High Octane

Kansas State's basketball team is scoring points at a record-pace at better than 82 points per game. Only once in KSU history – 81.4 points in 1952-53 – has a Wildcat team averaged at least 80 points in a game. In fact, in eight of the last nine seasons, K-State averaged no more than 69 points in a game. The exception came last season when Bob Huggins' gang averaged 70.5.

For the lack of a better phrase, let's just call them "The Big Purple Machine." Uncharacteristically to Kansas State basketball through the ages, this Wildcat team of 2007-08 is putting up points in bunches and bundles.

While Wildcats have hit the 80-point mark on eight occasions, which includes in six of the last eight games played.

By comparison, last year's team hit 80 points only seven times all season, while Jim Wooldridge's final team reached 80 points just four times, all of which were in the non-conference portion of the season.

The Wildcats have also scored at least 75 points in each of the last seven games, which is a first since the 1976-77 season, 30-plus years ago. Overall, the 11-4 club has hit for at least 75 points in 13 of its 15 games.

"They're an explosive team, and they're an efficient team," said Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel, following Saturday's 84-82 Wildcat win over the Sooners.

Making the run-up-the-point games even more amazing is the fact that the three leading scorers – Michael Beasley (24.8), Bill Walker (15.8) and Jacob Pullen (9.1) – are all freshmen.

For the record, Beasley is giving chase to Bob Boozer for the single-season record for highest scoring average. Boozer averaged 25.6 during the 1958-59 season. Not since Askia Jones in 1993-94 (22.1) has a Wildcat averaged at least 20 points.

Between them, the Beasley-Walker combo is averaging 40.6 points per game. Two players combining for at least 40 points in a game has happened only once in K-State history during a total season. That was in 1956-57 (40.2) when Jack Parr averaged 20.6 and Bob Boozer 19.6 Other high-scoring duos included: Norris Coleman (21.8) and Joe Wright (18.1) combined for 39.9 in 1985-86; Coleman (20.7) and Mitch Richmond (18.6) combined for 39.3 points in 1986-87; Chuckie Williams (22.1) and Mike Evans (17.0) scored 39.1 in 1974-75; and, Williams (20.9) and Mike Evans (17.9) scored 38.8 in 1975-76.

Almost comical is the fact that as recent as 2002-03, KSU's two leading scorers – Gilson DeJesus and Matt Siebrandt – averaged only 22.1, and in 2000-01, Phineas Atchison and Larry Reid were the 1-2 scorers with a combined average of just 22.9 points.

The task will be tougher on Saturday when Texas A&M enters Bramlage Coliseum. The Aggies are allowing less than 55 points per game with teams shooting under 38 percent from the field against them.


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