|Despite their success, this T-shirt sums up K-State's basketball profile in the Sunflower State|
-Program founded in 1902
-Overall record of 1,552-1,087
-4 Final Four appearances (1948, 1951, 1958, 1964)
-12 Elite Eight appearances (most recently in 2010)
-16 Sweet Sixteen appearances
-26 NCAA appearances, overall record of 33-30
-9 conference tournament championships
-17 conference regular-season championships
-Home court is Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)
Notable Basketball Alumni:
-Mitch Richmond: Scored over 20,000 points in his NBA career spent with the Warriors, Kings, Bullets and Lakers. Was the 1989 Rookie of the Year and a 6-time All-Star.
-Rolando Blackman: One of only two players to have their jersey retired by the Dallas Mavericks, Blackman helped build the franchise from expansion to legitimate title contender in less than a decade.
-Lon Kruger: The former KSU guard just finished his first season as head coach at Oklahoma after previous stints at UNLV, Illinois, Florida, Texas Pan-American, the NBA's Atlanta Hawks and even his own alma mater from 1986-1990.
-Michael Beasley: After spending just one award-filled year at Kansas State, Beasley has had an up & down first four years in the NBA. The Heat picked him 2nd overall in the '08 draft, but quickly dispatched him when they put together their basketball idiocracy two summers ago. He's now with the T-Wolves.
History with TCU: The Wildcats and Frogs have met five times on the basketball court, with KSU currently holding a 3-2 advantage in the series. Their first meeting was in 1947, with K-State winning in Manhattan. The Wildcats then took 2 of the 3 games played between the schools from 1968 to 1970, with one game being played on each campus and one in Wichita. Their most recent meeting was played in Manhattan, when the Frogs defeated the Wildcats 72-71 in Manhattan in the first round of the 1999 NIT.
Recent History: Were you as surprised as I was to see the impressive list of historical accomplishments for the Kansas State basketball program? They've always (and likely will always) be in the shadow of their cross-state rivals, but that shadow has led casual fans to believe that the Wildcats are some kind of hoops lightweight. The current era of KSU basketball, started with the hiring of Bob Huggins in 2006 and continued through his successor Frank Martin, has produced four NCAA appearances, including the past three years and an Elite 8 run in 2010. The previously mentioned Beasley along with fellow headlining players like Bill Walker and Jacob Pullen have helped keep the Wildcats in or near the Top 25 for most of this recent run.
Outlook for next year: The big storyline for KSU heading into 2012-13 is the transition to new head coach Bruce Weber following Martin's departure to South Carolina. Weber comes over from Illinois, where he won 210 games in 9 years at the helm with the Illini. His teams went to the NCAA Tournament in six of those seasons, including a 37-2 season in 2005 that ended with a loss in the national championship game. The Wildcat team he inherits went 22-11 overall last year, and finished 5th in the Big 12 with a 10-8 conference record. They'll be led next year by a trio of guards: senior-to-be Rodney McGruder, the team's leading scorer (15.8 ppg) from last year, and sophomores Will Spradling and Angel Rodriguez. They'll need at least one of their promising big men- 6'11" Jordan Henriguez, 6'10" Adrian Diaz or 6'7" Thomas Gipson- to step up to replace the graduated Jamar Samuels' inside presence. I'll be honest, I didn't watch this team once last year- so while I'm not sure if they're ready to take aim at the Big 12 elite, I'm also guessing they'll be tough enough to give TCU plenty of trouble in their two meetings.
Miscellania: I've got nothing, other than this video someone made about the KSU basketball team using the theme song from Family Matters: