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March 10, 2008

Beasley adds 11th weekly honor

Freshman forward Michael Beasley earned his 11th weekly award of the season on Sunday, as he was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 co-Player of the Week after averaging 24.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in wins over Colorado and Iowa State last week.

Beasley tied Kansas' Sherron Collins for the weekly honor after he averaged 13.0 points and five assists in wins over Texas Tech and Texas A&M last week.

Beasley's 11 combined weekly awards (three player, eight rookie) are the most by a Big 12 men's basketball player topping the 10 won by Texas' Kevin Durant (four player, six rookie) a year ago. His eight rookie honors are already the most by any men's basketball player in Big 12 history, while he is just the second student-athlete and first men's player in league history to win any weekly award seven consecutive weeks. The longest streak is eight weeks in a row by Oklahoma's Courtney Paris, who did it to end the 2005-06 season. Beasley has earned Player of the Week accolades on Nov. 12, 2007 and Jan. 14 and March 9, 2008, while he has garnered Rookie of the Week honors on Nov. 19 and Dec. 26, 2007, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, Feb. 11, Feb. 18, Feb. 25 and March 3, 2008.

Beasley averaged 24.0 points on 50 percent shooting (17-of-34), including 33.3 percent (2-of-6) from 3-point line, for the week with 11.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.0 steal in 32.5 minutes per game in contests against Colorado and Iowa State last week. He also connected on 80 percent (12-of-15) from the free throw line. With the pair of wins of last week, he helped K-State post back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in nearly 20 years and tie the 2006-07 squad for the best league record (10-6) in the Big 12 era.

Beasley became the first player in school history to score 30 or more points in four consecutive games on Tuesday when he posted 33 points against Colorado on 12-of-22 shooting with 14 rebounds, three blocks and one steal in 36 minutes. In the process, he eclipsed Mitch Richmond's (768; 1987-88) school single-season scoring mark. In addition, he broke the Big 12 single-season mark for double-doubles with his 26th against the Buffaloes, while also extending his NCAA freshman record. He also moved his Big 12 and school single-season marks for 30-point games to 13. Although he saw his double-double streak end at 10 games against Iowa State with 15 points and nine rebounds on Saturday, he did knock down a pair of free throws with two seconds remaining to ice the win and snap a five-game road losing skid.

The former No. 1 high school recruit continues to make his case for National Player of the Year honors, as he is averaging 26.5 points on 53.7 percent shooting (282-of-525), including 39.5 percent from 3-point range, with 12.5 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.2 assists in 31.3 minutes per game this season. As of Friday, he ranked among the top-5 in the nation in both scoring (third) and rebounding (first). He has recorded a double-double in 26 of 30 games and has totaled 23 games of 20 or more points. He leads the nation in double-doubles (26), 40-point games (three), 30-point games (13), 20-point, 10-rebound games (21) and 30-point, 10-rebound games (13).

Kansas State (20-10, 10-6 Big 12) begins play at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Friday when the Wildcats play either No. 6 seed Texas A&M or No. 11 seed Iowa State at the Sprint Center.

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