Game Preview // 18/14 K-State Plays UC Irvine in NCAA Tournament Friday

GAME 34
18/14 KANSAS STATE (25-8) vs. UC IRVINE (30-5)

Friday, March 22, 2019 >> 1 p.m. CT >> SAP Center (17,496) >> San Jose, Calif.
NCAA South Regional First Round
 
TELEVISION
TBS / March Madness Live

  • Spero Dedes (play-by-play)
  • Len Elmore (analyst)
  • Steve Smith (analyst)
  • Ros Gold-Onwude (sideline reporter)

 
NATIONAL RADIO
Westwood One

  • Chris Carrino (play-by-play)
  • Mike Montgomery (analyst)

Online: March Madness Live App [free] / www.ncaa.com/marchmadnesslive
Satellite Radio: Sirius 138 / XM 207 / Internet 974
 
RADIO
K-State Sports Network

No Satellite Radio Coverage due to NCAA Tournament regulation
KMAN 1350 AM / KMKF 101.5 FM / WIBW 580 AM
 
LIVE STATS
ncaa.com/mediastats
 
TICKETS
Vivid Seats (www.vividseats.com/)
Prices: $66 (upper level) / $100 (lower level)
 
COACHES
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 463-243/21st season
At K-State: 150-88/7th season
vs. UC Irvine: 2-0 (0-0 at neutral sites)
 
UC Irvine: Russell Turner (Hampden Sydney ’92)
Overall: 187-127/9th Year
At UCI: Same
vs. Kansas State: 0-1 (0-0 at neutral sites)
 
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (25-8, 14-4 Big 12)
G: #2 Cartier Diarra
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown, Jr.
G/F: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #14 Makol Mawien
               
UC Irvine (30-5, 15-1 Big West)
G: #2 Max Hazzard
G: #3 Robert Cartwright
G: #14 Evan Leonard
F: #32 Tommy Rutherford
F: #5 Jonathan Galloway
 
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Appearance: 31st (5th under Bruce Weber)
Overall: 37-34 (4-4 under Bruce Weber)
In South Region: 4-3 (4-2 under Bruce Weber)
First Round: 11-5 (last time: 2018)
as a No. 4 seed: 3-2 (last time: 2013)
vs. a No. 13 seed: 1-1 (last time: 2013)
 
SERIES HISTORY
Overall: K-State leads 1-0 (last time: 2017)
at NCAA Tournament: First meeting
Last Meeting: W, 71-49, 11/17/17
Weber vs. UC Irvine: 2-0 (0-0 at neutral sites)
Weber vs. Turner: 2-0 (0-0 at neutral sites)
 
OPENING TIP

  • No. 18/14 Kansas State (25-8, 14-4 Big 12) was rewarded for its successful season on Sunday, as the Wildcats earned their 31st bid to the NCAA Tournament, including the fifth in seven seasons under Bruce Weber. The team is the No. 15 overall seed in the field, including the third among the four No. 4 seeds (trailing Kansas and Florida State). K-State has now advanced to the postseason 11 times in the last 13 seasons (nine NCAA Tournaments and two NITs), including three straight NCAA Tournaments for the first time since making five consecutive appearances from 2010 to 2014.
  • The Big 12 co-champion, K-State was selected as a No. 4 seed in the NCAA South Regional and will travel to San Jose, Calif., to play No. 13 seed and Big West regular-season and tournament champion UC Irvine (30-5, 15-1 Big West) in the first round at 1 p.m., CT (11 a.m., PT) on Friday, March 22 at the SAP Center. The game will air on TBS with Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Len Elmore and Steve Smith (analysts) and Ros Gold-Onwude (sideline reporter) on the call.      
  • The winner will advance to play either No. 5 seed Wisconsin (23-10, 14-6 Big Ten) and No. 12 seed Oregon (23-12, 10-8 Pac-12) on Sunday, March 24.
  • K-State is making its 38th postseason appearance, which includes 31 in the NCAA Tournament and seven in the NIT. The Wildcats have posted a 37-34 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play, including 11-5 in the first round. The school will be making its third appearance as a No. 4 seed and the first since the 2013 NCAA Tournament, in which, the Wildcats lost to No. 13 seed La Salle, 63-61, in the West Regional in Kansas City. The other appearance as a No. 4 seed came in the 1988 NCAA Tournament when the team advanced to the Elite Eight by defeating No. 13 La Salle (66-53), No. 5 DePaul (66-58) and No. 1 Purdue (73-70) before falling to No. 6 Kansas (71-58) in Pontiac, Mich. It will be the school’s third consecutive appearance (2017-19) in the South Regional and the fourth overall with the other trip coming in 1993. 
  • K-State earned its fifth 20-win season under Weber and finished as co-champion of the Big 12 with Texas Tech with identical 14-4 marks. The Wildcats have posted 25 wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history, while the 14 in Big 12 play tie the 1958-59 and 2012-13 squads for the most in school history. Defense carries the Wildcats as they are holding opponents to 59.2 points (third nationally) on 41.4 percent shooting, including 31.2 percent from 3-point range. The team has held 18 of 33 opponents (9 Big 12 foes) to 60 points or less with two eclipsing 70.
  • UC Irvine has won a school-record 30 games, including 16 in a row dating back to Jan. 19, and went a near perfect 15-1 mark in Big West play. Like the Wildcats, the Anteaters are among the best defensive teams in the country, placing third in total rebounds (1,411), ninth in rebounding margin (+7.3) and 11th in total rebounds per game (40.3), while is fifth in field goal percentage defense (38.0).
  • This will be the second meeting between the schools and the first since 2017.

 
NOTES ON UC IRVINE

  • UC Irvine (30-5, 15-1 Big West) enters Friday’s game with 16 consecutive wins dating back to a 74-68 win at Cal State Northridge on Jan. 19. The last loss came at home to Long Beach State, 80-70, on Jan. 16. After winning the regular season title with a near perfect 15-1 mark, the Anteaters swept through the Big West Tournament with wins over UC Riverside (63-44), Long Beach State (75-67) and Cal State Fullerton (92-64). Junior Max Hazzard, the grandson of UCLA great Walt Hazzard, was named tournament MVP.
  • UC Irvine is averaging 72.9 points on 45.9 percent shooting, including 36.1 percent from 3-point range, to go with 40.3 rebounds, 13.3 assists, 5.7 steals and 4.3 blocks per game, while allowing 63.3 points on 38 percent shooting, including 33.2 percent from 3-point range. The team is connecting on 69.6 percent from the free throw line.
  • The Anteaters rank among the best rebounding teams, averaging 40.3 boards per game. They rank third nationally in total rebounds (1,411), ninth in rebounding margin (+7.3), 11th in rebounds/game and 15th in defensive rebounds. The squad ranks among the Top 20 in scoring defense and is fifth nationally in field goal percentage defense (38.0).  
  • Offensively, UC Irvine is one of the most diverse teams with nine players averaging 5 or more points per game, including a pair of double-digit scorers in Hazzard (12.5 ppg.) and Evan Leonard (11.1 ppg.). Hazzard (84) and Leonard (54) have combined for 141 of the squad’s 238 3-point field goals and are both shooting 40 percent or better from long range. First team All-Big West and Defensive Player of the Year Jonathan Galloway is averaging a team-best 8.0 boards to go with 7.0 points and 1.1 blocks per game.    
  • UC Irvine is led by head coach Russell Turner, who a 187-127 (.595) record in nine seasons at the helm. He has led the Anteaters to six postseason appearances in the last seven seasons with six 20-plus win seasons. 

 
SERIES HISTORY

  • K-State and UC Irvine will meet for just the second time in their respective school history, including for consecutive seasons after the Wildcats earned a 71-49 victory at Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 17, 2017. 
  •  K-State used a stellar defensive effort to earn the 71-49 victory over UC Irvine last season, holding the Anteaters to 29.6 percent (16-of-54) shooting, including 20.0 percent (4-of-20) from 3-point range, while scoring 21 points off of 17 turnovers. K-State shot 47 percent from behind the 3-point line and got off to a hot start from the field, jumping out to 18-4 lead less than seven minutes into the first half. Kamau Stokes led the way with 14 points, while Xavier Sneed (12) and Cartier Diarra (10) also had double digits.
  • Head coach Bruce Weber is 2-0 all-time against UC Irvine with the other meeting coming while he was at Illinois, as the Illini defeated Russell Turner in his first game as Anteater head coach, 79-65, on Nov. 8, 2010.

 
NOTES ON WISCONSIN/OREGON

  • The winner of Friday’s first-round matchup will face either the No. 5 seed Wisconsin (23-10, 14-6 Big Ten) or No. 12 seed Oregon (23-12, 10-8 Pac-12) on Sunday for a chance to advance to the Sweet 16.
  • Wisconsin, which placed fourth in the rugged Big Ten, has won 6 of its last 8 games, including a 1-1 showing at the Big Ten Tournament. The Badgers are led by three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection Ethan Happ, who leads the squad in scoring (17.5 ppg.), rebounding (10.1 rpg.) and assists (4.6 apg.). All-Big Ten honorable mention pick D’Mitrik Trice averages 11.7 points per game. They are led by longtime assistant turned head coach Greg Gard, who has an 80-46 (.635) record in his fourth season in Madison.
  • Led by former K-State head coach Dana Altman (1990-94), the Pac-12 Tournament champion Ducks are one of the hottest teams with eight straight wins since Feb. 23. Three players are averaging in double figures led by Pac-12 honorable mention selection Louis King (13.1 ppg.), Pac-12 Tournament MVP Payton Prichard (12.7 ppg.) and senior Paul White (10.6 ppg.). Pac-12 Defensive Team member Kenny Wooten has a team-high 62 blocks.  

 
LAST TIME OUT: IOWA STATE 63, 15/14 K-STATE 59

  • In a game that came down to the final minute and saw the Wildcats erase a 10-point halftime deficit, No. 15/14 K-State fell to Iowa State, 63-59, in the semifinal round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship before a crowd of 19,066 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on March 15.
  • K-State falls in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship for the third-straight season, falling to 0-3 all-time against Iowa State in the Big 12 era.
  • Five Wildcats scored in double figures for the third time this season, including sophomore Cartier Diarra leading the team behind a team-high 15 points on 5-of-10 from the field and 4-of-7 on 3-pointers, while senior Barry Brown, Jr., (13), junior Xavier Sneed (11), junior Makol Mawien (10) and senior Kamau Stokes (10) also registered in double digits.
  • K-State was held 34.9 percent (22-of-63) shooting in the game, including 29.6 percent (8-of-27) from beyond the arc. With their offense struggling, the Wildcats used their defense to help keep pace in the game, holding the Cyclones to 42 percent (21-of-50) shooting, including 31.8 percent (7-of-22) in the second half, and scoring 18 points off 17 turnovers. 
  • Trailing by 10 points at halftime, K-State opened up a 13-3 run to start the second half that included a pair of 3-pointers from Diarra, who tied a
  • career-high with 4 triples, to tie the game at 38-all with 14:28 remaining. After the Cyclones regained the lead at 43-38, the Wildcats responded with a 13-4 run to grab a 51-47 on a Sneed dunk with 8:13 to play.
  • K-State maintained the lead for the next few minutes, including 55-50 with 2:47 remaining in the contest, before Iowa State ended the game on a 13-4 run, which included back-to-back 3-pointers from Marial Shayok to first tie the game and to give the Cyclones the lead with under a minute.
  • Shayok led all scorers with 21 points, while junior Michael Jacobson added a game-high 16 rebounds to go with 8 points.  
  • K-State is now 36-42 all-time in Big 8/12 Championship play, including 15-23 in the Big 12 era. The Wildcats are now 4-1 as a No. 1 seed in their first appearance since 1977. The team is now 2-5 in the semifinals.

 
‘CATS HAVE BEEN STELLAR ON DEFENSE UNDER WEBER

  • K-State has developed into one of the best on the defensive end, holding opponents to 59.2 points on 41.4 percent shooting, including 31.3 percent from 3-point range, while forcing 14.8 turnovers per game. The Wildcats rank 3rd in scoring defense, 18th in turnover margin (+3.6), 31st in 3-point field goal percentage defense and 60th in field goal percentage defense. The team leads the Big 12 in scoring defense, turnover margin, defensive rebounding percentage (.744) and steals (7.6), while is second in turnovers forced, third in 3-point field goal percentage and fourth in field goal percentage defense.
  • The 59.2 points per game would be the lowest scoring average in K-State history since the start of the shot clock in 1985-86, surpassing the 60.4 points per game average in 2012-13, while it would the sixth-lowest all-time and the lowest since the 1982-83 team allowed 58.4 points per game. Only seven other teams have allowed less than 60 points per game in school history.
  • K-State has held 18 of 33 opponents to 60 points or less this season with two eclipsing 70. The squad has held 87 opponents to 60 points or less in Bruce Weber‘s tenure, boasting a 79-8 mark in those contests.
  • K-State has held foes to an average of 14.5 points under their average, including a 14.6 average in Big 12 play. Eleven opponents (6 Big 12 foes) have been 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.
  • In the 58-45 win over No. 14/13 Texas Tech on Jan. 22, the Wildcat defense had their most impressive effort, holding the Red Raiders to the fewest by a conference foe under Weber and the fewest since holding Texas Tech to 44 points on Jan. 11, 2003. The Wildcats have held 4 Big 12 opponents (Iowa State, TCU (twice), Texas Tech and Oklahoma State) to its season-low in points.
  • K-State held TCU twice to its season-low in points, first to 55 in a win on Jan. 19 then to 52 on March 4. The team held the quartet (Kouat Noi, Desmond Bane, Alex Robinson and J.D. Miller) of double-figure scorers to a combined 16 points in the latest win on 26 percent (6-of-23) shooting. 

 
POINTS OFF TURNOVERS

  • More than a quarter of K-State’s total points (575/2172) this season have come off opponent turnovers, as the Wildcats are averaging 17.3 points off 14.8 opponent turnovers per game. The team ranks 18th in turnover margin (+3.6), 44th in steals (7.6) and 53rd in turnovers forced (14.85).
  • The Wildcats scored 20 or more points off turnovers in 12 games, including a season-high 25 in the come-from-behind 71-69 win over West Virginia (1/9/19) and at Texas A&M (1/26/19). They have also put up 20 points or more off turnovers vs. Kennesaw State (20), Denver (23), Eastern Kentucky (24), Penn (22), Marquette (22), TCU (3 times), Kansas (22) and Baylor (21).
  • K-State has scored more than 3,000 points (3,660) off turnovers during Weber’s tenure, an average of 15.3 points per game. In 2017-18, the Wildcats also averaged 17.3 points off turnovers, outscoring opponents, 639-423.
  • A year ago, K-State ranked eighth nationally in total steals (294) and 18th in steals per game (7.9), while the school was one of just 5 nationally (Georgia State, Nicholls State, Purdue and Stephen F. Austin) with three players (Barry Brown, Jr., Dean Wade and Xavier Sneed) with 40 or more steals.
  • Led by all-time steals leader Barry Brown, Jr., who broke the school record with 211st steal against Vanderbilt (12/22/18), the Wildcats have 3 others with 100 or more steals, including Xavier Sneed (137), Kamau Stokes (134) and Dean Wade (118). All three rank among the career Top 10 for steals, as Sneed is 4th, Stokes is 5th and Wade is tied for 9th. Brown currently ranks 6th in Big 12 history with 253 career steals, trailing Kansas’ Aaron Miles (264; 2001-05) by 11 steals for 5th place.

 
IMPROVED REBOUNDING

  • One of the big emphasis in the off-season was rebounding, as the Wildcats finished 10th in the Big 12 in every rebounding categories, including overall rebounding (30.7), offensive rebounds (8.2), defensive rebounds (22.5) and rebounding margin (-3.4). The 30.7 rebounding average was the lowest by a K-State team since averaging just 30.0 per game in 1984-85.
  • K-State is averaging 33.3 rebounds per game, which ranks last in the Big 12, to go with averages of 9.4 offensive (7th) and 23.9 defensive (9th) rebounds per game. On the positive side, the Wildcats rank second in the Big 12 in rebounding defense at 32.1 rebounds per game and hold a Big 12-best 74.4 defensive rebounding percentage.
  • K-State has out-rebounded 18 of 33 opponents, including 9 in 18 Big 12 games. In comparison, the Wildcats out-rebounded just 10 opponents in 2017-18 in 37 games, including 4 Big 12 foes.
  • K-State added one of the top rebounders in the community college ranks in junior Austin Trice, as he is averaging 2.7 rebounds per game in just 8.2 minutes game. Trice ranked among the Top 10 in 4 rebounding categories in the community college ranks in 2017-18, including 4th in average (12.1 rpg.).
  • In addition to Trice, the entire team has collectively elevated their efforts in rebounding this season, including Dean Wade (6.2 to 6.2 rpg.), Xavier Sneed (5.1 to 5.5 rpg.), Makol Mawien (3.4 to 4.6 rpg.), Barry Brown, Jr., (3.1 to 4.1 rpg.) and Cartier Diarra (2.5 to 3.4 rpg.).

 
OFFENSE STILL STRUGGLING BUT IMPROVEMENT

  • K-State is averaging a Big 12-low 65.8 points on 43.1 percent shooting (784-of-1819), including 33.6 percent (233-of-694) from 3-point range, and 66.4 percent (354-of-535) from the free throw line. The Wildcats rank 321st among 351 Division I teams in scoring offense, 248th in field goal percentage, 224th in 3-point field goal percentage and 316th in free throw percentage.
  • In the Big 12, K-State ranks 8th in field goal percentage, 9th in 3-point field goal percentage and 10th in scoring offense and free throw percentage.
  • The Wildcats have scored 70 or more points on just 11 occasions, while they have only connected on 45 percent from the field in 13 games and 40 percent or better from the 3-point line on 8 occasions.
  • In Big 12 play, K-State averaged 65.6 points on 44.1 percent shooting, including 36.2 percent from 3-point range, and 67.9 percent from the line. The Wildcats ranked 4th in field goal percentage, 5th in 3-point field goal percentage and 9th in scoring offense and free throw percentage.
  • The struggles from 3-point range are noticeable after a record-setting 2017-18 season from 3-point range, in which, the Wildcats set single-season marks for makes (254) and attempts (745). Five different players posted 30 or more 3-point field goals led by Xavier Sneed’s 65 makes.
  • Before the Kansas (2/25/19) game, the offense had been on the uptick, averaging 72 points on 48.2 percent shooting, including 42.4 percent from 3-point range, in the previous 7 games. During that span, the Wildcats scored 70 or more points 5 times, including 85 vs. Oklahoma State (2/23/19).

 
ANOTHER 20-WIN SEASON AND MORE

  • With the win over West Virginia (2/18), K-State collected a 20-win season for the 30th time in school history, including the fifth time in seven seasons under head coach Bruce Weber. The five 20-win seasons tie for the second-most by a head coach in school history, trailing Jack Hartman (seven) and matching Tex Winter (five) and Frank Martin (five). The Wildcats have now posted 11 20-win seasons in the last 13 seasons, which is the best stretch in school history. The 25 wins tie four others (1950-51, 1958-59, 1987-88 and 2017-18) for third-most wins in school history.
  • K-State earned its 21st conference championship, including its 19 in the regular season, and its second in the Big 12 era with its share of the title with No. 7/6 Texas Tech. It marked the eighth finish of fourth place or better in the last 13 seasons. The 14 Big 12 wins tied for the most in school history, along with the 14-0 in Big Eight play in 1958-59 and the 14-4 mark in Big 12 play in 2012-13. The seven Big 12 home wins were the most since posting seven in 2014-15 and gave K-State a winning home record in league play for the second straight season. The Wildcats were 7-2 on the road in Big 12 play, which was the best mark since the 1958-59 went 7-0 in the Big Eight.
  • K-State swept the season series from Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and West Virginia, It was the most conference sweeps in a single season since the Big 12 Championship in 2012-13 when the Wildcats did it against six opponents (Baylor, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia).

 
‘CATS HAS FIRST 9-GAME LEAGUE WIN STREAK IN BIG 12 ERA

  • K-State’s 9-game winning streak in Big 12 play came to an end in the 78-64 loss to No. 23/22 Iowa State on Feb. 16. The streak, which began after the Wildcats had dropped their first 2 Big 12 games, started with the come-from-behind win over West Virginia (71-69) and included four Top 25 wins (at No. 20/21 Iowa State (58-57) and No. 20/19 Oklahoma (74-61) and at home over No. 14/13 Texas Tech (58-45) and No. 13/14 Kansas (74-67), along with wins over TCU (65-55), Oklahoma State (75-57), Baylor (70-63) and Texas (71-64). It was the Wildcats’ longest win streak in Big 12 play and the longest regular-season conference win streak since winning 11 in a row from Jan. 14 to Feb. 26, 1974 in the old Big Eight Conference.
  • During the win streak, K-State averaged 68.4 points on 46.1 percent (217-of-471) shooting, including 39.5 percent (77-of-195) from 3-point range, to go with 69.5 percent (105-of-151) from the line, while averaging 14.8 assists and just 10.6 turnovers per game. In losing the first 2 Big 12 games, the team averaged just 52 points on 33 percent (36-of-109), including 24.4 percent (10-of-41) from 3-point range, with 12.5 turnovers per game. 
  • On the defensive end, the Wildcats allowed 59.8 points in the win streak on 42.8 percent (194-of-453) shooting, including 32.3 percent (62-of-192) from 3-point range, while averaging 17.2 points off 14.6 opponent turnovers. In those first 2 Big 12 games, the team allowed 65 points on 46.5 percent (40-of-86), including 43.5 percent (20-of-46) from 3-point range.
  • During the win streak, senior Barry Brown, Jr., averaged a team-best 18.6 points on 53.5 percent (61-of-114) shooting, which includes 3 20-point performances, while fellow senior Dean Wade, who played in 8 of the 9 games, averaged 13.9 points on 49.4 percent (40-of-81) shooting. Four other players (Kamau Stokes, Xavier Sneed, Cartier Diarra, Mike McGuirl and Makol Mawien) averaged between 5.1 and 10.0 points per game. Brown averaged just 12.0 points in the first 2 Big 12 games.

 
BROWN NAMED BIG 12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR;
BROWN, WADE ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM

  • Senior Barry Brown, Jr., became the first K-State player to be named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, while he and Dean Wade became the first Wildcat duo to be named All-Big 12 First Team in the same season, as the league office announced its annual awards on March 10.
  • Brown was one of three unanimous selections to the All-Big 12 First team, along with Kansas’ Dedric Lawson and Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, while Wade became just second Wildcat player to be named to league’s First Team in back-to-back seasons, joining Jacob Pullen (2010, 2011). The duo was joined on the All-Big 12 Teams by fellow senior Kamau Stokes and junior Xavier Sneed, who were both honorable mention selections.
  • The four overall selections for Wildcats tied for the most in the Big 12 era, as four players were named honorable mention in 1999. It marks the first time K-State has had two First Team picks since the Big Seven/Eight/12 began designating various all-conference teams and the first time since Mike Evans and Curtis Redding were both honored as All-Big Eight selections in 1977. Brown was All-Big 12 Second Team selection a season ago, while Stokes and Sneed earn all-conference honors for the first time in their respective careers.
  • Brown became the first Wildcat to be named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year since Rolando Blackman earned the honor in consecutive seasons in the Big Eight in 1979 and 1980. He was also a Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection for the second straight season and one of just two unanimous picks. He is the sixth Wildcat to earn recognition to the All-Defensive Team and first repeat selection since Jacob Pullen (2010, 2011).
  • Brown and Wade (2018, 2019) join Michael Beasley (2008), Jacob Pullen (2010, 2011) and Rodney McGruder (2013) as the only First Team selections in the Big 12 era with only Pullen and Wade doing it twice. They are just the seventh tandem in the Big 12 era to earn spots on the 15-member All-Big 12 First, Second or Third Teams and the first to repeat since Bob Boozer and Jack Parr did it in 1957 and 1958.

 
OFFENSIVE BALANCE KEY TO SUCCESS

  • Much like 2017-18, balance has been key to K-State’s offensive success this season, as four players (Barry Brown, Jr., Dean Wade, Xavier Sneed and Kamau Stokes) are averaging in double figures.
  • Six different players (Wade, Brown, Sneed, Stokes and Makol Mawien) have led the Wildcats in scoring, while 9 players have at least one double-digit scoring game, including 28 by Brown, 20 by Stokes, 19 by Wade, 18 by Sneed, 11 by Mawien, 8 by Cartier Diarra and 1 each by Mike McGuirl, Shaun Neal-Williams and Austin Trice.
  • Since Bruce Weber took over in 2012-13, K-State has a 65-20 (.765) record when four or more players score in double figures, including a 13-2 mark in 2018-19. The Wildcats are 15-6 when Mawien scores in double digits, while the team is 13-5 (5-3 in 2018-19) when Diarra reaches double-digits.

 
NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS

  • Although it ended in a loss to Texas A&M on Jan. 26, K-State enjoyed a success non-conference season, posting a 10-3 (.769) mark which included a 7-0 mark at home venues (Bramlage Coliseum and the Sprint Center. It marked the fourth consecutive season with at least 10 non-conference wins.
  • K-State has posted a 140-36 (.795) record in non-conference play since the 2006-07 season, which includes a 105-6 (.946) mark at home venues. The team has registered double-digit non-conference wins in 12 of the last 13 years, averaging 10.8 non-conference wins in that stretch, and went a program-best 13-1 in non-conference play during the 2009-10 season.
  • 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 40-9 (.816) in non-conference play since 2015-16.
  • K-State has a 105-6 (.946) 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 96-5 (.950) mark at Bramlage Coliseum.
  • The Wildcats have won 92 of their last 96 non-conference home games, including a 29-game winning streak at Bramlage Coliseum. The last home non-conference loss came against Georgia, 50-46, on Dec. 31, 2014.

 
HISTORIC COMEBACK

  • K-State overcame its largest deficit ever when senior Barry Brown, Jr., laid in the go-ahead bucket with 29 seconds left to cap a 50-point second half by the Wildcats in a 71-69 defeat of West Virginia (1/9/19).
  • K-State trailed by as many as 21 points a little more than a minute into the second half before a 17-0 run cut the deficit to 42-38 with 13:07 left. A 4-point play by junior Xavier Sneed gave the Wildcats their first lead with 2:30 remaining before the Mountaineers regained the advantage, 69-68, on a Lamont West free throw a minute later. In the final 60 seconds, Brown put the Wildcats ahead 70-69 with a layup with 29 seconds remaining. 
  • West Virginia missed a shot in the paint with 5 seconds and Sneed came down with the rebound and was sent to the line, where he hit one free throw. The Mountaineers were unable to get a final shot up at the buzzer.
  • Brown led K-State behind a season-high 29 points on 9-of-14 field goals and a 10-of-12 effort from the line to go with a career-tying 6 steals. It was his highest point total since scoring 34 points at Baylor on Jan. 22, 2018. In the process, he became the ninth Wildcat to eclipse 1,500 career points.
  • Brown was joined in double figures by a career night from sophomore Mike McGuirl, who scored a career-high 18 points on 7-of-12 field goals, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, while senior Kamau Stokes and Xavier Sneed added 12 and 10 points, respectively. It was McGuirl’s second career double-digit scoring game and his first since the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
  • K-State scored its 50 points after halftime on 62.1 percent (18-of-29) shooting, including 63.6 percent (7-of-11) from 3-point range, compared to just 21 in the first half on 29.2 percent (7-of-24) shooting, including 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from long range. In addition, the Wildcats scored 25 points off 17 Mountaineers turnovers, while only turning the ball over 6 times.
  • It marked the second time this season that K-State had rallied from a double-digit deficit at home, as the Wildcats came from 16 points down to defeat Southern Miss, 55-51, on Dec. 19 at home. Senior Kamau Stokes scored 16 of his season-high 18 points in the second half.
  • K-State went on a 24-2 run over 8:08 in the second half to take over the game, as the Wildcats held the Golden Eagles scoreless for 5:24 during the span. The run came after scoring a season-low 19 points in the first half, the fewest points in any half since scoring 15 vs. TCU on Feb. 15, 2015.

 
NEAR HISTORIC NIGHT FROM 3

  • K-State showed its potential from long range, as the Wildcats connected on 16 3-point field goals — the second-most triples in school history — to propel themselves past Oklahoma State, 75-57, on Feb. 2.
  • The 16 made 3-point field goals were the most-ever in a conference game and the most since the Wildcats connected on a school-record 23 against Fresno State on March 24, 1994. Eight different Wildcats had at least one 3-pointer, including a career-tying 5 by senior Barry Brown, Jr.
  • The 75 points were a high in Big 12 play, as K-State connected on 53.1 percent (26-of-49) from the field, including 55.2 percent (16-of-29) from 3-point range. It marked the fourth time (now fifth time) this season that the Wildcats have hit 50 percent or better from the field, including just the second time from 3-point range, and had 19 assists on 26 made field goals.
  • The 26 made 3-point field goals in the games against OSU and No. 13/14 Kansas (2/5/19) were the most in a 2-game stretch since knocking down 32 against Fresno State (23) and Vanderbilt on March 24 and 28, 1994.

 
BROWN, WADE BACK-TO-BACK BIG 12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

  • Seniors Barry Brown, Jr., and Dean Wade became the first Wildcats since 2013 to capture Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks, as the duo has helped the squad to 4 consecutive victories.
  • Brown earned his first-ever Big 12 Player of the Week honor on Jan. 14, as he averaged 26 points on 52.9 percent shooting (18-of-34), including a pair of game-winners, in K-State’s victories over West Virginia and No. 20/21 Iowa State, while Wade averaged 18 points and 3.5 assists in the wins over No. 20/19 Oklahoma and TCU this past week.
  • Brown helped K-State engineer a school-record 21-point comeback in the victory over the Mountaineers. He scored a season-high 29 points on 9-of-14 field goals and 10-of-12 free throws to go with a career-tying 6 steals, 1 assist, 1 block and 1 rebound in 38 minutes. He scored a game-high 23 points in the win over the Cyclones, including game-winner with 4 seconds left.
  • Just 2 games removed from missing 6 games due to injury, Wade earned just his second 20-point game of the season with 20 points on 8-of-14 field goals in the Wildcats’ first win at Oklahoma since 2015, while he added 16 points and a game-high 6 assists in the victory over TCU.

 
BETTER WITH DEAN WADE

  • It’s stating the obvious that K-State is a better team when the Wildcats have their two-time All-Big 12 First Team selection Dean Wade on the floor. The team is 20-5 this season with Wade, who has missed 8 games this season with a foot injury, in the lineup and just 5-3 with him out of it. 
  • K-State is averaging 67.4 points on 44.2 percent shooting, including 34.4 percent from 3-point range, in the 25 games with Wade in the lineup, while the team is averaging just 60.9 points on 39.7 percent shooting, including 31 percent from 3-point range, in the 8 games without him.
  • Four Wildcats (Barry Brown, Jr. (15.0 ppg.), Dean Wade (12.9 ppg.), Xavier Sneed (10.8 ppg.) and Kamau Stokes (10.2 ppg.) are averaging in double figures in the 25 games with Wade, while two (Makol Mawien and Cartier Diarra) are averaging between 6.3 and 6.6 points. In comparison, three players (Brown/14.6 ppg., Stokes/12.9 ppg. and Sneed/10.1 ppg.) are averaging in double figures in the 8 games without Wade.

 
BROWN AMONG CAREER LEADERS

  • Senior Barry Brown, Jr., registered a significant milestone in the win over Vanderbilt (12/22/18), becoming the school’s all-time steals leader with 3 against the Commodores to eclipse Jacob Pullen (210, 2007-11). Brown now has 253 career steals in a school-record 138 games played. 
  • Brown’s 253 steals rank sixth in Big 12 history, trailing Kansas’ Aaron Miles (264; 2001-05) by 12 for the Top 5. Brown ranks fourth among active Division I players in steals, trailing Washington’s Matisse Thybulle (322), Purdue Fort Wayne’s John Koncher (272) and Oregon’s Ehab Amin (269).
  • Brown ranks in the Top 10 in several career categories, including 1st in games (138), 3rd in field goals attempted (1,510), 4th in double-digit scoring games (91), field goals (631) and 3-pointers attempted (538), 5th in scoring (1,776) and starts (116), 6th in assists (349), 7th in free throws (342), 8th in 3-pointers made (172) and 9th in free throw attempted (488).
  • Most notably, Brown ranks among the all-time leaders in games played and starts, as his streak of 138 consecutive game played is the school record, while his 116 straight starts rank second (2 shy of Steve Henson’s record). He broke the school record for games played with his 136th against Oklahoma (3/9/19), snapping his tie with Jacob Pullen and Rodney McGruder. 
  • Brown ranks second in minutes (4,446) in school history, needing 28 to pass Steve Henson (4,474; 1987-90). He became the second Wildcat to eclipse 4,000 minutes as well as the 19th player to do so in the Big 12 era with his 40-minute performance vs. No. 13/14 Kansas (2/5/19). His current total is 4th among Big 12 players, needing 52 minutes for 3rd place.

 
BROWN NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR NAISMITH DEFENSIVE POY AWARD

  • Senior Barry Brown, Jr., was named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2019 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award presented by Bona on Feb. 21.
  • Brown was one of two Big 12 players named as semifinalists, joining Texas Tech senior Tariq Owens. The other semifinalists include Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke, Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans, Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, Duke’s Tre Jones and Zion Williamson, Michigan’s Zavier Simpson, Washington’s Matisse Thybulle and Tennessee’s Grant Williams.

 
BROWN, STOKES and WADE AMONG BIG 12’S BEST SCORING TRIOS

  • The senior scoring trio of Barry Brown, Jr., Kamau Stokes and Dean Wade are among the best all-time in Big 12 history, accounting for 4,510 points in their respective careers. They currently rank third all-time in the league’s history among senior trios, trailing Oklahoma’s trio of Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins and Ryan Spangler by 138 points.
  • The 4,510 points is tops among all Power Conferences and ranks ninth in Division I, trailing South Dakota State (5,189/Mike Daum, David Jenkins, Skyler Flatten), Wofford (4,926, Fletcher Magee, Cameron Jackson, Nathan Hoover), Campbell (4,892/Chris Clemons, Andrew Eudy, Marcus Burk), Lipscomb (4,840/Garrison Mathews, Rob Marberry, Nate Moran), Marshall (4,807/Jon Elmore, C.J. Burks, Rondale Watson), Buffalo (4,725/C.J. Massinburg, Nick Perkins, Jeremy Harris), Georgia Southern (4,620/Tookie Brown, Ike Smith, Montae Glenn) and Charleston (4,534/Jarrell Brantley, Grant Riller, Marquise Pointer).
  • The 4,510 points is the top mark by a senior trio in K-State school history, surpassing such famous scoring trios as Ed Nealy, Tyrone Adams and Randy Reed (3,397; 1981-82), Askia Jones, Deryl Cunningham and Anthony Beane (3,274; 1993-94) and Rodney McGruder, Jordan Henriquez and Martavious Irving (2,695; 2012-13).
  • Brown (1,776 points) and Wade (1,510 points) each eclipsed the 1,000-point mark as juniors and currently rank 5th and 10th, respectively, on the all-time scoring list, while Stokes is 18th with 1,224 points.

 
STOKES AMONG THE BEST ALL-TIME IN ASSISTS, 3-POINTERS

  • Just like Barry Brown, Jr., and Dean Wade, Kamau Stokes ranks among the all-time leaders in several categories, including 3rd in assists (411) and 3-point field goals attempted (586), 4th in 3-point field goals (204), 5th in steals (134) and 8th in minutes (3,564).
  • With his 2 assists at TCU (3/5/19), Stokes became just the third Wildcat in school history to eclipse 400 career assists, joining all-time leader Steve Henson (582; 1986-90) and Jacob Pullen (455; 2007-11).
  • With his 4 triples against Oklahoma (3/9/19), Stokes became just the fourth Wildcat to post 200 career 3-point field goals, joining Pullen (299; 2007-11), Henson (240; 1987-90) and Askia Jones (237; 1989-94).

 
DON’T FORGET SNEED

  • With all the attention paid to the three seniors, the accomplishments of junior Xavier Sneed can be overlooked. Since missing the opener, he has scored in double figures in 18 of the last 32 games, including a season-tying 19 points against West Virginia (2/18/19) and TCU (3/14/19)
  • Sneed collected his second career double-double and first of the season at Tulsa (12/8/18), posting a team-best 13 points to go with 10 rebounds. He has grabbed 5 or more rebounds in 19 games, including double-digit boards twice with a season-high 14 vs. Southern Miss (12/19).

 
WELCOME GOODNEWS

  • K-State got some unexpected “good news” on New Year’s Eve when recent signee Goodnews Kpegeol joined the team and filled the 13th and final scholarship for the reminder of the 2018-19 season.
  • An NCAA qualifier prior to enrolling at TaylorMade Academy in Pensacola, Florida for the 2018-19, Kpegeol is immediately eligible after enrolling for the spring semester and has been cleared to play by the NCAA. He is expected to redshirt the reminder of the season.
  • A 6-foot-6, 180-pound guard from St. Paul, Minnesota, Kpegeol spent the first half of the 2018-19 season as a postgraduate at TaylorMade after finishing his four-year prep career at North High School. He led the Polars to the Class 4A State Tournament for the first time in 17 years as a sophomore in 2015-16 before the school to a 22-5 record with a 15-1 mark in conference play as a senior in 2017-18. He averaged a team-best 18.2 points in 19 games played as a senior, which included nine 20-point games.

 
K-STATE WINS PARADISE JAM; FIRST TITLE SINCE 2011

  • Included in K-State’s 6-0 start to the season was a 3-game sweep to win the 19th annual U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., Nov. 16-19, as the Wildcats knocked off Eastern Kentucky (95-68), Penn (64-48) and Missouri (82-67).
  • The tournament championship marked the 14th in school history and the first since winning the 2011 Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawai’i. It was also the sixth career tournament title for head coach Bruce Weber and his first with the Wildcats.
  • Senior Dean Wade was named the tournament’s most valuable player after averaging 17.3 points on 61.8 percent (21-of-34) shooting with 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists in three games, including a team-high 21 points in the title game against the Tigers, while fellow senior Barry Brown, Jr., was one of five players selected as Paradise Jam Tournament All-Stars.

 
MORE ABOUT K-STATE

  • The Wildcats return 10 lettermen, including six players (Barry Brown, Jr., Cartier Diarra, Makol Mawien, Xavier Sneed, Kamau Stokes and Dean Wade) that combined to start all 37 games a season ago, for a team that posted a 25-12 overall record (10-8 in Big 12 play) and advanced to the Elite Eight for the 12th time in school history and the first time since 2010.
  • It marked just the sixth 25-win campaign in school history, including the second under head coach Bruce Weber, while the school advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in six seasons and 30th time overall.
  • K-State returns 185 combined starts from 2017-18, which is the most of any Division I team in the country, and ahead of other schools which return all of its starts, including George Mason (165), Iowa (165), Lipscomb (165) and North Florida (165).
  • K-State returns 93.2 percent (2,452 of 2,630 points) of its offense from 2017-18, which ranks 11th among Division I teams (trailing George Mason, Harvard, Wofford, Washington, Brown, Iowa, Wisconsin, UC Irvine, Syracuse and St. Francis). The Wildcats also returns more than 90 percent of their field goals made (869/92.7%), 3-point field goals made (232/91.3%), free throws made (482/96%), assists (476/93.3%) and steals (266/90.5%) as well as 80 or better percent of their minutes (6,558/85%), rebounds (905/80%) and blocks (98/89%).
  • K-State returns seven of its top-8 scorers from last season, including three with double-digit averages [Wade (16.2 ppg.), Brown (15.9 ppg.) and Sneed (11.1 ppg.). Other returners include Kamau Stokes (9.0 ppg.), Cartier Diarra (7.1 ppg.), Makol Mawien (6.8 ppg.) and Mike McGuirl (3.3 ppg.). The Wildcats return their individual leader in scoring (Wade), rebounding (Wade), assists (Brown), steals (Brown) and blocks (Mawien).

 
‘CATS EARN PRESEASON RANKINGS

  • K-State opened the 2018-19 season in the Top 15 in both major polls, as the Wildcats earned a No. 11 ranking in the preseason USA Today Coaches poll to go with a No. 12 ranking in the preseason Associated Press poll.
  • It marks the first time that K-State has started with preseason rankings in both polls since the 2010-11 campaign when the school opened at No. 3 in the AP and USA Today Coaches polls.
  • K-State appeared in the Preseason AP poll for the 17th time in school history, while it was the highest preseason ranking since starting the 2010-11 campaign at No. 3. It was also the 12th time debuting in the AP Top 15 (1951-52, 1952-53, 1953-54, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1961-62, 1964-65, 1965-66, 1975-76 and 2010-11).
  • The Wildcats have received several preseason rankings, including No. 11 by NBCSports.com, Yahoo! Sports, Street & Smith’s, Lindy’s and Athlon, No. 12 by ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, USA Today, Stadium, No. 13 by The Athletic, Blue Ribbon Yearbook and No. 14 by SI.com. 
  • K-State was one of four Big 12 teams to place in both Top 25 polls, as Kansas was the unanimous No. 1 team. West Virginia was No. 13 in both polls, while TCU was ranked No. 20 (Coaches) and No. 21 (AP), respectively.

 
‘CATS PICKED SECOND IN BIG 12 PLAY; WADE NAMED PRESEASON POY

  • K-State was picked to finish second by the league coaches in the annual Big 12 Preseason poll released on Oct. 19, as the Wildcats received 72 points and two first-place votes. Kansas was selected first, while West Virginia, TCU and Texas rounded out the Top 5.
  • The second-place selection was the second-highest by a K-State team in the history of the poll, following the 2010-11 team which was picked to finish first with 119 points. In fact, the Wildcats have been picked to finish fifth or better on just six other occasions in the poll, including fourth in 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2014-15 and fifth in 2006-07, 2012-13 and 2013-14.
  • Senior Dean Wade became just the second Wildcat to ever be selected the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year by the league coaches, while Wade and Barry Brown, Jr., were both named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. The duo was joined on the team by Kansas’ Dedric Lawson, Iowa State’s Lindell Wigginton and West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate.
  • Wade’s selection marked the second time that a K-State player has been named the preseason Player of the Year and the first since Jacob Pullen in 2010-11. It also was just the second time that two Wildcats appeared on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team, following Pullen and Curtis Kelly in 2010-11. Wade and Brown are just the sixth and seventh players in school history to earn recognition to the Preseason All-Big 12 (since 1996-97), following Manny Dies in 1998-99, Kelly and Pullen in 2010-11, Rodney McGruder in 2012-13 and Marcus Foster in 2014-15.
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Source: Kansas State Sports