Scouting KState

News, notes and quotes on the Sunflower Showdown between No. 2 KU and No. 11 K-State today at 6 p.m. at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan. The game will be broadcast on ESPN with Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and Erin Andrews calling the action as part of ESPN's College GameDay from the Little Apple.

SCOUTING K-STATE

Kansas State (17-3, 4-2 Big 12) returns four starters off last year's 22-12 team. The Wildcats, who've won four of their last five games, have defeated four nationally-ranked teams this season, including a 71-62 victory over then-No. 1 Texas at home on Jan. 18. KSU's three losses have come against Ole Miss, Missouri, and to Oklahoma State at home last Saturday.

Head coach Frank Martin's Wildcats are coming off a 76-74 victory at Baylor on Tuesday. KSU junior guard Jacob Pullen scored a game-high 25 points and made six three-pointers. K-State connected on 11-of-21 treys on the night.

KSU averages 81.4 points per game and allows 68.8. The Cats shoot 46.1 percent from the field, 36 percent from beyond the arc, and 65.4 percent at the free-throw line. K-State averages 33 free-throws attempted per game, compared to KU's 24.3 attempted. The Wildcats are holding foes to 41.2 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from three-point range, while outrebounding opponents 40.0 to 33.8 per game. KSU leads the Big 12 in offensive rebounds with 15.8 per game.

Kansas State is led by Pullen, who averages 19.2 points per game (No. 2 in Big 12) and made a team-high 60 threes and recorded a team-best 30 steals. Senior guard Denis Clemente, one of the fastest guards in the country, is next in scoring (14.7 ppg, team-high 82 assists), followed by Super Sub sophomore forward Jamar Samuels (11.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg), junior forward Curtis Kelly (11.2 ppg, team-high 6.4 rpg), junior forward Dominique Sutton (7.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg), freshman guard Rodney McGruder (6.0 ppg), freshman forward Wally Judge (3.4 ppg), freshman forward Jordan Henriquez-Roberts (2.8 ppg) and senior center Luis Colon (2.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg).

SELF ON THE CATS

K-State poses a great challenge to KU. The Wildcats are one of the most physical teams in the country

"You are going to have to play physical to have a chance," KU coach Bill Self said. "If you go back and look at the Texas game (in Manhattan), which I anticipate a similar type of physical game, you will see about as physical of a game as you will see in college basketball this year. They are totally clean, but they do like to get after it. ... I certainly anticipate a game against Kansas State where easy baskets will be few and far between."

"Our toughness level needs to be a ten," Self added, "because we know that we are going to face a serious challenge not only in their team, but by the atmosphere as well."

The Jayhawks are primed for battle.

"It's going to be fun," KU junior center Cole Aldrich said. "It's College GameDay, it's at Bramlage. They're really tough. They're going to be a really tough team to beat. We're going to have to play our best to contend with them."

REMEMBERING LAST YEAR'S GAME AT BRAMLAGE

Kansas found itself down by 16 points in the first half in last season's game against KSU at Bramlage Coliseum on Valentine's Day, 2009 before rallying and cutting the deficit to just one (43-42) by halftime. KU wound up winning, 85-74, shooting 56.8 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from three-point range.

Aldrich led four Jayhawks in double figures with 21 points, while Sherron Collins added 19.

"We showed a lot as a team," Aldrich said. "We were down 16, and we just kept on fighting. That's what it's going to take for a good road game is you got to have that tight huddle and you just got to fight it as hard as you can because K-State is a heck of a team."

SERIES HISTORY

The Jayhawks have won 38 of the last 40 meetings with K-State dating back to the 1994 season. Overall in the series, Kansas holds a 177-90 advantage, including a 72-44 record in games played in Manhattan and a 20-1 record in Bramlage Coliseum. KU has posted a 25-1 record since 1984 in games played in Manhattan.

Kansas won the first-ever meeting with K-State, 54-39, on Jan. 25, 1907 in Lawrence.

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