcats have one of the best winning percentages among Bowl Championship Series (BCS) schools when combining football and men’s and women’s basketball records.  As of Monday’s results, the school’s .826 winning percentage (25-4) is third only to Notre Dame (.931, 27-2) and Ohio State (.867, 26-4), while it is one of just 12 BCS schools in the nation with 25 or more combined wins among its three major sports.  The others include Louisville (28), Michigan (28), Notre Dame (27), Stanford (27), Ohio State (26), South Carolina (26), Florida (26), North Carolina (26), Minnesota (26), Oklahoma (25) and Cincinnati (25).  The Wildcat football team produced just its second 11-win regular season in school history and its first since 2003, while they are headed to a BCS bowl game (Fiesta Bowl) for the first time in eight years.  The men’s basketball team is off to a 7-2 start, while the women’s basketball team (7-1) lost for the first time on Sunday after winning their first seven games.  If you take into account the success of the women’s volleyball team, which won 20 matches and advanced to NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in 12 seasons, the Wildcats are 46-13 (.780) since August 24.

Balanced Attack
K-State has proven to be a balanced team across the board with seven players averaging five or more points, including just two in double figures, and seven averaging three or more rebounds per game.  Senior Rodney McGruder (11.9 ppg.) and sophomore Angel Rodriguez (10.9 ppg.) are the only Wildcats to average in double figures, while two other players - Will Spradling (8.8 ppg.) and Thomas Gipson (7.2 ppg.) are averaging better than seven points per contest.  The team has seen nine players collect 26 double-digit scoring games with Rodriguez leading the way with seven.  In all, the Wildcats have had five players lead or share the lead in scoring in nine games.  Gipson (6.6 rpg.) paces the squad in rebounding despite leading in a game just twice, while two others - McGruder (5.6 rpg.) and D.J. Johnson (5.2 rpg.) - average better than five rebounds per game.  The team has had nine players either lead or share the lead in rebounding with Gipson and Johnson doing it twice.

The Wildcats have also been diverse in other categories, including five players with double-digit assists and nine with at least five steals.  Rodriguez has dished out a team-best 39 assists with six players either leading or sharing the lead in assists in nine games.  Spradling paces all players with 12 steals, while seven have either led or shared the lead in steals.  Weber has played at least 12 in six games with players posting more than 20 minutes of action 29 times, including 30+ on 12 occasions.  Spradling (28.3), McGruder (27.1 mpg.), Rodriguez (22.7) and Gipson (20.3) are each averaging more than 20 minutes for the season.

Bench Production

Adding to the K-State’s balanced attack is the production it’s getting from its bench, where the Wildcats are averaging 28.3 points, including a 255-164 edge over opponents. The team has collected at least 20 points from its bench in seven games, including 45 points vs. North Dakota on Nov. 9. Reserves have scored nearly half of the team’s points four times with Thomas Gipson tying for the scoring lead from the bench against North Dakota and Delaware (before earning his first start vs. USC Upstate) and Shane Southwell leading the way with a career-best 16 points off the bench vs. Alabama-Huntsville on Nov. 13. The rebounding leader has come from the bench in five of nine games with D.J. Johnson posting the team-high vs. North Dakota (nine) and Lamar (eight), Southwell recording a career-high nine boards vs. UAH, Adrian Diaz with a career-best 10 vs. North Florida and Gipson tying Will Spradling for the rebounding lead (six) vs. Delaware. Nearly 50 percent (189) of the rebounding total has come from its bench, while over 40 percent (259) of the scoring total has come from reserves.

On the Defensive
K-State has continued to be one of the best defensive teams not only in the Big 12, but nationally, where the squad ranks third nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense (22.5), 14th in rebounding (42.6), 15th in scoring defense (56.1 ppg.), 19th in rebound margin (+8.4) and 47th in field goal percentage defense (38.4).  In all, the Wildcats rank either first or second in six Big 12 categories, including first in 3-point field goal percentage defense and second in scoring defense, rebounding, rebounding margin and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.22).  The squad is fifth in field goal percentage defense (38.4).

The 505 points surrendered through the first nine games are the fewest in the shot clock era (1985-86) and the fewest since the 1982-83 squad allowed just 482 points (53.6 ppg.) through the first nine games.  The defensive effort was nearly historic in the 87-26 win over Alabama-Huntsville on Nov. 13, as the 26 points allowed were one shy of the Bramlage Coliseum record of 25 set against Savannah State on Jan. 7, 2008.  The Chargers’ 16.4 field goal percentage (9-of-55) was only surpassed by Savannah State’s 15.5 percentage.  The Wildcats have held five of nine opponents to 55 points or less. 

Points Off Turnovers 
A trademark of Frank Martin-coached teams were their ability to score points off of opponent’s mistakes and Bruce Weber has continued that legacy in his first season.  The Wildcats are out-scoring their opponents, 146-102 (an average of 16.2 points), through the first nine games in points off of turnovers, including a 34-7 edge over Lamar on Nov. 12.  The team is forcing their opponents into 16.1 turnovers per game, including a season-high 26 by Lamar, while turning the ball over an average of 12.8 times per game.  The 1.22 assist-to-turnover ratio (44th) and +3.3 turnover margin (45th) are both in the Top 50 nationally.  In Martin’s five seasons, the Wildcats scored 3,081 points off of 2,763 turnovers in 169 games - an average of 18.2 points per game.  Nearly 25 percent of the points scored in that five-year period came off of offense generated from turnovers.  The school has scored 500 or more points off of opponent turnovers in six straight seasons, including 577 (17.5 average per game) in 2011-12.

Rebounding Prowess
K-State continues to be one of the best rebounding squads in the country, as the Wildcats rank eighth nationally in rebounding (42.6), including first in offensive rebounds (18.6), and 19th in rebounding margin (+8.4).  The team ranks second in the Big 12 in rebounding, while they are the clear leader in offensive rebounds (18.2 to West Virginia’s 16.7).  Overall, the Wildcats have out-rebounded their foes by a 383-307 margin, including 164-102 on the offensive end.  The team has collected 40 or more rebounds in six of its first nine games, including a season-best 55 vs. Alabama-Huntsville on Nov. 13, while they have tallied 20 or more offensive boards three times.  The squad grabbed 42 defensive rebounds vs. UAH, which ties for the second-most in school history and the most since also posting 42 against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 16, 1998.  The Wildcats have had players grab at least five rebounds in a game 31 times this season, including five posting at least five boards vs. USC Upstate.     

The Wildcats have taken advantage of its rebounding skills this season, averaging 30.1 points in the paint and 17.0 points off of second-chance opportunities.  The team has at least 30 points in the paint in five of nine games, including a season-high 44 vs. UAH on Nov. 13, while it has tallied at least 15 second-chance points six times with a season-best 23 vs. USC Upstate.

K-State has finished among the Top 5 in the Big 12 in rebounding in each of the last five seasons, including first in 2007-08 and 2008-09, while the squad has led the league in offensive boards for five consecutive years, including a school-record 559 in 2009-10.  The Wildcats have tallied 700 or more defensive rebounds in each of the last six seasons, including 756 in 2011-12. 

Protecting the Ball
Although the team turned it over a season-high 18 times against Gonzaga, K-State has made ball security a big emphasis and so far those efforts are paying off, as K-State ranks second in the Big 12 in both assist-to-turnover ratio (1.22) and third in turnover margin (+3.3).  The squad ranks in the Top 50 nationally in both categories, including 44th in assist-to-turnover ratio and 45th in turnover margin.  Through the first nine games, the Wildcats have produced 12.8 turnovers per game (fourth-lowest in Big 12), while forcing its foes into an average of 16.1 turnovers (second-most in the Big 12 to Texas Tech).  The team has 14 or fewer turnovers in six of nine games, including just six against No. 4/4 Michigan on Nov. 23, while they have forced their opponents into 19 or more turnovers three times, including a season-high 26 by Lamar on Nov. 12.  K-State has also capitalizing on its foes’ mistakes, averaging 16.2 points off of turnovers, while allowing opponents to score just 11.3 points per game on its miscues.

More on Ball Protection
Six Wildcats have posted an even or positive assist-to-turnover ratio this season, including its four primary ball-handlers (Angel Rodriguez, Martavious Irving, Shane Southwell and Will Spradling) combining for 98 assists to 44 turnovers (2.2 ratio).  The current ratio is nearly double for the quartet after posting a 1.4 ratio (302 assists to 211 turnovers) as a group in 2011-12.  Rodriguez (2.1) ranks third in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio and is one of just four players with a ratio above 2.0.  Spradling, who has 25 assists to just 10 turnovers, led the team with a 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio a season ago, while Rodriguez has made a notable improvement (39 assists to 19 turnovers) in the area after posting a 1.2 ratio (101 assists to 85 turnovers) as a freshman in 2011-12.  Irving has also doubled his ratio (2.6 from 1.5) with 21 assists to eight turnovers, while Southwell has registered a solid 1.9 ratio (13 assists to 7 turnovers) after posting a 1.6 ratio last season. 

Quick Starts
K-State has used quick starts in three of their first nine games to jump out to big leads, helping the Wildcats hold a 306-209 edge at halftime.  The squad jumped out to 15-0 lead on Lamar en route to a 43-15 advantage at halftime, while they broke out to a 19-2 lead on UAH en route to a 47-11 edge at the break.  The 36-point halftime lead ties for the largest in Bramlage Coliseum history, tying a 55-19 lead over Kennesaw State on Dec. 17, 2006.  The team led by as many as 17 in the first half against North Florida before leading as many as 30 in the second half.  The squad used an 18-2 run in the last 5:46 of the first half against USC Upstate to break an 18-all tie to a 36-20 lead at halftime.  The only home game the Wildcats didn’t jump out to a big lead - North Dakota - they broke open a one-point game with a 10-2 run right before the half to take a 36-27 advantage at the break.   The lead ballooned to as many as 35 in the second half, as the Wildcats outscored North Dakota, 49-25, on 53.1 percent shooting.  

Weber Era Opens With A Win
K-State opened the Bruce Weber Era with a dominate 85-52 victory over North Dakota on Nov. 9.  The Wildcats broke open a one-point game with a 10-2 run to end the first half then used stellar shooting (53.1%) in the second half to post its 10th straight season-opening win.  The squad is now 85-24 all-time in season openers, including a 73-8 mark at home.  Overall, the Wildcats have won 19 consecutive openers at home, including a 20-1 record at Bramlage Coliseum.  Weber is 14-1 (.933) in his 15-year career as a head coach in season openers (SIU and Illinois), including a 14-0 mark in home openers.

Weber Continues Success by Wildcat Coaches in Debut
Weber continued the success of Wildcat head coaches in their debut with an 85-52 win over North Dakota on Nov. 9.  K-State head coaches have now won 17 of 24 debuts, including each of the last four and seven of the last eight.  Jim Wooldridge (2000), Bob Huggins (2006) and Frank Martin (2007) each won their coaching debuts, while Tom Asbury (1994) was the last Wildcat coach to lose his debut - a 79-48 setback at Alabama on Nov. 16, 1994.  K-State coaches have won their last eight debuts that have occurred at home with the last loss coming way back on Dec. 4, 1944 when Fritz Knorr’s squad lost a 53-35 decision to Fort Riley.   Only three coaches - Mike Ahearn (1907), Charles Corsaut (1924) and Knorr - have lost their debut at home. 

McGruder Named Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week 
Senior Rodney McGruder earned his second career Big 12 weekly honor on Dec. 8 after collecting his sixth career double-double and first of the season in the 65-62 win at George Washington.  Playing in front of numerous family and friends in his hometown of Washington, D.C., he tallied 15 points, 11 rebounds, one assist and one steal in a season-high 39 minutes against the Colonials.  He earns the weekly honor for the second time since winning on Dec. 26, 2011 after his MVP performance in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.  His performance at GW continues his solid play of late after a slow start to the season.  He is averaging team-bests in both scoring (14.3 ppg.) and rebounding (7.5 rpg.) in the past four games (three double-figure scoring games) after scoring just 50 points (10 ppg.) through the first five games on 38.8 percent shooting with two double-figure scoring games.  He posted his first 20-point game and 14th of his career against USC Upstate on Dec. 2 with a game-high 22 points.  He scored 14 of his game-high 16 points against No. 4/4 Michigan in the second half. 

McGruder Joins Elite Company 
Senior Rodney McGruder joined elite company against USC Upstate on Dec. 2, as he became the eighth Wildcat in school history with at least 1,100 points and 500 rebounds in a career.  He joined Rolando Blackman (1,844 points & 607 rebounds), Bob Boozer (1,685 points & 824 rebounds), Cartier Martin (1,546 points & 546 rebounds), Willie Murrell (1,121 points & 576 rebounds), Ed Nealy (1,304 points & 1,069 rebounds), Jack Parr (1,184 points & 889 rebounds) and Jamar Samuels (1,259 points & 716 rebounds).  McGruder currently ranks 14th in scoring with 1,136 points (just 48 points from tying Parr for 13th and 167 points from tying Nealy and cracking the Top 10), while he is just the 25th player with 500 or more rebounds in a career. 

McGruder Named Preseason Candidate for Naismith, Wooden Awards
Senior Rodney McGruder has been selected as a preseason candidate for two of the most prestigious awards in college basketball, as he was named one of 50 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award on Nov. 8 before he was selected to the early season watch list for the Naismith Trophy on Nov. 12.  The preseason lists, which reflects the early frontrunners for two of college basketball’s Premier Player of the Year awards, is based on last year’s individual performance.  McGruder becomes the first Wildcat named to the preseason list for both awards since Jacob Pullen was selected in 2010.  McGruder led the squad in 11 categories in 2011-12, including scoring (15.8 ppg.), double-figure scoring (28) and 3-point field goals (50).  He was one of six Big 12 players selected to the Wooden list, which includes Baylor’s Pierre Jackson, Kansas’ Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey and OSU’s Le’Bryan Nash, while he was one of five on the Naismith list, including Jackson, Withey, Kansas’ Ben McLemore and OSU’s Marcus Smart.

McGruder Named to Preseason All-Big 12 Team
Senior Rodney McGruder was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Big 12 team released by the conference office on Oct. 4.  McGruder, who was an All-Big 12 Second Team selection in 2011-12, was one of three unanimous picks by the league’s head coaches, joining Kansas’ Jeff Withey and Oklahoma State’s Le’Bryan Nash.  The final two spots on the team went to Baylor’s Pierre Jackson and Texas’ Myck Kabongo.  McGruder is the first Wildcat named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team since Jacob Pullen was named to the squad along with garnering Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year honors in 2010-11.  It marks just the third time that a Wildcat (Manny Dies in 1998-99, Pullen and Curtis Kelly in 2010-11) has been selected to the preseason team.  McGruder is of only three returning Big 12 players to have ranked in the Top 20 in both scoring and rebounding in 2011-12.

Rodriguez's Improved Play 
Sophomore Angel Rodriguez has continued his improvement from his freshman season in 2012-13, as he ranks first or second on the squad in eight categories, including first in double-figure scoring games (seven), 3-point field goals (15), assists (39) and free throws (21) and second in scoring (10.9 ppg.) and field goals (31).  He has helped the Wildcats rank second in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio and third in both turnover margin and assists, while he places third individually in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1) and sixth in assists.  He has scored in double figures a team-best seven times, including a career-best 19 points vs. Lamar to go with game-highs at George Washington (17) on Dec. 8 and Gonzaga (14) on Dec. 15.  Rodriguez was named to the NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament Team after averaging 11 points and 5.5 assists in two games at Madison Square Garden.

Spradling Clutch from the Line
Junior Will Spradling has been a model of consistency from the free throw line, knocking down 16-of-16 opportunities, including 6-of-6 in the last 35 seconds in close 3-point wins over Delaware and George Washington.  His perfect 16-of-16 attempts has raised his career free throw percentage to 83.9 (141-of-168), which is the second-highest in school history behind Steve Henson’s 90 percent (361-of-401; 1986-90).  He has not only been stellar on the free throw line, but Spradling ranks fourth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (37.5), eighth in 3-point field goals made (1.7), 11th in assists (2.8) and 15th in steals (1.3).  He ranks third on the team in scoring at 8.8 points per game and has registered five double-figure scoring games (which ranks second), including a season-high 14 vs. Lamar on Nov. 12 and 10 in the win at George Washington on Dec. 8.

K-State Selected To Play in 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off
K-State has been selected to participate in the 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off, which is set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21, 22 and 24, 2013 at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, in the Hato Rey district of San Juan.  The field for the seventh annual event includes Auburn, Charlotte, Florida State, Georgetown, Long Beach State, Michigan and VCU.  Six of eight schools advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2012, while five are either ranked or receiving votes in the current Associated Press/USA Today Coaches polls. 

‘Cats Enjoy Memorable Trip to Brazil
K-State got a jump start on its preparations for the 2012-13 season with its 10-day trip to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from Aug. 8-17, 2012.  The NCAA allows teams to make a foreign trip once every four years, but this was the first since playing four games in and around Vancouver, British Columbia in October 2004.  Overall, it was the program’s fourth trip outside the country, which includes excursions to Japan in 1981 and Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden in 1993.  K-State played four games, posting a 2-2 record as the squad had to adjust to international rules.  The Wildcats averaged 70 points on 41.9 percent shooting, including 31.4 percent from the 3-point range, while connecting on 75.9 percent from the free throw line.  Angel Rodriguez (10.3 ppg.) paced all scorers on 40 percent shooting with a team-best 4.8 assists and 2.3 steals per game.  Three others - Nino Williams, Rodney McGruder and Adrian Diaz - all averaged 9.0 points, while Will Spradling and Jordan Henriquez added 8.5 points and 7.3 points per game averages.  Williams led in rebounding (6.0 rpg.), 3-point field goal percentage (40.0) and free throw percentage (83.3), while Diaz was tops in field goals (14), field goal percentage (58.3) and blocks (2.5 bpg.).  

Up Next: vs. 8/9 Florida (7-1) 
K-State makes its annual trek to Kansas City on Saturday, as the Wildcats play its third Top 15 foe of the season in No. 8/8 Florida (7-1) in the Hy-Vee Wildcat Classic at 7 p.m. at the Sprint Center.  The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.