Feb 08, 2020 2:50 PM

🏀 GAME PREVIEW: K-State Begins Second Half of Big 12 Play at Iowa State Saturday

Posted Feb 08, 2020 2:50 PM

KANSAS STATE (9-13, 2-7 Big 12) at IOWA STATE (9-13, 2-7 Big 12)

OPENING TIP

  1. Kansas State (9-13, 2-7 Big 12) begins the second half of Big 12 play on Saturday night, as the Wildcats travel to Ames, Iowa to take Iowa State (9-13, 2-7 Big 12) at 7 p.m., CT at Hilton Coliseum. It will mark the first meeting of 2020 by the schools, whose rivalry dates to 1909. The game will tip at 7:05 p.m., CT on ESPN2 with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Jon Sundvold (analyst) on the call. 
  2. K-State ended a challenging stretch of 3 games in a 6-day span on Monday night, as the Wildcats rallied from an early 16-point deficit but could never quite get that pivotal run in a 73-67 loss to No. 1/1 Baylor, which extended its school-record winning streak to 19 games. The loss, which came on the heels of a similar resilient effort in a 66-57 setback at No. 12/11 West Virginia just two days later on Feb. 1, as K-State's 67 points were the second-most Baylor (No. 5 in scoring defense) has allowed in Big 12 play. The Wildcats connected on 45.8 percent (22-of-48) of their field goals and 78.9 percent (15-of-19) from the free throw line on the night, as 4 Wildcats scored in double figures in a league game for the first time this season.  
  3. Monday's loss to top-ranked Baylor also spoiled an impressive all-around night for senior Xavier Sneed, who led all scorers with a game-high 23 points on 7-of-12 field goals, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, to go with team-highs in rebounds (8) and assists (3) in 36 minutes. It marked the eighth 20-point game of Sneed's career, including his fourth this season. Sneed's offensive effort helped him achieve several milestones, as he became the fifth Wildcat to eclipse 200 career 3-point field goals and the first since former teammate Kamau Stokes last season and moved him past Mitch Richmond (1,327/1986-88) into 12th place on the all-time scoring list with 1,333 points. He has scored in double figures in 7 consecutive games.
  4. Much like K-State, Iowa State (9-13, 2-7 Big 12) has had an up-and-down season so far with losses in 6 of its last 7 games, including a losing streak that was extended to 4 games after the 76-61 loss at No. 13/11 West Virginia on Wednesday night. The Cyclones rank among the Big 12's best offensive teams, ranking first in assist/ turnover radio (1.19, second in scoring offense (74.1 ppg.) and third in field goal percentage (44.1) and assists (14.95). They led by all-around talent Tyrese Haliburton, who leads the team in scoring (15.5 ppg., rebounding (6.0 rpg., assists (6.6 apg.) and steals (2.6 spg.). In all, 6 Cyclones are averaging 7 or more points.
  5. The Wildcats have received a spark since junior David Sloan moved into the starting point guard role. The team has averaged 67.2 points and 12.5 assists in the last 6 games after averaging 57.8 points and 8.8 assists in the previous 4 games. During the current 6-game span, he is averaging 8.5 points, 3.7 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 25.9 minutes per game, which included a season-high 17 points at No. 3/3 Kansas and 13 at No. 12/11 West Virginia on Saturday. Prior to the West Virginia game on Jan. 18, he was averaging 3.7 points and 1.9 assists in 15.5 minutes per game.
  6. Injuries have been a big part of K-State's season, as 5 different players have missed a combined 45 games, which has caused head coach Bruce Weber to use 6 starting lineups. The 6 lineups are the most since using 11 in 2014-15. Freshmen DaJuan Gordon and Montavious Murphy have started together in each of the last 4 games, which is the first freshman pair to start together since Barry Brown, Jr., and Dean Wade in 2015-16.

NOTES ON IOWA STATE

  1. Iowa State (9-13, 2-7 Big 12) has dropped 6 of its last 7 games, including 4 in a row, after Wednesday night's 76-61 loss at No. 13/11 West Virginia. The Mountaineers, who are unbeaten at home this season, connected 50 percent from the field and had 5 different players score in double figures. The Cyclones were led by sophomore transfer Rasir Bolton, who scored a game-high 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range.
  2. Iowa State is averaging 74.1 points on 44.1 percent shooting, including 31.7 percent from 3-point range, to go with 35.0 rebounds, 15.0 assists, 7.9 steals and 4.3 blocks per game, while allowing 72.4 points on 44.8 percent shooting, including 36.3 percent from 3-point range. The team is connecting on 73.1 percent from the free throw line. The Cyclones ranks among the best in the Big 12 in assist/turnover ratio (first, scoring offense (second, field goal percentage (third) and assists (third).
  3. The Cyclones are a balanced scoring team with 6 players averaging 7 or more points, including a pair of double-digit scorers in sophomore guards Tyrese Haliburton (15.5 ppg.) and Rasir Bolton (15.4 ppg., who combine to average more than 40 percent of the team's scoring and have accounted for more than half of their 3-pointers (84). One of the nation's top point guards, Haliburton leads the team in a number of categories, including scoring, rebounding (6.0 rpg., assists (6.6 apg., steals (2.6 spg.). He is connecting on 50.4 percent from the field, including 41.5 percent from 3-point range, while hitting on 82.2 percent from the free throw line. Four others (Solomon Young, Prentiss Nixon, George Conditt and Michael Jacobson) are each averaging 7.0 or more points per game, while Jacobson (5.4 rpg.) and Conditt (4.8 rpg.) are averaging more than 4.5 rebounds per outing.
  4. Iowa State is led by fifth-year head coach Steve Prohm, who has posted a 92-66 (.608) record, which includes 3 trips to the NCAA Tournament and 2 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships. He is 196-95 (.674) in his ninth season as a head coach, which includes a stint at Murray State (2011-15).

SERIES HISTORY

  1. K-State and Iowa State will meet for the 230th time in their histories with the Wildcats holding a 140-89 advantage in a series that dates back to 1909, including a slight 52-50 mark in games played in Ames. K-State has won in its last 2 visits to Hilton Coliseum after losing 6 in a row (2012-17). 
  2. Iowa State has won 2 straight in the series, including a 78-64 victory in Manhattan on Feb. 16, 2019 and a 63-59 victory in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City on March 15, 2019. K-State won in its last visit to Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 12, as then senior Barry Brown, Jr., scored with 4 seconds left to help the Wildcats to a 58-57 win in Ames. 
  3. Current senior Xavier Sneed has averaged 9.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in 7 career games (6 starts) against Iowa State, while junior Cartier Diarra is 8.3 points on 55 percent shooting in 4 games (2 starts) vs. the Cyclones.
  4. Head coach Bruce Weber is 6-10 all-time against Iowa State, including a 2-5 mark at Hilton Coliseum, while he is 3-6 against head coach Steve Prohm. Prohm is 6-3 against K-State, including 2-2 at home.

ON THE ROAD

  1. K-State has a 60-134 (.311) all-time record on the road since the start of Big 12 play in 1997. However, the Wildcats have been considerably better on the road since the 2006-07 season, having posted a 48-63 (.449) record away from home after going 10-70 (.125) from 1997-2006. The team is 32-50 (.390) under Bruce Weber on the road, including 25-40 (.385) in the Big 12.
  2. K-State posted a 7-2 mark on the road in Big 12 play a season ago, which was the best mark by a Wildcat team since going 6-1 in 1975-76. This year, the team is 1-5 on the road, including 0-4 in Big 12 play.

LAST TIME OUT: 1/1 BAYLOR 73, K-STATE 67

  1. K-State fought back from a 16-point first-half deficit to close to within one possession of No. 1/1 Baylor, but the top-ranked Bears showed why they have won a school-record 19 consecutive games with a 73-67 victory over the Wildcats on Monday night before 8,888 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
  2. With the win, Baylor snapped a 6-game losing streak to K-State and earned its first win at Bramlage Coliseum since the Bears were also the top-ranked team on January 14, 2017. The Wildcats fell to 5-15 all-time against the No. 1 team in the country, including 4-5 at Bramlage Coliseum. 
  3. Baylor jumped out to a 16-point lead in the first half, as the Big 12's top defense held K-State without a field goal for more than 7 minutes. However, a 3-pointer from senior Xavier Sneed, the last of three consecutive triples, pulled the Wildcats to within one possession at 29-26 with 2:18 to play.
  4. Leading just 33-28 at the half, Baylor grabbed the momentum early in the second half, scoring 9 of the first 13 points to push the lead back into double figures at 42-32 with 14:05 remaining. After K-State responded with 5 straight points to close to within 42-37, the Bears took control with a 14-4 that extended the lead to 56-41 and forced head coach Bruce Weber to call his third timeout with 8:46 remaining.
  5. The resilient Wildcats continued to battle, closing to within 70-62 on Sneed's fourth 3-pointer of the night and the 200th of his career, but the Bears made the free throws to close out the game, 73-67.
  6. The loss spoiled an impressive night for Sneed, who led all scorers with game-high 23 points on 7-of-12 field goals, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, to go with a game-tying 8 rebounds and 3 assists in 36 minutes. Sneed was joined in double figures by junior Cartier Diarra (11, senior Makol Mawien (10) and freshman Montavious Murphy (10, which marked the first time four Wildcats had scored in double figures in a Big 12 game this season. Diarra's 11 points led the bench, which outscored the Bears, 22-11.
  7. K-State's 67 points were the second-most Baylor has given up in Big 12 play, as the Wildcats connected 45.8 percent (22-of-48) of its field goals on the night, including 38.1 percent (8-of-21) from 3-point range, and made 15 of 19 attempts (78.9 percent) from the free throw line.

LEADING WITH DEFENSE

  1. K-State has continued its reputation as one of the top defensive teams in the country under head coach Bruce Weber, holding its 22 opponents to 64.0 points on 41.8 percent shooting (484-of-1157, including 32.5 percent (147-of-453) from 3-point range, while posting a Big 12-best 8.4 steals and forcing 16.4 turnovers per game (second behind Texas Tech in the Big 12).
  2. K-State ranks among Top 55 in 3 defensive categories, including 51st in scoring defense, 25th in turnovers forced (16.4) and 31st in steals per game.
  3. K-State has held 26 of its last 56 opponents to 60 points or less with just eight eclipsing 70 (with 7 occurring in the last 23 games). The squad has held 95 opponents to 60 points or less in Bruce Weber's tenure, boasting an 86-9 mark in those contests. The Wildcats are 7-1 this season when holding an opponent below 60 points, including their first 4 wins.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  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

  1. K-State is once again using its defense to generate offense, as the Wildcats are forcing 16.4 turnovers per game, including a Big 12-best 8.4 steals per game, while averaging 17.1 points per game off those opponent turnovers.
  2. K-State has scored 20 or more points off opponent turnovers 9 times this season, including a season-high 28 in the win over No. 12/13 West Virginia. 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, Alabama State (26, Texas (23) and No. 23/23 Texas Tech (20).
  3. K-State has forced 5 opponents into 20 or more turnovers, including a season-best 25 turnovers by UNLV and Monmonth.
  4. K-State has scored over 4,000 points (4,051) 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.

DEFICITS AND COMEBACKS

  1. K-State has had to battle back from early deficits in 5 of the last 8 games, but has found a way to rally from those deficits before losing down the stretch. The Wildcats trailed TCU and Texas by 7 points, were down 10-0 to No. 23/23 Texas Tech and fell behind by 16 at Alabama and to No. 1/1 Baylor.
  2. K-State was down 7-0 to start against TCU before slowing chipping away at the deficit to eventually take a 17-16 lead at the 8:19 mark of the first half and tying at 23-all before the Horned Frogs scored 12 of the last 14 points. Down 49-42 with just over 7 to play, the Wildcats tied the game at 57-all on David Sloan's 3-pointer before losing on a tip-in with 2 seconds.
  3. K-State trailed 9-2 to start against Texas before again rallying to take an 18-16 lead with 6:40 before halftime. With the Wildcats leading 25-23 with 2:48 to play in the first half, the Longhorns would score 20 of the next 22 points to take 43-27 advantage with 13:11 remaining.
  4. K-State allowed No. 23/23 Texas Tech to score the first 10 points of the game, but the resilient Wildcats responded with 7 in a row to close to within one possession before trailing 37-30 at the half. The team again fought back to take a 46-45 lead on a layup by senior Cartier Diarra to cap an 11-2 run with 13:24 to play. The Red Raiders responded with a 16-4 run over the next 6 minutes to take a 61-50 lead with just over 7 minutes remaining.

2-POINTERS HAVE BEEN KEY

  1. With its 3-point percentage nearly identical in wins (33.3; 69-of-207) as in losses (32.2; 88-of-273, 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 47.6 percent (344-of-723) from inside the 3-point line. 
  2. K-State is connecting on 45.8 percent (233-of-509) of its field goals in the 9 wins, including 54.3 percent (164-of-302) from inside the arc, while the team is hitting just 38.6 percent (268-of-694) of their field goals in the 13 losses, including 42.8 percent (180-of-421) from inside the arc.
  3. 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.
  4. No 2 players have been as impactful in this statistic, as senior Xavier Sneed and junior Cartier Diarra.
  5. Sneed is averaging a team-best 16.4 points on 48.6 percent (51-of-105) shooting, including 61.5 percent (32-of-52) from inside the arc, in the 9 wins, while he is averaging 13.6 points on just 32.2 percent (49-of-152) shooting in the 13 losses, including 35.7 percent (25-of-70) from inside the arc.
  6. Diarra is averaging 13.0 points on 42 percent (47-of-112) shooting, including 50.8 percent (33-of-65) from inside the arc, in the 9 wins, while he is averaging 11.5 points on 38.2 percent (52-of-136) shooting, including 43.7 percent (31-of-71) from inside the arc, in the 13 losses.

SNEED LEADING THE WAY

  1. Senior Xavier Sneed has led the Wildcats in scoring 9 times this season, averaging 14.8 points on 38.9 percent shooting (100-of-257, including 31.9 percent (43-of-135) from 3-point range. He has scored in double figures in a team-best 18 games (including 4 20-point games, while he has double-digit points in 11 of the last 12 games, including 7 consecutive games.
  2. Sneed leads the team in nearly every offensive category, including scoring, field goals made and attempted, 3-point field goals made and attempted and free throw made (82) and attempted (119). He is also tops in defensive rebounds (87) and second in rebounding (4.7 rpg.) and steals (38).
  3. 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 1,333 points in 127 career games to go with 564 rebounds. He joins a 1,000-point/500-rebound list that includes Wildcat 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.
  4. Sneed, who currently ranks 12th on the all-time scoring list with 1,333 points and needs 32 points to move into 11th place, needs 44 rebounds to crack the school's all-time Top 15 list in rebounds. If he could accomplish that feat, he would join a list that includes Ed Nealy, Bob Boozer, Jamar Samuels, Dean Wade, Rodney McGruder and Rolando Blackman that ranks in the school's Top 15 in both scoring and rebounding.

SNEED MOVING UP THE CHARTS

  1. Senior Xavier Sneed continues to move up several career charts, as he ranks among the Top 20 in scoring (12th, 3-point field goals made (fifth) and attempted (fourth, steals (fourth, minutes and games played (10th).
  2. With his 16-point effort in the win over No. 12/13 West Virginia, Sneed moved into the school's Top 15 in scoring at No. 15 with 1,257 points, moving past former teammate Kamau Stokes (1,242, current Orlando Magic player Wes Iwundu (1,249) and Tyrone Adams (1,251). He is the the fourth player under head coach Bruce Weber to rank in the Top 15 in scoring, following Barry Brown, Jr. (1,781 points/fifth, Rodney McGruder (1,576/eighth) and Dean Wade (1,510/10th). He currently ranks 12th with 1,333 points, having recently passed Wildcat great Mitch Richmond (1,327).
  3. Sneed already ranks among the very best among all 3-point shooters in school history, passing Rodney McGruder for fifth in career makes (200) and ranking fourth in career attempts (592). With his four triples against No. 1/1 Baylor (2/3/20, he became the fifth Wildcat to eclipse 200 career 3-point field goals and the first since former Kamau Stokes last season. He needs just 8 3-pointers and 4 attempts to pass Stokes on the all-time list, while he needs 58 to jump into the school's Top 10 for field goals attempted.
  4. Sneed also continues to move up the steals chart with his 175 ranking fourth in school history. He needs just 16 steals to pass Steve Henson (190/1986-90) and 25 to become just third Wildcat with 200 steals.

SLOAN CREATES A SPARK

  1. K-State has received a spark since junior David Sloan has moved into the starting point guard role, allowing junior Cartier Diarra to move off the ball, in the win over 12/13 West Virginia on Jan. 18. He scored 9 points in the upset of the Mountaineers to go with 5 assists and 4 steals in 36 minutes.
  2. The Wildcats have averaged 67.2 points and 12.5 assists in the last 6 games after averaging 57.8 points and 8.8 assists in the previous 4 games. During this 6-game span, Sloan is averaging 8.5 points, 3.7 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 25.9 minutes per game, which included a season-high 17 points at No. 3/3 Kansas (1/21/20) and a team-high 13-point effort at No. 12/11 West Virginia (2/1/20). Prior to the West Virginia game on Jan. 18, he was averaging 3.7 points and 1.9 assists in 15.5 minutes per game.

DIARRA PROVING TO BE SOLID

  1. Junior Cartier Diarra is proving to be a solid guard for the Wildcats, averaging 12.7 points on 39.9 percent (99-of-248) shooting with 4.7 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 30.6 minutes per game. He has led the team in scoring 9 times, including 7 times in the last 15 games.
  2. Diarra became the 26th Wildcat to eclipse 200 career assists vs. 23/23 Texas Tech (1/14/20, while he became the 39th player to top 100 assists in a single season at No. 12/11 West Virginia (2/1/20). He has led the team in assists in 16 games, while he has at least 5 assists in 12 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.
  3. Diarra has scored in double figures in 12 times in the last 18 games, including team-highs vs. Marquette (14, Mississippi State (20, Tulsa (25, Texas (14, No. 23/23 Texas Tech (19) and No. 12/13 West Virginia (25).

DIARRA NAMED BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK DEC. 30

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

FRESHMEN PLAYING A MAJOR ROLE

  1. Three freshmen (DaJuan GordonAntonio Gordon and Montavious Murphy) are playing major roles for the Wildcats, as each are averaging 19 or more minutes this season, including 12 starts by Murphy, 7 by Antonio Gordon and 5 by DaJuan Gordon. Murphy missed 7 games due to injury.
  2. The 24 combined starts by the 3 true freshmen are the most starts by a freshman trio since 2015-16 when Dean Wade (31, Kamau Stokes (20) and Barry Brown, Jr. (11) combined to start 62 games.
  3. DaJuan Gordon has played in all 22 games, averaging 23.8 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures 4 times, including a 15-point effort against No. 12/13 West Virginia (1/18/20). He has connected on 45.9 percent (56-of-122) from the field and 36 percent (18-of-50) from 3. He been solid since the start of Big 12 play, averaging 6.9 points on 48.9 percent shooting, including 40 percent from long range, in 27.5 minutes per game.
  4. 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 (12/29/19) before starting 9 of the last 11 games and averaging 25.7 minutes per game. He is averaging 5.4 points on 40.3 percent shooting with 4.1 rebounds per game, while his 3 double-digit scoring game this season have come in the last 7 games. He scored a season-high 11 points vs. No. 23/23 Texas Tech (1/14/20). 
  5. Antonio Gordon has seen action in 17 games, averaging 19.0 minutes per game. He is averaging 4.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He made his return against No. 1/1 Baylor, playing 10 minutes, after serving a 3-game suspension for his actions against Kansas on Jan. 21.

EZEAGU JOINS TEAM JAN. 17

  1. Head coach Bruce Weber announced on January 17 that transfer forward Kaosi Ezeagu (Brampton, Ontario/GTA Prep/UTEP) has signed a scholarship agreement to join the men's basketball team. He will have three years of eligibility once he sits out the required time as a Division I transfer.
  2. Ezeagu will enroll at K-State for the spring semester and will be able to start practicing with the team. He will have to sit out for the reminder of the 2019-20 season and the first semester of the 2020-21 season before being eligible in mid-December 2020.   
  3. A 6-foot-10, 245-pound forward from Brampton, Ontario, Ezeagu played one season at UTEP for head coach Rodney Terry in 2018-19. He played in all 29 games for the Miners as a true freshman, averaging 3.2 points on a team-best 56.9 percent shooting (37-of-65) with 3.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 12.4 minutes per game. He led the team with 24 blocked shots with at least 2 blocks in eight contests. Twice he scored in double figures, including 10 in his first game against UTPB on Nov. 16, 2018 and a season-best 12 against Middle Tennessee State on March 6, 2019.
  4. Ezeagu was born in the Bahamas but went to prep school in Brampton, Ontario, where he was rated one of the top prep players in Canada after averaging 11.4 points and 10.4 rebounds at GTA Prep in 2017-18.

LOVE, GORDON SUSPENDED FOLLOWING ACTIONS AT KANSAS

  1. Redshirt junior James Love III and freshman Antonio Gordon have been issued suspensions by the Big 12 Conference following their actions at the conclusion of Tuesday night's game at Kansas, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced Wednesday.
  2. Love has been suspended for eight games, which will begin once he is medically cleared for competition, while Gordon's suspension will be three games and begin immediately. Until each student-athlete has served their suspension, they are immediately prohibited from traveling with the team to away competition, participating in pregame activities, and being in the team's bench area. However, each student-athlete may continue to practice and receive related support to their participation as a student-athlete.
  3. Additionally, both programs were reprimanded for violations of the Big 12 Sportsmanship Policies as a result of players leaving the bench area.
  4. "We do not condone this type of behavior in any circumstance and fully support Commissioner Bowlsby's decision on this matter," K-State Athletics Director Gene Taylor said. "There is no place for this type of conduct in the game of basketball, or any sport, and in particular this great rivalry. In addition, I would like to offer my appreciation to Jeff Long and the University of Kansas administration and staff for their efforts in resolving the situation."
  5. "I'm extremely disappointed in our team's actions in the aftermath of last night's game at Kansas," added Head Coach Bruce Weber. "They do not reflect what our program is about here at K-State. Our team will live with the consequences of those actions and move forward in a positive manner. Our focus going forward is to help our players learn from this situation and ensure that it never happens again."

RECAPPING NON-CONFERENCE HISTORY

  1. K-State concluded non-conference play with the 77-74 loss at Alabama in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Jan. 25. Despite the setback, the Wildcats finished with a winning record in non-conference play for 14th season in a row.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. K-State has posted a 147-42 (.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.
  5. 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 50-15 (.781) in non-conference play since the start of 2015-16 season.

WEBER NAMED USA BASKETBALL CO-NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.).

UP NEXT: OKLAHOMA STATE (11-11, 1-8 Big 12)

  1. K-State returns to action on Tuesday night when the Wildcats play host to Oklahoma State (11-11, 1-8 Big 12) at Bramlage Coliseum at 8 p.m., CT on ESPNU. This will be the first meeting with the Cowboys in 2020.