Kansas State University

K-State wins basketball opener, Samuels suspended

MANHATTAN — If the Kansas State basketball team’s short exhibition season is any indicator, Angel Rodriguez is going to be a fixture in the Wildcats’ lineup this year.

The freshman guard did a little bit of everything in K-State’s 90-60 victory over Fort Hays State on Sunday at Bramlage Coliseum. He scored a team-high 15 points, consistently delivered tough defense and looked comfortable directing coach Frank Martin’s offense while dishing out five assists.

Combined with a nice effort in the team’s public scrimmage a week ago, he has proven himself more than any other newcomer to this point.

“Angel is a pretty good player. He’s a competitor,” K-State coach Frank Martin said. “He knows how to play the point. When he’s got it going shooting the ball, he’s a hard matchup because he knows how to get by people, too.”

He was helped in the backcourt by Will Spradling, who scored 12 points in a starting role, and Martavious Irving, who scored 12 points including the game’s highlight play on a behind-the-back layup in transition in the first half.

With five players scoring in double figures and K-State getting to the free-throw line 35 times, the Wildcats had plenty of offense in front of a sparse crowd. Now they’re looking forward to the season opener against Charleston Southern on Friday.

“If the season was to start tomorrow, I think our enthusiasm and our hunger to play and hard work would be there,” Irving said. “We’ve just got a few things to work on and touch up on.”

They will have to do some of that work without senior forward Jamar Samuels. Before tipoff Sunday, the Wildcats announced that he had been suspended for three games because of a violation of team rules.

He watched the exhibition from the bench in street clothes, and he will remain there on Friday and again on Nov. 14 when the Wildcats take on Loyola Chicago. That news dampened an otherwise positive afternoon of basketball.

After a forgettable junior season, Samuels pushed himself to add 32 pounds of muscle in the offseason and grow into a leadership role as a senior. Martin has been complimentary of Samuels’ progress over the past few weeks.

“Jamar understands that student-athletes at K-State have expectations and there are consequences when you don’t live up to those expectations,” Martin said in a statement. “However, I have been pleased with how he has handled his obligations since this setback and I expect this to continue.”

Irving said Samuels was also dealing with a knee injury he suffered in practice, but is looking forward to returning to the court.

Two other bright efforts for K-State came from junior forward Jordan Henriquez and freshman big man Thomas Gipson.

Both started the game, with Gipson scoring 14 points and six rebounds, and Jordan Henriquez scoring 11 points and 10 rebounds.

It’s a double-double Martin thinks he can build off of when the games begin to count this week. Henriquez says his confidence level has never been higher.

“It’s sky-rocketed,” Henriquez said. “It’s just my time. I’ve waited. I’ve learned. I had to watch the guys in front of me as a freshman and a sophomore. Now I’ve taken those things in that I’ve learned. It’s time to step up.”

Beasley fallout — When asked about the reported allegations of former All-American Michael Beasley accepted improper benefits during his lone season at K-State, Martin referred the question to athletics director John Currie.

“We’re not worried about anything, but that’s something you need to talk to John about,” Martin said.

Martin said he spoke to Beasley two weeks ago after learning of the reports, but had no further comment.

Currie made the following statement on the matter last week: “We take our responsibility regarding NCAA compliance very seriously. We are, of course, following up appropriately.”

Watson plays — Junior college transfer James Watson had missed a handful of preseason practices because he had failed to pass K-State’s conditioning test. But Martin said he cleared that hurdle last week, and participated in five practices leading up to Sunday’s game. He scored two points and grabbed two rebounds.

FORT HAYS STATE (60)

Min Fg-a Ft-a R A TO F TP

Yarbrgh 18 4-5 3-8 4 0 0 3 11

Simmons 28 3-4 0-0 6 2 3 4 6

Morse 23 0-5 4-7 0 2 0 3 15

Dreiling 19 1-4 0-0 2 1 4 2 4

Russell 30 3-7 4-4 5 1 6 3 12

McDade 24 0-6 0-0 1 3 1 3 0

McKnzie 18 1-4 1-2 6 4 2 4 3

Ball 9 0-2 0-1 0 0 1 3 0

Phillips 17 7-11 1-1 1 0 1 0 16

Buhler 3 0-0 2-2 0 1 0 1 2

Waldman 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0

Rodenbrg 5 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 1 0

Penner 3 1-1 1-2 0 0 0 0 3

Totals 200 20-50 16-27 30 14 20 27 60

Team 4

Percent 40.0 59.3

KANSAS STATE (90)

Min Fg-a Ft-a R A TO F TP

Hnrqz 25 3-7 5-10 10 2 0 2 11

Gipson 15 7-11 0-0 6 2 1 2 14

Irving 23 5-11 1-2 3 1 0 4 12

McGrdr 26 2-8 0-0 5 2 1 1 6

Sprdlng 24 3-6 5-6 2 3 0 3 12

Sthwll 7 1-1 0-0 2 1 0 0 2

Ojeleye 18 0-4 2-2 2 0 1 2 2

Williams 8 1-1 1-2 1 1 1 1 3

Lawrence 6 0-1 1-2 3 0 1 0 1

Rdrgz 19 4-5 4-6 3 5 1 2 15

Watson 4 1-4 0-0 2 0 2 1 2

Diaz 15 2-3 3-4 0 0 2 4 7

Jones 9 1-3 1-1 2 1 1 0 3

Rohldr 6 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0 0

Totals 200 30-65 23-35 46 18 12 22 90

Team 5

Percent 53.2 57.6

Fort Hays State 20 40 — 60Kansas 46 44 — 90

Three-point goals — FHSU 4-13 (Morse 0-1, Dreiling 1-3, Russell 2-3, McDade 0-3, Ball 0-2, Phillips 1-1), KSU 7-20 (Irving 1-4, McGruder 2-5, Spradling 1-4, Ojeleye 0-1, Rodriguez 3-3, Watson 0-1, Jones 0-2). Steals — FHSU 6 (McDade 2), KSU 8 (Irving 3). Blocks — FHSU 3 (Yarbrough 3), KSU 5 (Henriquez 2, Southwell 2). Officials: Joe DeRosa, Greg Rennegarbe, Roland Simmons. Att. —12,258

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