K-State Hosts Texas Southern Sunday
K-State Hosts Texas Southern Sunday
at KANSAS STATE (7-4, 0-0 Big 12)
Sunday, December 28, 2014 >> Manhattan, Kan.
Bramlage Coliseum (12,528) >> 2 p.m. CT
Ben Boyle (play-by-play)
Stan Weber (analyst)
DirecTV 671 | AT&T 748
K-State Sports Network
Matt Walters (play-by-play)
Stats - http://bit.ly/1yqDy3x
Audio - http://bit.ly/15rNnVB
$15 (bench), $25 (chairbacks)
Wildcat4Pack: $50 | $10 (12+group)
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 367-180 (17th year)
at K-State: 54-25 (3rd year)
vs. Texas Southern: 1-0
Texas Southern: Mike Davis (Thomas Edison ‘00)
Overall: 275-190 (15th year)
at Texas Southern: 38-38 (3rd year)
vs. K-State: 0-1
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (7-4)
G – #1 Jevon Thomas (7.2 ppg., 4.1 apg.)
G – #2 Marcus Foster (14.8 ppg., 2.4 rpg.)
G – #14 Justin Edwards (6.2 ppg., 3.5 rpg.)
F – #11 Nino Williams (13.2 ppg., 4.8 rpg.)
F – #42 Thomas Gipson (11.5 ppg., 4.5 rpg.)
Texas Southern (2-9)
G - #3 Madarious Gibbs (10.1 ppg., 3.9 apg.)
G - #1 Deverell Biggs (10.3 ppg., 3.1 rpg.)
G - #24 Nevin Johnson (4.0 ppg., 1.7 rpg.)
F - #2 Chris Thomas (15.3 ppg., 4.7 rpg.)
F - #33 Nick Shepherd (1.4 ppg., 2.1 rpg.)
INSIDE THE SERIES
Overall: K-State leads 2-0 (last meeting: 12/18/2012)
vs. SWAC: K-State leads 8-0 (8-0 at home)
In Manhattan: K-State leads 2-0 (last meeting: 12/18/2012)
Current Streak: K-State, 2
Last Meeting: K-State won 78-69 in Manhattan (12/18/2012)
Weber vs. Texas Southern: 1-0 (last meeting: 12/18/2012)
Weber vs. Davis: Weber leads 6-2
LAST GAME SUMMARY
K-State 71, Texas A&M 64
Game 11 * Sprint Center * December 20, 2014
K-State used a stellar first half of shooting, hitting 82.4 percent of its field goal attempts, en route to defeating Texas A&M, 71-64, on Dec. 20 at the seventh annual Wildcat Classic before 14,884 at the Sprint Center. The Wildcats, who has won three in a row, connected on a season-best 61.5 percent (24-of-39) from the field, which was the highest in a game since also connecting on 61.5 percent vs. Cleveland State on Dec. 5, 2006. The squad is now a perfect 6-0 when scoring 70 or more points this season and 34-7 all-time under head coach Bruce Weber. The Wildcats missed just 3 of their 17 shot attempts in the first half, which ranks as third-highest field goal percentage in a half in school history and the highest since connecting on 85 percent against Oklahoma on Feb. 19, 1994. Senior Nino Williams led four Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 17 points.
GAME 12 - QUICK HITTERS
• K-State (7-4) concludes non-conference play with the first of back-to-back home games beginning Sunday afternoon against SWAC foe Texas Southern (2-9) at Bramlage Coliseum at 2 p.m. CT. The game will televised across the FOX Sports Kansas City/Midwest footprint.
• After hosting the Tigers, the Wildcats will play host to Georgia (6-3) on New Year’s Eve at 3 p.m. CT on ESPNU to wrap up non-conference play.
• K-State has won 4 of its last 5 games, including a season-best 3-game winning streak heading into Sunday’s tilt. This will be the Wildcats’ first game in 8 days since posting a 71-64 win over Texas A&M on Dec. 20 in the 7th annual Wildcat Classic at Kansas City’s Sprint Center.
• K-State is averaging 71.5 points on 48.0 percent shooting, including a Big 12-best 40.0 percent from 3-point range. The squad ranks among the Top 30 in 3 categories nationally, including 22nd in free throw attempts and 3-point field goal percentage and 27th in free throws made.
• K-State is averaging 78.1 points on 54.6 percent shooting, including 46.6 percent from 3-point range, in its 7 wins and 59.8 points on 37.6 percent shooting, including 29.9 percent from long range, in its 4 losses.
• K-State is 6-0 in home games, including 5-0 at Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats are averaging 76.5 points on 54.9 percent shooting in home games, while holding opponents to 61.8 points on 43.4 percent shooting.
• This will be the 3rd meeting with Texas Southern, all since 2010. K-State has won the previous 2 match-ups by an average of 16.5 points, including a 78-69 win on Dec. 18, 2010. The Wildcats are 8-0 all-time (all at home) against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
• K-State has won 38 straight games at Bramlage Coliseum in December dating back to 2004. The last home loss came to Rutgers (76-66) on Dec. 28, 2004. Overall, the Wildcats are 50-9 (.848) in the month since 2006.
• K-State is 17-2 under head coach Bruce Weber in December with 12 consecutive home wins dating back to 2012. The team saw their 12-game winning streak in the month end in the 65-64 loss at Tennessee on Dec. 6.
• K-State has a 71-3 record at home in non-conference play dating back to 2006-07, including a 69-2 mark during the regular season. The squad has won 60 of its last 61 non-conference home games.
• Weber is 37-3 (.925) at Bramlage Coliseum since taking over as head coach at K-State with losses to No. 3 Kansas (2012), Northern Colorado (2013) and Baylor (2013). Those 3 losses came by a total of 8 points.
THE OPPONENT: TEXAS SOUTHERN (2-9)
• Texas Southern enters Sunday’s game with a 2-9 record after dropping a 61-60 decision at Auburn on Dec. 23... The Tigers have played just 1 home contest with 11 true road games to date, including 6 in a row... The team won their lone home game on Nov. 26 with a 71-59 victory over Lamar and are 1-9 on the road... The Tigers have played road games at Eastern Washington, Indiana, Tennessee, Norfolk State, SMU, Baylor, Florida, Gonzaga, Michigan State and Auburn.
• After losing by an average of 21.1 points in its first 8 road contests, Texas Southern has been impressive in their last 2 games on the road, knocking off Michigan State, 71-64, in overtime on Dec. 20 before losing 61-60 at Auburn on Dec. 23.
• The Tigers are averaging 60.4 points on 40.7 percent shooting, including 26.8 percent from 3-point range, on the season with 31.6 rebounds, 10.5 assists, 7.4 steals and 3.2 blocks per game... They are allowing opponent 74.1 points per game on 48.3 percent shooting, including 40.9 percent from beyond the arc... The team is shooting 62.8 percent from the free throw line.
• Texas Southern is a balanced scoring team with 4 players averaging in double figures led by junior Chris Thomas’ 15.3 points per game average... The Marshall transfer has connected on 43 percent from the field, while also leading the squad in 3-pointers (12), rebounding (4.7 rpg.) and steals (1.8 spg.)... Seniors Jason Carter (11.0 ppg.), Deverell Biggs (10.3 ppg.) and Madarious Gibbs (10.1 ppg.) also average in twin figures... Gibbs leads the Tigers in assists (3.9 apg.) and minutes (37.14 mpg.)
• Texas Southern has 5 Division I transfers on its team, including 4 in its starting lineup... Thomas (Marshall), Biggs (Nebraska), Eric Washington (Murray State), Nevin Johnson (Creighton) and Nick Shepherd (Long Beach State).
• Shepherd has played against K-State in 2013-14, seeing time in 2 games at LBSU... Played 17 minutes vs. the Wildcats in a start at Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 17 with 2 rebounds and a block, while he played 5 minutes in match-up on Nov. 22.
• Texas Southern returns 4 lettermen, including 2 starters, from a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2013-14.
• Texas Southern is led by 3rd-year head coach Mike Davis, who has posted a 38-38 record during his tenure... He is in his 15th season as a head coach, which includes stints at Indiana (2000-06) and UAB (2006-12).
BREAKING DOWN THE SERIES
• Sunday’s game will mark the 3rd meeting between K-State and Texas Southern on the hardwood, all coming since 2010.
• K-State leads the series, 2-0, with an 84-60 win at home on Nov. 26, 2010 and 78-69 win at home on Dec. 18, 2012.
• K-State is 8-0 all-time against teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), including 8-0 at home.
• Head coach Bruce Weber is 6-2 all-time vs. TSU coach Mike Davis, including 5-2 vs. Indiana and 1-0 at Texas Southern.
• K-State has posted a 97-25 record in non-conference play dating back to 2006-07.
• K-State has a 71-3 record at home in non-conference play in that span, including a 69-2 mark during the regular season.
• The Wildcats are 28-9 in non-conference play under head coach Bruce Weber, including 18-1 in home 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 8 seasons, including 13 in 2009-10.
TEAM OFFENSIVE NOTES
• Kansas State is averaging 71.5 points on 48 percent shooting (256-of-533), including a Big 12-best 40 percent (68-of-170) from 3-point range, to go with 14.5 assists per game... The team has an assist on 62.5 percent of their field goals.
• In the Big 12, the Wildcats rank 7th in scoring offense, 3rd in field goal percentage and 1st in 3-point field goal percentage.
• K-State ranks 2nd in the Big 12 in both free throws made per game (18.7) and free throw attempts per game (27.6).
• The team averages 27.6 points in the paint, 19.2 bench points, 16.7 points off of turnovers and 8.6 second-chance points.
• K-State has connected on 50 percent or better from the field in 6 games and shot better than 50 percent from 3-point range on 4 occasions... The team has also scored 80 or more points in 4 contests, the most through 10 games since 2009-10.
• The Wildcats are 6-0 when scoring 70 or more points this season and 34-7 during head coach Bruce Weber’s tenure.
• 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 4th-most overall a season opener.
• K-State connected on a Bruce Weber era-best 61.5 percent (24-of-39) from the field in the win over Texas A&M (12/20/14), which is the best by a Wildcat team since also connecting on 61.5 percent vs. Cleveland State (12/5/06) and highest since posting a 62.8 percentage vs. Nebraska (2/4/04)... The team shot 82.4 percent (14-of-17) in the first half vs. the Aggies, which ranks as the 3rd-highest in school history and the highest since connecting on 85 percent (17-of-20) vs. Oklahoma (2/19/94).
• The Texas A&M game (12/20/14) marked the second time this season that the Wildcats have set the mark for highest field goal percentage in the Weber era, surpassing the 58.7 percent vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14)... K-State has posted the top 4 field goal percentages of the Weber era this season, including Texas A&M, Southern Utah, Savannah State (58.5) and UMKC (58.3).
• The Wildcats also set Weber era highs in 4 categories in the opener vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14), including points (98), 3-point field goal percentage (55.6), free throws made (34) and attempted (48).
INDIVIDUAL OFFENSIVE NOTES
• K-State has 3 players averaging in double figures (Marcus Foster, Nino Williams and Thomas Gipson), while 9 players have had at least one double-digit scoring game this season... Six players scored in double figures in the opener vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14), which was the most since 6 also scored in twin figures against North Carolina Central (2/17/09).
• All 3 rank in the Big 12’s Top 20 in scoring at 7th (Foster/14.8 ppg.), 8th (Williams/13.2 ppg.) and 16th (Gipson/11.5 ppg.)... Only Iowa State (with 4) has more players in the Top 20 in scoring, while 5 other schools has 2 players.
• 3 Wildcats also rank in Big 12’s Top 15 in assists at 6th (Thomas/4.1 apg.), 14th (Johnson/2.4 apg.) and 15th (Foster/2.2 apg.).
• Sophomore Marcus Foster leads the team in 8 categories, including scoring (14.8 ppg.), field goals (52), 3-point field goals (35), double-digit scoring games (9), 20-point games (3) and minutes (29.7).
• Williams has scored in double figures in 7 of 9 games played, including a personal-best 5 in a row... He has led in scoring a team-best 4 times... He ranks in the Big 12’s Top 15 in field goal percentage (5th/54.5) and free throw percentage (12th/75.6).
• K-State has tallied 68 3-pointers with 8 players collecting at least one trey... Foster leads the way with a Big 12-leading 35 triples on 47.3 percent shooting, while freshman Tre Harris is connecting on a team-best 55.6 percent (10-of-18).
• In the NCAA, Foster ranks 18th in 3-point field goal percentage and 23rd in 3-point field goals/game (3.2).
• Sophomore Jevon Thomas ranks in the Top 15 in assists (6th/4.1 apg.) and assist-to-turnover ratio (11th/1.7).
• Sophomore Nigel Johnson ranks 11th in the Big 12 in steals (1.5 spg.) and 14th in assists (2.4 apg.).
BREAKING DOWN THE WIN STREAK
• K-State has 4 of its last 5 games, including a season-best 3-game winning streak (Bradley, Savannah State and Texas A&M).
• The Wildcats averaging 68.4 points on 50.2 percent shooting, including 41.3 percent from 3-point range, in their last 5 games, while holding opponents to 59 points on 42.7 percent shooting, including 29.7 percent from beyond the arc... The team has held a 168-122 rebounding edge, while has made more free throws (87) than their opponent has attempted (86).
• During the 3-game winning streak, the Wildcats are averaging 64.7 points on 52.6 percent shooting, including 42.4 percent from 3-point range, while holding opponents to 54.7 points on 42.8 percent shooting, including 32.4 percent from long range... The team has 60 free throws on 88 attempts in the stretch, while opponents are just 29-of-47 from the line.
• Senior Nino Williams has been the biggest key in this 5-game stretch, averaging a team-best 16 points on 62.8 percent shooting (27-of-43) to go with a team-high 6.6 rebounds... He has also knocked down 75.8 percent (25-of-33) from the line... He has averaged 17.0 points on 62.5 percent shooting with a team-best 7.0 rebounds in the team’s 3-game winning streak.
• K-State has also taken advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, as the Wildcats rank 27th nationally in free throws made (206) and 22nd in free throw attempts (304)... The team is shooting 67.8 percent from the charity stripe.
• K-State averages 18.7 free throws (2nd) and 27.6 free throw attempts (2nd) per game, which ranks in the Big 12’s Top 2.
• K-State is 7-1 this season when it has more free throw attempts than its opponent and 29-6 under head coach Bruce Weber.
• The 34 free throws and 48 attempts vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14) were not only the most in the Bruce Weber era, but both were one shy of the Top 10 in school history... Both totals are the most since a game at Colorado (1/6/2010), in which, the squad connected on 38 free throws on 54 attempts... The totals at Colorado rank 4th (makes) and 3rd (attempts) in school history.
• 2 Wildcats rank in the Big 12’s Top 15 in free throw percentage, including seniors Thomas Gipson (9th/79.7) and Nino Williams (12th/75.6)... Gipson ranks 2nd in makes (55) and attempts (69) to OSU’s Le’Bryan Nash (69-of-88) in the Big 12.
SECOND HALF SIZZLE
• K-State is averaging 40.3 points in the 2nd half this season on 52.7 percent shooting (144-of-273), including 46.1 percent (41-of-89) from 3-point range... The Wildcats are out-scoring their opponents, 443-402, in the 2nd half.
• K-State has connected on better than 50 percent from the field in the 2nd half of 7 games, including 60 percent or better on 5 occasions... The team is averaging 43.4 points on 59.6 percent shooting in the 2nd half of its 7 wins this season.
• K-State has connected on a higher percentage in the 2nd half in 9 of 11 games played, including 6 of 7 wins.
• K-State connected on 70 percent (14-of-20) of its field goals in the 2nd half in the win over Savannah State (12/14/14), which marked the 19th time in school history that a Wildcat team has connected on 70 percent or better from the field... It marked the highest field goal percentage in a 2nd half since shooting 71.4 percent (15-of-21) at Iowa State on Jan. 7, 2006.
• 6 players are averaging 3.0 points or better in the 2nd half led by Marcus Foster (9.1 ppg. on 56.9%) and Thomas Gipson (7.5 ppg. on 68.8%)... 6 of the 11 players to score in the 2nd half are shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
• In comparison, K-State is averaging 31.2 points in the 1st half this season on 43.1 percent shooting (112-of-260), including 33.3 percent (27-of-81) from beyond the arc... The squad is out-scoring their opponents, 343-324, in the opening half.
• Nino Williams leads all 1st half scorers at 6.2 points per game on 50 percent shooting.
• K-State is averaging 78.1 points in its 7 wins on 54.6 percent shooting (179-of-328), including 46.6 percent (48-of-103) from 3-point range, while allowing opponents 64.3 points on 45.1 percent shooting, including 35.6 percent from beyond the arc.
• In contrast, K-State is averaging 59.8 points in its 4 losses on 37.6 percent shooting (77-of-205), including 29.9 percent (20-of-67) from 3-point range, while allowing 69 points on 48.2 percent shooting, including 38.9 percent from beyond the arc.
• 3 Wildcats are averaging in double figures in the 7 wins, including Nino Williams (16.0 ppg./61.4 FG%), Marcus Foster (15 ppg./52.3 FG%) and Thomas Gipson (12.3 ppg./71.4 FG%), while 4 others (Stephen Hurt, Nigel Johnson, Justin Edwards and Jevon Thomas) are averaging 7+ points... In all, 6 of the 7 players are shooting better than 50 percent in those 7 wins.
• Only 2 Wildcats are averaging in double figures in the 4 losses (Foster - 14.5 ppg., and Gipson - 10.3 ppg.).
• K-State is averaging 17.6 assists during its wins compared to just 9.3 assists in its losses.
• Point guards Jevon Thomas and Nigel Johnson have compiled a 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio in the 7 wins, which includes a combined 55 assists to 23 turnovers... The duo has a 1.23 ratio in the 4 losses with a combined 16 assists and 13 turnovers.
POINTS OFF OF TURNOVERS
• K-State has taken advantage of its opponents’ mistakes, scoring 184 points off of 149 turnovers in the first 11 games.
• The 184 points represents nearly one-quarter of the 786 points, as the team is averaging 16.7 points per game off of turnovers.
• K-State has scored 20 or more points off of turnovers in 3 games, including back-to-back games to start the season vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14) and UMKC (11/17/14)... It marked the first time that K-State has tallied 20 or more points off of turnovers in consecutive games since posting 20 vs. TCU (1/16/13) and 26 vs. 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 9th-most since the stat began being kept in 2000-01.
• The Wildcats averaged 12.2 points off of turnovers in 2013-14, including just 3 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 2 seasons (60.4 ppg. in 2012-13 and 65.4 ppg. in 2013-14).
• 33 opponents have been held to 60 points or less in Weber’s two seasons as head coach with the Wildcats boasting a 30-3 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 66 points on 46.2 percent shooting, including 36.6 percent from 3-point range... The squad ranks 9th in the Big 12 in scoring defense and 10th in field goal percentage defense, 3-point field goal percentage defense, rebounding (32.0) and blocked shots (2.5).
• Those numbers have improved in the past 5 games, where they are holding opponents to 59 points on 42.7 percent shooting, including 29.7 percent from 3-point range, while limiting them to 58 assists and 56 turnovers.
FOSTER CONTINUES WHERE HE LEFT OFF
• Sophomore Marcus Foster leads the way in scoring at 14.8 points per game on 44.4 percent shooting (52-of-117), including 47.3 percent (35-of-74) from 3-point range... He has scored in double figures in a team-best 9 games, including 20-point games vs. Purdue (24), No. 3/4 Arizona (23) and Tennessee (23)... It is the 4th time has had 20+ points in consecutive games.
• Foster ranks in the Big 12’s Top 15 in 5 categories, including 7th in scoring, 2nd in 3-point percentage and 1st in 3-pointers.
• Foster leads the Wildcats in 8 categories, including scoring, double-digit scoring games (9), 20-point games (3), field goals (52), field goals attempted (117), 3-point field goals (35), 3-point field goals attempted (74) and minutes (29.7).
• In the NCAA, Foster ranks 18th in 3-point field goal percentage, 23rd in 3-point field goals made (3.2) and 24th in 3-point field goals made (35) and 86th in 3-point field goal attempts (74).
• Foster tied a career-high with 7 treys at Tennessee (12/6/14), which he also hit against Baylor (3/8/14) last season... The 7 triples tie for the 4th-most in a game in school history and the most in a non-conference game since Rodney McGruder made 7 vs. UMKC (12/23/2010)... Four of Foster’s 7 3-pointers came in the last 57 seconds of the game.
• It marked the 4th time he has had 4 or more 3-pointers in a game this season, including 6 vs. No. 3/4 Arizona (11/25/14), 5 vs. Purdue (11/24/14) and 4 vs. UMKC (11/17/14)... He has had 4+ 3-pointers in 13 career games.
• Foster now has 114 3-pointers his K-State career, which is just 2 shy of the career Top 10.
• Foster has scored in double figures in 36 of his 44 career games, including 11 20-point outings... He led in scoring 20 times.
• Thomas Gipson has displayed that all important senior leadership, ranking 3rd in scoring (11.5 ppg.) and rebounding (4.5 rpg.), while shooting a team-best 67.9 percent (36-of-53) from the field and 79.7 percent (55-of-69) from the charity stripe.
• Gipson ranks 16th 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 (69) and attempted (88).
• Gipson, who played in his 100th career game in the opener against Southern Utah, has scored in double figures in 15 of the last 20 games (including 6 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 3 games... Ironically, he has scored 9 points in 3 other games this season.
• Gipson collected his 5th 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 Sunday with 999 points... He would become the 26th Wildcat to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier, while he would be just the 12th player with 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.
• Gipson’s career 54.0 field goal percentage ranks 6th on 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 2 games due to a knee injury... It marked just the second time in the last 3 seasons that he missed a game due to injury.
• Williams, who ranks 2nd in scoring (13.2 ppg.) and 1st in rebounding (4.8 rpg.), has scored in double-digits in 7 of his first 9 games, including a personal-best 5 consecutive games... He posted a career-tying 20 points vs. Savannah State (12/14/14).
• In the last 5 games, Williams is averaging a team-best 16 points on 62.8 percent shooting (27-of-43) with a team-high 6.6
• rebounds... During the 3-game winning streak, he is averaging team-bests in scoring (17.0 ppg.) and rebounding (7.0 rpg.).
• Williams collected his 2nd career double-double in the win over Bradley (12/9/14) with team-highs in both points (14) and rebounds (12)... It was his 1st double-double since a 15-point, 10-rebound vs. Baylor (2/15/14).
• For his efforts in the wins vs. Bradley and Savannah State, Williams earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the 1st time after averaging 17 points on 56.3 percent shooting (9-of-16) to go with 9.5 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per game... He also shot a stellar 88.9 percent (16-of-18) from the free throw line... He also led in scoring and rebounding in both games.
• Williams also ranks 2nd in field goals (42), double-digit scoring games (7) and free throw percentage (75.6).
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 71 assists (to 36 turnovers) to go with 143 points on 44.4 percent shooting and 28 steals while playing 507 minutes in the first 11 games, as Thomas averages 27.4 minutes to Johnson’s 18.7 minutes per game.
• Thomas leads in assists (45) and ranks 3rd in steals (12), while Johnson leads the way in steals (16) and is 2nd in assists (26).
• Thomas ranks in the Big 12’s Top 10 in 2 categories, including 6th in assists (4.1 apg.) and 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7), while Johnson is in the Top 15 in both steals (11th/1.5) and assists (14th/2.4).
• The duo is even more impressive in the 7 wins, combining for 55 assists to 23 turnovers (2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio), as Johnson is averaging 8.0 points on 51.5 percent shooting and Thomas is averaging 7.0 points on 43.3 percent shooting.
• Johnson scored in double figures in the first 2 games, including a career and team-best 18 points in the opener vs. Southern Utah (11/14/14) and Thomas collected back-to-back double-digit scoring vs. Omaha (12/2/14) and Tennessee (12/6/14) to go with a combined 13 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.