April 12, 2024

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Game Preview // K-State Travels to 2/2 Baylor Wednesday

GAME 17
KANSAS STATE (5-11, 1-7 Big 12) at 2/2 BAYLOR (14-0, 7-0 Big 12)
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 >> 8:05 p.m. CT >> Ferrell Center (10,347) >> Waco, Texas
 
TELEVISION
ESPN2 / WatchESPN

  • Rich Hollenberg (play-by-play)
  • Chris Spatola (analyst)
  • Paul Ervin (producer)

 
RADIO
K-State Sports Network

Flagships: // KMAN 1350 & WIBW 580
XM 380 // Internet 970
Online: TuneIn.com [free] / www.kstatesports.com/watch [free]

 
LIVE STATS
www.baylorbears.com
baylor.statbroadcast.com [media only]
 
TICKETS
The Ferrell Center is open to approximately 25 percent capacity this season, which is around 2,350 fans.
 
COACHES
Kansas State: Bruce Weber (Wis.-Milwaukee ’78)
Overall: 479-276/23rd season
At K-State: 166-121/9th season
vs. Baylor: 9-9 (4-4 on the road)
 
Baylor: Scott Drew (Butler ’93)
Overall: 376-224/19th season
Record at Baylor: 356-213/18th season
vs. K-State: 14-16 (6-6 at home)
 
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
Kansas State (5-11)
G: #5 Rudi Williams
G: #00 Mike McGuirl
G: #2 Selton Miguel
G: #3 DaJuan Gordon
F: #21 Davion Bradford
           
Baylor (14-0)
G: #12 Jared Butler
G: #31 MaCio Teague
G: #45 Davion Mitchell
G/F: #11 Mark Vital
F: #0 Flo Thamba
 
SERIES HISTORY
Overall: K-State leads 23-21
Current Streak: Baylor, 3
In Big 12 Play: Baylor leads 20-18
In Waco: Baylor leads 9-8
At Ferrell Center: Baylor leads 9-8
Last Meeting: L, 69-100 [12/19/20 in Manhattan, Kan.]
Weber vs. Drew: 9-9 [4-4 in Waco, Texas]
 
OPENING TIP

  • Kansas State (5-11, 1-7 Big 12) hits the road on Wednesday night for a matchup against unbeaten and No. 2/2 Baylor (14-0, 7-0 Big 12) at the Ferrell Center at 8 p.m., CT. The Bears won the first meeting, 100-69, on Dec. 19 and will look to sweep the season series for the second straight season. Wednesday’s game will air on ESPN2 with Rich Hollenberg (play-by-play) and Chris Spatola (analyst) on the call.
  • This will be the Wildcats’ fifth matchup against a Top 25 opponent this season, including the fourth against a Top 15 foe. K-State has lost 9 straight against ranked opponents, including 3 in a row to Baylor, while the squad has suffered 6 consecutive defeats to ranked teams on the road dating to 2019. K-State is 119-266 all-time vs. ranked opponents, which includes a 7-17 mark vs. the AP’s No. 2 ranked squad. Head coach Bruce Weber has a school-record 26 career wins against Top 25 foes.
  • K-State saw its losing streak hit 6 games on Saturday afternoon, as No. 14/15 West Virginia used its defense to force 28 turnovers, including 18 in the first half, as the Mountaineers posted a 69-47 victory. The 28 turnovers were the sixth-most by a K-State team and the most since 2002, as WVU scored 26 points off those turnovers to earn its first win in Manhattan since 2018.
  • Despite the miscues, the Wildcats had their opportunities in the early moments of the second half, closing the gap to 36-28 on a pair of free throws by senior Mike McGuirl with 15:31 to play. However, the Mountaineers responded with 8 straight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, as the Wildcats would get no closer than 11 points the rest of the way. K-State was held to a season-low 47 points on 38.1 percent shooting, including 20 percent from 3-point range. It was the lowest point total in more than 2 years since January 2019.
  • K-State hopes the expected return of freshman point guard Nijel Pack will provide a boost to a Wildcat offense that averaged just 54.5 points on 38.4 percent shooting, including 26 percent from 3-point range, in the 4 games he was out due to COVID-19 protocols. Before missing those 4 games, Pack had started to find his rhythm with double-digit scoring games in 3 of his last 4 outings, including a game-high 17 points in the Wildcats’ best offensive outing at No. 18/19 Texas Tech on Jan. 5. The 71-point outing marked the first time that the Red Raiders — the Big 12’s best defensive team — had allowed 70 points in a regulation game this season.
  • The return of Pack would allow K-State to be nearly back to full strength for the first time since November after 7 players have combined to miss 48 games this season. Although sophomore Montavious Murphy is expected to miss the season with knee surgery, the team is expected to have 13 available players for Wednesday’s game, as sophomore Antonio Gordon (missed 4 games) and freshman Luke Kasubke (missed the first 13 games) returned against Texas on Jan. 16, while sophomore big man Kaosi Ezeagu (missed 10 games) returned to the lineup at Oklahoma on Jan. 19.
  • K-State has started 3 true freshmen (Davion Bradford, Selton Miguel and Nijel Pack) in 7 of 16 games, including 4 of 8 Big 12 games, while at least 2 true freshmen have started each of the last 11 games. The Wildcats are one of 6 teams (Kentucky, Duke, James Madison, North Carolina and Washington State) to start at least 3 true freshmen in at least one game, while the 35 combined starts by true freshmen rank second to Kentucky’s 43.      

 
NOTES ON 2/2 BAYLOR

  • No. 2/2 Baylor (14-0, 7-0 Big 12) ran its winning streak to 14 games on Saturday, as the Bears posted an 81-66 win at Oklahoma State. Seniors Jared Butler and Mark Vital combined for 41 of the Bears’ 81 on a combined 16-of-22 field goals, which included a 22-point effort by Butler.
  • Baylor is averaging a Big 12-best 86.1 points on 50.2 percent shooting, including 42.6 percent from 3-point range, to go with 37.6 rebounds, 18.3 assists, 9.6 steals and 4.1 blocks per game, while allowing 62.0 points on 41.1 percent shooting, including 32.0 percent from 3-point range. The team is connecting on 70.5 percent from the free throw line. The Bears are the only team in the country to rank in the Top 10 in both KenPom’s adjusted offense (120.7/3rd) and adjusted defense (87.0/1st). They also rank among the best in the most recent NCAA stats rankings, including the Top 10 in scoring margin (1st), 3-point field goal percentage (3rd), steals (5th), turnover margin (5th), scoring offense (6th), turnovers forced (6th) and assists (9th).
  • The Bears are balanced offensively with 4 players averaging in double digits. Butler is averaging a team-best 17.1 points per game, while connecting 50.3 percent from the field, including 49.4 percent from 3-point range, with team-bests in assists (5.4 apg.) and steals (2.3 spg.).
  • Baylor is led by the Big 12’s longest-tenured head coach in Scott Drew, who has posted a 356-213 (.626) record in his 18th season, which includes 8 NCAA Tournaments and 4 Sweet 16s.

 
SERIES HISTORY

  • K-State and Baylor will meet for the 45th time with the Wildcats holding a 23-21 advantage in a series that dates to 1948, including a 20-18 edge in the Big 12 era. Baylor holds a 9-8 edge in games played in Waco, including an 85-66 win in the last meeting at the Ferrell Center on Feb. 25, 2020.
  • K-State had won 6 consecutive games in the series before Baylor has won the last 3 meetings, including a series sweep in 2019-20. The Bears won the first meeting, 100-69, on Dec. 15, as they jumped out to a double-digit lead with just under 15 minutes left in the first half in building a 32-point lead in the second half. They tied an opponent-record with 15 made 3-pointers.
  • Head coach Bruce Weber is 9-9 all-time against Baylor, including a 4-4 record on the road, while he is also 9-9 against head coach Scott Drew. Drew is 14-16 all-time against K-State, including a 6-6 mark at home.

 
LAST TIME OUT: 14/15 WEST VIRGINIA 69, K-STATE 47

  • No. 14/15 West Virginia used its defense to force K-State into 28 turnovers, including 18 in the first half, as the Mountaineers posted a 69-47 win over the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.
  • The 28 turnovers were the sixth-most by a K-State team and the most since 2002. West Virginia scored 26 points off those turnovers to earn its first win in Manhattan since 2018.
  • The Mountaineers, who were playing for the first time in 2 weeks after having to pause activities due to COVID-19 protocols, set the tone early, as they jumped out to a 21-4 advantage in the first 11 minutes on the strength of 53.3 percent (8-of-15) shooting, many of which were aided by 10 early Wildcat turnovers. Although it cooled off from the field, WVU led 31-17 at half, converting those 18 first-half turnovers into 14 points.
  • K-State did show a spark in the early moments of the second half, closing the gap to 36-28 on a pair of free throws by senior Mike McGuirl with 15:31 to play. However, WVU responded with 8 consecutive points, including back-to-back 3-pointers from senior Taz Sherman, to push the lead back to 16 points just under 2 minutes later and force a timeout by head coach Bruce Weber with 13:57 remaining. The Wildcats could not get any closer than 11 points the rest of the way, as they lost for the sixth consecutive time.
  • K-State was held to a season-low 47 points on 38.1 percent (16-of-42) shooting, including 20 percent (3-of-15) from 3-point range. It was the lowest point total since also scoring 47 against Texas on Jan. 2, 2019. The Wildcats scored just 20 points in the paint, which were the second-fewest this season.
  • McGuirl was one of two Wildcats in double figures, scoring 15 points on 4-of-9 field goals, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, to go with a 5-of-6 effort from the free throw line. Freshman Selton Miguel scored in double digits for the second straight game with 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting to go along with a team-tying 5 rebounds and a team-tying 3 assists.
  • K-State played with a nearly fully healthy roster for the second straight game, as sophomore Kaosi Ezeagu played a home game for the first time since December 5 with nearly 20 minutes off the bench. Freshman point guard Nijel Pack was cleared but did not play for the fourth straight game.

 
INJURIES, YOUTH DEFINE SEASON SO FAR FOR K-STATE 

  • Very few teams in the country have had to deal with the mixture of injuries, COVID-19 protocols and youth quite like K-State has in 2020-21. Already one of the country’s most inexperienced teams with just 4 returning lettermen (only 4 schools have fewer) and 11 underclassmen (only 6 schools have more), the Wildcats have seen 7 different players combined to miss 48 games this season, while senior Mike McGuirl is the only player to start all 16 games with 6 different starting lineups.

 
GAMES MISSED IN 2020-21 [48]

 

  • K-State is one of just 6 schools nationally (Duke, Kentucky, James Madison, North Carolina and Washington State) to start at least 3 true freshmen in one game this season, while the 35 combined starts by Wildcat true freshmen are second only to Kentucky’s 43.

 
IRON ‘CATS

  • Due to low numbers caused by injuries and COVID-19 protocols, K-State had just 8 available players – including 6 on scholarship – for its outing against Oklahoma State at home on Saturday, Jan. 9. To make the situation worse, sophomore Carlton Linguard, Jr., was on a minutes’ limit due to a back injury (playing just over 14 minutes), while freshman Davion Bradford ended up playing just over 12 minutes due to foul issues.
  • This caused the remaining 6 to play the bulk of the minutes, including walk-on Joe Petrakis logging a career-high 15 minutes of action.  Senior Mike McGuirl and junior Rudi Williams each played all 40 minutes, setting career-highs, while two others – sophomore DaJuan Gordon and freshmen Selton Miguel – each registered 39 minutes, also career-highs. All told, those 4 players were responsible for 158 of K-State’s 200 total minutes.
  • McGuirl and Williams are the first Wildcats to play all 40 minutes of a regulation game since Barry Brown, Jr., played all 40 against Baylor on March 2, 2019. It marked the first time two teammates played all 40 minutes in a regulation game in more than 30 years since Steve Henson and LaKeith Humphrey accomplished the feat against Oklahoma State in a 69-62 win at home on Feb. 5, 1989.

 
YOUNG JOE HAS A BIG NIGHT

  • Sophomore walk-on Joe Petrakis took advantage of his opportunity with just 8 available players against Oklahoma State on Jan. 9, outscoring freshman All-American candidate Cade Cunningham (6 points to 5 points), while logging a career-high 15 minutes of action.
  • Petrakis, who redshirt his first season in 2019-20 after playing one season at Dodge City College, scored his first career points with 6:13 left in the first half and finished with a career-high 6 points on 2-of-5 field goals, including his first 3-pointer, to go with 2 rebounds.

 
YOUNG ‘CATS PERFORM WELL AT TECH

  • Despite dropping an 82-71 loss at No. 18/19 Texas Tech on Jan. 5, K-State became the first team to eclipse 70 points in regulation against Texas Tech this season, including posting the highest field goal percentage by a Red Raider foe this season at 49.1 percent (27-of-55) from the field, including 61.2 percent (19-of-31) from inside the 3-point line. Texas Tech had entered the game, allowing a Big 12-best 56.3 points on 37.4 percent shooting.
  • Four Wildcats scored in double figures against Texas Tech, including a team-leading 17 points each by freshmen Nijel Pack and Selton Miguel. Miguel tied his season-high on 6-of-12 field goals, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, to go with a game-high 6 assists, while Pack collected a season-high 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-7 from long range. Fellow freshmen Davion Bradford and senior Mike McGuirl each added 10 points.

 
McGUIRL DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES

  • Mike McGuirl is making the most of his senior season, as he is among the team leaders in nearly every category, including first in scoring (11.9 ppg.), double-digit scoring games (11), field goals made (64) and attempted (172), 3-point field goals made (35) and attempted (99), assists (56) and minutes (34.2). He is second in steals (16) and fourth in rebounding (3.7 rpg.).
  • McGuirl ranks in the Top 15 in several categories in the Big 12, including 13th in assists (3.5 apg.), 10th in assist-turnover ratio (1.47), sixth in 3-point field goals made (2.2) and fourth in minutes (34.0 mpg.).
  • McGuirl has led the team in scoring a team-best 6 times, while he has led in rebounding twice, in assists 8 times and in steals on 5 occasions.
  • McGuirl’s 11 double-digit scoring games surpassed his entire career total (10) that he had entering the 2020-21 season. He opened the year with his first career 20-point game vs. Drake on Nov. 25 with 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 3-of-8 from 3-point range. He equaled that mark with 22 points vs. Fort Hays State (12/8/20). He had scored in double figures in 6 of the last 7 games, where he is averaging 11.5 points per game.
  • In addition to his scoring, McGuirl has also set up his teammates, dishing out a team-best 56 assists (to 38 turnovers). He has 6 games at least 5 assists this season, including a career-best 8 vs. Milwaukee (12/11/20).

 
MR. DO-EVERYTHING

  • Sophomore DaJuan Gordon has proved to be K-State’s Mr. Do Everything, as he is third on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per game, while leading the way in both rebounding (6.5 rpg.) and steals (1.3 spg.). He is also first in free throws made (34), attempted (46) and percentage (73.9).
  • Gordon is one of just 2 guards (OSU’s Isaac Likekele) to rank in the Big 12’s Top 10 in rebounding, as he places seventh with 6.5 rebounds per game, while he is also seventh in the league in defensive rebounds (4.81).
  • Gordon’s 3 double-doubles tie 3 others (David McCormack, Kevin Samuel and Jalen Wilson) for the third-most among Big 12 players and are only surpassed by WVU’s Derek Culver (7) and Texas’ Greg Brown (4).
  • Gordon’s 3 career double-doubles have all come in the last 10 games, including 2 in Big 12 play. He posted his first career double-double in the win at Iowa State (12/15/20), scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He followed that with a 13-point, 12-rebound effort vs. Jacksonville (12/21/20) before his latest double-double vs. Oklahoma State (1/9/21) with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds in a career-best 39 minutes.
  • Overall, Gordon has grabbed double-digit rebounds in 4 games (all in the last 10 games), including in consecutive games vs. Jacksonville (12/21/20) and Omaha (12/29/20). He is the first Wildcat to post double-digit rebounds in back-to-back games since Wesley Iwundu in March 2017.
  • Gordon has scored in double figures in 9 games this season, including a career-best 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting vs. TCU (1/2/21). Six of those 9 double-digit scoring games have come in the last 10 games.
  • Gordon is also the leader on the Wayne McClain Play Hard Chart with 117 points, which includes leading the team in deflections/blocks (32), steals (21), loose balls (22), offensive rebounds (27) and charges (4).

 
PACK OFF TO IMPRESSIVE START

  • Freshman Nijel Pack is off to an impressive start, averaging 10.7 points on 43.2 percent shooting, including 37.7 percent from 3-point range, to go with 3.6 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 32.3 minutes per game.
  • Despite missing the last 4 games, Pack is second in scoring, 3-point field goals made (23) and assists (43), third in field goals made (51) and steals (15) and fourth in double-digit scoring games (6) and minutes played (387).
  • Pack became the first Wildcat true freshmen to start the first 12 games of the season since Kamau Stokes started the first 17 games in 2015-16.
  • Pack ranks first in the Big 12 with a 2.69 assist/turnover ratio, while he is 11th in minutes (32.25), 12th in assists (3.58) and tied for 13th in steals (1.25). He is second in minutes per game among freshmen.
  • Before missing the Oklahoma State game on Jan. 9, Pack had started to hit his scoring groove, scoring in double figures in 3 of 4 games, including a season-high 17-point effort at No. 18/19 Texas Tech (1/5/21).

 
MIGUEL HITS THE GAME-WINNER

  • Freshman Selton Miguel connected on a 3-pointer with 9.7 seconds left to lift K-State to a 60-58 win over Omaha on Dec. 29.  It was the rookie’s first game-winner of his career, as he capped his 11-point effort with his third trey of the contest in 35 minutes.
  • Miguel, a starter in each of the last 11 games, is having a solid start to his freshman campaign, averaging 8.6 points on 35.4 percent shooting, including 9.3 points on 34.7 percent shooting in Big 12 play. He ranks fourth on the team in scoring and steals (12), while his third in 3-pointers (16).
  • Miguel’s 7 double-digit scoring games have come in the last 12 outings, including a team-tying 17 points at No. 18/19 Texas Tech (1/5/21). He also scored a season-tying 17 points vs. Milwaukee (12/11/20) on 7-of-14 field goals, while he had 14 vs. No. 2/2 Baylor (12/19/20).

 
IMPRESSIVE YOUNG BIG MAN

  • With sophomore Kaosi Ezeagu out for an extended time, freshman Davion Bradford has had an opportunity to display his skills, earning starts in each of the last 11 games. He is averaging 6.8 points on a team-best 62.0 percent shooting (44-of-71) with 4.0 rebounds in 19.0 minutes per game.
  • Bradford has scored in double figures in 5 games thus far, including scoring a season-high 18 points vs. Milwaukee (12/11/20). He also played a major role in the win at Iowa State (12/15/20) with 14 points on 5-of-7 field goals and a 4-of-4 effort from the line. He has posted double digits in 3 of the last 6 games, including team-high 14 points at No. 4/4 Texas (1/16/21).
  • Bradford has already shown the ability to finish at the rim, totaling a team-high 22 dunks, which in comparison surpasses Makol Mawien’s entire total of 17 in 32 games played in 2019-20 season.

 
AGORDON STRONG OFF BENCH

  • Despite missing 4 games due to COVID-19 protocols, sophomore Antonio Gordon has shown the ability to provide some scoring off the bench, as he collected a career-high 23 points on 9-of-9 field goals with a team-tying 6 rebounds vs. No. 2/2 Baylor (12/19/20) in just 21 minutes of action.
  • Gordon’s 23 points tied for the eighth-most by reserve in a conference game in school history and were the most since Marcus Foster had 23 against TCU on Jan. 7, 2015. He also became the eighth Wildcats to go 9-of-9 or better from the field and the first since Dean Wade also went 9-of-9 at Oklahoma State on Feb. 2, 2019 and the first at home since 2002.

 
MURPHY EXPECTED TO MISS SEASON

  • Sophomore Montavious Murphy has elected to have what is expected to be season-ending surgery to fix his ailing knee, which has caused him to miss 12 games this season. Murphy, who was the opening day starter vs. Drake (11/25/20), saw action in 4 games, including the first 3.
  • Murphy, who became just the fourth true freshman to start an opener under Bruce Weber in 2019-20, has now missed 22 games in his career due to injury, including the last 6 games of his freshman season.
  • Murphy had a solid freshman season in 2019-20, averaging 5.2 points on 40.7 percent shooting with 3.7 rebounds in 25.1 minutes per game.

 
UP NEXT: TEXAS A&M (7-6, 2-5 Big 12)

  • K-State wraps up the month of January on Saturday, as the Wildcats play host to former Big 12 foe Texas A&M (7-6, 2-5 SEC) in the eighth annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge at 11 a.m., CT on ESPNU. K-State is 3-4 all-time in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, which includes a 65-53 loss at Texas A&M in 2019. This will be the first home game in the Challenge series since 2018, as the Wildcats are 3-0 as the home team (2013, 2016, 2018).