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February 2, 2009Junior guard Denis Clemente earned his first Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honor on Monday after his record-setting efforts in wins over Missouri and No. 11 Texas.
The transfer from Miami (Fla.) averaged 27.0 points on 54.8 percent shooting (17-of-31), including 77.8 percent from 3-point range, with 5.0 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 31.0 minutes per game in both games last week.
He also went a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line, including an impressive 10-of-10 effort in the last five minutes in the win over the Longhorns.
Clemente is the first Kansas State player to earn Big 12 Player of the Week honors this season and the first since Michael Beasley won its for the third time on March 9, 2008. He is the first guard to win the accolade since Galen Morrison won the award on Jan. 10, 2000.
Clemente was named the National Player of the Week by ESPN.com on Sunday night.
Clemente tied Beasley's Big 12 single-game record for points in Saturday's thrilling 85-81 overtime win over No. 11 Texas with his career-high 44 points. He went 13-of-25 from the field, including a perfect 6-of-6 from 3-point range, and 12-of-12 from the free throw line. The 44 points tied Beasley for the fifth-most points in single-game in school history, including the second-most in a conference game. It was the most points by a guard since Askia Jones broke the school record with 62 points against Fresno State on March 24, 1994. It was also the most points by a guard on an opposing team's floor in school history. The 44 points also were the most by a single player in Erwin Center history, surpassing the 43 by Texas'
Reggie Freeman against Fresno State on Dec. 14, 1996.
Clemente began the week with solid all-around game in an 88-72 win over Missouri on Jan. 28. He scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting with seven assists and one steal in 24 minutes of action.
The team's leading scorer at 14.3 points per game, Clemente has scored in double figures in 13 games this season, including six times in seven Big 12 contests. He is also first on the team in field goals (100) and free throw percentage (87.7), while he is second in assists (66) and third in both 3-point field goals (35) and steals (20).
The Wildcats (14-7, 3-4 Big 12), which has won three in a row in Big 12 play after starting with four consecutive losses, return to action on Tuesday when the squad welcomes Iowa State (12-9, 1-5 Big 12) to Bramlage Coliseum for a 7 p.m. tip.