Game Preview // K-State Wraps Up Homestand vs. UAPB Tuesday

GAME 4
KANSAS STATE (3-0) vs. ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF (0-3)
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 >> 7:02 p.m. CT >> Bramlage Coliseum (12,528) >> Manhattan, Kan.
 
TELEVISION
Big 12 Now on ESPN+

  • Ben Boyle (play-by-play)
  • Stan Weber (analyst)
  • Missy Heidrick (sideline reporter)

 
RADIO
K-State Sports Network
Flagships: // KMAN 1350 & WIBW 580
Online: TuneIn.com [free] / www.kstatesports.com/watch [free]
Satellite Channel 974 [internet only]

 
LIVE STATS
www.kstatesports.com
kstate.statbroadcast.com [media only]
 
TICKETS
www.kstatesports.com/tickets
(800) 221.CATS [2287]
 
Advanced Single Game: $5 (bench & GA)
Gameday: $10 (bench & GA)/$20 (chairback)
Group (12+): $3
 
COACHES
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 466-244/22nd season
At K-State: 153-89/8th season
vs. UAPB: First meeting
 
Arkansas-Pine Bluff: George Ivory (Mississippi Valley State ’88)
Overall: 132-225/12th season
At UAPB: 132-225/12th season
vs. Kansas State: 0-1 (0-1 at home)
 
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (3-0)
G: #00 Mike McGuirl
G: #2 Cartier Diarra
G/F: #20 Xavier Sneed
F: #23 Montavious Murphy
F: #14 Makol Mawien
               
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-3)
G: #10 Jamil Wilson
G: #23 Dequan Morris
G/F: #21 Shawn Doss
G/F: #3 Markedric Bell
F: #12 Terrance Banyard
 
SERIES HISTORY
Overall: K-State leads 4-0
Current Streak: K-State, 4
In Manhattan: K-State leads 4-0
At Bramlage Coliseum: K-State leads 4-0
Last Meeting: W, 90-76 [12/21/09 in Manhattan]
Weber vs. Ivory: First meeting
 
OPENING TIP

  • Kansas State (3-0) concludes its brief 2-game homestand on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats play host to Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-3) at 7 p.m., CT at Bramlage Coliseum. The contest is the last of two home games affiliated with the Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans Fort Myers Tipoff, which began with a 73-54 win over Monmouth on Nov. 13. K-State will play in the championship rounds of the Tipoff beginning Monday, Nov. 25 with a matchup against Pittsburgh (2-2) at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Fla. The winner will face either Bradley (2-1) or Northwestern (1-1) in the championship game on Wednesday, Nov. 27.  
  • The Wildcats have won 31 consecutive games against non-conference opponents at Bramlage Coliseum since the start of the 2015-16 season. Overall, the school has a 107-6 (.946) record at home venues in non-conference play since 2006-07, including 98-5 (.951) at Bramlage Coliseum, and has won 94 of its last 98 non-conference home games. The team went 10-3 in non-conference action in 2018-19, including 7-0 at home venues. The last non-conference home loss came to Tulsa, 61-54, on Dec. 9, 2017 in Wichita, while the last at Bramlage came to Georgia, 50-46, on Dec. 31, 2014.
  • K-State is off to a 3-0 start for the fifth consecutive season and the sixth time in eight seasons under head coach Bruce Weber, as the Wildcats trailed at the half for the third consecutive game before rallying with a big second-half performance for a 73-54 win over Monmouth on Nov. 13. Down 29-20 at the half to the Hawks after shooting just 28.6 percent (8-of-28) from the field, including 0-of-10 from 3-point range, the Wildcats scored the first 9 points of the second half en route to a 37-6 combined run over the first 14 minutes of the half. The run enabled the squad to flip the 9-point halftime deficit into a 57-35 lead with 5:56 to play. Six different players had at least 7 points in the contest led by senior Xavier Sneed’s team-high 15, while senior Makol Mawien had a near double-double with 11 points and 9 rebounds.
  • K-State has shown to be a second-half team in the early going, as the Wildcats are averaging 43.7 points on 54.2 percent (45-of-83) shooting, including 41.4 percent (12-of-29) from 3-point range, after halftime compared to 19 points on 29.9 percent (26-of-87) shooting, including 3.1 percent (1-of-32) from long range, in the first half.
  • With the offense still developing, K-State has relied on its defensive foundation to grind out wins over North Dakota State, UNLV and Monmouth in the early going. The team is allowing a Big 12-best 54.7 points on 34.2 percent shooting (54-of-158), including 28.4 percent (21-of-74) from 3-point range, while forcing 19.3 turnovers per game. The Wildcats rank first in the Big 12 in scoring defense (54.7 ppg.), field goal percentage (34.2) and steals (10.3 spg.). After holding NDSU to 54 points (on 28.8 percent shooting), UNLV to 56 (34.5 percent shooting) and Monmouth to 54 (on 39.6 percent shooting), the team has now held 90 opponents (including 21 of their last 37 foes) to 60 points or less in the Weber era (nearly 40 percent of the 242 opponents) with the Wildcats boasting an 82-8 (.911) mark in those contests.

 
NOTES ON ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF

  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-3) is currently in the midst of a 5-game road swing to start the 2019-20 season, dropping games at South Florida (41-70), No. 8 Gonzaga (60-110) and Grand Canyon (54-67) entering Tuesday’s game. The Golden Lions continue with road tilts at Pittsburgh on Thursday before finally returning home Nov. 25 to play Champion Christian.  
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff is averaging 51.7 points on 36.9 percent shooting, including 25 percent from 3-point range, with 28.7 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 7.7 steals and 2.0 blocks per game, while allowing 82.3 points on 49.1 percent shooting, including 32.8 percent from 3-point range. The team has connected on 58.8 percent from the free throw line.
  • Junior transfer Shaun Doss is the only Lion averaging in double figures at 12.3 points per game on 40 percent shooting, while three others – Dequan Morris (8.3 ppg.), Terrance Banyard (7.3 ppg.) and Markedric Bell (6.7 ppg.) – are all averaging 6 or more points. Morris leads the team in field goal percentage (53.3), while Banyard is tops in rebounding (5.0 rpg.).
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff posted a 13-19 overall record in 2018-19, including a third-place finish with a 10-8 mark in SWAC play.
  • Head coach George Ivory enters his 12th season in 2019-10 with a 132-225 overall record, including a 110-88 mark in SWAC action. He led the Lions to the 2010 NCAA Tournament with an 18-16 record.  

 
SERIES HISTORY

  • K-State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff will meet for the fifth time and the first time since a 90-76 win by the Wildcats at Bramlage Coliseum on Dec. 21, 2009. The Wildcats are 4-0 all-time in the series, including a 69-63 win on Dec. 23, 1996, a 76-39 win on Dec. 4, 2002 and a 76-42 win on Nov. 29, 2004. 
  • This will be the first meeting for coach Bruce Weber against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Ivory is 0-1 all-time against K-State, coaching against the Wildcats in the last matchup on Dec. 21, 2009.
  •  K-State is 9-1 against teams with the SWAC with all 10 matchups coming at home. This will be the first meeting with a SWAC opponent since a 58-56 loss to Texas Southern on Dec. 28, 2014. This will be the first of two meetings with SWAC opponents, which includes a Dec. 11 game with Alabama State.

 
LAST TIME OUT: K-STATE 73, MONMOUTH 54

  • Kansas State scored 53 points on 64.3 percent shooting after halftime, as the Wildcats used another second-half rally to pull away from Monmouth, 73-54, on Nov. 13 at Bramlage Coliseum.
  • K-State has now trailed at the half in all 3 games and rallied in the second half to win.
  • Down 29-20 at the half to Monmouth after shooting just 28.6 percent (8-of-28) from the field, including 0-of-10 from 3-point range, the Wildcats scored the first 9 points of the second half en route to a 37-6 combined run over the first 14 minutes of the half. The run enabled the squad to flip the 9-point halftime deficit into a 57-35 lead with 5:56 to play. Six players scored in the pivotal stretch, including 9 by senior Makol Mawien and seven each by senior Xavier Sneed and freshman Montavious Murphy.
  • Sneed led the way in scoring for the second straight game with 15 points on 5-of-10 field goals to go with a career-tying 5 steals and 6 rebounds in 34 minutes. Mawien nearly had his second double-double of the season with 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting and a team-high 9 rebounds in 17 minutes. Three others – Murphy and juniors Cartier Diarra and David Sloan – each had 8 points, as Diarra added a career-high 7 assists and 4 steals.
  • The Hawks, which connected on 54.5 percent (12-of-22) from the field in building a 9-point lead at half, hit on just 26.9 percent (7-of-26) in the second half. They became the third consecutive opponent to not reach 60 points against the stingy Wildcat defense, which is allowing just 54.7 points on 34.2 percent shooting this season.
  • K-State registered 17 steals on the night, which were the third-most in school history and the most since team tied the program record with 19 steals in a win over Northern Arizona on Nov. 20, 2017.
  • The Wildcats finished the game at 46.4 percent (26-of-56), including 21.1 percent (4-of-19) from 3-point range, and converted on 70.8 percent (17-of-24) from the free throw line. The team set or tied season-highs in a number of categories, including points (73), field goals (26), field goal percentage (46.4), assists (17), points in the paint (38) and fast-break points (22).
  • Of the Wildcats’ 200 points this season, 98 have come in the paint.

 
LEADING WITH DEFENSE

  • K-State continued its reputation as one of the top defensive teams in the country under head coach Bruce Weber to start the season, holding its first three opponents to a Big 12-best 54.7 points on 34.2 percent shooting (54-of-158), including 28.4 percent (21-of-74) from 3-point range.
  • K-State has held 21 of its last 37 opponents to 60 points or less with just two eclipsing 70. The squad has held 90 opponents to 60 points or less in Bruce Weber‘s tenure, boasting an 82-8 mark in those contests.
  • 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 squad led the Big 12 in steals and turnover margin, while was second in scoring defense and rebounding defense (32.1) and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense.
  • 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 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) 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.
  • In the 58-45 win over No. 14/13 Texas Tech last season, 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 2003.

 
FIRST HALF VS. SECOND HALF

  • K-State has had a unique start to the season, having trailed at halftime in all three games before rallying in the second half to win each game. It marks the first time in more than two decades that the Wildcats have rallied from halftime deficits in three consecutive games and the first time in recorded history in the first three games of the season.
  • The Wildcats have almost been two different teams from the first half to the second half, averaging 19.0 points on 29.9 percent (26-of-87) shooting, including 3.1 percent (1-of-32) from 3-point range, in the opening half to averaging 43.7 points on 54.2 percent (45-of-83) shooting, including 41.4 percent (12-of-29) from long range, after halftime. The team has scored 21, 16 and 20 in the first half of the first three games before posting 46, 44 and 53 in the second half. The team had nearly as many points in the second half (53) vs. Monmouth as they have had in three games in the first half (57).
  • Not only is the scoring different from each half, the team has taken better care of the ball with 32 assists (to 16 turnovers) in the second half compared to 11 assists (to 22 turnovers) in the first half. Five players – Cartier Diarra (31), Xavier Sneed (25), Makol Mawien (19), Levi Stockard III (13) and DaJuan Gordon (10) – have totaled double-digit points in the second half, compared to just two – Sneed (14) and Diarra (12) – in the first half.
  • No player more exemplifies this than Diarra, who is averaging 10.3 points on 40.9 percent (9-of-22) shooting, including 28.6 percent (2-of-7) from 3-point range, in the second half with 12 assists and 4 turnovers. He is averaging just 4.0 points on 28.6 percent (6-of-21), including missing all 10 3-point field goal attempts, in the first half with 6 assists and 4 turnovers. Others with big jumps include Sneed (4.7 points to 8.3 points) and fellow senior Makol Mawien (3.0 points to 6.3 points). 
  • There has been greater flip from first half to second half than the win over Monmouth on Nov. 13. K-State scored just 20 points in the opening half on 28.6 percent (8-of-28) shooting, including missing all 10 3-point attempts, with just 3 assists (with 8 turnovers) on its 8 made field goals.
  • In the second half, the Wildcats flipped a 9-point halftime deficit into a 57-35 lead with under 14 minutes to play behind a 37-6 run. Overall, the team scored 53 points after halftime on 64.3 percent (18-of-28) shooting, including 44.4 percent (4-of-9) from 3-point range, with 14 assists (on just 5 turnovers) on its 18 made field goals. The 53 points were the most second-half points since scoring 58 vs. Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 16, 2018. 

 
SCORING INSIDE THE 3-POINT LINE

  • With its struggles from the 3-point line to start the year, K-State is getting much of its scoring from inside the arc. Of the 200 points scored so far, 120 have come from 2-point field goals, including 98 inside the paint.  
  • The Wildcats are connecting on 53.1 percent (60-of-113) inside the 3-point line compared to just 22.2 percent (14-of-63) from 3-point range.
  • The 98 points in the paint through the first three games are the most since scoring 110 in the first three games of the 2015-16 season.

 
DIARRA PROVING TO BE A SOLID PG

  • Junior Cartier Diarra is proving to be a solid point guard for the Wildcats, averaging a team-best 14.3 points on 34.1 percent (15-of-44) shooting with 6.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 32.9 minutes per game. He has led the team in assists in three straight games to start the season.
  • Diarra’s 19 assists are the most by a Wildcat in the first three games since assists began being kept in 1976-77, surpassing the previous three-game high of 17 done Gaylon Nickerson (1991-92), Askia Jones (1992-93) and Aaron Swartzendruber (1996-97).
  • Diarra was the only player to score in double figures in the first two games, including a career-best 23 points in the season 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 free throw 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.
  • Although he struggled shooting the ball against Monmouth on Nov. 13, Diarra made up for it with an all-around effort, which included a career-best 7 assists, 4 steals and 4 rebounds to go with 8 points in 32 minutes.

 
SNEED GETTING HOT

  • Senior Xavier Sneed has led the Wildcats in scoring in the last two games, averaging 17 points in wins against UNLV and Monmouth, after struggling with just 9 points in the opener against North Dakota State.
  • Sneed scored a season-high 19 points in the overtime win over the Runnin’ Rebels, including the go-ahead jumper with 28 seconds left, then followed that up with a 15-point effort in the over Monmouth.

 
NON-CONFERENCE HISTORY

  • K-State has a 107-6 (.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 98-5 (.951) mark at Bramlage Coliseum
  • The Wildcats have won 94 of their last 98 non-conference home games, including a 31-game winning streak at Bramlage Coliseum. The last home non-conference loss came against Georgia, 50-46, on Dec. 31, 2014.
  • K-State has posted a 143-36 (.798) 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 46-9 (.836) in non-conference play since the start of 2015-16 season.

 
A LOOK AT THE 31 STRAIGHT NON-CONFERENCE WINS AT BRAMLAGE COLISEUM

  • A closer look at K-State’s current 31-game non-conference winning streak at Bramlage Coliseum, which dates to the start of the 2015-16 season. The Wildcats have won by an average of more than 17 points per game. 

 

  • 11/13/15 — Maryland-Eastern Shore, 80-53
  • 11/16/15 — Columbia, 81-71
  • 11/20/15 — South Dakota, 93-72
  • 11/29/15 — South Carolina State, 68-66
  • 12/9/15 — Coppin State, 83-58
  • 12/22/16 — North Dakota, 63-49
  • 12/29/16 — Saint Louis, 75-47
  • 1/30/16 — Ole Miss, 69-64 (Big 12/SEC Challenge)
  • 11/11/16 — Western Illinois, 82-55
  • 11/15/16 — Omaha, 81-68
  • 11/20/16 — Hampton, 89-67
  • 11/22/16 — Robert Morris, 61-40
  • 11/30/16 — Green Bay, 80-61
  • 12/6/16 — Prairie View A&M, 74-55
  • 12/21/16 — Gardner-Webb, 67-54
  • 11/10/17 — American, 83-45
  • 11/14/17 — UMKC, 72-51
  • 11/17/17 — UC Irvine, 71-49
  • 11/20/17 — Northern Arizona, 80-58
  • 11/29/17 — Oral Roberts, 77-68
  • 12/5/17 — USC Upstate, 86-49
  • 12/16/17 — SE Missouri State, 89-71
  • 1/27/18 — Georgia, 56-51 (Big 12/SEC Challenge)
  • 11/9/18 — Kennesaw State, 56-41
  • 11/12/18 — Denver, 64-56
  • 11/24/18 — Lehigh, 77-58
  • 12/15/18 — Georgia State, 71-59
  • 12/19/18 — Southern Miss, 55-51
  • 12/29/18 — George Mason, 59-58
  • 11/5/19 – North Dakota State, 67-54
  • 11/13/19 – Monmouth, 73-54

 
HISTORY AT BRAMLAGE COLISEUM

  • K-State has posted a 380-118 (.763) all-time record at Bramlage Coliseum since its opening during the 1988-89 season. The 380 wins are the most at a home venue for the Wildcats, surpassing the 378 wins at Ahearn Field House (1950-88). It is the school’s third home venue.
  • K-State has registered a 180-38 (.826) record at home over the past 14 seasons, including a 79-33 (.705) mark in Big 12 play. The 180 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. In all, the program has earned double-digit victories in 26 of its 31 seasons in the arena, including a current streak of 18 straight seasons.
  • K-State has a 240-61 (.797) record at home, including a 140-10 (.933) mark in non-conference action, since the 2001-02 season for an average of just over 13 home wins (13.3) per season in that span.
  • Head coach Bruce Weber has tallied a 96-22 (.814) 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) and Georgia (2014). The 22 losses (19 of which have come in Big 12 play) have come by a grand total of 174 points or just 7.9 points per game.

 
‘CATS EARN FIRST OVERTIME ROAD WIN SINCE 2015

  • Senior Xavier Sneed scored a season-high 19 points, including 4 of the team’s last 6 points in overtime, to help propel K-State to a 60-56 come-from-behind victory at UNLV on Nov. 9 at the Thomas and Mack Center.
  • Playing in their first overtime in more than a year, the Wildcats went back and forth with the Runnin’ Rebels in the extra session before a jumper by Sneed with 28 seconds left gave the team the lead for good at 56-54. A deflection off a missed shot by senior Amauri Hardy went the way of K-State with 18 seconds, and junior Mike McGuirl calmly sank a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 58-54 with 13 seconds remaining.
  • Freshman DaJuan Gordon blocked a desperation 3-pointer by junior Jonah Antonio on the next Rebel possession with 7 seconds to play and Sneed finished off the Wildcat scoring with two free throws for a 60-54 lead with 4 seconds. A lay-up Hardy at the buzzer closed the scoring at 60-56.
  • Playing in their earliest road game in school history, the Wildcats claimed their first non-conference true road victory in close to two years, snapping a 3-game losing streak, and earned their first overtime victory in a road venue since a 66-63 win at No. 16 Oklahoma on Jan. 10, 2015.

 
‘CATS WIN OPENER AGAIN

  • K-State opened the season with a hard-fought 67-54 win over preseason Summit League favorite North Dakota State on Nov. 5. Behind the play of junior Cartier Diarra who scored a career-high 23 points, the Wildcats used a second-half resurgence to break open a tight game.
  • K-State is now 91-25 (.784) all-time in season openers dating to the first season in 1903, including a 79-9 (.898) mark at home. The Wildcats have a 26-2 (.929) record in season openers played at Bramlage Coliseum. Overall, the team is now 28-4 (.875) at Bramlage Coliseum in home openers. Head coach Bruce Weber is now 7-1 (.875) in season openers at K-State.
  • It marked the first time the school has opened a season against an NCAA Tournament opponent in nearly 20 seasons (an 88-69 loss at Arizona on Nov. 16, 1999) and the first time at home since hosting Purdue (with  then head coach and K-State alum Gene Keady and assistant coach Bruce Weber) in the first-ever game at Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 26, 1988.

 
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.

 
UP NEXT: VS. PITTSBURGH (2-2)

  • K-State opens semifinal play in Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans Fort Myers Tipoff against Pittsburgh (2-2, 1-0 ACC) at 5 p.m., CT on Monday at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Fla. The winner will play either Bradley (2-1) or Northwestern (1-1) in the championship game at 7:30 p.m., CT on Wednesday. The losers will play in the third-place game at 5 p.m., CT.
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Source: Kansas State Sports