Kansas State fifth-year senior Mark Smith was honored as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Monday (January 3) after his historic performance on Saturday night against Oklahoma.
Smith, a transfer from Missouri, became the first Wildcat since assists became an official NCAA stat in 1976-77 to post a game of at least 25 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists. He set career-high in points (25), rebounds (16) and assists (5), while suffering zero turnovers in nearly 39 minutes of action. His 16 rebounds were the most by a player in a conference game since Michael Beasley collected 17 against Missouri on Feb. 16, 2008.
Smith is the first Wildcat to earn the weekly honor since Dean Wade won the accolade for the second time on Feb. 8, 2016, and the first K-State player to be selected for a Big 12 weekly honor since the 2019-20 season. Overall, it marks the school’s 32nd Newcomer of the Week honor since the inception of the Big 12 in 1997, including the seventh under head coach Bruce Weber. It is the second career weekly honor for Smith, who was named the SEC Player of the Week on Dec. 7, 2020, while playing at Missouri.
A 6-foot-4, 225-pound guard from Edwardsville, Illinois, Smith had a near double-double of 11 points and 8 rebounds in the first half, while he scored 12 of his 14 second-half points during a pivotal stretch, in which, the Wildcats battled back from a 14-point deficit to tie the game at 65-all with 1:03 to play. He finished 7-of-13 from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, and 8-of-9 from the free throw line.
The double-double was the fifth of Smith’s career, including his fourth in the last 8 games.
The Big 12’s current rebounding leader at 8.6 per game, Smith is averaging a near double-double through his 12-game Wildcat career with 10.7 points per game on 45.4 percent (44-of-97) shooting, including 41.9 percent (13-of-31) from 3-point range. He is tied for second on the team in steals (14), third in scoring, double-digit scoring games (7) and field goals made (44) and fourth in assists (23) while averaging 27.6 minutes per game.
K-State (8-4, 0-1 Big 12) returns home Tuesday night to face nationally-ranked Texas (11-2, 1-0 Big 12) at 6 p.m., CT. It will be Dollar Night at Bramlage Coliseum, as all general admission tickets are priced at just $1, while all general admission parking is free. Tickets can be purchased by visiting k-statesports.com, calling (800) 221.CATS, or by visiting the Bramlage Coliseum ticket office in person from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., CT, Monday through Friday.