Jan. 4, 2013
No. 22 Oklahoma State at No. 25 Kansas State
12:45 pm | Saturday, January 5, 2013
Manhattan, Kan. | Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)
Television — Big 12 Network
Mark Neely | play-by-play
Chris Piper | analyst
Cox (OKC) — 11
Cox (Tulsa) — 8
Suddenlink — 11
direcTV — *
Dish — *
* check local listings
Radio — Cowboy Radio Network
Dave Hunziker | play-by-play
John Holcomb | analyst
Satellite Radio — Sirius 106 • XM 190
Oklahoma State travels to Manhattan, Kan., this weekend for the Big 12 Conference opener against No. 25 Kansas State. Tipoff for Saturday’s game is set for 12:45 pm and the game will be televised by the Big 12 Network. Mark Neely will handle the play-by-play duties, while Chris Piper provides color commentary. OSU is 48-72 all-time against K-State, including a sweep by the Wildcats last season. The Cowboys have won five of the last eight meetings in Manhattan.
About Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State is 10-2 this season and ranked No. 22 in both the Associated Press and the USA Today Coaches poll, and 22nd according to RPIRatings.com.
Le’Bryan Nash leads the Cowboys in scoring, averaging 14.4 ppg and ranking sixth in the Big 12 Conference. Markel Brown is second on the squad and seventh in the league at 14.2 ppg, and Marcus Smart is averaging 13.4 points and a team-high 5.2 assists per contest. Phil Forte is averaging 11.3 ppg off the bench and has made a team-high 32 three pointers. Philip Jurick is first and Kamari Murphy third on the team in rebounding, averaging 6.9 and 5.8 boards per game, respectively.
The Cowboy defense is limiting its opponents to just 56.6 points per game and 36.8 percent shooting from the floor. OSU has held five opponents under the half-century mark this year, a feat which has not been accomplished since the 2000-01 season.
About Kansas State
Kansas State is 11-2 this season and ranked No. 25 in the Associated Press poll. The Wildcats are ranked No. 73 according to the RPIRatings.com. KSU’s only losses this season have been to No. 2 Michigan in the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off and to 10th-ranked Gonzaga in Seattle, Wash. The Wildcats’ average margin of victory in their 11 wins is 18.6 points. KSU is led by senior guard Rodney McGruder who is averaging 13.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Angel Rodriguez, who has missed the last two games, is averaging 10.1 points and 4.3 assists per contest. As a team, the Wildcats have a +13.5 scoring margin and a +8.9 rebounding edge, both ranking No. 2 in the Big 12 Conference statistical rankings.
Cowboy Quick Hits
• Oklahoma State has given up 56.6 points per game thus far. The last time the Cowboys gave up fewer points in the first 12 games of the season? That would be 1964-65, when OSU allowed 55.6 points through the first 12 contests.
• As of Dec. 30, OSU ranks 11th nationally in field-goal percentage defense and 14th in scoring defense.
• Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 Conference and ranks seventh nationally in free-throw shooting at 76.2 percent.
• Oklahoma State is the only team in the Big 12 Conference that has four different players ranked among the league’s top 20 in scoring.
• Oklahoma State is one of five schools that are currently ranked in both the men’s and women’s Associated Press polls.
• Marcus Smart ranks second nationally among freshmen in steals per game and sixth nationally among freshman in assists per game.
• Phil Forte ranks fifth nationally among freshmen for three-pointers made per game.
OSU in Big 12 Conference Openers
Oklahoma State is 11-5 all-time in Big 12 Conference openers, including a current six-game winning streak The last time the Cowboys lost a league opener was on Jan. 7, 2006, when the Pokes fell at Missouri, 69-61. Oklahoma State’s most common opponent has been Texas Tech on six occasions, with the Cowboys winning five of those.
OSU and Kansas State have twice opened Big 12 play, and both games were in Stillwater. The Cowboys defeated the Wildcats 75-69 in overtime on Jan. 2, 1999, and also won 76-62 on Jan. 8, 2011. Dating back to 1959 when Oklahoma State joined the Big Eight Conference, OSU and Kansas State have opened the league season on 10 occasions, with KSU holding a 6-4 edge in those games. Eight of those games were played in Stillwater.
Series History With Kansas State
Kansas State leads the all-time series with Oklahoma State 72-48, including a 35-15 record in Manhattan. The Cowboys are 13-5 against the Wildcats since the Big 12 Conference formed in 1996-97, including a 5-3 mark in games played in Bramlage Coliseum. KSU swept the Pokes last season, winning 66-58 in Stillwater and 77-58 in Manhattan. However, OSU has won eight of the last 12 (66.7 percent), 13 of the last 18 (72.2 percent), and 25 of the last 34 (73.5 percent) games played between these two teams. That includes a 3-2 OSU mark in Big Eight/Big 12 Tournament games.
This will mark the 27th meeting when at least one team was ranked nationally entering the game, but the last time both squads were ranked at tipoff was March 15, 1958, when third-ranked KSU defeated the No. 19 Cowboys 69-57 in Lawrence, Kan. It will be just the third game overall that both teams are ranked entering the contest.
Last Time vs the Wildcats
Keiton Page scored a team-high 22 points, but also committed eight of Oklahoma State’s 19 turnovers which led to 24 points for the Wildcats as Kansas State defeated the Cowboys 77-58 last March in Manhattan. Rodney McGruder had 24 points for KSU while Jamar Samuels added 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the ‘Cats outrebounded the Pokes 35-27.
OSU led by as many as six early in the first half, but with the game tied at 29, K-State went on an 11-4 run to end the half and take a 40-33 lead into the locker room. In the second period, KSU forced eight Cowboys turnovers while committing just two, leading to a 10-2 edge in points off turnovers. TheWildcats shot 52 percent for the period and outscored OSU 37-25. Jordan Henriquez had 16 points and eight rebounds off the bench for Kansas State.
On Jan. 23, 2010, Oklahoma State entered Bramlage Coliseum as an underdog to the 10th-ranked Wildcats. The Cowboys left the arena with a four-point victory and enough momentum to push OSU into the NCAA Tournament with a resumé-building road win. It marked the first time Oklahoma State had defeated a top-10 team in a true road game in over half a century (defeated Kansas 52-50 in overtime on Jan. 2, 1958 in Lawrence).
In the game vs. Kansas State, James Anderson scored 30 points and the Cowboys outscored the Wildcats 41-34 in the second period, despite trailing by as many as nine before intermission. Obi Muonelo added 14 for the Pokes to go along with eight rebounds, as the Cowboy four-guard lineup outrebounded the much taller ‘Cats, 40-34.
Oklahoma State’s defense had as much to do with the victory as anything. OSU limited Kansas State to just 35.6 percent shooting from the floor, including 8-of-29 (27.6 percent) from beyond the three-point arc. Jacob Pullen, the Wildcats’ top scorer, was limited to 2-of-15 shooting.
For the seventh-consecutive week, the Cowboys are ranked in both the national polls. Oklahoma State is currently 22nd in both the Associated Press poll and the USA Today Coaches poll. It is OSU’s first mention in the polls since the 2006-07 season. Oklahoma State is one of five schools that are currently ranked in both the men’s and women’s Associated Press polls. The others are: Duke, Kansas, Louisville and Notre Dame.
Keeping it Close
Even though Oklahoma State has trailed by as many as 11 points in a game this season, the Cowboys have kept a close eye on their opponents. Through 12 games, OSU has trailed by more than one possession for just 35 minutes and three seconds. Nearly 10 minutes of that came in the last 13 minutes of the Virginia Tech game and more than 17 came against Gonzaga. Oklahoma State has either led or trailed by no more than three points for 93 percent of the 485 minutes of court time. The Pokes trailed Akron by four points for a little over two minutes of overtime in Puerto Rico, and trailed Central Arkansas by as many as 11 points for nearly six minutes. In the eight remaining games, OSU has not fallen behind by more than one possession.
The Cowboys are priding themselves on defense. Through 12 games this season, Oklahoma State has held its opponent under the half-century mark five times, matching the most since the 1964-65 season when the Cowboys held six opponents under 50 points. OSU has allowed more than 70 points only once this season, and has held its opponents to under 50 points in four of the last six games. The Pokes limited South Florida and Missouri State to fewer than 50 points in back-to-back games, and accomplished that same feat against UT Arlington and Tennessee Tech. Three times since 2001-02 has OSU held consecutive opponents to under 50 points, and all three have occurred in the last two seasons.
Equally stifling is the opponents’ field-goal percentage. OSU ranks third in the Big 12 in FG percentage defense at 36.8 percent (Texas has a 33.7 FG percentage defense to lead the league). The Cowboys have held nine of their last 11 opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the floor. As of Dec. 30, OSU ranked 11th nationally in field-goal percentage defense, 14th in scoring defense and 21st in scoring margin.
As a team, Oklahoma State is averaging 5.5 blocked shots per game, good for third in the Big 12 and 21st nationally. That average currently ranks as the second-highest average in school history, behind the 1988-89 squad that averaged 6.3 blocks per game. Oklahoma State is one of four teams nationally that has three different players ranked among the top 250 shot blockers in the NCAA. Marcus Smart and Philip Jurick are both tied for 200th nationally, while Kamari Murphy ranks 226th. Cincinnati, Minnesota and Syracuse are the other three schools.
Three current players also rank among the top-15 shot blockers in school history. With three blocked shots against Gonzaga, Markel Brown ranks 12th in school history with 64 in his career. He needs just two to move past Richard Dumas and into 11th place. Philip Jurick has a team-high 15 blocks this season and 62 in his career, good for 13th. As a sophomore Michael Cobbins already has 58 blocked shots, good for 15th. He needs just three to move past James Anderson and into 14th place.
Jurick, Marcus Smart and Kamari Murphy rank eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively, in the Big 12 Conference for blocked shots, while Brown is tied for 12th. All four are averaging at least one blocked shot per contest.
Top Shot-Blocking Guard
With a blocked shot against Tennessee Tech, Markel Brown surpassed James Anderson for the most career blocks ever by a Cowboy guard. With three vs Gonzaga, Brown now has 64. Anderson had 60 blocked shots in 101 games, while Brown reached that mark in 77 contests. The current Cowboy also has the most blocked shots ever by a player under 6-5.
Oklahoma State is the only team in the Big 12 Conference that has four different players ranked among the league’s top 20 in scoring. The Cowboys are also the only team with three players ranked in the top 11. Le’Bryan Nash is sixth in the Big 12, Markel Brown ranks seventh and Marcus Smart is is currently 11th. OSU is also the only school that has four players ranked among the top-20 scorers in the league. With 15 points against Gonzaga, Phil Forte has moved into 20th place on the Big 12 scoring list.
Oklahoma State is one of two schools in the Big 12 that have three players ranked among the top 20 in rebounding. Philip Jurick is ninth at 6.9 rebounds per game, while Marcus Smart ranks 14th (6.2 rpg) and Kamari Murphy ranks 17th (5.8 rpg). Kansas State also has three players ranked among the top 20.
Six Cowboys are currently averaging at least 4.3 rebounds a game. Along with the aforementioned trio, Le’Bryan Nash is averaging 4.7 boards per game, Michael Cobbins is grabbing 5.2 boards per contest, and Markel Brown is averaging 4.3 rpg.
Since 1994-95, Oklahoma State has had three-consecutive games with 40 or more rebounds on only four occasions, including twice this season. The others were in 1996-97 and 1997-98. OSU has grabbed at least 40 rebounds in six of 12 games this year. Last season, the Cowboys recorded 40 or more rebounds in a game just five times.
Marcus Smart has 31 steals through 12 games this season, an average of 2.6 thefts per game and leading the Big 12 Conference. That average ranks as the second-highest in school history, behind only Brooks Thompson’s 2.9 steal-per-game average in 1993-94. Smart’s total already ranks fifth among all-time freshmen in school history. He’s on pace to challenge the Big 12 freshman record of 89, set by Kansas’ Mario Chalmers in 2005-06 in 33 games. Cookie Belcher of Nebraska had 87 steals in 33 games in 1996-97.
The Stat Sheet Stuffer
Marcus Smart fills the stat sheet better than anyone else in the league. He is the only player in the Big 12 Conference who ranks among the top-16 statistically in all five major categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots). Smart leads the league in steals, is fourth in assists, is ninth in blocked shots, ranks 11th in scoring and is 14th in rebounding. He is also fifth in minutes played, seventh in free-throw percentage, ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio and 11th in defensive rebounds. That’s nine different statistical categories in which he ranks among the Big 12’s top 15.
Sharing the Wealth
Marcus Smart has scored 161 points so far this season. However, Smart’s assists have led to nearly as many points by his teammates. Smart has handed out 62 assists this season, leading to a total of 150 points by his teammates, just 11 fewer than he’s scored. His 62 assists have led to nine jumpers, nine layups, 18 dunks and 26 three pointers. Smart has been involved in 311 of OSU’s 861 points, or 36.1 percent.
Of Smart’s 62 assists, 18 have gone to Phil Forte, leading to 52 points, including 16 three-pointers. Markel Brown has been on the receiving end of 17 Smart assists, leading to 39 points, while Le’Bryan Nash has scored 22 points off 10 Smart assists. Kamari Murphy has scored 15 points off seven assists by Smart, and Michael Cobbins has scored 10 points off five Smart assists.
Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 Conference and ranks seventh nationally in free-throw percentage at 76.2 percent. The next-closest team in the league is Kansas at 73.7 percent, 25 percentage points lower than OSU. Five different Cowboys are shooting better than 77 percent from the line and two are shooting better than 80 percent.
Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 Conference in turnover margin, averaging 3.2 fewer turnovers per game than its opponents. West Virginia ranks second in the league with a +2.8 turnover margin. The current turnover margin for OSU would rank second in school history, behind only the +3.5 turnover margin created during the 1997-98 season. Oklahoma State has had a plus turnover margin greater than 3.0 just three times in school history.