For Immediate Release | Date: Jan. 17, 2017 | Contact: Stephen Howard (Stephen.email@example.com)
Opponent: Kansas State (13-4, 2-3 Big 12)
Date/Tipoff: Jan. 18, 2017 / 8 p.m. Central
Series: K-State leads 78-52 • OSU leads 33-24 in Stillwater
Tickets: okstate.com/tickets or call 877-ALL-4-OSU
TV: ESPNU (Clay Matvick & Tim Welsh)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker & John Holcomb)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 134, XM 199
Internet Radio: http://okla.st/osutunein
Live Stats: okstate.statbroadcast.com
►Wednesday marks the 1,000th Cowboy basketball game in historic Gallagher-Iba Arena, and it comes against the alma mater of Oklahoma State head coach Brad Underwood. The first-year Cowboy head coach played for Kansas State under Jack Hartman from 1984-86, and later returned to Manhattan as a coach for six seasons under Bob Huggins and Frank Martin. Underwood will be facing the Wildcats for the first time as a head coach, and his Cowboys will be seeking their first Big 12 win of the season against a K-State squad looking to end a modest two-game skid of their own.
On the Air
►Oklahoma State and Kansas State will face off on ESPNU with Clay Matvick and Tim Welsh on the call. This is the fourth of 13 scheduled appearance on ESPNU for the Cowboys this season. OSU is 2-1 on the network this season, and 31-29 all-time on the network, which hosted its inaugural broadcast at Gallagher-Iba Arena on March 5, 2005. As always, Dave Hunziker and John Holcomb will have the Cowboy Radio Network call from the historic white maple floor.
Kansas State Connections & Snapshot
►First-year Oklahoma State head coach Brad Underwood is facing his alma mater, Kansas State, for the first time. Underwood played on Jack Hartman's final teams from 1984-86, and appeared in 39 games with eight starts for the Wildcats. He graduated from K-State with a degree in Radio & TV Communications in 1986. In 2006-07, he returned to Manhattan as Bob Huggins' director of operations, and stayed on staff as an assistant coach under Frank Martin. He was named the associate head coach in his final season at K-State, 2011-12.
►Underwood is one of four Big 12 head coaches that has to face his alma mater at least twice a season. Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger was a K-State point guard, while Bill Self played at Oklahoma State. New Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard is a 1995 graduate of Texas. Two other Big 12 coaches - WVU's Bob Huggins and TCU's Jamie Dixon - are at the helm of the programs they played for.
►K-State has started the same five players in all 17 games, and each of those players averages double-figures in scoring. Barry Brown leads the Wildcat offense with 12.1 points per game, while D.J. Johnson isn't far behind at 12.0. The versatile Wesley Iwundu is scoring 11.9 per contest, while Kamau Stokes and Dean Wade are averaging 11.3 and 10.3 per game.
►The Wildcat defense ranks 10th nationally with a turnover percentage of 23.5 percent and 15th in steal percentage at 12.1 percent. Barry Brown leads the K-State defense with 2.2 steals per game, which trails only West Virginia's Jevon Carter in the Big 12.
►The Wildcats lead the overall series, 78-52, and have taken three of the last four meetings with the Cowboys. In Stillwater, Oklahoma State has the edge 33-24. The Cowboys have won the last four games against K-State in Stillwater. The Wildcats last won in Gallagher-Iba Arena on Jan. 21, 2012.
►The Cowboys and Wildcats have split their last two meetings, which were decided by a total of seven points.
Oklahoma State Snapshot
►This will be the 1,000th men's basketball game in historic Gallagher-Iba Arena. The "Madison Square Garden of the Plains" hosted its first game on Dec. 9, 1938 as the 4-H Club and Student Activities Building, and the Oklahoma A&M Aggies downed Kansas, 21-15. Now in its 78th season in GIA, OSU has forged a 780-219 (.781) record, hoisted a pair of NCAA championship banners and took down some of the game's greatest players and teams. CBS Sports named GIA the No. 1 college basketball venue in America, and ESPNU's Honor Roll had the arena ranked No. 2 behind only the Palestra. The arena is named for OSU wrestling innovator Ed Gallagher and one of the game's most revered basketball coaches, Mr. Henry Iba. The white maple floor named in honor of Eddie Sutton is the original installed in 1938, and is the oldest currently in use by any college venue. GIA is tied for the 10th oldest continually used arena in college hoops.
►At 99-21, Brad Underwood is on the verge of becoming one of the fastest coaches to reach 100 wins in the history of college basketball. With 89 wins in his time at Stephen F. Austin, Underwood tied Brad Stevens of Butler for the most victories by any coach after three seasons. Currently, Underwood's .825 career win percentage is tied for the seventh best ever for a fourth-year head coach.
►Each of OSU's last four outings have been a one-possession ballgame inside the final five minutes, including Saturday's game against Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse. However, the four OSU opponents combined to shoot 63.6 percent from the floor in those final five minutes. Five of OSU's seven losses this season were one-possession games in the closing five minutes.
►Phil Forte, the national leader in free throw percentage (.962), has been on fire since Big 12 play began. In league play, Forte leads all Big 12 players with 3.4 3-pointers per game, and his 48.6 percent clip (17-of-35) from 3-point ranks third. The redshirt senior has connected on at least two 3-pointers in every league game this year. These numbers have helped him move into 10th in the OSU career scoring list with 1,542 points, and he has closed the gap on Keiton Page for the program's all-time 3-point record. Forte now ranks second in career 3-pointers at OSU with 288, and is only 11 away from tying Page's mark of 299 makes.
►The Big 12's fourth leading scorer at 16.8 points per game, Jeffrey Carroll has been a scoring and rebounding machine this season. The redshirt-junior remains the Big 12’s only player ranked inside the league’s top eight in scoring (4th, 16.8 ppg), rebounding (7th, 7.0 rpg) and field goal percentage (5th, .578). Carroll entered the year with a career-high scoring performance of 19 points, but he already has seven games of 20-plus points this year, including three of the last four games.
►Oklahoma State fields one of the youngest and most inexperienced lineups in the country. Even with fifth-year senior Phil Forte and his 119 career games, OSU still ranks 279th nationally in experience according to KenPom. The Cowboys entered the 2016-17 with just 15 combined years of collegiate experience, and currently have just 238 collegiate starts on the roster. OSU's average age of 20.2 years is tied with Texas for the youngest in the Big 12.
►OSU ranks second in the Big 12 and eighth nationally in scoring at 88.1 points per game, but their high-pressure defense is the main reason why. The Cowboys rank 11th in the country with 9.0 steals per game and fifth in turnovers forced at 17.88. According to KenPom, OSU is holding opponents to an average possession of just 15.3 seconds - the shortest in the country - and they rank 14th in turnover percentage with a mark of 23.1.
►One of the nation's elite point guards, Jawun Evans ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring at 18.2 points per game and is fourth in steals at 2.1 per game. In league play, the sophomore leads all Big 12 players with 6.6 assists per game. The Naismith Trophy and Cousy Award watch list member has six 20-point games and three 30-point games this season alone, and he also earned a spot on the Maui Invitational All-Tournament team. Evans also ranks among the league's top 10 in assists (4th, 5.3 apg) and free throw percentage (5th, 78.8%), and he owns two of the Big 12's top three scoring performances this season - 35 points against UConn, and 34 points against Campbell.
►The Cowboys have cleaned up on the offensive glass this year. OSU is sixth nationally with 15.5 offensive boards per game and eighth in offensive rebound percentage at 39.4 percent. A true team effort, not one player on the team ranks inside the top 100 in the country in offensive boards. The Cowboys have pulled down 15-plus offensive boards in 10 games this year, including seven of the last 11 outings. Mitchell Solomon posted nine offensive boards against TAMU-Corpus Christi, which is only one off the school record.