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By: CUBuffs.com
Senior Dwight Thorne II is shooting 88.5 percent at the FT line this season.
MBB Hits The Road At K-State
Release: February 11, 2010
By: Andrew Green, Assistant SID
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GAME #24 at Kansas State Wildcats (19-4, 6-3 Big 12)

• Date: Saturday, Feb. 13 • Tipoff : 4:05 p.m. (MST) • Location: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528)

• Television: Big 12 Network (Altitude Sports & Entertainment), ESPN Full Court, ESPN360.com

• Announcers: Mitch Holthus (p-b-p), Rich Zvosec (analyst)

• CU Radio: KKZN 760-AM: Mark Johnson (p-b-p), Charles Johnson (analyst); Sirius Channel 91

• Series vs. K-State: K-State leads 96-44 and holds a 53-10 advantage over CU in Manhattan. In Big 12 Conference: KSU leads15-14 and has won the last eight in row since 2006. CU is 5-8 against K-State in Big 12 play at Bramlage Coliseum.

QUICKLY: Alec Burks ranks third nationally among all freshmen in points per game (16.8 ppg.) and fifth in FG percentage (.526) • Burks scored a season-best 27 points (nine FGs) against Missouri, his sixth 20-point effort. His 27 points as a freshman ranks eighth among all CU freshman in school history (see page 5) • Cory Higgins netted his third career 30-point game back on Jan. 16 against K-State. Higgins has grabbed seven rebounds in each of his last two games and tied a career-best five steals against Mizzou • Nate Tomlinson has led CU in assists nine of his last 11 games (15 overall for the season).

HOME vs. ROAD: CU is 10-3 at home and shoots .495 from the field and averages 77.8 ppg. (allows 67.8). Three players are stellar at home (Cory Higgins: 19.5 ppg., 4.1 rpg., .552 FG%; Alec Burks: 17.1 ppg., 4.8 rpg., .496 FG%; Marcus Relphorde: 11.9 ppg., 4.5 rpg., .486 FG%. On the road, CU is 1-7 and averages 69.1 ppg. (allows (77.1) and shoots .425 FG%. Only two players average over double figures (Burks: 16.9 ppg., 4.8 rpg., .560 FG%; Higgins: 14.3 ppg., 3.1 rpg., .384 FG%).

TEAM BITS: CU's has lost three games by 17+ points this season (Missouri, at Texas, at Tulsa). Not counting the Mizzou loss, CU's other three Big 12 losses are a combined 11 points (3.7 points) • CU last won in Manhattan, Feb. 5, 2005 • CU has shot below 37.5 percent from the field in three straight games, longest draught in the 30s this season • CU has not lost four straight games all season.

NCAA LEADERS: CU enters today's game as the nation's fifth ranked team in FT% (76.2); 31st in steals per game (8.5); 39th in turnover margin (3.0); 45th FG% (46.7); 54th in three-point FG% (37.4); No. 61 in scoring offense (75.0); 65th in turnovers per game (12.6). Overall, CU ranks in the top-65 in seven categories.

NEAR MISSES: CU has lost by single-digits 27 times under coach Bzdelik. Half of CU's 54 losses are an average of 4.6 points.

2009-10: 7 games (three non-conference, four Big 12): 30 points, 4.3 ppg.).

2008-09: 11 games (three non-conference, eight Big 12 games): 50 points (4.5 ppg.).

2007-08: 9 games (three non-conference, six Big 12 games): 43 total points (4.8 ppg.).

STREAKS: CU has lost 33-straight Big 12 Conference road games since Feb. 5, 2006. Last Big 12 road win: Jan. 21, 2006 at Oklahoma State, 80-78 (ot). CU has also dropped 25-straight road games against Division I opponents. CU last won on the road over a D-I opponent Dec. 22, 2007 at Colorado State (73-70).

ON THE ROAD vs. RANKED FOES: CU has fallen on the road to ranked opponents 26-straight times. CU's last win on the road came at No. 20 Texas Tech, 80-78 (Jan. 11, 1997).  The Buffs have also lost 33-straight nationally ranked games away from Boulder, including 26 on the road and seven on neutral courts. Their last win over a top-10 opponent on the road: #5 at Missouri, 81-79 (ot), Jan. 15, 1973.

LAST TIME VS. K-STATE (see box page 25): Just in case you missed it, 68 fouls were called -- a Coors Events Center record -- and 94 free throws attempted. Kansas State won 87-81; CU was out-rebounded 44-27, gave up 23 points on 17 turnovers and saw their bench outscored 32-18 by the Wildcats. CU was led by Cory Higgins (30 points on 12-of-18 shooting, six rebounds), Marcus Relphorde (18), Alec Burks (14) and Thorne (12). K-State had five players in double figures, led by Jacob Pullen's 18.

BUFF TIDBITS: Cory Higgins and Alec Burks are separated by 44 points, the closest 1-2 scoring punch a CU team has had since 2003-04 [David Harrison (497, 17.1 ppg) and Michel Morandais (467, 16.1 ppg.)] • Marcus Relphorde recorded the team's third double-double of the year with an 18-point, 11-rebound performance against KU. His four offensive and seven defensive boards were season-bests • Levi Knutson chipped-in a season-best 13 points and five field goals versus the Jayhawks. His three three-pointers and 34 minutes were career-bests • CU is 10-3 at home • CU is 8-3 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field; first three Big 12 games shot over 50 percent from the field, haven't shot over 50 percent in the last six games • CU had a season-low four turnovers at Iowa State, the lowest in 28 years (Dec. 8, 1982, CU defeated Colorado State, 57-55). On the season, CU has committed single-digits miscues five times.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES: Before his injury at Iowa State, Alec Burks reeled off 20-straight games in double-digits. After sitting out  against top-ranked Kansas, Burks came back the following game with season-best 27 points at home against Missouri. He's fourth nationally in points per game (16.8) • In his last five games, Cory Higgins is averaging 16.0 ppg., 4.8 rpg. and a team-best 14 steals • Higgins is seventh all-time at CU with 351 career made free throws and his career .806 FT percentage, ranking sixth all-time at CU • Burks and Higgins have led or shared scoring team honors 19 of 23 games. Marcus Relphorde (three times), Dwight Thorne (once) are the others.

WILDCATS UPDATE: K-State is nationally ranked No. 9 in both polls and brings a 19-4 record (6-3 Big 12) into Saturday's game. Two of K-State's three losses in Big 12 play came at home (Okla. State, 73-69; Kansas, 81-79 OT). Overall, K-State is 11-2 at home.  The Wildcats defeated the Buffs, 87-81 in Boulder on Jan. 16. Since then, K-State is 4-2 with an average of three points over their two losses; CU is 1-6 since falling to the Wildcats with an average of 6.8 points.

TEAM NOTES: CU has been out-rebounded in the last 14 games, however grabbed a season-high 41 against Kansas • Of the six players averaging 21 minutes or more minutes a game, five are all are shooting 71 or better from the FT line • CU has shot 50 percent or better in the second half 11 times (7-4 in those games). They made 61.5 percent against Baylor (Texas Southern .636 was the highest) • CU is 7-0 when four of the five starters net double-digits and 8-3 when shooting over 50 percent from the field • CU has scored over 70 points in 15 of 23 games and are 10-5 in those games • Over the last 14 years, CU is performing a best in field goal percentage (.467), 3pt% (.374), FT% (.762) and a low in turnovers per game (12.6).

 AFTER EIGHT BIG 12 GAMES: CU is 2-7 with wins over Baylor and Nebraska and have placed three players in double-figures, averaging 72.6 points per game and shooting .440 percent from the field. However, on the negative, they are getting outrebounded by an average of 40.0 to 27.8 margin, and are being outscored by a mere five points.

MOVING ON UP: Alec Burks has started 22 games and netted over 10 or more points in 21 of 22 games.  With 370 points for the season, Burks is sixth overall in points and tied for eighth in steals of all CU freshmen.

Freshman Bests - Season (Most Points)

1)     Richard Roby, 2004-05          480

2)     Chauncey Billups, 1995-96   465

3)     Donnie Boyce, 1991-92         417

4)     Emmett Lewis, 1975-76         389

5)     David Harrison, 2001-02       375

6)     Alec Burks, 2009-10            370

7)     Matt Bullard, 1985-86            356         

8)     Randy Downs, 1982-83         322

9)     Xavier Silas, 2006-07               301

10)  Stephane Pelle, 1999-00        272

Freshman Bests - Season (Most Steals)

1)     Donnie Boyce, 1991-92            68

2)     Jose Winston, 1998-99             53

3)     Richard Roby, 2004-05             48

4)     Chauncey Billups, 1995-96     42

5)     Jay Humphries, 1980-81          41

6)     Cory Higgins, 2007-08              36

7)     Pete Hefty, 1992-93                   27

8)     Alec Burks, 2009-10               26

         Michael Lee, 1984-85                26

10)   Stevie Wise, 1987-88                 24

TOP CU FRESHMEN: If the season ended today, freshman guard Alec Burks would rank second among freshmen scorers in the school's history. Here's the top-five.

1.      Chauncey Billups     17.9        1995-96

2.      Alec Burks                  16.8        2009-10

3.      Richard Roby             15.8        2004-05

4.      Emmett Lewis           15.0        1975-76

5.      Donnie Boyce            14.9        1991-92

MORE BURKS: Six games over 20 points • led CU in rebounding nine times (three shared) and scoring 10 times (three shared) • 15 games this season shooting over 50 percent from the field; seven games over 60 percent • Second in team scoring 16.8 ppg.; first in rebounding (4.8 rpg.) and FG% (.526); fifth in assists (38, 1.7); tied for third with 26 steals.

HIGGINS UPDATE: Cory Higgins has led the team in scoring 11 of 23 games (one shared); has nine 20-plus scoring efforts this season, in addition to his 21 career efforts • Scored 1,218 career, ranking 17th overall • Started every game as a Buff (86, t-8th) • 8th in career steals (139) • 12th in minutes played (2,980) • 20th in assists (210) • Last season, Higgins was one of 13 players nationally to lead team in 5 categories • 2008-09 All-Big 12 Third Team; 1st Big 12-only steals (1.9 apg.).

THREE-YEAR REVIEW: Coach Bzdelik has 107 career collegiate wins • CU has scored 80 points in eight of 23 games this season (previously 80+ five games in his first two years) • CU has scored 70 or more points 15 of 23 games (10-5 this season) • team has shot 50 percent or better in 21 of 46 halves • have made 150 3-pointers, the most in three years after 23 games • team is shooting .467, another three-year best.

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