Feb 23, 2021 11:40 AM

🏀 K-State Hosts Oklahoma on Senior Night Tuesday

Posted Feb 23, 2021 11:40 AM

MANHATTAN, Kan.—Kansas State (6-18, 2-13 Big 12) begins a challenging last stretch of the regular season on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats play host to No. 7/8 Oklahoma (14-5, 9-4 Big 12) at 8 p.m., CT at Bramlage Coliseum. It will also be Senior Night, as the program will honor its lone senior - Mike McGuirl - in a pregame ceremony. The Sooners will be looking to sweep the season series for the first time since 2011-12 after earning a 76-50 win over the Wildcats at home on Jan. 19. Tuesday's game will air on ESPN2 with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Robbie Hummel (analyst) on the call. KHMY 93.1fm will have the radio call locally in Hutchinson

  1. This will be the Wildcats' 11th matchup against a Top 25 opponent this season, including the sixth in the last 7 contests. K-State played 5 consecutive Top 25 foes (No. 23/22 Kansas, No. 13/11 Texas Tech, No. 13/13 Texas, No. 23/22 Oklahoma State and No. 23/24 Kansas) before playing at TCU on Saturday. The Wildcats have lost 15 in a row against ranked opponents, while they have dropped 7 straight to ranked teams at home. K-State is 119-272 all-time vs. ranked opponents, which includes a 8-11 mark vs. the AP's No. 7 ranked squad. Head coach Bruce Weber has a school-record 26 wins vs. Top 25 foes, 6 of which have come against ranked Sooner teams.
  2. K-State finally tasted victory in 2021, as the Wildcats used a game-ending 16-3 run, including a pivotal 10-0 spurt down by 5 points with 5 minutes to play, to knock off TCU, 62-54, on Saturday and snap a 13-game losing streak and 12-game skid in Big 12 play. It was the first win since a 60-58 victory over Omaha on Dec. 29, 2020 and the first in Big 12 action since a 74-65 victory at Iowa State in the league opener on Dec. 15, 2020. It also halted a 15-game losing streak in the month of February.
  3. The offensive spurt gets the majority of the attention for the victory, but it was the defense that really propelled the Wildcats' forward. K-State forced TCU to an opponent-low 31.9 percent (15-of-47) shooting from the field, including 26.9 percent (7-of-26) in the second half. In all, the Wildcats held the Horned Frogs to opponent season-lows in 5 categories, including field goals made (15) and attempted (47), field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage (22.2) and assists (6). It marked the 100th time that a K-State team has held an opponent under 60 points during Bruce Weber's tenure, boasting a 90-10 (.900) mark in those contests.
  4. McGuirl was impressive all-around in the ending the streak, as he scored a game-high 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including a pair of triples, to go with a career-high 9 rebounds and a game-tying 5 assists in 36 minutes. He now has a team-leading 16 double-digit scoring games this season, while it marked the first time in his career that he led the team in points, rebounds and assists.
  5. Due to various issues this season, including injuries and COVID-related protocols, K-State has had to start 3 true freshmen (Davion BradfordSelton Miguel and Nijel Pack) 13 games, including 10 of 15 Big 12 contests. The team has started at least 2 true freshmen in each of the last 18 games with Bradford and Pack each starting 20 games and Miguel starting 17. The Wildcats are one of 10 teams nationally to start at least 3 true freshmen in at least one game, while the 57 combined starts by true freshmen rank second nationally behind Kentucky's 63 and just ahead of Washington State's 55.


NOTES ON 7/8 OKLAHOMA (14-5, 9-4 Big 12)

  1. No. 7/8 Oklahoma (14-5, 9-4 Big 12) is one of the hottest teams in the nation with wins in 8 of the last 9 games, including nationally-ranked foes Kansas, Texas, Alabama, Texas Tech and West Virginia. The Sooners ran their winning streak to 3 on Saturday with a 66-56 victory at Iowa State.
  2. Oklahoma is averaging 75.8 points on 44.2 percent shooting, including 33.3 percent from 3-point range, with 37.8 rebounds, 13.7 assists, 7.3 steals and 3.3 blocks per game, while allowing 67.6 points on 41 percent shooting, including 35.9 percent from 3-point range. Continuing its tradition of strong free throw shooting, they are connecting on 74.8 percent from the line.
  3. The Big 12's third-best scoring offense team has 4 players averaging in double figures led by senior Austin Reaves, who is averaging 16.8 points per game on 44 percent shooting to go with team-highs in both rebounding (5.5 rpg.) and assists (5.2 apg.) in 33.6 minutes per game. Sophomore De'Vion Harmon is averaging 12.4 points on 46.6 percent shooting, while senior Brady Manek and junior Umoja Gibson are averaging 10.5 and 10.4 points per game. Gibson is tops in 3-pointers (46) on 44.7 percent shooting.
  4. Oklahoma is led by 10th-year head coach Lon Kruger, who has a 193-122 (.613) record, which includes 6 NCAA Tournaments and the 2016 Final Four . He is 672-426 (.612) in his 35th season as a head coach, which includes an 81-46 (.638) mark and 4 NCAA Tournaments at K-State from 1986-90.  


SERIES HISTORY

  1. K-State and Oklahoma will meet for the 213th time in their histories with the Sooners holding a 110-102 advantage in a series that dates to 1920. The Wildcats are 63-36 at home, including a 17-8 mark at Bramlage Coliseum with 8 straight victories dating back to 2013.
  2. K-State has won 8 of the last 13 meetings with Oklahoma, which includes a split of the series in 2019-20. The Sooners will be looking for the season sweep for the first time since 2011-12 after posting a 76-50 win at home on Jan. 19, as Harmon led the team with 16 points.
  3. Head coach Bruce Weber is 11-6 all-time against Oklahoma, including an 8-0 mark at home, while he is 11-6 against head coach Lon Kruger. Kruger is 10-11 all-time against his alma mater, including 2-8 on the road.


LAST TIME OUT: K-STATE 62, TCU 54

  1. Kansas State ended the game on a 16-3 run, including a pivotal 10-0 run down by 5 points with 5 minutes to play, as the Wildcats snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 62-54 win over TCU in front of a limited capacity crowd of 2,145 fans at Schollmaier Arena on Saturday afternoon.
  2. The win was the first for K-State in the calendar year 2021 and the first since a 60-58 victory over Omaha on December 29, 2020. It also ended a 12-game skid in Big 12 action and was the first since earning a 74-65 win at Iowa State in the Big 12 opener on December 15, 2020.
  3. Down 51-46 with just 5 minutes to play after a 3-point play by freshman Mike Miles, the Wildcats erupted for 10 consecutive points over a more than 2 minute stretch that was capped by a 3-pointer from freshman Selton Miguel with 2:34 remaining. After Miles added a pair of free throws to again close the deficit to one possession at 56-53, freshman Nijel Pack knocked down a pull-up jumper to push it back out to 58-53 with 1:22 to play.
  4. Although the offense provided the lift at the right moment, it was the defense that was key to victory. K-State held TCU to an opponent-low 31.9 percent (15-of-47) shooting, including 26.9 percent (7-of-26) in the second half. In all, the Wildcats held the Horned Frogs to opponent season-lows in 5 categories, including field goals made (15) and attempted (47), field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage (22.2) and assists (6). The Miles' layup with 5:01 left was the Horned Frogs' last made field goal in the game.
  5. Senior Mike McGuirl was impressive all-around in helping the Wildcats halt the losing streak, scoring his game-high 16 points on 6-of-14 field goals, including a pair of 3-pointers, to go with a career-high 9 rebounds and game-high 5 assists in 36 minutes. He now has a team-leading 16 double-digit scoring games, while it marked the first time in his career that he led the team in points, rebounds and assists.
  6. Pack (12) and fellow freshman Davion Bradford (10) also registered double figures, while Miguel chipped in 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and team-high 2 steals. Miguel was stellar on the defensive end, holding TCU's leading scorer and the Big 12's fourth-leading scorer -- junior R.J. Nembhard -- to 14 points on 3-of-11 shooting, including 1-of-4 from 3-point range, with half (7) coming from the free throw line.


INJURIES, YOUTH DEFINE SEASON SO FAR FOR K-STATE 

  1. Very few teams in the country have had to deal with the mixture of injuries, COVID-19 protocols and youth quite like K-State has in 2020-21. Already one of the country's most inexperienced teams with just 4 returning lettermen (only 4 schools have fewer) and 11 underclassmen (only 6 schools have more), the Wildcats have seen 9 different players combined to miss 61 games this season, while senior Mike McGuirl is the only player to start all 24 games with 8 different starting lineups.


GAMES MISSED IN 2020-21 [61]

  1. Montavious Murphy â€“ 20 (expected to miss rest of season)
  2. Luke Kasubke - 13 (saw first action at Texas)
  3. Kaosi Ezeagu - 10 (returned to action at Oklahoma)
  4. Antonio Gordon - 4 (returned to action at Texas)
  5. Carlton Linguard, Jr. - 4 (returned to action vs. Fort Hays State)
  6. Nijel Pack - 4 (returned to action at Baylor)
  7. DaJuan Gordon - 4 (returned to action vs. Kansas)
  8. Seryee Lewis - 1 (returned to action at Texas)
  9. Rudi Williams â€“ 1 (missed the game at TCU)
  1. K-State is one of just 10 schools (Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, James Madison, Marist, Montana North Carolina, Sacred Heart and Washington State) to start at least 3 true freshmen in one game, while the 57 combined starts by Wildcat true freshmen rank second nationally to Kentucky's 63 and just ahead of Washington State's 55.



A SPECIAL FRESHMAN

  1. Freshman Nijel Pack is off to an impressive start to his K-State career, as he ranks among team leaders in several categories, including scoring (12.3 ppg./1st), double-digit scoring games (13/2nd), field goals (91/2nd), 3-point field goals made (46/2nd), assists (73/2nd), steals (25/1st) and minutes per game (33.2/2nd). He is attempting to become the first true freshman to lead the Wildcats in scoring since Marcus Foster averaged 15.5 points during the 2013-14 season.
  2. Before missing the Oklahoma State game on Jan. 9, Pack had started to hit his scoring groove, scoring in double figures in 3 of 4 games, including a then season-high 17 points at No. 18/19 Texas Tech (1/5/21). He returned to the court against No. 2/2 Baylor on Jan. 27 and has continued his stellar play, rattling off double-digit scoring games in 7 of the last 8 games.
  3. It was during this stretch that Pack came up  with a special performance in K-State's 68-61 loss to Texas A&M in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge Jan. 30, as the rookie scored a season-high 26 points on 9-of-16 field goals, including  8-of-14 from 3-point range, to go with 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals in just his second game back from missing 4 games due to COVID-19 protocols. 
  4. Dating back to the Big 12 opener with TCU on Jan. 2, Pack has scored in double figures 9 of the last 10 games. In this 10-game span, he is averaging 14.6 points on 42.6 percent (52-of-122) shooting, including 40 percent (28-of-70) from 3-point range, with 3.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals.
  5. The 26-point effort was the most by a Wildcat true freshman since Marcus Foster scored 34 points against Texas on Feb. 8, 2014. The 8 3-pointers tie for the second-most in a game in school history and are the most-ever by a Wildcat freshman. His 8 treys are only surpassed by Askia Jones' school-record 14 against Fresno State on March 24, 1994, while Steve Henson (vs. Iowa State on Feb. 17, 1990) and Cortez Groves (vs. Texas A&M on March 23, 2000) also had 8 treys in a game. It was his team-leading eighth game of at least 5 assists, while he tied his season-high with 3 steals.
  6. Pack ranks fourth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made per game (2.30), as he has knocked down at least 3 triples in 9 games with a season-high 8 vs. Texas A&M (1/30/21). His 46 makes are the second-most by a true freshman in school history, while his 38.7 3-point field goal percentage is on pace to be the best-ever by a freshman. He ranks fourth in the Big 12 with a 1.97 assist/turnover ratio, while he is also in the Top 15 in steals (10th/1.25), assists (12th/3.65) and minutes (10th/33.2).


McGUIRL DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES

  1. Mike McGuirl is making the most of his senior season, as he is among the leaders in a number of categories, including first in total points (276), double-digit scoring games (16), field goals made (92) and attempted (261), 3-point field goals made (49) and attempted (153), assists (85) and minutes (34.1). He is second in scoring (11.5 ppg.) and steals (22).
  2. McGuirl ranks in the Top 15 in several categories in the Big 12, including 13th in assists (3.54 apg.), 10th in assist-turnover ratio (1.37), 11th in 3-point field goals made (2.04) and sixth in minutes (34.1 mpg.).
  3. McGuirl has led the team in scoring a team-best 9 times, while he has led in rebounding 3 times, in assists 11 times and in steals on 7 occasions. For the first time in his career, he led the team in scoring (16), rebounding (9) and assists (5) in the win over TCU on Saturday.
  4. McGuirl's 16 double-digit scoring games have already surpassed his entire career total (10) that he had entering the 2020-21 season. He opened the year with his first career 20-point game vs. Drake on Nov. 25 with 22 points then equaled it vs. Fort Hays State (12/8/20). He has scored in double figures in 12 of the last 16 games, where he is averaging 11.1 points per game.
  5. In addition to his scoring, McGuirl has also set up his teammates, dishing out a team-best 85 assists (to 62 turnovers). He has 9 games at least 5 assists this season, including a career-best 8 vs. Milwaukee (12/11/20).


AGORDON LEARNING HIS ROLE

  1. Despite an up-and-down season, sophomore Antonio Gordon is starting to settle into his role. He is averaging 5.8 points on 44.2 percent shooting with a team-best 5.7 rebounds, including 6.9 points on 49.3 percent shooting with a team-best 6.3 rebounds in Big 12 play.
  2. Gordon came off the bench with a big game against No. 2/2 Baylor (12/19/20) by collecting a career-high 23 points on 9-of-9 field goals. The 23 points tie for the eighth-most by reserve in a conference game.
  3. Since returning to start at No. 4/4 Texas (1/16/21), Gordon is averaging 6.0 points on 41.3 percent shooting with 6.6 rebounds in 26.3 minutes per game. He has started each of the last 6 games, averaging 7.3 points on 43.9 percent shooting with 8.7 rebounds in 32 minutes per game. He earned his first double-double at No. 23/22 Oklahoma State on Feb. 13, posting a team-high 15 points to go with a career-best 14 rebounds.


MR. DO-EVERYTHING

  1. Sophomore DaJuan Gordon has proved to be K-State's Mr. Do Everything, as he is third on the team in scoring at 9.2 points per game, while averaging 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. He returned to the court against No. 23/24 Kansas on Feb. 17 after missing the last 4 games due to injury, scoring a team-high 12 points on 6-of-13 field goals.
  2. Gordon is 1 of 6 guards to rank in the Big 12's Top 15 in rebounding, as he is 16th with 5.4 per game, while he is 14th in defensive rebounds (3.95).
  3. Gordon's 3 double-doubles are the most by Big 12 guard and rank sixth among all Big 12 players. Gordon's 3 career double-doubles have all come in the last 14 games played, including 2 in Big 12 play. He posted his first career double-double at Iowa State (12/15/20), scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He followed that with a 13-point, 12-rebound effort vs. Jacksonville (12/21/20) before his latest vs. Oklahoma State (1/9/21) with 14 points and 11 rebounds in a career-best 39 minutes. He has also grabbed double-digit rebounds in 4 games, including in back-to-back contests vs. Jacksonville (12/21/20) and Omaha (12/29/20). He is the first Wildcat to post double-digit rebounds in back-to-back games since Wesley Iwundu in March 2017.
  4. Gordon has scored in double figures in 10 games this season, including a career-best 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting vs. TCU (1/2/21). Seven of those 10 double-digit scoring games have come in the last 15 games.


MIGUEL ANOTHER ROOKIE HAVING A SOLID YEAR

  1. A starter in 17 of the last 19 games, freshman Selton Miguel is having a solid freshman campaign, averaging 7.3 points on 33.5 percent shooting, including 7.3 points on 32.7 percent shooting in Big 12 play. He is fourth on the team in scoring and steals (19), while his third in 3-pointers (19).
  2. Miguel's 7 double-digit scoring games have come in the last 20 outings, including a team-tying 17 points at No. 18/19 Texas Tech (1/5/21). He also scored a season-tying 17 points vs. Milwaukee (12/11/20) on 7-of-14 field goals, while he had 14 vs. No. 2/2 Baylor (12/19/20). He broke out of a recent slump in the win at TCU, scoring 9 points with 7 of the team's last 11 points.
  3. Miguel connected on a 3-pointer with 9.7 seconds left to lift K-State to a 60-58 win over Omaha on Dec. 29.  It was the rookie's first game-winner, as he capped his 11-point effort with his third trey of the game.


IMPRESSIVE YOUNG BIG MAN

  1. When starting big man Kaosi Ezeagu went down early in the season, it gave freshman Davion Bradford an opportunity to display his skills and earn valuable experience. He is averaging 7.0 on a team-best 60.7 percent shooting (68-of-112) with 4.2 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game.
  2. Bradford has scored in double figures in 7 games thus far, including scoring a season-high 18 points vs. Milwaukee (12/11/20). He also played a major role in the win at Iowa State (12/15/20) with 14 points on 5-of-7 field goals and a 4-of-4 effort from the line. He has scored in double figures 6 times in Big 12 play, including team-high 14 points at No. 4/4 Texas (1/16/21).
  3. Bradford has already shown the ability to finish at the rim, totaling a team-high 31 dunks through 24 games, which is nearly double the team-high of 17 posted by Makol Mawien in 32 games played in 2019-20 season.


IRON 'CATS

  1. Due to low numbers caused by injuries and COVID-19 protocols, K-State had just 8 available players - including 6 on scholarship - for its outing against Oklahoma State at home on Saturday, Jan. 9. To make the situation worse, sophomore Carlton Linguard, Jr., was on a minutes' limit due to a back injury (playing just over 14 minutes), while freshman Davion Bradford ended up playing just over 12 minutes due to foul issues.
  2. This caused the remaining 6 to play the bulk of the minutes, including walk-on Joe Petrakis logging a career-high 15 minutes of action.  Senior Mike McGuirl and junior Rudi Williams each played all 40 minutes, setting career-highs, while two others - sophomore DaJuan Gordon and freshmen Selton Miguel - each registered 39 minutes, also career-highs. All told, those 4 players were responsible for 158 of K-State's 200 total minutes.
  3. McGuirl and Williams are the first Wildcats to play all 40 minutes of a regulation game since Barry Brown, Jr., played all 40 against Baylor on March 2, 2019. It marked the first time two teammates played all 40 minutes in a regulation game in more than 30 years since Steve Henson and LaKeith Humphrey accomplished the feat against Oklahoma State in a 69-62 win at home on Feb. 5, 1989.


PETRAKIS EARNS SCHOLARSHIP

  1. Sophomore walk-on Joe Petrakis earned a scholarship for the rest of the 2020-21 season prior to the game with No. 14/15 West Virginia on Jan. 23.
  2. After redshirting in 2019-20, Petrakis took advantage of his opportunity with the loss numbers against Oklahoma State on Jan. 9, outscoring freshman All-American candidate Cade Cunningham (6 points to 5 points), while logging a career-high 15 minutes of action.
  3. Petrakis, who redshirt his first season in 2019-20 after playing one season at Dodge City College, scored his first career points with 6:13 left in the first half and finished with a career-high 6 points on 2-of-5 field goals, including his first 3-pointer, to go with 2 rebounds.


MURPHY EXPECTED TO MISS SEASON

  1. Sophomore Montavious Murphy has elected to have what is expected to be season-ending surgery to fix his ailing knee, which has caused him to miss 20 games this season. Murphy, who was the opening day starter vs. Drake (11/25/20), saw action in 4 games, including the first 3.
  2. Murphy, who became just the fourth true freshman to start an opener under Bruce Weber in 2019-20, has now missed 33 games in his career due to injury, including the last 6 games of his freshman season.
  3. Murphy had a solid freshman season in 2019-20, averaging 5.2 points on 40.7 percent shooting with 3.7 rebounds in 25.1 minutes per game.


UP NEXT: AT 10/13 WEST VIRGINIA (15-6, 8-4 Big 12)

  1. K-State concludes the regular season with yet another Top 10 matchup, as the Wildcats travel to Morgantown, W.Va., to take on No. 10/13 West Virginia (15-6, 8-4 Big 12) at 3 p.m., CT on ESPN2. The Mountaineers are looking to sweep the regular-season series for the first time since the 2017-18 season after posting a 69-47 win over the Wildcats in Manhattan on Jan. 23. WVU has won 6 of the last 7 meetings between the schools at the WVU Coliseum.