12/11 KANSAS STATE (18-5, 6-4 Big 12) vs. 17/19 TCU (17-6, 6-4 Big 12)
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 >> 8:05 p.m. CT >> Bramlage Coliseum (11,000) >> Manhattan, Kan.
ESPNU / WatchESPN (link here)
- Rich Hollenberg (play-by-play)
- Chris Spatola (analyst)
- John Wheat (producer)
K-State Sports Network
Flagships: // KMAN 1350 & WIBW 580
Satellite Radio: Sirius XM 84/84
Online: Varsity Network [free]/ www.kstatesports.com/watch [free]
- Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
- Stan Weber (analyst)
Less than 600 tickets remain
K-State: Jerome Tang [Charter Oak State College ’07]
Record at K-State: 18-5/1st Year
Career Record: 20-5/1st Year+
vs. TCU: 0-1 [0-1 at K-State]
TCU: Jamie Dixon [TCU ’87]
Record at TCU: 134-90/7th Year
Career Record: 462-213/21st Year
vs. K-State: 8-10 [7-10 at TCU]
Overall: K-State leads 20-11
Big 12 Era: K-State leads 17-9
In Manhattan: K-State leads 8-5
At Bramlage Coliseum: K-State leads 6-5
Active Streak: TCU, 1
Tang vs. TCU: 0-1 [0-1 at K-State]
Tang vs. Jamie Dixon: 0-1 [0-1 at home]
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP (Based off the last game)
12/11 Kansas State (18-5, 6-4 Big 12)
G: #1 Markquis Nowell
G: #5 Cam Carter
F: #11 Keyontae Johnson
F: #35 Nae’Qwan Tomlin
F: #3 David N’Guessan
17/19 TCU (17-6, 6-4 Big 12)
G: #10 Damion Baugh
G: #13 Shahada Wells
F: #2 Emanuel Miller
F: #5 Chuck O’Bannon
F: #12 Xavier Cork
No. 12/11 K-State (18-5, 6-4 Big 12) plays its third consecutive Top 25 opponent on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats conclude their brief 2-game homestand with a visit from No. 17/19 TCU (17-6, 6-4 Big 12) to Bramlage Coliseum for an 8 p.m., CT tipoff on ESPNU. The teams will be playing for the second straight time as Top 25 foes after then No. 17/17 TCU handed then No. 11/13 K-State its worst loss of the season, 82-68, at home on Jan. 14. The Horned Frogs will be looking to sweep the season series for the second time, including the first time since 2020, while the Wildcats will be looking to snap a 3-game skid in the series at home.
- K-State saw its 12-game homecourt winning streak come to an end, including an 11-game streak at Bramlage Coliseum, on Saturday afternoon, as No. 10/9 Texas rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit with a sensational second-half performance to post a 69-66 win. The Longhorns hit on 57.1 percent (16-of-28) after halftime with half (22) of their 44 points coming in the paint to hold off a late charge by the Wildcats. Turnovers continue to plague K-State, as the Wildcats suffered 19 turnovers with the Longhorns scoring 19 points off those miscues. The team has now lost 3 of their last 4 games, including consecutive games for the first time this season, albeit against Top 12 opponents (at No. 12/12 Iowa State, at No. 8/8 Kansas and No. 10/9 Texas).
- K-State is still off to one of its best starts, as the current 18-5 record ties the 1979-80, 2012-13 and 2018-19 teams for the second-best in the past 50 seasons with only the 1972-73 and 2009-10 teams (at 19-4) having a better mark in that span. Among the 12 wins in the last 16 outings is a 9-game streak from Dec. 3, 2022 to Jan. 10, 2023, which was the longest by the Wildcats since a 10-game winning streak in 2013-14, and a 4-0 start in Big 12 play.
- K-State’s 18-5 start under head coach Jerome Tang is the second-best by a first-year coach in school history, just behind the 15-2 record by Zora G. Clevenger (1916-17). Tang’s 18-5 start also ranks among the very best by all first-year coaches in Division I, just behind Xavier’s Sean Miller (19-5) and ahead of Missouri’s Dennis Gates (17-6) and Seattle’s Chris Victor (16-8).
- Seniors Keyontae Johnson (18.1 ppg.) and Markquis Nowell (16.8 ppg.) have been one of the most prolific tandems in the country, as they combine to average 34.9 points per game on 46.2 percent (258-of-559) shooting, including 37.8 percent (79-of-209) from 3-point range, and 81 percent (209-of-258) from the free throw line. They are the 26th-best Division I scoring duo, including fourth-best among major conferences. They were each named to the Oscar Robertson Trophy and Wooden Award Watch Lists and have combined to win 6 weekly Big 12 awards.
- Nowell continues to be one of the leaders in assists. He ranks third in assists per game (7.8 apg.) and total assists (180). His 180 assists are second on the single-season list, 6 shy of Steve Henson’s record (186; 1987-88). He is one of 3 active Division I player with at least 1,500 points, 500 assists and 200 steals, while his 244 career steals are first among active Division I players.
NOTES ON 17/19 TCU
- No. 17/19 TCU (17-6, 6-4 Big 12) enters Tuesday’s game with losses in 2 of its last 3 games, including a 79-73 setback at Oklahoma State on Saturday. The Horned Frogs have been without Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Mike Miles, Jr., in that span.
- TCU is averaging 77.3 points on 46.1 percent shooting, including 29.1 percent from 3-point range, with 36.5 rebounds, 16.2 assists, 8.7 steals and 4.9 blocks per game, while allowing 66 points on 41.6 percent shooting, including 29.9 percent from 3-point range. The Horned Frogs are connecting on 71.9 percent from the free throw line.
- TCU still leads the nation in fastbreak points (20.7 ppg.), while ranking in the top-40 in 10 other categories, including 12th in turnover margin (+4.6), 19th in turnovers forced/game (16.4), 21st in assists/game (16.2), 23rd in scoring margin (+11.3) and 30th in steals/game (8.7).
- Three players are averaging in double figures, as Miles ranks third in the Big 12 at 18.1 points per game on 53.2 percent shooting, while seniors Emanuel Miller and Damion Baugh are averaging 13.2 and 12.8 points per game. Sophomore Eddie Lampkin and Miller are averaging 6.5 and 6.4 rebounds per game, while Baugh has a team-leading 89 assists.
- TCU is led by seventh-year head coach Jamie Dixon, who has a 134-90 record with 4 20-win seasons. Overall, he has a 462-213 record in his 20th season as a head coach. He is 8-10 all-time vs. K-State.
- K-State holds a 20-11 lead in the all-time series with TCU, including a 17-9 mark in the Big 12 era. The Wildcats have an 8-5 record in games played in Manhattan but have lost 3 in a row to Horned Frogs.
- K-State has a narrow 5-5 lead in the last 10 meetings with TCU, including a split of the home-and-home series in 2022. The Horned Frogs have won 4 of the last 6 in Manhattan, including 60-57 in 2022, with the last Wildcat win at home coming in a 65-55 victory on Jan. 19, 2019.
LAST 10 MEETINGS [5-5]
Date Rank Result Score Location
3/14/2019 15/— W 70-61 Kansas City
1/7/2020 —/— L 57-59 Manhattan
2/15/2020 —/— L 57-68 Fort Worth
3/11/2020 —/— W 53-49 Kansas City
1/2/2021 —/— L 60-67 Manhattan
2/20/2021 —/— W 62-54 Fort Worth
3/10/2021 —/— W 71-50 Kansas City
1/12/2022 —/— L 57-60 Manhattan
2/5/2022 —/— W 75-63 Fort Worth
1/14/2023 11/17 L 68-82 Fort Worth
LAST MEETING: 17/17 TCU 82, 11/13 K-STATE 68
- Full recap on page 23.
LAST MEETING IN MANHATTAN: TCU 60, K-STATE 57 [Jan. 12, 2022]
- Junior Damion Baugh’s 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining put the exclamation points on TCU’s 8-0 run to end the game, as the Horned Frogs earned a 60-57 come-from-behind victory in the last meeting at Bramlage Coliseum to post their third straight win in the arena on Jan. 12, 2022.
- Trailing 57-52 after Markquis Nowell’s layup with 1:48 to play, TCU got a free throw from Baugh and a layup from junior Emanuel Miller before the Baugh 3-pointer. A pair of Mike Miles’ free throws finished off the scoring.
- Nowell led 3 Wildcats in double figures with 18 points.
LAST TIME OUT: 10/9 TEXAS 69, 7/6 K-STATE 66
- No. 10/9 Texas rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit with an impressive second-half effort, as the Longhorns handed No. 7/6 Kansas State its first home loss of the season with a 69-66 win on Saturday afternoon before a sold-out crowd of 11,000 at Bramlage Coliseum.
- K-State had one last chance to send the game to overtime with 5 seconds left, but junior Ishmael Massoud’s 3-pointer was off the mark at the buzzer, as Texas (19-4, 8-2) extended its lead in the Big 12 standings. The Longhorns are now a game ahead of Iowa State (7-3) and two games of four others (6-4).
- Senior Keyontae Johnson led three Wildcats in double figures with a game-high 16 points on 6-of-10 field goals, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, in 24 minutes. Senior Desi Sills chipped in 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists, while senior Markquis Nowell added 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
- Down by 14 points in the first half and 11 at halftime after shooting just 30.4 percent (7-of-23) from the field, including 11.1 percent (1-of-9) from 3-point range, the Longhorns came on fire to start the second half, using a 14-4 run to close the deficit to 40-39 just after the first media timeout.
- K-State stayed ahead for the next few minutes before a layup by Christian Bishop and a 3-pointer from Sir’Jabari Parker gave Texas the lead for the first time at 51-48 with just over 10 minutes left. Twice, they built the lead to 6 points before K-State rallied to tie the game at 64-64 on a 12-6 spurt that included production from four players, including 4 points from Sills.
- The teams traded the lead over the next few minutes, including a floater by Nowell for a 66-65 lead with just over a minute to play before a driving layup by Bishop and two free throws by Parker provided the final margin.
- It was a balanced effort for Texas, as five players scored in double figures led by 14 points each from Bishp and Parker. Three others – Timmy Allen, Tyrese Hunter and Marcus Carr – each added 10 points. Parker had a double-double with a game-high 10 boards. Three Longhorns had 4 assists.
- After shooting 30.4 percent in the first half, Texas responded by connecting on 57.1 percent (16-of-28) in the second half, including 42.9 percent (3-of-7) from 3-point range. The Longhorns finished at 45.1 percent (23-of-51) from the field, including 25 percent (4-of-16) from long range. They were stellar from the free throw line, knocking down 79.2 percent (19-of-24).
- For the game, K-State hit on 44 percent (22-of-50) from the field, including 31.6 percent (6-of-19) from 3-point range, and made 80 percent (16-of-20) from the line. The Wildcats connected on 46.2 percent (12-of-26) in first half.
- The game included 36 combined turnovers with each team scoring 19 points off those miscues, while the teams had 40 combined personal fouls.
POSTGAME NEWS & NOTES
- K-State has lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
- K-State still leads the series, 24-22, including 11-10 at home, however, Texas has now won 5 straight over the Wildcats at Bramlage Coliseum.
- K-State sees it 12-game homecourt winning streak end, including 11 straight at Bramlage Coliseum… Texas handed K-State its first home loss after the ‘Cats gave the Longhorns their first home loss on Jan. 3.
- K-State turned the ball over 19 times, which was the third highest this year and the second highest in a Big 12 game… Those turnovers let to 19 points.
- K-State is now 11-2 this season when leading at the half.
TANG DEBUTS AS HEAD COACH
- First-year head coach Jerome Tang enjoyed a successful a debut, as the Wildcats posted a 93-59 win against UTRGV on Nov. 7, becoming the 24th man and the first full-time black head coach in school history. He followed with his first road victory at Cal to start his tenure off with a 2-0 record. He is the sixth minority men’s head coach in K-State Athletics history, including the third in men’s basketball following interim head coach Darryl Winston (1984-85) and former full-time head coach Frank Martin (2007-12).
- K-State’s 18-5 start under Jerome Tang is the second-best by a first-year coach in school history, just behind Zora G. Clevenger, who went 15-2 in 1916-17. The start is the second-best by any current first-year coach, just behind Xavier’s Sean Miller (19-5) and ahead of Missouri’s Dennis Gates (17-6).
- This is not Tang’s first time being a head coach, as he served as athletics director and head coach at Heritage Christian Academy in Cleveland, Texas from 1993-2003, leading the school to 5 TAPPS Division A State Championships.
- In addition, Tang twice served as interim head coach in his 19 seasons as an assistant and associate head coach at Baylor, leading the Bears to 4-0 record. He helped Baylor to wins over Texas (86-79 in OT) and at Texas Tech (82-48) during the 2012-13 season, while he guided the squad to wins over Louisiana (112-82) and Washington (86-52) to open the 2020-21 season. Tang is only credited with the wins in 2013, moving his college head coaching record to 20-5.
A TEAM OF WINNERS
- Head coach Jerome Tang has remarked on a number of occasions that he recruited a team ‘full of winners’ as exemplified by the number of championships that the collective group has won.
- There are a combined 8 state championships among the 15 players on the roster, including 2 each won by seniors Desi Sills and Abayomi Iyiola and true freshmen Taj Manning. In addition, sophomore Jerrell Colbert and true freshman Dorian Finister also won state titles during their senior seasons.
- In addition to the high school success, a number of players have been a part of winning college programs, including Sills and Iyiola being members of Arkansas’ Elite Eight team in 2021 and senior Keyontae Johnson (Florida) and junior David N’Guessan (Virginia Tech) being a part of 2 NCAA Tournaments.
- This championship mentality stretches to the staff, as associate head coach Urlic Maligi has been part of 5 NCAA Tournament and 5 conference title teams in his career. Assistant coach Jareem Dowling has been involved with teams that have won 4 conference titles and earned 4 postseason trips, while assistant coach Rodney Perry is coming off a 2021-22 year in which he led Link Academy to a national runner-up finish at the GEICO National Tournament before helping MOKAN Elite to its third Nike Peach Jam title.
1700 WINS AND COUNTING
- K-State’s overtime 96-87 win over Nevada in the semifinals of the Cayman Islands Classic represented the 1,700th win in school history. The Wildcats are the 43rd Division I team to eclipse 1,700 wins, including the sixth Big 12 school.
- The Wildcats have a 1,713-1,218 (.586) all-time record as a program, which includes 31 NCAA Tournament appearances and 21 conference championships.
- K-State is one of 11 Division I schools whose men’s and women’s basketball teams have both won more than 1,000 games. Joining K-State is this unique club is Baylor, Georgia, Maryland, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, UConn and Western Kentucky.
SUCCESS IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
- With the 64-50 win over Florida in the final SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Jan. 28, K-State completed its non-conference schedule with a 12-1 mark, including a perfect 8-0 in home games (Nebraska was played at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City is considered a home game).
- The 12-1 record is the best non-conference record since the Wildcats won a program-best 13 non-conference games in 2009-10. The teams also won 12 non-conference games in both 2008-09 (12-3) and 2010-11 (12-3). K-State had won just 19 non-conference games, including 16 at home, in the 3 seasons (2019-20 to 2021-22) before this season.
- K-State has posted a 171-53 (.762) record in non-conference play since the 2006-07. During that span, the Wildcats have a 129-14 (.901) mark at home venues (includes games at Bramlage Coliseum, INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita and the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City in non-conference play, including a 119-12 (.908) mark at Bramlage Coliseum.
- K-State enjoyed a special night on offense in its 116-103 win over No. 6/6 Texas, as the Wildcats not only broke the school record for points but also tied the Big 12 record in handing the Longhorns their first loss in the brand-new Moody Center before a sold-out crowd of 10,763 fans on Jan. 3.
- The 116 points eclipsed the previous school-record mark of 115, which first came vs. Delaware State on Dec. 7, 1991, then again vs. Fresno State in the NIT on March 24, 1994. It was also the most-ever in a road game, surpassing the 108 at Iowa State on Jan. 29, 1975, while it was most in a conference game, topping the 114 scored vs. Nebraska at home on Jan. 10, 1987, and the most in a Big 12 game, surpassing the 111 vs. Missouri at home on Jan. 3, 1998.
- According to ESPN Stats & Info, K-State’s 116 points in the win at No. 6/6 Texas marked the most by an unranked team in a win over a top-10 opponent since Missouri scored 119 against Iowa State in 1988.
- All 5 starters scored in double figures, including a career-best 36 points from senior Markquis Nowell and a career-tying 28 by senior Keyontae Johnson. The 64 combined points tied for the fourth-most by a duo in school history and most since 2008, while it marked just the 16th time (including the second time this season) that tandem has each had at least 25 points in a game. Nowell’s 36 points are the seventh-most points by a Wildcat in a Big 12 game and the most since Barry Brown, Jr., scored 38 points vs. Oklahoma State on Jan. 10, 2018.
- As a team, the Wildcats connected on 61 percent (36-of-59) from the field, including 56.5 percent (13-of-23) from 3-point range, and set a school-record by hitting on 93.9 percent (31-of-33) from the free throw line. It marked the first time the team has shot better than 60 percent against a Big 12 opponent since 2018, while the 13 treys tied for the sixth-most made in a conference game.
POTENT OFFENSIVE ATTACK
- K-State is averaging 76.7 points this season on 45.6 percent (610-of-1338) shooting, including 35.3 percent (164-of-465) from 3-point range, while hitting on 74.8 percent (380-of-508) from the free throw line. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in assists (17.1 apg.), while they are third in free throw percentage, fourth in 3-point field goal percentage and fifth in scoring offense and 3-pointers/game.
- The current scoring average (76.7 ppg.) is on pace to be the fifth-best in school history and the highest since the 2009-10 team averaged 79.7 points per game. The 45.6 field goal percentage is on pace to be the seventh-best in the shot clock era (1985-86) and the highest since 2017-18 (46.3 percent).
- K-State has scored 80 or more points 8 times, including 5 games of 90 or more points highlighted by the school-record 116-point effort in the win at No. 6/6 Texas (1/3/23), which was the first 100-point game since 2011. It is the most games of 80 or more points since posting 11 in 2017-18 and most games of 90 or more points since also totaling 5 in 2009-10.
- The 93 points vs. UTRGV (11/7/22) were the fourth-most in a season opener in the last 25 seasons and the most since scoring 98 vs. Southern Utah to open the 2014-15 season. The Wildcats also topped the 90-point barrier in a 96-87 overtime win over Nevada (11/22/22) at the Cayman Islands Classic, while the squad fell 2 points short of their first 100-point game since 2010-11, totaling 98 vs. UIW (12/11/22) behind a school-record first 7 double-digit scorers.
- Twice this season the Wildcats have had 2 players (Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson) score 25 or more points in the same game, which hadn’t happened since 2010. Nowell (29) and Johnson (28) combined for 57 points in the overtime win over Nevada (11/22/22) before they went for 64 in the win at No. 6/6 Texas (1/3/23), which ties for the fourth-most by a duo in school history and the most since Michael Beasley and Bill Walker at Baylor in 2008.
- K-State has connected on better than 50 percent of its field goals in 7 games, including back-to-back vs. Rhode Island (11/21/22) and Nevada (11/22/22) and ACU (12/6/22) and UIW (12/11/22). The team hit on a season-best 60 percent (36-of-60) vs. Texas (1/3/23), which included a season-high 13 3-pointers, and a school-record performance from the free throw line of 93.9 percent (31-of-33).
DISHING THE ROCK
- K-State ranks among the best in the country in sharing the basketball, as the Wildcats rank 12th nationally and first in the Big 12 with 17.1 assists per game. Among the 393 assists are 7 players with double-digit totals, including senior Markquis Nowell, who ranks third nationally in assists/game (7.8) and total assists (180). He has dished out double-digit assists in 6 games, including a career-high 14 at No. 19/17 Baylor (1/7/23).
- The Wildcats also rank in the top-10 with a 64.4 assist percentage according to KenPom, which calculates assists (393) to made field goals (610). Only Lafayette (69.2), Xavier (67.7), Virginia (67.5), Arizona (67.1), Tennessee (65.9), Air Force (64.8) and Colorado State (64.6) have a better percentage nationally.
- Although Nowell gets all the attention for his playmaking ability, the rest of the team has shared the ball, as the Wildcats have had 3 or more players dish out at least 2 assists in 18 of 23 games. The team had 7 players with 2 or more assists vs. UTRGV (11/7/22), while 6 vs. Nebraska (12/17/22) and Baylor (1/3/23) and 5 vs. UIW (12/11/22), Texas (1/3/23), TCU (1/14/23) and Texas Tech (1/21/23).
TEAM FULL OF SCORERS
- K-State is one of just 15 schools to have at least four 1,000-point scorers on its roster, as Wildcats Tykei Greene (1,177 points), Keyontae Johnson (1,206 points), Markquis Nowell (1,695 points) and Desi Sills (1,301 points) have all reached the milestone in their Division I careers. Only Johnson, who did it against Radford (12/21/22), and Nowell have reached the mark while at K-State.
- K-State has now six 1,000-point scorers if you count senior walk-on Nate Awbrey, who scored 1,032 points in his 4-year career at Manhattan Christian College, and junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin, who scored more than 1,000 points in his junior college career at Monroe (2019-20) and Chipola Colleges (2020-22).
- Missouri has 6 1,000-point scorers followed by Notre Dame, Penn State, San Diego and UAB with 5, while Alabama, Iowa State, K-State, Miami, UNC, Ohio State, Southern Utah, Texas, Xavier and Youngstown State have 4 such scorers.
- K-State is getting solid production from its bench through the first 23 games, as the Wildcats are averaging 17.6 points per game.
- The Wildcats got 41 points from its bench in the opener vs. UTRGV (11/7/22) with 3 reserves (Abayomi Iyiola (12), Massoud (10) and Sills (10) all posting double-digit points. As a group, the bench connected on 14-of-29 from the field, including a collective 11-of-17 effort by Iyiola, Massoud and Sills.
- Senior Desi Sills has been particularly impactful from the bench, scoring in double figures 9 times, including season-high 24-point performance in the win over No. 2/2 Kansas (1/17/23). Junior Ismael Massoud has also proved a spark of the bench, registering 4 double-digit scoring games, while averaging 7.2 points on 40.7 percent shooting in Big 12 play with 3 double figure games.
- K-State’s defense has forced 350 turnovers through the first 23 games, which includes 178 steals, while averaging 16.9 points per game off those miscues. The team ranks 60th in non-steal turnover percentage (10.4) by KenPom.
- The 15.2 turnovers forced per game ranks 44th nationally, while it places fourth in the Big 12 behind Iowa State, TCU and Texas. K-State ranks sixth in steals (7.7) and seventh in turnover margin (+1.26), while senior Markquis Nowell places 17th nationally and second in the Big 12 in steals (2.3 spg.).
- K-State has scored 20 or more points off turnovers 6 times with a season-high 31 points off 26 UTRGV (11/7/22) turnovers in the opener. The Wildcats scored 20+ points off miscues in back-to-back games vs. Kansas City (11/17/22; 26 points) and Rhode Island (11/21/22; 21 points) as well as ACU (12/6/22; 23 points), UIW (12/11/22; 28 points) and West Virginia (12/31/22; 22 points).
JOHNSON MAKES RETURN TO COURT
- Junior Keyontae Johnson made his triumphant return to basketball court on Nov. 7 in the season opener with UTRGV after a 2-year absence after suffering a medical emergency against Florida State on Dec. 12, 2020. He finished the night with 13 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds in a team-high 26 minutes.
- Johnson was named the March Madness National Player of the Week and the Phillips 66 Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Nov. 14, as he averaged 14.5 points on 47.6 percent (10-of-21) shooting, including 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from 3-point range, to go with 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the Wildcats’ first 2 wins.
- Johnson helped the Wildcats win the Cayman Islands Classic and was named to the All-Tournament team, as he averaged a team-best 19.3 points on 53.6 percent (15-of-28) shooting, including 50 percent (4-of-8) from 3-point range, to go with a team-best 6.0 rebounds in 32.3 minutes per game.
- Johnson earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors for the second time this season on Dec. 19 after his impressive performance in K-State’s win over Nebraska, as he posted game-highs in both points (23) and rebounds (11) to go with his career-tying 4 steals. It was his seventh career double-double with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, while it was his 11th career 20-point game.
- Johnson was selected for the Newcomer award for the third time on Jan. 9 after posting consecutive 20-point games in wins at No. 6/6 Texas and No. 19/17 Baylor while adding a game-high 9 rebounds in each contest. He continued his impressive play with the game-winning dunk to cap a 24-point effort in the win over No. 2/2 Kansas before logging his third double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds vs. Texas Tech to earn Newcomer honors for fourth time on Jan. 23.
- Johnson has scored in double figures in all 23 games, leading the Wildcats and ranking second in the Big 12 in scoring (18.1 ppg.). He is third in the league in field goal percentage (52.3), while he is in the top-15 in 6 other categories, including the top 10 in 3, including third in minutes (33.4 mpg.) and fourth in rebounding (7.7 rpg.) and defensive rebounds (6.00).
NOWELL STILL RUNNING THE SHOW
- On a team with 13 new players and a new staff, fifth-year senior Markquis Nowell once again has demonstrated he is still the guy running the show for the Wildcats, as he leads in both assists (7.8 apg.) and steals (2.3 spg.) while averaging the second-most points (16.8 ppg.). He was named to the Sporting News’ Midseason All-America Second Team as well as to the Oscar Robertson Trophy and Wooden Award Watch Lists and Bob Cousy Award Top 10 List.
- Nowell ranks third nationally in both total assists (180) and assists/game (7.8 apg.), while he is in the top-35 in four other categories, including 15th in steals/game (2.26) and free throws made (117) and 17th in total steals (52). He is one of 3 Division I players with at least 1,500 points, 500 assists and 200 steals, while he needs 5 points to top 1,700 in his college career. He also ranks first among all active Division I players with 244 career steals.
- Nowell was recognized for his MVP performance in helping the Wildcats win the Cayman Islands Classic, as he was selected as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week on Nov. 28. He averaged 18.7 points, 9.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 33.6 minutes per game. It was his first weekly honor in the Big 12 and his fourth overall after winning it 3 times in the Sun Belt.
- In wins vs. Rhode Island and Nevada, Nowell became the first Wildcat to record double-digit assists in consecutive games, while he became the second player in school history and the first since 1989 to post a 25-point/10-assist game with his 29-point, 11-assist effort in the overtime win over the Wolf Pack.
- Nowell was part of the first Wildcat duo since 2010 to each collect at least 25 points in a game, as he and fellow senior Keyontae Johnson combined for 57 points in the overtime win over Nevada. He capped the tournament with a game-high 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting in the title game win over LSU, as he helped the Wildcats rally from an 11-point second-half deficit.
- Nowell enjoyed a special performance in the historic win at No. 6/6 Texas, scoring a career-best 36 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range, to go with a perfect 12-of-12 effort from the free throw line. It was the seventh-most points by a Wildcat in a Big 12 game and the most since Barry Brown, Jr., scored 38 points vs. Oklahoma State on Jan. 10, 2018.
- Nowell capped his impressive week with the school’s first 30-point, 10-assist game in the win at No. 19/17 Baylor, scoring 32 points while dishing a career-best 14 assists. He became the first Wildcat since Michael Beasley in 2008 with consecutive 30-point games, while his 14 assists tied the record for most in a conference game in school history. In addition to his second Big 12 Player of the Week on Jan. 9, he was named the NCAA March Madness, ESPN, Naismith Trophy and Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week.
- Nowell nearly posted the school’s first triple-double in the win over Florida on Jan. 28, scoring 13 points on 4-of-9 field goals, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, to go with a career-tying 9 rebounds and a game-high 8 assists. He has 5 double-doubles (points/assists) this season and 13 in his career.
AN INSTANT IMPACT
- Junior transfer Nae’Qwan Tomlin has given K-State another scoring threat in the post, as the junior college All-American ranks third on the team in scoring (10.4 ppg.) while connecting 45.3 percent (91-of-201) from the field to go with 5.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks in 28.8 minutes per game. He ranks in the Big 12’s top-15 in rebounding (13th) and blocks (10th).
- Tomlin was selected as the Big 12 co-Newcomer of the Week on Dec. 26 after his near double-double in the win over Radford on Dec. 21. He led four Wildcats in double figures with a season-high 26 points, as he hit on 11-of-18 field goals, which included 4 dunks, a 3-pointer and 3 free throws, to go with 9 rebounds.
- Tomlin saw his streak of double-digit scoring games end at 7 games after scoring 9 points in the win at No. 19/17 Baylor. The streak began with 14 points vs. Wichita State and was highlighted by 15-point efforts vs. UIW and Nebraska and a career-best 26 points vs. Radford. In that 7-game stretch, he averaged 14.9 points on 55.4 percent (41-of-74) shooting to go with 6.3 rebounds.
- Tomlin has grabbed 10 rebounds twice in the last 7 games, while posting his first career double-double (15 points/10 rebounds) in the win over No. 2/2 Kansas. He has scored in double figures in 4 games in Big 12 play.
- Tomlin scored more than 1,000 points in his junior college career at both Monroe College (2019-20) and Chipola College (2020-21) while connecting on 54.2 percent from the field. He averaged a team-leading 13.8 points on 52.4 percent shooting with 5.9 rebounds during his All-American season at Chipola, as he guided the school to the semifinals of the NJCAA National Tournament.
STARTER OFF THE BENCH
- Senior Desi Sills has provided a spark for the Wildcats off the bench, as he is averaging 8.3 points on 44.7 percent (67-of-150) shooting with 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28.2 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures 9 times, including a season-high 24 points in the win over No. 2/2 Kansas.
- Sills scored in double figures in 2 of the first 3 games, including 10 in his first game as a Wildcat vs. UTRGV. He scored 16 points vs. LSU in the championship game of the Cayman Islands Classic, hitting on 6-of-9 field goals, before his 17-point effort at Butler, which all came in the second half. He has 8 or more points in 8 of the last 15, including 11 vs. Oklahoma State and Texas.
- Although Sills went scoreless in the win over Wichita State, he had the play of the game with his block of Shammah Scott’s breakaway layup with 1:42 to play with the Wildcats trailing 50-49.
UP NEXT: AT TEXAS TECH (12-11, 1-9 Big 12)
- K-State begins a 2-game road swing on Saturday when the Wildcats travel to Lubbock, Texas to take on Texas Tech (12-11, 1-9 Big 12) at 6 p.m., CT on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.