The Final Hoop Words for 2008-2009

The season is over and the time for reflection on the season that was is now.... We take a look back at the 2008-2009 season - some bits and pieces from the 22-12 2008-09 Kansas State basketball year

It's well into the postseason for the Kansas State basketball team, but here's a batch of wrap-up material from the Wildcats' 22-12 season. First off, it makes for three 20-win seasons in a row for the first time since the Rolando Blackman era when K-State won at least 20 in 1980, '81 and ‘82.

The nine Big 12 victories ups K-State's count in those same three seasons to 29, which ranks only behind Kansas and Texas.

Frank Martin's coaching record is now 43-24. Not since Lon Kruger in 1987 and 1988 (45 wins) has a second-year coach had more victories.

This K-State team started the year 0-4, but ended up in postseason play. That has happened only four times in Big 12 history.

Denis Clemente was named Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year. QUESTION: Prior to Clemente, K-State records show that 12 Wildcat had been named Big 8/12 Freshman or Newcomer of the Year. How many can you name? Read on.

Of K-State's guard tandem of Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen, Texas Tech coach Pat Knight said, "I would put them right up with the best (in the Big 12). Other combos got more press before the year, but look at where their team stands."
Of the two, A&M coach Mark Turgeon said, "With two guards like they have, it gives you a chance every night."

Here's what the Wildcat duo accomplished in 2008-09:
* Clemente averaged 15.0 points per game to lead the team. The last time a KSU guard topped the team in scoring was Larry Reid in 2001-02 (14.4).
* Clemente (15.0) and Pullen (13.9) combined to score 28.9 points per game. The last time a KSU guard tandem ranked 1-2 in scoring was Reid (11.7) and Phineas Atchison (11.2) in 2000-01.
* The last time a KSU guard tandem averaged more than 29.0 points per game was in 1993-94 with Askia Jones (22.1) and Anthony Beane (11.4) with 33.5 per contest.

"They've been great," said KSU coach Frank Martin. "Their willingness to grow and understand what I want them to do offensively is the reason why we've grown as a team. They want to win."

While it would have been understandable for Pullen, a returning starter, to have a dash of resentment of Clemente, who has established himself as the team leader after transferring from the University of Miami, it hasn't happened.

"We don't have selfish guys who are worried about individual numbers," Martin said. "They're only concerned about winning. If they're not, they're not going to play for us. They've been receptive to coaching and receptive to co-existing with the other guys on the team to make it be the best team it can be."

Clemente was been in twin figures 22 times, and Pullen 20. The two were in double-figures 14 times in the same game with the Wildcats being 13-1 in those games.

Pullen was at the 20-point figure six times, and Clemente scored at least 19 points eight times, which included a 44-pointer versus Texas and a 33-point outing against Missouri.

Clemente was the team's leading scorer 13 times and Pullen nine.


* K-State records included most home court wins (16), most free throw attempts (862) and most fouls committed (170).
* Never before have three Wildcats hit for at least 50 trifectas in the same season. This year Pullen had 75, Clemente 59 and Fred Brown 54.

Along with Clemente, here's a list of past KSU recipients of Big 8/12
Freshman or Newcomer of the Year according to KSU's records.
2008 - Michael Beasley;
2004 - Jeremiah Massey;
2003 - Cartier Martin;
1990 - Jean Derouillere;
1986 - Norris Coleman;
1981 - Randy Reed;
1979 - Ed Nealy;
1977 - Curtis Redding;
1975 - Mike Evans;
1972 - Lon Kruger;
1971 - Steve Mitchell;
1970 - Bob Zender.

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