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Wildcats Begin 35th Season With First Exhibiton Game On Saturday

GO WILDCATS All-America candidate Nicole Ohlde
All-America candidate Nicole Ohlde

Oct. 28, 2002

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Date: Sat., November 2, 2002 - 5 p.m.
Site: Fred Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan, Kan. - 13,340
Television: None
Radio: None
Internet: www.k-statesports.com
Records: Kansas State is 0-0 overall. Team Concept is 0-0 overall.
Coaches: Kansas State coach Deb Patterson (Rockford (Ill.) College '79) is 97-84 (.535) in her seventh season at K-State. Team Concept is coached by Les Harrison.
Series: First meeting
Up Next: Solna Vikings, Friday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m., Bramlage Coliseum

MANHATTAN, Kan. - To say the Kansas State women's basketball team is excited about opening its 35th campaign on Saturday would be an understatement. After capturing the imagination of Wildcat basketball fans across the country, K-State launches what everyone hopes is another magical season in Manhattan with a 5 p.m. game with Team Concept in Bramlage Coliseum in the team's first preseason exhibition.

K-State will follow that game up with its final exhibition contest vs. the Solna Vikings of Solna, Sweden on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.

The excitement surrounding the team stems from the return of a veteran squad. Kansas State returns four starters, including its top scorer in All-America candidate Nicole Ohlde, the countries and K-State's top three-point shooter in Laurie Koehn, top playmaker in Megan Mahoney and its leading rebounder and steal leader in Kendra Wecker. The squad finished 26-8 last season and advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

K-State In Exhibition Games
The Wildcats are 12-8 in exhibition games all-time. During head coach Deb Patterson's six seasons at Kansas State, the Wildcats have an 8-3 mark, including 6-0 records the last four seasons. K-State beat the Houston Jaguars, 83-53, and Spartak Moscow, 94-56, last year.

About Team Concept
Team Concept is on a nine-game, seven-state Midwest/Rocky Mountain tour from Nov. 1 to Nov. 12.

Prior to meeting the Wildcats, Team Concept plays at California on Friday, Nov. 1. Team Concept is made up of former college players who now play in either the WNBA or overseas. Current WNBA players include Jamie Redd of the Seattle Storm and Jenny Mowe of the Portland Fire.

Redd was a member of the Houston Jaguars team that lost to K-State last year. She had 11 points on 4 of 12 shooting from the field vs. the 'Cats.

In three seasons with the Storm, Redd (Washington '99) averaged 6.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. In this past season, the 6-foot guard averaged 5.2 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 10 games.

In two seasons with the Fire, Mowe has averaged 0.7 points and 0.4 rebounds per game. Last season, the 6-foot-5 center averaged 0.2 points and 0.2 rebounds in five games.

Wildcats fans might remember Mowe when K-State played Oregon at the Women's Sports Foundation Classic at Southwest Missouri State during the 2000-01 season. The Ducks starting center tallied four points and grabbed five rebounds against former 'Cats Nicky Ramage and Olga Firsova. Firsova had 16 points and eight rebounds vs. Mowe.

Naismith Award Watch List
Nicole Ohlde and Kendra Wecker were both named preseason candidates for the 2002-03 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award.

Wildcats Picked Second in Preseason Coaches' Poll
The Wildcats were picked to finish second in the Big 12 in the preseason coaches' poll, while Texas Tech is predicted to win the Big 12 title.

Last year, the Wildcats were picked to finish in the lower half of the Big 12 (7th) before finishing tied for third.

2002-03 Big 12 Coaches' Preseason Poll
1. Texas Tech (6) 114
2. Kansas State (4) 113
3. Texas (2) 105
4. Oklahoma 88
5. Colorado 79
6. Iowa State 70
7. Baylor 59
8. Missouri 55
9. Oklahoma State 38
10. Texas A&M 32
11. Kansas 24
12. Texas A&M 15
() denotes first place votes

Ohlde Named Big 12 Conference Preseason Player of the Year
Junior Nicole Ohlde was named the Big 12 Conference's Preseason Player of the Year by the conference coaches. Sophomores Laurie Koehn and Kendra Wecker received votes towards the team.

For The Record
The last time Kansas State appeared in the Associated Press preseason poll was Nov. 18, 1983, at the ranking of No. 9. The Wildcats have never received a preseason ranking in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA poll.

What's Back
The Wildcats return nine letterwinners and four starters from the 2001-02 NCAA Sweet Sixteen team, including Big 12 First Team All-Conference selection in junior Nicole Ohlde, third-team all-conference honorees in sophomores Laurie Koehn and Kendra Wecker and one of the league's top playmakers in sophomore Megan Mahoney.

Other returning letterwinners include juniors Amy Dutmer and Kimmery Newsom and sophomores Chelsea Domenico, Kari Hanson and Brie Madden.

What's New
One freshman comprises the new faces at Kansas State in 2002-03. Rookie Jessica McFarland, a 6-foot-2 center from Derby, Kan., was a two-time all-state and first team all-class 6A selection, a three-time all-area and all-league honoree and two-time league MVP. She averaged 14.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks for her career and shot 55.7 percent from the field and 60 percent from the free-throw line during her prep career.

All-Time Record
Kansas State brings an all-time record of 600 wins and 387 losses into the 2002-03 season, the 35th in the school's basketball history.

Looking Ahead To The Season Opener
Kansas State will open the regular season on Nov. 15 when the Wildcats host Ball State in the first round of the ninth annual Preseason Women's National Invitational Tournament in Bramlage Coliseum.

Bettering The Best
The Wildcats will have a lot to live up to when it comes to best starts. Kansas State began the 2001-02 season with an 18-2 record over its first 20 games.

Patterson Climbing The Kansas State Coaching Chart
Head coach Deb Patterson will be looking for her 100th coaching win at Kansas State in 2002-03. She enters the year with 97 wins, third to only Lynn Hickey (125) and Judy Akers (206).

Coach (Years) Record
1. Judy Akers (1968-79) 206-94 (.687)
2. Lynn Hickey (1979-84) 125-39 (.762)
3. Deb Patterson (1996-P) 97-84 (.535)
4. Matilda Mossman (1984-90) 83-68 (.550)
5. Brian Agler (1993-96) 38-39 (.494)
6. Susan Yow (1990-93) 31-51 (.277)
7. Gaye Griffin (1989-90)* 17-8 (.680)
8. Jack Hartman (1995-96)* 3-4 (.429)
* interim

Akers To Be Enshrined Into Hall of Fame
Kansas State's first women's basketball coach Judy Akers will be inducted into the Kansas State Hall of Fame. The Wildcats' all-time winning coach with a 206-94 (.687) career record will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame on Jan. 10, 2003, in ceremonies at the K-State Student Union. Akers will also be honored as part of ceremonies during Wildcat home basketball games on Jan. 11.

Akers joins Priscilla Gary (1981-83), who was inducted in 1998, as the only Hall of Famers from the women's basketball program.

It has been 18 years since Kansas State has had a first team All-American and junior Nicole Ohlde is looking to change that in 2002-03.

Ohlde, an Associated Press honorable mention All-American last season, looks to follow in the footsteps of Priscilla Gary, who was named a Kodak All-American in 1985.

Ohlde is a legitimate All-America candidate. In the Big 12, a conference loaded last season with superstars, Ohlde ranked among the top 10 in six different statistical categories. She ranked fourth in the Big 12 in scoring, fifth in rebounds, third in field-goal percentage, first in blocks, second in defensive rebounds and second in double-doubles.

Sophomore Sensations?
Sophomores Laurie Koehn, Kendra Wecker and Megan Mahoney look to improve on their fabulous freshmen campaigns.

Koehn, a third-team All-Big 12 selection, led the country, the league and K-State in three-pointers (122 treys) and was the Wildcats' second-leading scorer (17.6 ppg).

Wecker, a third-team All-Big 12 and an All-Big 12 All-Tournament selection, was ranked in the top 10 in five categories in the league in 2001-02 and was K-State's third-leading scorer (16.4) and top rebounder (7.8).

Mahoney was K-State's top playmaker, averaging 4.6 assists per game, ranking eighth in the Big 12 Conference in league games. Her 157 assists were also the third-most in a single-season at Kansas State.

Rewriting The Record Book
Kansas State once again rewrote the school record book for three-point shooting in 2001-02. The Wildcats sank 262 three-pointers on 637 attempts for a 41.1 shooting percentage. The shooting percentage bettered the school record of 38.3 set in 2000-01 and led the country.

Chart Mover
Nicole Ohlde has no where to go but up when it comes to career records. Should she maintain her career scoring average of 17.6 points per game, the 6-foot-4 center could move from 21st on the career chart to the top five. Ohlde could also find herself in the top 10 in rebounding, and with 15 blocks, K-State's all-time shot blocker.

Millennium Mark
The duo of Laurie Koehn and Kendra Wecker could become the first pair of Wildcats to score 1,000 career points in the same season since 1999-2000 when the duo of Angie Finkes and Nicky Ramage reached the millennium mark.

Only seven pairs and one trio of Wildcats have reached the millennium mark in the same year in the program's history.

Millennium Marks - Same Year
1999-00 Angie Finkes, Nicky Ramage
1997-98 Andria Jones, Brit Jacobson
1989-90 Diane Miller, Nadira Hazim
1986-87 Sue Leiding, Carlisa Thomas
1980-81 Priscilla Gary, Kim Price & Tammie Romstad
1978-79 Laurie Miller, Eileen Feeney

Moving On Up
Laurie Koehn, Kendra Wecker and Megan Mahoney will also be climbing the record lists in 2002-03.

Koehn is within striking distance of becoming the 29th Wildcat to score 1,000 career points after finishing her rookie season with 600. Koehn could also move among the top three in three-point field goals and attempts. She trails all-time three-point shooter Kim Woodlee by 163 treys and Kristin Rethman, who is second, by 144. In attempts, she is behind second-place Rethman by 320 three-point attempts.

Wecker can move into the top 40 in scoring and in the top 30 in rebounding. She enters this season with 557 points and needs 28 points for 40th in scoring. She also has 264 rebounds and needs 102 caroms to pass Jennifer Jones (1983-85) for 30th.

Mahoney looks to move into the top 10 in assists. She has 157 assists and needs 93 to join the leaders.

An Elite Group
Nicole Ohlde could join two elite groups at Kansas State in 2002-03. The Wildcats have five former players who registered 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists in their career. Additionally, Ohlde could join Carlisa Thomas, who is the only Wildcat to have 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 50 blocks in a career.

Ohlde enters the season with 1,074 points, 482 rebounds, 139 assists and 86 blocks.

Koehn's Ultimate Goal
To say Laurie Koehn likes to shoot three-pointers is an understatement. Koehn who enters the season with 122 career treys could become the NCAA's and the Big 12's all-time three-pointer shooter by the end of her career.

To reach the NCAA record of 362 set by Julie Krommenboek of Utah, Koehn would need to average 80 treys the next three seasons or 120 the next two years.

To snap the Big 12 mark of 287 set by Megan Taylor of Iowa State, Koehn would need 55 over three seasons or 83 in two years.

Laurie Koehn enters the 2002-03 season with a 21-game free-throw streak. Koehn's streak began on Feb. 10, 2002 when she sank a pair of free throws in the second half at Nebraska.

The school record is 27 consecutive free throws set by Nadira Hazim in 1990-91.

For Three
Entering this season, Kansas State has a three-pointer in 157 consecutive games. The last time Kansas State failed to sink a three-pointer was on Feb. 26, 1997, in a 64-60 win over Missouri. The Wildcats were 0-6.

Taking On The Champions
In addition to possibly taking on 10 NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago, the Wildcats have a 2002-03 non-conference schedule which includes a pair of 2002 WNIT tourney teams and four squads that won its conference championships last year. Here's a rundown of what some of K-State's non-conference opponents accomplished last year:

* Stanford (Stanford Tourney, Nov. 29-30) captured the PAC-10 title and reached the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. The Cardinal were 32-3 overall and 18-0 in the PAC-10.
* Temple (Stanford Tourney, Nov. 29-30) won the Atlantic 10 title en route to an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Owls posted records of 20-11 and 12-4.
* Weber State (Wildcat Classic, Dec. 6-7) took home the Big Sky Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats finished the year with records of 22-9 and 11-3.
* UW-Green Bay (Dec. 12) captured the first Horizon League regular-season crown and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Phoenix were 24-7 overall and 15-1 in league play.
* Iowa (Jan. 2) reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes were 18-11 overall and 10-6 in conference action.
* UW-Milwaukee (Wildcat Classic, Dec. 6-7) finished last season 20-8 overall and 14-3 in the Horizon League. The Panthers were second behind UW-Green Bay in the conference standings.

Home Cookin'
Kansas State enters this season with a 127-62 (67.1 percent) all-time record in Bramlage Coliseum.

In non-conference games, K-State has won 84.6 percent (77-14) of its games in the Purple Palace.

Since Deb Patterson took over as head coach in 1996-97, the Wildcats have posted a 56-23 mark at home.

Kansas State posted its ninth-straight winning record at home and the 30th in 34 seasons of Wildcat women's basketball in 2001-02.

Fan-tastic Numbers
Kansas State made the nation's largest average increase in attendance from the previous season and finished seventh in the final NCAA Division I attendance list with an average of 8,158 fans per game in 2001-02.

K-State doubled its previous single-season home attendance by drawing 122,376 fans to 15 home dates. The Wildcats had six home crowds that topped the 10,000 mark, including home sellouts against Nebraska (13,466 on 1/12/02), Texas Tech (13,340 on 1/27/02) and Iowa State (13,340 on 2/2/02).

Signing Period
The fall early signing period begins Wednesday, Nov. 13, and runs through Wednesday, Nov. 20.

TV Time
The Wildcats are making nine regular season appearances on television this season.

K-State's first television appearance will be on ESPN2 when it hosts Iowa in the Big 12/Big 10 Challenge on Jan. 5.

Kansas State will play on FOX Sports Net on Jan. 25 vs. Texas, Feb. 1 at Oklahoma, Feb. 8 at Baylor and March 6 at Texas Tech.

K-State will also have its games with Iowa State (Jan. 15 & Jan. 29), Oklahoma State (Feb. 15) and Kansas (Feb. 26) on Metro Sports. The Oklahoma State game will be live statewide and the remaining games will be taped delayed and broadcast on Metro Sports and WIBW Ch. 13 in Topeka.

Up Next
Kansas State will have its last chance to prepare for the Nov. 15 season opener vs. Ball State in the Preseason WNIT when it meets the Solna Vikings on Friday, Nov. 8 in Bramlage Coliseum.

The Vikings are on an eight-game, three-state Midwest tour from Nov. 8 to Nov. 17.

The 11-member squad plays in the First Division, the top league in Sweden and is coached by Michael Westerholm.

The Vikings, founded in 1959 has won four Swedish National Championships, including the 2002 title.

The club has an extensive youth program with over 80 teams in all ages ranging from 8-years-old to juniors.

The club is located in Solna, Sweden, one of the closest suburbs to Sweden's capital of Stockholm.

Cecilia Ferm, a 5-foot-10 guard from Stockholm, played on both the Swedish National team and the Deaf National Team. Tove Jarneland, a 6-foot center from S?dert?lje, Sweden, was a key player for the Swedish Junior National Team.