MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State plays host to Texas Tech in key Big 12 battle tonight.
- Kansas State (7-8, 0-3 Big 12) embarks on one of its most challenging stretches of the season on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats welcome fellow reigning Big 12 co-champion and No. 23/23 Texas Tech (10-5, 1-2 Big 12) to Bramlage Coliseum. The Red Raiders are the first of 3 consecutive Top 25 teams for K-State, which includes a home game with No. 12/13 West Virginia (13-2, 2-1 Big 12) on Saturday and a trip to No. 6/7 Kansas (12-3, 2-1 Big 12) on Jan. 21. Tuesday's game will tip at 7 p.m., CT on Big 12 Now with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Lance Blanks (analyst) on the call.
- K-State has performed well against Top 25 opponents at Bramlage Coliseum since its opening in 1988, posting a 38-60 (.388) record against ranked foes, including a 35-57 (.380) mark against ranked Big 12 teams. Those numbers are even better under head coach Bruce Weber, where the Wildcats have tallied a 16-14 (.533) record vs. Top 25 teams. Among those 16 victories are 11 over Top 15 opponents, including No. 1 Oklahoma in 2016 and No. 14 Texas Tech and No. 13 Kansas last season.
- K-State saw its struggles continue on Saturday night, as Texas opened the second half on a 12-0 run, part of a 20-2 run that was sandwiched between the two halves, to help them snap a 3-game losing streak to the Wildcats at home in a 64-50 victory at the Frank Erwin Center. With K-State leading 25-23 after a layup by junior Cartier Diarra with 2:48 before halftime, Texas scored 20 of the next 22 points, flipping a 2-point deficit into a 43-27 lead with 13:11 to play. The 50 points marked a season-low, as the Wildcats connected on 37 percent (20-of-54) from the field, including 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from 3-point range. The loss punctuated a frustrating day for K-State, which saw the team not arrive in Austin until 2:30 p.m., CT due to inclement weather and mechanical issues with the team's charter flight.
- Texas Tech enters Tuesday's game on the heels of back-to-back losses to current No. 2/2 Baylor (52-57) at home and at 12/13 West Virginia (54-66) last week. The Red Raiders had won 5 consecutive games before their recent skid with their other 3 losses coming in overtime to both Creighton (76-83) and DePaul (60-65) and to current nationally ranked Iowa (61-72). The reigning national runner ups are led by one of the nation's top freshmen in Jahmi'us Ramsey (16.8 ppg., who has averaged 16.2 points in the last 5 games, while 3 other players (Davide Moretti, Terrence Shannon, Jr., and Kyler Edwards) also average double figures.
- This will be the 41st meeting between K-State and Texas Tech with the Wildcats holding a 24-16 advantage, including a 16-3 mark at home. The Red Raiders had won 6 of the previous 8 meetings (3 in a row, before the Wildcats earned a 58-45 win in the last meeting at Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 22, 2019.
- With the offense continuing to develop, K-State has had to rely on its defensive foundation. The Wildcats are allowing just 60.8 points on 40.5 percent shooting, including 32.3 percent from 3-point range, while averaging 16.9 turnovers forced and a Big 12-best 8.8 steals per game. K-State ranks 27th in scoring defense, 31st in steals and 34th in turnovers forced. The team is allowing just 54.4 points on 37.3 percent shooting, including 27.1 percent from 3-point range, in their 7 wins compared to 66.4 points on 43.3 percent shooting, including 36.8 percent from long range, in their 8 losses.
NOTES ON 23/23 TEXAS TECH
- No. 23/23 Texas Tech (10-5, 1-2 Big 12) has dropped consecutive games in Big 12 play to current No. 2/2 Baylor (52-57) and at No. 12/13 West Virginia (54-66) after winning 5 in a row from Dec. 10 to Jan. 4. Two of the Red Raiders' 3 other losses have come in overtime to Creighton (76-83) and at DePaul (60-65) and to ranked Iowa team (61-72) at a neutral site. In the 66-54 loss to West Virginia on Saturday, Texas Tech connected on just 28.4 percent from the field, including 21.4 percent from 3-point range.
- Texas Tech is averaging 73.7 points on 43.6 percent shooting, including 32.4 percent from 3-point range, to go with 37.3 rebounds, 16.9 assists, 7.8 steals and 3.7 blocks per game, while allowing 62.1 points on 39.6 percent shooting, including 32.8 percent from 3-point range. The team is averaging 63.7 points in Big 12 play on 38.8 percent shooting, including 29.3 percent from 3-point range, while allowing 57.7 points on 37.7 percent shooting.
- The Red Raiders return several key components from last season's run to the NCAA Championship game, including Davide Moretti (13.0 ppg.) and Kyler Edwards (10.5 ppg., but have added several important pieces in freshmen Jahmi'us Ramsey, who leads the team in scoring at 16.8 points on 46.5 percent shooting, including 46.8 percent from 3-point range to go with 5.3 rebounds and a team-best 1.7 steals per game in 11 games. Fellow freshman Terrence Shannon, Jr., averages 11.6 points, while transfers T.J. Holyfield (9.1 ppg., 4.8 rpg.) and Chris Clarke (6.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg., 5.9 apg.) have brought experience to a team that lost 11 lettermen. Clarke paces the team in both rebounding and assists in starting just 5 games.
- Texas Tech is led by reigning National Coach of the Year canddiate head coach Chris Beard, who has posted an 86-36 (.705) record in his fourth season. He has a 257-86 (.749) overall record in his 11th season as a head coach, which includes head-coaching stints at McMurry (2012-13, Angelo State (2013-15) and Little Rock (2015-16).
- K-State and Texas Tech will meet for the 41st time in their histories with the Wildcats holding a 24-16 advantage in the series, including a 16-3 mark at home. The Wildcats own a slight 17-15 edge since the start of Big 12 play.
- Texas Tech has won 6 of the last 9 meetings, including a 4-2 mark under head coach Chris Beard. Last season, the teams split their 2 meetings with the Red Raiders winning 63-57 at home on Jan. 5, while the Wildcats snapped a 3-game skid in the series with a 58-45 win at home on Jan. 22, 2019.
- Head coach Bruce Weber is 9-6 all-time against Texas Tech, including a 6-1 mark at home, while Weber is 2-4 against head coach Chris Beard.
- Junior Cartier Diarra has had the most success against Texas Tech in his career, averaging 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 4 career games with 2 starts, while senior Xavier Sneed has averaged just 4.7 points in 6 career games.
HISTORY AT BRAMLAGE COLISEUM
- K-State has posted a 384-120 (.762) all-time record at Bramlage Coliseum since its opening in the 1988-89 season. The 384 wins are the most at a home venue for the Wildcats, surpassing the 378 at Ahearn Field House (1950-88).
- K-State has registered a 184-40 (.821) record at home over the past 14 seasons, including a 79-34 (.699) mark in Big 12 play. The 184 wins rank fourth among all Big 12 schools in that span, while the 79 league victories at home are only surpassed by Kansas and Texas.
- Head coach Bruce Weber has tallied a 99-24 (.805) record at Bramlage Coliseum since taking over at K-State in 2012-13 with non-conference home losses to Northern Colorado (2013, Texas Southern (2014, Georgia (2014) and Marquette (2019). The 24 losses (20 of which have come in Big 12 play) have come by a grand total of 184 points or just 7.7 points per game.
LAST TIME OUT: TEXAS 64, K-STATE 50
- Texas opened the second half on a 12-0 run, part of a 20-2 run that was sandwiched between the two halves, as the Longhorns earned their first Big 12 win of the season and kept Kansas State winless in league play with a 64-50 win on Saturday night before 8,496 fans at the Frank Erwin Center.
- The loss punctuated a frustrating day for K-State, which saw the team not arrive in Austin until 2:30 p.m., on Saturday due to weather delays and mechanical issues with the team's charter flight.
- With K-State leading 25-23 after a layup by junior Cartier Diarra with 2:48 before halftime, Texas scored 20 of the game's next 22 points, flipping a two-point deficit into a 43-27 lead with 13:11 to play. The Wildcats missed their first 12 field goals of the second half before the Longhorns were called for a goaltend on a Diarra layup at the 12:00 mark. The team shot just 30 percent (9-of-30) after halftime with 10 turnovers.
- In contrast, the Texas offense was firing on all cylinders for much of the game, as the Longhorns connected on 49 percent (24-of-49) from the field, including 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from 3-point range, in leading for nearly 34 minutes. They became the second consecutive team to knock down 10 3-pointers against K-State after TCU had 10 on Jan. 7.
- Diarra was the only Wildcat to score in double figures with a game-tying 14 points on 6-of-16 field goals to go with 5 assists, while freshman DaJuan Gordon added 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals off the bench.
- Junior Matt Coleman III paced 3 Longhorns in double figures with a game-tying 14 points on 4-of-12 field goals, while sophomore Courtney Ramey and junior Jase Febres added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Junior Jericho Sims chipped in 8 points, a game-high 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.
- The 50 points marked a season-low for K-State, as the team connected on 37 percent (20-of-54) from the field, including 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from 3-point range, made just 5 of 9 free throws. The Wildcats did take advantage of some Longhorn turnovers, scoring 23 points off 20 miscues.
- It marked just the second double-digit loss for the Wildcats (and largest of the season) after losing 6 by single digits.
LEADING WITH DEFENSE
- K-State has continued its reputation as one of the top defensive teams in the country under head coach Bruce Weber, holding its first 15 opponents to 60.8 points on 40.5 percent shooting (320-of-791, including 32.3 percent (98-of-303) from 3-point range, while posting a Big 12-best 8.8 steals and forcing 16.9 turnovers per game (third in the Big 12).
- K-State ranks among Top 40 in 3 defensive categories, including 27th in scoring defense, 31st in steals per game and 34th in turnovers forced (16.9).
- K-State has held 25 of its last 49 opponents to 60 points or less with just four eclipsing 70 (with 3 occurring in the last 16 games). The squad has held 94 opponents to 60 points or less in Bruce Weber's tenure, boasting an 85-9 mark in those contests. The Wildcats are 6-1 this season when holding an opponent below 60 points, including their first 4 wins.
- K-State had one of the top defensive teams in the country in 2018-19, holding opponents to 59.6 points on 41.5 percent shooting, including 31.4 percent from 3-point range, while forcing 14.8 turnovers per game and averaging 7.5 steals per game. The Wildcats ranked among the nation's best in a number of defensive categories, including fourth in scoring defense, 16th in turnover margin (+3.5, 36th in 3-point field goal percentage defense, 43rd in total steals (256) and 48th in steals per game.
- The 59.6 points per game average was the lowest opponent scoring average since the introduction of the shot clock in 1985-86, surpassing the 60.4 points per game average in 2012-13, while it was the sixth-lowest all-time and the lowest since the 1982-83 team allowed 58.4 points per game. Only eight other teams (1948-49, 1949-50, 1950-51, 1961-62, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83) allowed less than 60 points per game in school history.
- K-State held foes to an average of 14.5 points under their average in 2018-19, including a 14.6 average in Big 12 play. Eleven opponents (6 Big 12 foes) were held to 20 or more points under their average, most notably Texas Tech (26.6, TCU (25.4 and 23.5, Iowa State (24.3) and OSU (21.8).
- In Big 12 play, K-State allowed 59.6 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting, including 33.8 percent from 3-point range. It is the school's lowest defensive scoring average in a Big 12 season and a tie for the ninth-best in a conference season and the lowest since 1961-62. The Wildcats held Big 12 opponents (Iowa State, TCU [twice], Texas Tech, Oklahoma State [twice], West Virginia, Baylor and Oklahoma) to 60 points or less on 9 occasions.
POINTS OFF TURNOVERS
- K-State is once again using its defense to generate offense, as the Wildcats are forcing 16.9 turnovers per game, including 8.8 steals per game, while averaging 17.4 points per game off those opponent turnovers.
- K-State has scored 20 or more points off opponent turnovers 7 times this season, including a season-high 26 against Alabama State on Dec. 11. The team has also scored 20 or more points off turnovers against Monmouth (21, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (20, Pittsburgh (24) Bradley (22, Florida A&M (20) and most recently at Texas (23).
- K-State has forced 5 opponents into 20 or more turnovers, including a season-best 25 turnovers by UNLV and Monmonth.
- K-State has scored nearly 4,000 points (3,936) off turnovers during head coach Bruce Weber's tenure, an average of 15.5 points per game. In 2018-19, the Wildcats averaged 17.4 points off turnovers, outscoring opponents, 590-362. The team posted 12 games of 20 or more points off turnovers.
SCORING FROM 3
- K-State has started to find some offensive identity from the 3-point line, where the the Wildcats rank fifth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made (7.27) and 3-point field goal percentage (32.4). The Wildcats tied a season-high with 12 against Oklahoma in the Big 12 opener on Jan. 4.
- Since connecting on just 22.2 percent (14-of-63) from 3-point range in the first 3 games, the Wildcats are hitting on 34.8 percent (95-of-273) from long range in the last 12 games, an average of 7.9 makes per game. During the last 11 games, the team has posted 10 or more 3-point field goals in 4 games and at least 7 3-pointers in 4 other games.
- Senior Xavier Sneed leads all Wildcats with 30 3-point field goals, which includes 2 games of at least 5 treys, while junior Cartier Diarra (20, junior Mike McGuirl (20) and freshman DaJuan Gordon (12) all have double-digit makes. In all, 10 players have at least one triple this season.
2-POINTERS HAVE BEEN KEY
- With its 3-point percentage nearly identical in wins (32.5; 54-of-166) as in losses (32.4; 55-of-170, K-State's 2-point field goal percentage has been a key factor in its wins this season. On the year, the Wildcats are connecting on 47.7 percent (234-of-491) from inside the 3-point line.
- K-State is connecting on 45.5 percent (181-of-398) of its field goals in the 7 wins, including 54.7 percent (127-of-232) from inside the arc, while the team is hitting just 37.8 percent (162-of-429) of their field goals in the 8 losses, including 41.3 percent (107-of-259) from inside the arc.
- This has been illustrated in the losses to Marquette and Mississippi State, as K-State connected on 32.3 percent (20-of-62) of its field goals, including 33.3 percent (13-of-39) from inside the arc, in the 73-65 loss to the Golden Eagles and 32.6 percent (14-of-43) of its field goals, including 32 percent (8-of-25) from inside the arc, in the 67-61 loss to the Bulldogs.
- No 2 players have been as impactful in this statistic, as senior Xavier Sneed and junior Cartier Diarra.
- Sneed is averaging a team-best 17.1 points on 48.8 percent (42-of-86) shooting, including 61 percent (25-of-41) from inside the arc, in the 7 wins, while he is averaging 12.4 points on just 30.8 percent (28-of-91) shooting in the 8 losses, including 33.3 percent (15-of-45) from inside the arc.
- Diarra is averaging 13.4 points on 41.5 percent (34-of-82) shooting, including 52.2 percent (24-of-46) from inside the arc, in the 7 wins, while he is averaging 11 points on 38.0 percent (30-of-79) shooting, including 46.5 percent (20-of-43) from inside the arc, in the 8 losses.
RECAPPING NON-CONFERENCE HISTORY
- K-State wrapped up non-conference play with a 69-67 win over Tulsa on Dec. 30. The win snapped a 2-game skid and helped the Wildcats finish with a winning record in non-conference play with 14th consecutive season. The team has one more non-conference game at Alabama on Jan. 25.
- K-State has a 111-8 (.932) record at home venues (includes home games played at Bramlage Coliseum, INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita and the Sprint Center in Kansas City) in non-conference play dating back to the 2006-07 season, including a 102-6 (.944) mark at Bramlage Coliseum.
- Despite seeing their 33-game winning streak end at Bramlage Coliseum with a loss to Marquette on Dec. 7, the Wildcats have still won 98 of their last 104 non-conference home games. The last home non-conference loss before Marquette came against Georgia, 50-46, on Dec. 31, 2014.
- K-State has posted a 147-41 (.781) record in non-conference play since the 2006-07 season, which includes a 10-3 (.769) mark in 2018-19. The team has posted double-digit non-conference wins in 12 of the last 13 years.
- Since going 7-6 in non-conference in 2014-15, which included back-to-back losses to Texas Southern and Georgia, the Wildcats has won double-digit non-conference games each of the past four seasons and is 50-14 (.781) in non-conference play since the start of 2015-16 season.
SNEED GETTING HOT
- Senior Xavier Sneed has led the Wildcats in scoring in 8 of the last 14 games, averaging 15 points on 40.2 percent shooting (66-of-164, including 33.7 percent (29-of-86) from 3-point range, which includes wins against UNLV, Monmouth, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Florida A&M and Alabama State.
- Sneed scored 19 points in the overtime win over UNLV, including the go-ahead jumper with 28 seconds left, then followed that up with a 15-point effort in the win over Monmouth on Nov. 13 before posting 21 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 19. His 18-point effort against Florida A&M on Dec. 2 lifted him to the Top 20 scoring, while he claimed his second 20-point game with 20 against Alabama State on Dec. 11. He has a combined 75 points in the last 5 games, including a season-best 22 against Oklahoma on Jan. 4.
- With his first rebound against Marquette on Dec. 7, Sneed became the 13th player in school history with at least 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. He currently has 1,227 points in 120 career games to go with 536 rebounds. He joins a 1,000-point/500-rebound list that includes legends Dick Knostman, Jack Parr, Bob Boozer, David Hall, Steve Mitchell, Rolando Blackman, Ed Nealy, Jamar Samuels, Rodney McGruder, Thomas Gipson, Wes Iwundu and Dean Wade.
- Sneed is one of 9 players to rank in the Big 12's Top 20 in both scoring and rebounding, as he ranks ninth in scoring (14.6 ppg.) and 18th in rebounding (5.1 rpg.). He joins Iowa State's Tyrese Haliburton, Oklahoma's Austin Reaves, Kristian Doolittle and Brady Manek, Kansas' Udoka Azubuike, TCU's Desmond Bane and West Virginia's Oscar Tshiebwe. Sneed also ranks seventh in steals (1.67, ninth in 3-point field goals made (2.00, 13th in
- minutes (31.36) and free throw percentage (71.0).
DIARRA PROVING TO BE A SOLID PG
- Junior Cartier Diarra is proving to be a solid point guard for the Wildcats, averaging 12.1 points on 39.8 percent (64-of-161) shooting with 5.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 30.9 minutes per game. He has led the team in scoring 6 times, including 4 times in the last 8 games, while has led the way in assists in 13 of 15 games to start the season.
- Diarra's 86 assists are the most by a Wildcat in the first 15 games since assists began being kept in 1976-77, surpassing the previous 15-game high of 80 done by (current UTSA head coach) Steve Henson in 1988-89. He has at least 5 assists in 12 of 15 games, including a career-high 10 vs. Alabama State on Dec. 11. He became the first Wildcat with a 10-assist game since Marcus Foster (at Baylor) on Feb. 15, 2014.
- Diarra ranks among the top 45 nationally in both assists (32nd/5.7 apg.) and total assists (43rd/86).
- Diarra ranks third in assists and fourth in steals in the Big 12, while he is ninth in assist/turnover ratio (1.76) and 15th in scoring.
- Diarra was the only player to score in double figures in the first 2 games, including a career-best 23 points in the opener against North Dakota State on Nov. 5, connecting on 8-of-21 field goals, including 2-of-8 from 3-point range, and went a perfect 5-of-5 from the line to go with 6 rebounds and 6 assists in 32 minutes. He followed that with 12 points before fouling out in the overtime win at UNLV on Nov. 9.
- Diarra has scored in double figures in 7 times in the last 11 games, including team-highs vs. Marquette (14, Mississippi State (20) and Tulsa (25). During that span, he is averaging 12 points on 42.6 percent shooting to go with 5.4 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 30.5 minutes per game.
DIARRA NAMED BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK DEC. 30
- Junior Cartier Diarra earned his first career Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honor on Dec. 31 after scoring a career-best 25 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 22.4 seconds left, to help the Wildcats defeat Tulsa, 69-67, on Dec. 30.
- Diarra is the first Wildcat to earn the Big 12's weekly honor since Barry Brown, Jr., and Dean Wade won the accolade in back-to-back weeks on January 14 and 21, 2019. Overall, it marks the school's 29th Player of the Week honor since the inception of the Big 12 in 1997, including the 13th under head coach Bruce Weber.
- Diarra collected his third 20-point game of the season in Sunday's victory over the Golden Hurricane, connecting on 8-of-16 from the field, including 6-of-11 from beyond the arc, to go with a 3-of-4 effort from the line, a game-high 7 assists and 5 rebounds in 33 minutes of action. His 6 3-pointers were a career-high and the most by a Wildcat since teammate Xavier Sneed knocked down 6 triples against West Virginia on Jan. 1, 2018.
McGUIRL STEPPING UP
- Junior Mike McGuirl is starting to become a consistent offensive weapon for the Wildcats, as he has scored in double figures in 3 of the last 10 games, including a season-high 16 points vs. Florida A&M on Dec. 2. During that 10-game span, he is averaging 7.4 points on 46.2 percent (24-of-52) shooting, including 47.1 percent (16-of-34) from 3-point range.
- McGuirl averaged just 3.5 points in the first 4 games on 33.3 percent (4-of-12) shooting, including 28.6 percent (2-of-7) from 3-point range. He has averaged 7.3 points in the last 11 games on 46.4 percent (26-of-56) shooting, including 48.7 percent (18-of-37) from 3-point range.
- McGuirl is connecting on 44.1 percent (30-of-68) from the field, including 45.5 percent (20-of-44) from 3-point range. He ranks first on the team in 3-point field goal percentage and tied for second in 3-point field goals (20, while he has already surpassed his entire 3-point total (18) from 2018-19.
FRESHMEN PLAYING A MAJOR ROLE
- Three freshmen (DaJuan Gordon, Antonio Gordon and Montavious Murphy) are playing major roles for the Wildcats, as each are averaging 20 or more minutes this season, including 7 starts by Antonio Gordon and 7 by Murphy. Murphy missed 7 games due to injury.
- DaJuan Gordon has played in all 15 games, averaging 22.3 minutes per game to lead all reserves. He has scored in double figures 3 times, including a 13-point effort against Alabama State on Dec. 12. He has connected on 45.9 percent (39-of-85) from the field and 34.3 percent (12-of-35) from 3.
- Antonio Gordon has seen action in 13 games, averaging 21.3 minutes per game. He is averaging 5.5 points on 36.8 percent shooting (25-of-68, including 24.2 percent (8-of-33) from 3-point range, to go with 4.7 rebounds.
- Murphy, who became the first true freshmen to start an opener since 2015, started each of the first 3 games of the season before his injury on Nov. 13. He returned to play 18 minutes against Saint Louis before starting against Tulsa, Oklahoma, TCU and Texas and averaging 23.8 minutes per game.
WEBER NAMED USA BASKETBALL CO-NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
- After leading Team USA to a gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Cup this past summer, K-State men's basketball coach Bruce Weber was selected as the co-recipient of the 2019 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award.
- Weber shared the honor with Louisville women's basketball coach Jeff Walz, who also led the USA Women's U19 World Cup Team to a gold medal on July 20-28 in Bangkok, Thailand.
- Since 1996, USA Basketball has awarded its National Coach of the Year honor to a USA Basketball head coach, who during the year of the award, made a significant impact on the success of the individual athlete and team performance at the highest levels of competition in a manner consistent with the highest ethical, professional and moral standards.
- Weber, who served as a head coach in the USA Basketball system for the first time in his career, led Team USA to their seventh gold medal at the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) U19 World Cup, including the first since 2015, with a perfect 7-0 record. Team USA capped their perfect performance with a 93-79 win over Mali in the gold-medal game in Greece on July 7.
- Team USA averaged better than 100 points per game and won the tournament by an average of 28.7 points per game, including victories over New Zealand (111-71, Lithuania (102-84) and Senegal (87-58) to capture Group A then wins over Latvia (116-66) in the group of 16, Russia (95-80) in the medal round, Lithuania (102-67) in the semifinals and Mali (93-79) in the finals. The team ranked first in points per game (100.9, field goal percentage (.475, assists per game (28.6 apg.) and steals per game (15.9 spg.).
A QUICK LOOK AT K-STATE
- The Wildcats return nine lettermen, including four players (Xavier Sneed, Makol Mawien, Cartier Diarra and Mike McGuirl) who registered starts, in 2019-20 from a squad that posted a 25-9 overall record a year ago and earned a share of the Big 12 regular-season championship for the second time under head coach Bruce Weber. The 25-win season was the seventh in school history, including the first time in consecutive seasons. K-State is one of just 24 schools -- 15 in power conferences -- and 3 in the Big 12 (Kansas and Texas Tech) -- with 25 wins in each of the last 2 seasons.
- All-Big 12 honorable mention Xavier Sneed (10.6 ppg., 5.5 rpg., fellow senior Makol Mawien (7.0 ppg., 4.9 rpg.) and key reserve and junior Cartier Diarra (6.8 ppg., 3.3 rpg.) form the core of a group returning for the Wildcats, who must replace their top three scorers in Barry Brown, Jr. (14.6 ppg., Dean Wade (12.9 ppg.) and Kamau Stokes (11.0 ppg.). All three have played pivotal roles with the consecutive 25-win seasons, including 71 and 70 starts, respectively, by Mawien and Sneed and major minutes by Diarra.
- Sneed is the team's top returner in nearly every stat category, including scoring (349, rebounding (182, assists (64, steals (45) and minutes (1014). He enters his senior season ranking 29th on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,008 points having seen action in 105 career games with starts in 70 of the last 71 games. Mawien, who has started every game of his K-State career, has the fifth-highest career field goal percentage (56.1; 204-of-364) in school history after posting the sixth-highest (59.8; 104-of-174) field goal percentage in a single season as a junior in 2017-18. Diarra scored in double figures in four consecutive games, including three in Big 12 play, before missing eight games due to a broken finger. He did come back to play in the last three games with Wade out for the season, including a 15-point effort against Iowa State in the semifinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship and a 9-point effort in the NCAA Tournament.
- The Wildcats also return rising senior Pierson McAtee (0.5 ppg., 0.5 rpg., juniors Mike McGuirl (3.6 ppg., 1.5 rpg., Levi Stockard III (1.8 ppg., 1.5 rpg.) and James Love III (0.3 ppg., 0.4 rpg., sophomores Nigel Shadd (0.2 ppg., 0.4 rpg.) and Shaun Williams [was Neal-Williams] (1.4 ppg., 1.1 rpg.).
'CATS WELCOME FIVE NEWCOMERS
- The Wildcats will welcome five newcomers in 2019-20, including a pair of junior college transfers (David Sloan and Joe Petrakis) and three true freshmen (Antonio Gordon, DaJuan Gordon and Montavious Murphy).
- Sloan was regarded as one of the top community colleges players in the country (and a Top 150 player out of high school) in 2018-19 after helping John A. Logan College to a 27-5 overall record as a sophomore. The NJCAA All-American twice led the NJCAA ranks in both total assists and assists per game, including 10.2 assists per game a year ago.
- The freshmen were all consensus Top 200 prospects, as the recruiting class was a consensus Top 40 class nationally by a number of recruiting services, ranking No. 39 by Rivals.com and No. 40 by 247Sports.com. DaJuan Gordon was a consensus Top 150 player by both recruiting services.
- Antonio Gordon scored nearly 1,600 points in his high school career at Eisenhower High School in Lawton, Okla., and averaged 26.3 points and 10.1 rebounds as a senior in 2018-19. DaJuan Gordon was the Chicago Sun-Times City Player of the Year after averaging 17.6 points in leading Curie to the school's first city title. Murphy was one of the best players in Houston and a finalist for the Guy V. Lewis Award, averaging 19 points and 10 rebounds as a senior at Concordia Lutheran.
'CATS PICKED NINTH IN BIG 12 POLL;
SNEED NAMED HONORABLE MENTION ALL-BIG 12
- K-State was picked to finish ninth by the league coaches in the annual Big 12 Preseason poll released on Oct. 17, as the Wildcats received 23 points. Kansas was selected first for the ninth consecutive season, while Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas and West Virginia rounded out the Top 5.
- The ninth-place selection tied for the lowest by a K-State team in the history of the 10-team poll, joining the 2016-17 team which was also picked to finish ninth by the league coaches. The team has been picked to finish eighth or worse 13 times in the history of the 24-year poll, including eighth in 2001-02, 2003-04, 2008-09, 2015-16 and 2017-18, ninth in 1996-97, 2004-05, 10th in 1999-2000, 11th in 2002-03 and 2005-06 and 12th in 1997-98 and 2000-01.
- Senior Xavier Sneed was one of eight players to be selected to the honorable mention All-Big 12 preseason team, along with Oklahoma's Kristian Doolittle, Oklahoma State's Yor Anei, Texas' Matt Coleman, Texas Tech's Chris Clarke, Davide Moretti and Jahmi'us Ramey and West Virginia's Derek Culver.
- Kansas' Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson, along with Baylor's Tristan Clark, Iowa State's Tyrese Haliburton and TCU's Desmond Bane were named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team. Azubuike was the Preseason Player of the Year, while Chris Clarke was the Preseason Newcomer of the Year and West Virginia's Oscar Tshiebwe was the Preseason Freshman of the Year.
SNEED NAMED CANDIDATE FOR JULIUS ERVING AWARD
- Senior Xavier Sneed was named one of 20 watch list members for the 2020 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, as announced by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Oct. 16.
- Sneed was one of two Big 12 players named to the watch list, including Texas Tech transfer Chris Clarke. Other candidates include Arizona's Josh Green, Duke's Matthew Hurt, Florida's Scottie Lewis, Gonzaga's Corey Kispert, Harvard's Seth Towns, Kentucky's Kahlil Whitney, Louisville's Jordan Nwora, Memphis' Precious Achiuwa, Oregon State's Tres Tinkle, Providence's Alpha Diallo, Purdue's Nojel Eastern, St. John's L.J. Figueroa, Syracuse's Elijah Hughes, Vermont's Anthony Lamb, Villanova's Saddiq Bey, Washington's Jaden McDaniels, Washington State's C.J. Elleby and Xavier's Naji Marshall.
- Wade is the first K-State player to be a preseason candidate for the Wooden Award since Rodney McGruder in 2012. Jacob Pullen, who was a preseason candidate in 2010, was the last Wildcat to earn recognition to the Wooden All-American team, while Michael Beasley (2008) was the last finalist.
- The 20-member watch list for the Erving Award will be narrowed to just 10 by mid-February. In March, five finalists will be presented to Julius Erving and the Hall of Fame's selection committee. The winner will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy's on April 10, 2020.
KANSAS STATE (7-8, 0-3 Big 12) vs. 23/23 TEXAS TECH (10-5, 1-2 Big 12)
Big 12 Now on ESPN+
- Mark Neely (play-by-play)
- Lance Blanks (analyst)
- Sean Jackson (producer)
K-State Sports Network
Local radio on My93.1 fm/KHMY
Online: TuneIn.com [free] / www.kstatesports.com/watch [free]
Satellite Radio: XM 386 / Internet 976
- Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
- Stan Weber (analyst)
kstate.statbroadcast.com [media only]
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee '78)
Overall: 470-252/22nd season
At K-State: 157-97/8th season
vs. Texas Tech: 8-6 (6-1 at home)
Texas Tech: Chris Beard (Texas '95)
Overall: 257-86/11th season
At Texas Tech: 86-36/4th season
vs. Kansas State: 4-2 (1-2 on the road)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (7-8)
G: #00 Mike McGuirl
G: #2 Cartier Diarra
G/F: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #23 Montavious Murphy
F: #14 Makol Mawien
Texas Tech (10-5)
G: #0 Kyler Edwards
G: #3 Jahmi'us Ramsey
G: #25 Davide Moretti
F: #22 T.J. Holyfield
F: #44 Chris Clarke
Overall: K-State leads 24-16
Current Streak: K-State, 1
In Manhattan: K-State leads 16-3
At Bramlage Coliseum: K-State leads 12-3
Last Meeting: W, 58-45 [1/22/19 in Manhattan]
Weber vs. Beard: Beard leads 4-2 [1-2 on the road]