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Saturday, January 30, 2010

’Cats perfect vs. Top 25

Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen celebrates with fans after the Wildcats took down No. 1 Texas. K-State toppled top-ranked Texas, 71-62, on Monday in Manhattan.

Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen celebrates with fans after the Wildcats took down No. 1 Texas. K-State toppled top-ranked Texas, 71-62, on Monday in Manhattan.

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Kansas State University’s basketball team takes a 4-0 record against ranked squads into tonight’s Sunflower Showdown in sold-out Bramlage Coliseum.

Syracuse, at 5-0, is the only school with a better mark.

“We don’t get wrapped up in thinking that, ‘Oh wow, we’re playing the big almighty-whoever,’” Kansas State coach Frank Martin said of the philosophy of his No. 11-ranked Wildcats. They take a 17-3 record, 4-2 in Big 12 games, into a 6 p.m. home battle versus No. 2-rated Kansas University (19-1, 5-0).

“We get wrapped up in who we are, and we believe in ourselves, and then we go figure out what we have to do to win the next game on the schedule.”

The Wildcats, who have beaten nationally ranked Dayton, UNLV and Baylor, also had an historic victory over No. 1-rated Texas, 71-62, on Jan. 18 in Bramlage Coliseum.

An obvious question with No. 2 in town: Is this game bigger than the Texas game?

“For who?” K-State senior guard Jacob Pullen said. “Texas was No. 1 when we played them. KU’s No. 2. But at the end of the day, it’s still a game in the Big 12 we need to win. We need to protect the court like we didn’t do last weekend (in losing to Oklahoma State, 73-69) and we need this game so people know that Kansas is human.”

The Jayhawks, who have won five straight Big 12 titles, are a game ahead of second-place Texas in the league standings. KSU, Oklahoma State and Missouri have two losses apiece.

“It’s huge for them and huge for us,” KU coach Bill Self said. “Certainly it would put us in a very favorable position with the league race, although it’s so early. It’s way early.”

To win today, KU, which has defeated KSU in 38 of the last 40 Sunflower Showdowns, including 25 of the last 26 games in Manhattan, likely must surpass the ’Cats in the toughness department.

“We really get out there in practice and beat up on each other, and when we get the opportunity to play other teams, we try to beat up on them,” Pullen said. “We really want to impose our will on teams as far as the offensive rebounding and just being physical overall.”

KU has outrebounded its opponents an average of 41.8 to 33.2. KSU has outboarded foes 40.0 to 33.8.

“It’s going to be a game of toughness. It’s going to be a game of a lot of possessions,” said KU senior guard Sherron Collins, ready for another battle against fellow Chicagoan Pullen. “It’s who will get more loose balls. We’ve got to leave it all out there. It will be one of those scrappy, sloppy games with a lot of possessions. Those are the games we like to play.”

Noted KU center Cole Aldrich, who will have his hands full with the likes of Curtis Kelly, Luis Colon and Jamar Samuels: “They are really physical. They have a lot of hard workers on that team. It’s a team that gets after it every game.”

Samuels was asked if he feels any pressure to play well against KU.

“I’ve never heard of that word,” he said, noting his mom, who will attends today’s game, “calms me down.”

Samuels plans to clip his beard before tipoff. Some of the ’Cats and ’Cat fans have taken to copying the bearded Pullen, who is subject of a “Fear the Beard” campaign this season.

“My mom's already said if it’s not cut off my face, I’m in trouble as soon as she gets here,” Samuels said.

For the fans

KSU senior Denis Clemente, who was suspended by his coach for a game after striking Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed in the game in Bramlage last season, would like to reward the KSU faithful with ESPN Game Day in town.

“We've got to make those people happy. I'm so proud they come to every game and support us every game. We've got to do something for them. Tell the fans to go crazy, man,” Clemente said.

Man-to-man

KSU tonight faces man-to-man pressure from KU after going against Baylor and Okie State zones the past two games.

“We obviously have to spend more time on our man-to-man stuff to prepare for Kansas, but they've played zone this year, and last year they gimmicked us, too. They played zone and they triangle-and-two’d and box-and-one’d us, so we have to be prepared to face everything,” KSU coach Frank Martin said. “Bill (Self) leaves no stones unturned, and he does an unbelievable job of preparing his teams and doing what they have to do to win the next game on their schedule. So we have to do the same.”

Tough atmosphere

Cole Aldrich is ready for ear-splitting noise tonight.

“Since I been here, it’s probably one of the best atmospheres we’ve played in as a road game,” Aldrich said. “Their fans are crazy. Their fans are a lot of fun, too.”

He said he’d not received any unsolicited phone calls from KSU fans yet this year.

“I got calls last year for a week and a half,” Aldrich said. “I had quite a few hundred messages. I just deleted them.”

Comments

Kent Wells 4 years, 10 months ago

Top 9 (Why only 9 kuwells? Because KSUck just simply isn't worth 10) little known facts about Manhattan/KSU.

  1. Having attended KSU is actually a basis for obtaining a handicap permit at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

  2. KSU hoops hasn't been relevant since a 12-hour period when Michael Beasley hid in a closet at the NBA rookie camp. Before that, Jack Hartman was the coach.

  3. The practice of mopery (exposing yourself to a blind person) traces its origins to the KSU campus. Jason Sheeplover, President of the National Mopery Foundation, coincidentally headquartered in Manhattan, explains the origins of moperism as due to a combination of "little to do in Manhattan" and "excessive alcohol consumption".

  4. A top secret - recently made public - Department of Defense study concluded that nuclear weapons testing prior to its relocation to the Nevadan desert, in combination with inbreeding, was largely responsible for a large number of genetic abnormalities in Manhattan.

  5. Coach "call me Frank" Martin is also an adjunct professor in KSUs Anger Management program. Bobby Knight is a guest lecturer on game days.

  6. An extended stay (greater than 4 hours) in Manhattan, requires a visa and a series of 10 immunizations for viruses associated with farm animals.

  7. For those of you making the road trip to Manhattan. Well, I have a confession. About 18 years ago, following a KU win in AFH West, I tapped a cute red head I met in Aggieville to console her. We all make mistakes, be it an argyle sweater or leather pants or selecting political science as a major, so cut me some slack. She was smokin! Anyway, if you see a Freshman the running around the Octogon of Tremendis Peril that looks a little like 'ol kuwells, be nice to the kid. Half his genes are solid.

  8. Grass football field replaced with artificial turf to prevent cheerleaders from grazing.

And

  1. Nicknamed the Little Apple because city council decided Little Sh!t Hole was too realistic in landmark 6-5 vote.

lv_jhwk 4 years, 10 months ago

kuwells: given #4, what the hell did you have to endure to survive #3??

tstanlick1909 4 years, 10 months ago

They also choose to nickname their court "The Octagon of Doom." The fact that they've only beaten us once their is probably relevant?

Jeff Schartz 4 years, 10 months ago

We need to protect the court like we didn’t do last weekend (in losing to Oklahoma State, 73-69) and we need this game so people know that Kansas is human.” For no other reason does Jacob (Peter) Pullen think that they need to win this game. Not to be higher in the standings, or to win the Big XII, just so that people know that Kansas is people, too.

Woody Cragg 4 years, 10 months ago

Ironic that you make mention of animal husbandry. My son is in Mubai and his KSU friend (non-graduate after 12 years) actually asked him to bring back a monkey. Not at all surprised, eh? Must be a void in life.

FairgroveJayhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

Martin says, "last year they gimmicked us, too." Should read: "last year they schooled us, again" come on Ricky, get it right.

This should be a good game. Could be the biggest challenge to date this year. It's great to have leadership in Collins and Cole going into a hostile environment. Here's hoping Tyshawn is focused. Perhaps the hype of this game being aggressive will bring out some aggression in X as a scorer.

RCJHGKU

lance1jhawk 4 years, 10 months ago

kuwells- Nice top 10 EMAW - is the sound a sheep makes when its getting violated by the ksuck students. Why they put it on signs and hold them up is a mystery though.

exiledhawkfan 4 years, 10 months ago

three losses to non ranked teams sure takes the luster off of four wins against ranked teams...

Mike Kendall 4 years, 10 months ago

Yehweh---Is bad as Letterman!!!!!! Kuwells---I laughed at a few of them!!!!

gchawk 4 years, 10 months ago

kuwells: Now that's some funny stuff. Thanks for the humor.

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