?Cats Move to No. 12, No. 15 in the polls
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State's rise in the polls is reaching historical levels, as the Wildcats earned their highest ranking in nearly 36 years on Monday at No. 12 in The Associated Press Top 25.
The winners of seven straight, including victories over two Top 25 squads, K-State (10-1) also tied New Mexico for the highest jump (seven spots) in the ESPN/USA Today poll at No. 15. After receiving votes in both polls for most of the season, the squad jumped into both respective polls last week at No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 22 in the coaches' poll. Those rankings marked the first ranking since the 2007-08 season when the team checked in at No. 24 on Feb. 19, 2008. It is the highest ranking in the AP poll since head coach Jack Hartman led the Wildcats to a No. 9 ranking in the poll on March 13, 1973 with a 23-5 record. In addition, it is the highest ranking prior to conference play since K-State was ranked No. 10 in the preseason poll in 1965.
Kansas State is off to its best start since the 2004-05 team also went 10-1. This is the 11th Wildcat squad to win 10 or more games at this point in the season. Only one other squad - the 1918-19 team which won its first 17 games - has a better record after 11 games. The two wins over ranked non-conference teams are a first since the 1958-59 squad knocked off No. 4 N.C. State (69-67) and No. 14 St. Joseph's (68-55) on consecutive days on Dec. 19-20, 1958. The eight 80-point games after 11 games are the most in school history.
Junior guard Jacob Pullen continued his stellar play in the 87-74 win over Alabama on Saturday night when he collected a season-high 30 points on 10-of-15 field goals, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range. He became the 21st player, including the eighth guard, to top 1,000 career points with his fourth 3-pointer of the first half against the Crimson Tide. His 1,013 career points ranks 19th all-time at K-State. He is averaging 23.7 points on 48 percent shooting during the team's current seven-game winning streak.
Kansas State begins a three-game homestand tonight, as the Wildcats host Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-9) at Bramlage Coliseum at 7 p.m.