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K-State Opens Big 12 Play Saturday vs Conference Newcomer UCF

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GAME 14
KANSAS STATE (10-3, 0-0 Big 12) vs. UCF (9-3, 0-0 Big 12)
Saturday, January 6, 2024 >> 5:01 p.m. CT >> Bramlage Coliseum (11,010) >> Manhattan, Kan.

TELEVISION
ESPN2 / WatchESPN (link here)

  • Mark Neely (play-by-play)
  • Tim Welsh (analyst)
  • Aaron Owens (producer)

RADIO
K-State Sports Network
Flagships: // KMAN 1350 & WIBW 580
Satellite Radio: Ch. 381
Online: Varsity Network [free] / www.kstatesports.com/watch [free]

  • Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
  • Stan Weber (analyst)

LIVE STATS
kstatesports.com
kstate.statbroadcast.com

TICKETS
kstatesports.com/tickets
$30-$40

COACHES
K-State: Jerome Tang [Charter Oak State College ’07] Record at K-State: 36-13/Second Year
Career Record: 38-13*/Second Year
vs. UCF: 0-0 [0-0 at home]

UCF: Johnny Dawkins [Duke ’86] Record at UCF: 140-90/8th Year
Career Record: 296-205/16th Year
vs. K-State: 0-0 [0-0 on the road]

PROBABLE STARTERS
K-State (10-3)
G: #2 Tylor Perry
G: #5 Cam Carter
W: #24 Arthur Kaluma
W: #1 David N’Guessan
C: #15 Will McNair Jr.

UCF (9-3)
G: #3 Darius Johnson
G: #24 Jaylin Sellers
G: #2 Shemarri Allen
G: #12 DeMarr Langford Jr.
F: #5 Omar Payne

SERIES HISTORY
Overall: K-State leads 2-0
At Home: K-State leads 1-0
At Bramlage Coliseum: K-State leads 1-0
Active Streak: K-State, 2
First Meeting: W, 71-59 [1/6/2003 in Manhattan] Last Meeting: W, 73-71 [OT] [11/23/2007 in Orlando] Jerome Tang vs. Johnny Dawkins: First meeting

K-STATE OPENS BIG 12 PLAY SATURDAY VS CONFERENCE NEWCOMER UCF
Kansas State (10-3) opens a new era of the Big 12 on Saturday, as the Wildcats welcome league newcomer UCF (9-3) to Bramlage Coliseum for a 5 p.m., CT tipoff on ESPN2. Big 12 schools will continue to play an 18-game conference schedule with 9 games at home and on the road but will no longer play the round-robin, as the league embarks on its new 14-team format with the introductions of BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston.

Saturday’s game will be the lone regular season meeting between the schools in 2024 and just the third overall and the first in more than 16 seasons. The Wildcats won matchups in 2003 and 2007 with the Knights, including a 71-59 victory in the only such matchup at Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 6, 2003. The last meeting came at the Old Spice Classic in 2007 in Orlando.

K-State has posted a 55-55 all-time record in conference openers dating back to its days in the Missouri Valley in 1914 with a 12-15 mark in the Big 12 era. The Wildcats are 37-20 at home all-time in league openers, including 11-5 at Bramlage Coliseum. The team has won 2 of their last 3 conference openers, including an 82-76 overtime victory over West Virginia in 2022-23.

KEY STORYLINES

  • K-State enters Saturday’s game with 7 wins in its last 8 outings, including a 5-game winning streak from Nov. 22 to Dec. 9. Among those 7 wins is a Quad 1 victory over Villanova on Dec. 5 and a road victory at LSU on Dec. 9. The Wildcats have a 22-2 record at Bramlage Coliseum under head coach Jerome Tang, including an 8-1 mark in Big 12 play in 2022-23.
  • K-State has continued to make strides on the defensive end after allowing 75 points or more 4 times in the first 9 games. In the last 4 games, the Wildcats have allowed just 59.3 points on 38.4 percent (91-of-237) shooting, including 31.4 percent (27-of-86) from 3-point range. The team allowed just 60 points in the wins over LSU and Wichita State as well as a near opponent season-low 55 points in Tuesday’s victory over Chicago State.
  • The Wildcats have a strong scoring trio of junior Cam Carter (16.5 ppg.), junior Arthur Kaluma (15.2 ppg.) and senior Tylor Perry (15.0 ppg.), who are responsible for 62 percent of the team’s scoring (46.7 out of 75.8 ppg.). K-State is the only Big 12 member to have 3 players rank in the league’s top-20 in scoring, as Carter ranks sixth, Kaluma 14th and Perry 16th. The trio has been even more impressive in the 10 wins, averaging 47.9 points per game.
  • Rebounding has been a strength for the Wildcats, as they rank in the top-40 nationally in 2 rebounding categories, including 12th in offensive rebounds (14.38) and 34th in rebounding/ game (40.92). The team held a 46-22 advantage on the glass vs. Chicago State, as junior Arthur Kaluma collected his team-leading third double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
  • Thanks to a Big 12-leading four overtime games, K-State has 3 players who rank in the Big 12’s top-3 in minutes played, including league leader Cam Carter (36.4 mpg.). Carter is followed by senior Tylor Perry (36.2 mpg.) and junior Arthur Kaluma (35.2 mpg.).

A K-STATE WIN WOULD…

  • Extend its winning streak over UCF to 3 games.
  • Give it a 1-0 start to Big 12 play for the second straight year.
  • Lift its all-time record in conference openers to 56-55.
  • Push its record to 13-15 all-time in Big 12 openers.
  • Give it a 425-146 record at Bramlage Coliseum.

NOTES ON UCF (9-3)

  • Under eighth-year head coach Johnny Dawkins, UCF went 9-3 in the non-conference season with 3 consecutive wins (Maine, Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman) since its last loss to unbeaten Ole Miss on Dec. 10. The Knight’s 3 losses have come on the road to No. 13/13 Miami and at home to Stetson and Ole Miss. This is the team’s first road game since that 88-72 setback to the Hurricanes on Nov. 10.
  • UCF is averaging 78.6 points on 43.8 percent shooting, including 33 percent from 3-point range, with 40.9 rebounds, 12.8 assists, 9.8 steals and 5.6 blocks per game, while allowing 64.2 points on 38.6 percent shooting, including 31 percent from 3-point range. The Knights are connecting on 69 percent from the free throw line. They also averaging nearly 30 points per game (28.92) from their bench.
  • The Knights rank among the top-40 nationally in 12 categories, including 10th in turnovers forced (17.08), 15th in blocks/game (5.6), 19th in both turnover margin (+4.1) and steals/game (9.8) and 20th in field goal percentage defense (38.6).
  • Three Knights are averaging in double figures led by the Big 12’s No. 2 scorer in junior guard Jaylin Sellers, who is averaging 18.6 points on 45.1 percent shooting. Fellow junior Darius Johnson is averaging 14.3 points on 42.5 percent shooting, including a team-best 22 made 3-pointers. Senior Marchelus Avery is averaging 11.3 points on 45.5 percent shooting. Johnson leads the team in both assists (43) and steals (22), while senior Ibrahima Diallo is the team-leader in rebounding (6.1 rpg.) and blocked shots (2.3 bpg.).
  • UCF was picked 14th in the Big 12 preseason coaches poll. The Knights posted a 19-15 record, including an 8-10 mark in their final season in the AAC, and advanced to the second round of the NIT.
  • Dawkins, a legendary player and assistant coach at Duke, has a 296-205 record in his 16th season as a head coach, which includes a 140-90 mark while at UCF. He was the head coach at Stanford from 2008-16.
  • Dawkins, who has his No. 24 uniform retired at Duke, was a two-time consensus First Team All-American (1985, 1986) while playing for the Blue Devils as well as the 1986 Naismith Player of the Year. He led Duke to the 1986 NCAA Championship game, losing to Louisville.

SERIESHISTORY

  • K-State and UCF will be meeting for the just third time on Saturday with the Wildcats winning the previous 2 matchups in 2003 and 2007.
  • Ironically, Saturday’s game will mark the 21st anniversary of the first meeting between the schools, including the first at Bramlage Coliseum, as the Wildcats posted a 71-59 victory over the Knights on Jan. 6, 2003.

ALL-TIME MEETINGS

DateRankResultScoreLocation
1/6/2003–/–W71-56Manhattan
11/23/2007–/–W73-71 (OT)Orlando

LAST MEETING
K-STATE 73, UCF 71 (OT) [Nov. 23, 2007]

  • Freshman Michael Beasley scored 30 points, while fellow freshman Jacob Pullen added 19 points, as No. 18 K-State needed overtime to beat UCF, 73-71, in the second round of the Old Spice Classic in the last meeting between the schools on Nov. 23, 2007.
  • UCF rallied from a 13-point deficit midway through the second half to tie it at 61-all on a dunk by Jermaine Taylor, who had 20 points for the Knights. It remained a back-and-forth affair until the end, as UCF’s running jumper bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

LAST TIME OUT:
K-STATE 62, CHICAGO STATE 55

  • K-State scored the first 8 points out of halftime as part of an 11-2 run to open the second half, as the Wildcats flipped the momentum en route to wrapping up non-conference play with a 62-55 win over Chicago State on Tuesday night before 9,123 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
  • With the victory, K-State (10-3) tallied double-digit wins in non-conference play for the second consecutive season while dispatching a pesky Chicago State (7-13) team – the lone independent team in Division I –  which already had a win over a Top 25 opponent (Northwestern) this season.
  • Junior Cam Carter had an all-around impressive night for the Wildcats, scoring a game-tying 19 points to go with 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists in 36 minutes. Fellow junior Arthur Kaluma collected his sixth career double-double, including his third as a Wildcat, with 14 points and a season-tying 13 rebounds, while senior David N’Guessan narrowly missed a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds to go with a pair of blocks.
  • K-State trailed by as many as 7 points in the first half to Chicago State before closing out the half with 6 of the final 8 points to get within 30-27 at the break. The Wildcats then scored the first 8 points out of halftime as part of an 11-2 run to open the second half to take a 38-32 lead at the first media timeout.
  • All told, the Wildcats outscored the Cougars, 17-4, between the last 3:58 of the first half and the first 4:03 of the second half to flip a 7-point deficit into a 6-point lead with just over 16 minutes left.
  • Although Chicago State closed to within a possession at 46-44 with just over 10 minutes remaining, K-State was able to answer with a 6-0 run, including a pair of electrifying dunks by Carter, to push ahead by 8 points with 7:24 to play. From there, the Cougars would get no closer than 5 points the rest of the way.
  • K-State scored 38 of its 62 points in the paint and held a 46-22 edge on the glass, which included 16 offensive rebounds that led to 12 second-chance points. The Wildcats have now outrebounded 9 of their 13 opponents.
  • K-State connected on 52.2 percent (12-of-23) of its field goals in the second half to finish at 43.1 percent (22-of-51) for the game. Chicago State hit on 36.7 percent (18-of-49) of its field goals, but just 32 percent (8-of-25) after halftime, including 25 percent (2-of-8) from 3-point range.
  • In addition to the three double-digit scorers, the Wildcats got a boost from freshman wing Taj Manning, who played for the first time since the Central Arkansas game on Nov. 22, adding 4 points, 3 rebounds and an assist in just over 14 minutes of action.

POSTGAME NEWS & NOTES

  • K-State earned double-digit wins in non-conference play for the second straight season and the 14th time in the last 19 seasons (since 2006-07).
  • K-State is now 181-56 in non-conference play since 2006-07, including 137-15 at home venues and 126-13 at Bramlage Coliseum.
  • K-State scored its 62 points on 43.1 percent (22-of-51) shooting, including 21.4 percent (3-of-14) from 3-point range, while the Wildcats connected on 65.2 percent (15-of-23) from the free throw line.
  • K-State held the advantage in points off turnovers (6-4), points in the paint (38-16), second-chance points (12-6) and fast-break points (12-2).
  • Three Wildcats scored in double figures led by junior Cam Carter’s game-tying 19 points… The team is now 10-2 this season when 3 or more players score in double figures.

SUCCESS IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY

  • K-State has posted a 181-56 (.764) record in non-conference play since the 2006-07 season. During that span, the Wildcats have a 137-15 (.901) mark at home venues (includes games played at Bramlage Coliseum, INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita and the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City) in non-conference play, including a 126-13 (.907) mark at Bramlage Coliseum.
  • At 10-3, K-State earned double-digit wins in non-conference play for the second straight season and the 14th time in the last 19 seasons (since 2006-07). The 10 wins marked the second-most in that span in the last 6 seasons.

 

YearOverallHomeBramlage
2006-0711-47-07-0
2007-0810-48-17-1
2008-0912-311-010-0
2009-1013-19-08-0
2010-1112-39-18-1
2011-1211-17-06-0
2012-1311-29-08-0
2013-1410-37-17-1
2014-157-66-25-2
2015-1611-28-08-0
2016-1711-28-08-0
2017-1811-28-18-0
2018-1910-37-06-0
2019-207-66-26-1
2020-214-54-54-5
2021-228-56-16-1
2022-2312-18-07-0
2023-2410-38-17-1
Total180-56137-15126-13

1700 WINSANDCOUNTING

  • K-State’s overtime 96-87 win over Nevada on Nov. 22, 2022, in the semifinals of the Cayman Islands Classic represented the 1,700th win in school history. The Wildcats are the 43rd Division I team to eclipse 1,700 wins, including the sixth Big 12 school.
  • The Wildcats have 1,731-1,226 (.585) all-time record as a program, which includes 32 NCAA Tournament appearances and 21 conference championships.

NEW OFFENSE, MORE 3-POINTERS

  • K-State made the switch to the 5-out offense in the offseason to utilize its versality in talent, as the offense is structured around spacing with all 5 players required to pass, cut, screen, dribble and shoot.
  • After scoring 100 points in the exhibition play for the first time since 1993, the Wildcats eclipsed the 100-point barrier at home since 2010 and the second time under head coach Jerome Tang with a 100-56 victory over Central Arkansas on Nov. 22. The team has also scored 83 points twice (Bellarmine and No. 12/11 Miami), 91 vs. South Dakota State and 88 vs. Oral Roberts.
  • Despite not hitting the 70-point mark in the last 3 games, the current 75.8 scoring average is still the best through the first 13 games since the 2009-10 team averaged 82.9 points. The average is still trending ahead of last year’s team, which averaged 75.6 points through the first 13 games.
  • The new offense has so far increased the number of 3-pointers, as the team has already attempted 323 from beyond the arc, including 33 in the opener vs. No. 21/22 USC (11/6/23), which ranked as the seventh-most in a game in school history. The Wildcats followed with 31 3-point attempts vs. Bellarmine (11/10/23), while hitting on double-digit makes (12) for the first time.
  • In the win over South Dakota State (11/13/23), K-State knocked down 14 3-pointers, which tied for the fifth-most in school history and are the most since hitting 16 at Oklahoma State on Feb. 2, 2019.
  • The Wildcats have connected on 97 3-pointers, which are the most through the first 13 games. The 26 combined 3-pointers in games vs. Bellarmine and South Dakota State were the most in back-to-back games since also making 26 in games at Oklahoma State and at home to Kansas on Feb. 2 and 5, 2019.
  • The Wildcats rank fourth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal attempts (24.8) and ninth in 3-point field goals/game (7.5). The 323 3-point attempts are the fourth-most in the Big 12 behind BYU (439), OSU (341) and Texas Tech (325). Senior Tylor Perry ranks among the top-75 nationally in two 3-point categories, including 20th in attempts (112) and 63rd in makes/game (2.69).

MORE THAN JUST THE 3

  • K-State has shown its offense is more than just the 3-pointer, as the team is averaging 34.3 points in the paint this season, including 36.9 in the last 9 games. The Wildcats scored 50 or more points in the paint in back-to-back games vs. No. 12/11 Miami and Central Arkansas.
  • K-State scored 56 points in the paint against the Hurricanes, which tied for the most in a single game in school history (stat kept since 2000-01), and the most since scoring 56 against South Dakota on Jan. 3, 2010.

POINT OF EMPHASIS

  • Ever since the loss to Florida Atlantic in the Elite Eight, in which, K-State was out-rebounded 44-22, rebounding has been a point of emphasis by head coach Jerome Tang. So far that message has been received, as the Wildcats rank fourth in the Big 12 and 34th nationally in rebounds/game (40.92), including third in the league and 12th nationally in offensive rebounds/game (14.38).
  • K-State has out-rebounded its opponents 9 times in 13 games, while posting an +6.2 rebounding margin, which ranks 53rd nationally.
  • K-State posted its highest rebound total in more than 25 seasons in the win over Central Arkansas (11/22/23), corralling 63 rebounds, which were the most since totaling 64 vs. Kansas City on Dec. 3, 1997. Among those 63 boards were 26 on the offensive end, which they converted into 34 second-chance points. The 26 offensive rebounds were the most since grabbing 29 vs. North Florida on Nov. 18, 2012, while the 37 defensive rebounds were one shy of the top-10.

CONVERTING FROM THE LINE

  • K-State has taken advantage of its opportunities from the free throw line, averaging 16.2 makes per game while converting on 72.5 percent from the line. The Wildcats rank among top-65 nationally in both makes (16.2) and attempts (22.4) per game, as the squad places fourth in the Big 12 and 54th nationally in makes and fourth in the Big 12 and 62nd nationally in attempts.
  • No game were free throws more important than the North Alabama (12/2/23) win, as K-State converted on 34 of 48 attempts. The 34 makes were the most in a game since hitting 36 vs. South Dakota on Nov. 20, 2015, while the 48 attempts were the most since also attempting 48 vs. Southern Utah on Nov. 14, 2014. Both were just outside the school’s all-time top-10.

BETTER DEFENSIVE EFFORT

  • After allowing 75 points or more 4 times in the first 9 games, K-State has made strides on the defensive end in the last 4 games, allowing just 59.3 points on 38.4 percent (91-of-237) shooting. The Wildcats held LSU (12/9/23) and Wichita State (12/21/23) to just 60 points each.
  • It is not the first instances that K-State has shown the ability to be a good defensive team, as the Wildcats held South Dakota State (11/13/23) and Providence (11/17/23) to an average of 69 points, while Central Arkansas (11/22/23) scored a season-low 56 points on 27.9 percent (19-of-68) shooting.
  • The defense also performed well in the win at LSU, holding the Tigers to 60 points on 41.5 percent shooting. WSU was also held to 60 points on 41.3 percent shooting, including just 15.8 percent from 3-point range.

LATE GAME PERRY

  • Senior Tylor Perry has become the very definition of a clutch player, as his heroics against North Alabama (12/2/23) and Villanova (12/5/23) lifted the Wildcats to victory in overtime. Perry’s step back 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds in the overtime win over Villanova came on the heels of a similar step back triple that forced overtime vs. North Alabama with 8 seconds left in regulation.
  • Dating back to his days at North Texas, Perry has now made seven shots to either win a game or send a game into overtime in his Division I career.
  • Perry’s late game heroics go beyond the last 3 seasons. As a senior in high school, he sank a buzzer beater to send his Spiro High School team to the semifinals of the state tournament.

PERRY MORE THAN JUST A SCORER

  • Senior Tylor Perry proved that he is more than just a scorer in the opener vs. No. 21/22 USC (11/6/23) in Las Vegas, leading the team in assists (6) and steals (4) to go with 6 rebounds and his team-best 22 points. Currently, he is averaging 15.0 points, 5.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 36.2 minutes per game.
  • Perry has scored in double figures in 11 of the first 13 games, including in 6 of the last 7 games. Among those team-tying 11 double-digit scoring games is a team-best four 20-point games, which includes 22 vs. USC (11/6/23) and South Dakota State (11/13/23), a season-best 24 in the win over Providence (11/17/23) and 20 vs. Oral Roberts (11/28/23).
  • Perry ranks the Big 12’s top 10 in 5 categories, including tops in free throw percentage (93.9), second in minutes (36.2), fourth in 3-point field goals (2.69), fifth in assists (5.4 apg.), seventh in assist/turnover ratio (2.5). He is also ranks 15th in 3-point field goal percentage (31.3) and 16th in scoring (15.0 ppg.).
  • Perry recently eclipsed 2,000 career points in his college career, which includes stints at Coffeyville Community College (2019-21) and North Texas (2021-23). He currently has 1,238 points at the Division I level.
  • Perry had at least 4 3-pointers in 4 games, while he had a season-high 6 treys against South Dakota State (11/13/23). He now has made at least 4 3-pointers in 27 career games at the Division I level, while he hast 6 or made triples in 4 games (7 vs. San Jose State (11/25/22) and 6 at UAB (2/19/22), 6 vs. Sam Houston (3/19/23) and 6 vs. South Dakota State).

EXCELLING FROM THE FREE THROW LINE

  • Senior Tylor Perry ranks among the best from the free throw line, hitting on 93.9 percent (62-of-66). He ranks 11th nationally and first in the Big 12. He made 34 straight free throws before missing in overtime vs. Oral Roberts.
  • Among Perry’s 24 points in the win over Providence (11/17/23) was a perfect 14-of-14 performance from the free throw line, which tied for the third-best in school history and the best since Michael Beasley went 15-of-15 from the line at Baylor on Feb. 23, 2008. Only Beasley and Steve Henson, who went a school-best 17-of-17 from the stripe at Iowa State on Feb. 24, 1988, have enjoyed a better performance from the free throw line.

BUCKET GETTER

  • Head coach Jerome Tang has said that he wants guard Cam Carter to be a bucket getter and that’s what the junior has delivered in the first 13 games, averaging a team-best 16.5 points per game. He also leads the Wildcats in field goals (77) and attempts (195), while he is second to Tylor Perry in 3-point field goals (25) and attempts (86).
  • After recording his first 20-point game vs. South Dakota State (11/13/23) with a game-high 25 points on 10-of-20 field goals, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, Carter took it to another level vs. No. 12/11 Miami (11/19/23).
  • Carter scored a career-best 28 points vs. the Hurricanes, including 24 in the second half when the Wildcats cut a 24-point deficit to just 7 points in the last 45 seconds. He finished the game 12-of-22 from the field (10-of-16 in the second half) with 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block in 38 minutes.
  • Carter added a third 20-point game in his return to his home state of Louisiana, as he poured in a game-high 21 points on 7-of-18 shooting with 8 rebounds and 4 assists in the win at LSU (12/9/23).
  • In addition to scoring in double figures in 11 games, Carter notched his first career double-double vs. Oral Roberts (11/28/23), posting 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting with a career-best 10 rebounds, 5 assists and team-high 3 steals.
  • Carter ranks in the Big 12’s top 10 in 4 categories, including first in minutes (36.4), fourth in steals (2.15), sixth in scoring (16.5 ppg.) and seventh in free throw percentage (83.7).

FINDING A RHYTHM

  • Junior Arthur Kaluma is starting to find a rhythm after a slow start to the season, becoming a double-double threat nearly every night. He has scored in double figures in 10 games, all coming in the last 11 games played, while totaling a team-best 3 double-doubles. He is second in scoring at 15.2 points per game, while averaging a team-best 8.6 rebounds per game.
  • Kaluma was named one of five national players of the week by the USBWA and the Oscar Robertson Trophy as well as Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 11 after averaging a double-double in wins over Villanova (12/5/23) and LSU (12/9/23). He averaged 21.5 points on 76.2 percent (16-of-21) shooting, including 85.7 percent (6-of-7) from 3-point range, to go with 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 39.6 minutes per game. He is just the third Wildcat to earn the weekly award from the USBWA, while it was the first of Kaluma’s career.
  • Kaluma scored a game and season-high 26 points in the win over Villanova, knocking down 10-of-13 field goals, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range, and 3-of-3 from the free throw line to go with 9 rebounds and 4 assists in a season-best 44 minutes. The 26 points were one shy of his career-high of 27 he had against BYU while playing at Creighton in 2022.
  • Kaluma continued his impressive play in the Chicago State win, recording his sixth career double-double, including his third as a Wildcat, with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting to go with a season-high 13 rebounds in 38 minutes. He has now scored in double figures in 50 career games, including 10 this season.
  • The weekly honors came on the heels of being named to the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship All-Tournament Team after averaging 18.0 points and 9.5 rebounds in games against Providence (11/17/23) and No. 12/11 Miami (11/19/23). After scoring 18 in the OT win over Providence, including a pivotal 3-pointer, he had his first double-double as a Wildcat and fourth in his career with 18 points and 12 rebounds against the Hurricanes.
  • Kaluma is one of 3 players (Kansas’ Hunter Dickinson and Kevin McCullar Jr.) in the Big 12 to rank in the league’s top-15 in both scoring and rebounding.

ATTACKING THE GLASS

  • Senior David N’Guessan has been impressive so far on the glass, ranking seventh in the Big 12 in rebounding at 8.2 boards per game. He ranks fourth in the league in offensive rebounds (3.4 orpg.), while he is 10th in defensive rebounds (4.77 drpg.). He has double-digit rebounds in 4 games.
  • N’Guessan grabbed his first career double-double in the opener vs. No. 21/22 USC (11/6/23), as he scored 10 points on 5-of-8 field goals to go with a then career-best 10 rebounds in just over 27 minutes.
  • N’Guessan broke his career-high with 11 rebounds vs. South Dakota State (11/13/23) then matched it in the win over Central Arkansas (11/22/23) while collecting his second double-double with a season-high 11 points. He has nearly had double-doubles in the last 2 games, falling just one rebound short.
  • N’Guessan gained valuable experience this past summer training with the Dutch National Team, as the Orange Lions competed in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Istanbul, Turkiye August 13-16. He averaged 9 points on 55.6 percent shooting with 6.3 rebounds in the 3-game tournament.

BIG MAN OFF TO SOLID START

  • Senior Will McNair is off to solid start to the season, averaging 7.5 points on 58.8 percent shooting to go along with 4.6 rebounds through 12 games with 11 starts in 20.4 minutes per game.
  • McNair came off the bench to score 8 points vs. USC (11/6/23) then has earned starts in 10 of the last 11 games. He has double figures in 4 of those 11 starts, including a season-high 13 points in the win at LSU (12/9/23), where he connected on 5-of-6 field goals.

FRESHMEN SHOWING PROMISE

  • Three-man freshman class of Dai Dai AmesR.J. Jones and Macaleab Rich have all shown promise after being pressed into early action. The trio were part of a consensus top-35 recruiting class.
  • Ames has already scored in double figures in 4 games, including a season-best 14 points vs. UCA (11/22/23), while he has dished out at least 3 assists in 7 of his 12 games played with a season-high 7 vs. South Dakota State (11/13/23).
  • Jones has played in 11 games, averaging 11.6 minutes per game. He ranks third on the team in 3-pointers (10), scoring in 6 of 11 games played with a season-best 14 points vs. South Dakota State (11/13/23).
  • Rich, whose dunk against Central Arkansas made the Sportcenter Top 10, has wowed fans with his potential, logging a near double-double vs. the Bears with a season-best 13 points and 8 rebounds in under 18 minutes.

KALUMA, PERRY NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 TEAM

  • Junior Arthur Kaluma and fifth-year senior Tylor Perry were each chosen as Honorable Mention selections to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team by the league coaches when the league office announced its annual preseason teams.
  • Kaluma and Perry are the first Wildcats named to the Preseason All-Big 12 since Barry Brown Jr. and Dean Wade in 2018-19.
  • A 6-foot-7, 225-pound wing, Kaluma transferred to K-State after an impressive 2-year stint (2021-23) at Creighton, where he helped the Bluejays to 47 wins, including 26 in BIG EAST play, a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances (2022, 2023) and the school’s first trip to the Elite Eight in 2022-23.
  • A 5-foot-11, 182-pound guard, Perry came to K-State after a decorated 2-year career (2021-23) at North Texas, where he led the Mean Green to 56 total wins, including a school-record 31 in 2022-23, the 2023 NIT Championship and 2022 C-USA regular-season title. In addition to being the 2023 C-USA Player of the Year and NIT Most Outstanding Player, he was twice named to the C-USA First Team (2022, 2023) while was the league’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2022.

KALUMA NAMEDTO PRESEASON WATCH LIST FOR JULIUSERVING AWARD 

  • Kaluma was also one of 20 players named to the preseason Watch List for the 2024 Julius Erving Award, which annually recognizes the nation’s top small forward, by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
  • This is the second time that Kaluma has been named to a preseason Watch List after he was chosen to the Watch List for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award in 2022-23 while playing at Creighton.

ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME TRIP
‘CATS SPENT 10 DAYS IN AUGUST IN ISRAEL, ABU DHABI, U.A.E.

  • K-State got a jump start on its preparations for the 2023-24 season with a historic 10-day trip to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates [UAE] from August 9-20.
  • During the Israeli portion of the trip, the team enjoyed walking tours of the Old City Jerusalem, the City of David, Bethlehem and Old City Jaffa, visits to the Yad Vashem – the World Holocaust Remembrance Center – as well as the Western Wall and the Dead Sea. While in Abu Dhabi, they visited the Abraham Peace Accords House and the Grand Mosque.
  • The Wildcats played 3 games on the tour, defeating the Israeli Select Team, 94-87, on August 15 in Tel Aviv before an 83-81 setback to Team Mexico on August 17 and a 112-72 win over Al-Sharjah on August 18, both in Abu Dhabi. Senior Tylor Perry paced 4 Wildcats in double figures on the tour, averaging 22.7 points on 56.8 percent shooting.
  • K-State, along with the University of Arizona, are the first college teams to ever take a foreign tour to Abu Dhabi.
  • The exhibition tour was generously sponsored by Athletes for Israel and its Founder Daniel Posner as well as the Abu Dhabi Tourism Board. In their efforts to combat antisemitism and racism, Athletes For Israel brings athletes to Israel so they can experience the Holy Land and develop a connection with its history, culture, innovation and people.
  • For more information on the organization and its mission, visit athletesforisrael.org.

UP NEXT: AT WEST VIRGINIA (5-8)

  • K-State opens a 2-game road trip on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats visit West Virginia (5-8) for a 6 p.m., CT tipoff on Big 12 Now. The team will play at Texas Tech (11-2) on Saturday, Jan. 13.
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