Originally published February 17, 2009 at 02:37p.m., updated February 17, 2009 at 02:40p.m.
Kansas State guard Denis Clemente has been suspended one game by KSU coach Frank Martin for Clemente's actions against Kansas in Saturday's game at Manhattan. Clemente will serve his suspension during tonight's home game against North Carolina Central.
“Denis is a very passionate and competitive young man who knows he made a mistake,” Martin said. “His actions on Saturday are not acceptable and he has to do a better job of maintaining his composure. Denis is the leader of this basketball team and we are 100-percent supportive of him during this time.”
Video replays showed Clemente struck KU's Tyrel Reed in the head while Reed was boxing him out after a free throw with 31 seconds left.
“I am very sorry for my actions on Saturday,” Clemente said. “I understand that I let my emotions get the best of me and, more importantly, I let my team down.”
According to a K-State release, "Clemente committed a fighting act as defined by Section 4 of the NCAA Basketball Rules and must serve a suspension for the next contest."
“The Conference accepts this action and I commend Coach Martin for taking the initiative and implementing action that demonstrates his continued commitment to conduct his program with sportsmanship," Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe said. “I also appreciate Mr. Clemente’s acknowledgement of his mistake.”
KU coach Bill Self commented on the suspension this afternoon: "Denis is a heck of a player. He played well against us in a hard-fought game. By no means did we pursue this situation at all."