The wildest stat to come out of Kansas State’s 77-58 victory over Oklahoma State is that Jamar Samuels and Rodney McGruder didn’t commit a single foul in 66 combined minutes.
Not only is it extremely difficult for starters that spend a decent amount of time in the paint to avoid fouls, it is nearly impossible to avoid fouls against Keiton Page.
The Oklahoma State senior is a master at tricking defenders with shot fakes and leaping into them for cheap fouls. It’s not uncommon for him to get to the free-throw line 15, or maybe even 20, times a game. But McGruder, who spent much of the game defending Page, made him work for his points without fouling. McGruder used his size to his advantage against the smaller Page, and held him in check after a hot start.
“He is just a little bit bigger, longer and more athletic,” Page said of McGruder after scoring 22 points. “He played on the high side of me more. His athleticism bothered me a little bit.”
McGruder also was aggressive on the offensive end, and scored 24 points. Still, no charging violations, no over-the-back calls, no anything.
Then there was Samuels, who scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and made a steal without committing a foul. K-State basketball coach Frank Martin was practically speechless when he saw that on the stat sheet.
Samuels, as much as he hopes the trend continues, had trouble explaining it, too.
“I still don’t believe I didn’t get a foul today,” Samuels said. “I still don’t believe that.”