7/6 KANSAS STATE (18-4, 6-3 Big 12) vs. 10/9 TEXAS (18-4, 7-2 Big 12)
Saturday, February 4, 2023 >> 3:05 p.m. CT >> Bramlage Coliseum (11,000) >> Manhattan, Kan.
ESPN2 / WatchESPN (link here)
- Mark Neely (play-by-play)
- Chris Spatola (analyst)
- John J. Wilson (producer)
K-State Sports Network
Flagships: // KMAN 1350 & WIBW 580
Satellite Radio: Sirius XM 83/83
Online: Varsity Network [free]/ www.kstatesports.com/watch [free]
- Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
- Stan Weber (analyst)
Stripe Out (link/map)
Join in the Octagon of Doom magic as we Stripe Out Bramlage Coliseum with alternating purple and white sections. Fans are asked to wear either purple or white depending on their ticket location. Fans in sections 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 and 27 are asked to wear white, while those in sections 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25 and 26 are asked to wear purple. The first 2,000 students will receive a free shirt courtesy of Pepsi.
K-State: Jerome Tang [Charter Oak State College ’07]
Record at K-State: 18-4/1st Year
Career Record: 20-4/1st Year+
vs. Texas: 2-0 [1-0 at K-State]
Texas: Rodney Terry [St. Edward’s ’90]
Record at Texas: 11-3/1st Year
Career Record: 174-159/11th Year
vs. K-State: 0-1 [0-1 at Texas]
Overall: K-State leads 24-21
Big 12 Era: Texas leads 21-19
In Manhattan: K-State leads 11-9
At Bramlage Coliseum: Tied 9-9
Active Streak: K-State, 2
Tang vs. Texas: 2-0 [1-0 at K-State]
Tang vs. Rodney Terry: 1-0 [0-0 at home]
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP (Based off the last game)
7/6 Kansas State (18-4, 6-3 Big 12)
G: #1 Markquis Nowell
G: #5 Cam Carter
F: #11 Keyontae Johnson
F: #35 Nae’Qwan Tomlin
F: #3 David N’Guessan
10/9 Texas (18-4, 7-2 Big 12)
G: #4 Tyrese Hunter
G: #5 Marcus Carr
F: #0 Timmy Allen
F: #23 Dillon Mitchell
F: #1 Dylan Disu
No. 7/6 K-State (18-4, 6-3 Big 12) begins a 2-game homestand on Saturday, as the Wildcats welcome Big 12-leading and No. 10/9 Texas (18-4, 7-2 Big 12) to Bramlage Coliseum for a 3 p.m., CT tipoff on ESPN2. The schools will be playing for just the second time as Top 10 foes, including the first time since No. 10 K-State knocked off No. 1 Texas, 71-62, on Jan. 19, 2010. The two teams played in one of the wildest games of the 2022-23 season with the Wildcats setting multiple school records, including the scoring mark, in a 116-103 win over the Longhorns on Jan. 3. K-State has not swept the regular-season series from Texas since 2018, which is also the last time the Wildcats have won at home against the Longhorns.
- K-State’s frustrations with Allen Fieldhouse continued Tuesday, as the Wildcats lost 90-78 to No. 8/8 Kansas for the 17th consecutive season in the venerable arena. Despite a combined 45-point effort from senior Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson, the Wildcats could not overcome their worst shooting night of the season (33.9 percent). The Jayhawks used a 13-3 run to take control of the game over a pivotal stretch late in the first half en route to a 49-37 lead at the half then had an answer for any Wildcat rally in the second half to split the season series.
- K-State is off to its best start (18-4) since also opening the 1972-73 season with a similar 18-4 mark, while the team is sitting in a 4-way tie for second place at 6-3 at the midway point of the Big 12 schedule after picked last in most preseason polls. Among the 12 wins in the last 15 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. The team has averaged 78.3 points in this 15-game span with 7 players averaging 6 or more points, including 3 in double figures.
- K-State’s 18-4 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 18-4 start also ranks among the very best by all first-year coaches in Division I, just ahead of Xavier’s Sean Miller (18-5), Missouri’s Dennis Gates (17-5) and Seattle’s Chris Victor (16-7).
- Seniors Keyontae Johnson (18.2 ppg.) and Markquis Nowell (17.1 ppg.) have been one of the most prolific tandems in the country, as they combine to average 35.3 points per game on 46.1 percent (248-of-538) shooting, including 38.3 percent (77-of-201) from 3-point range, and 81.3 percent (205-of-252) from the free throw line. They were 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 nationally in assists. He ranks second in assists per game (8.0 apg.) and total assists (177), while he is 39th in assist/turnover ratio (2.53). His 177 assists are second on the single-season list, 9 shy of Steve Henson’s school record (186; 1987-88). He is one of 2 active Division I player with at least 1,500 points, 500 assists and 200 steals, while his 243 career steals are first among active Division I players.
- The Wildcats have quite the dynamic 1-2-3 scoring punch with Johnson (18.2 ppg.) and Nowell (17.1 ppg.) and junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin (10.5 ppg.) combining to average 45.8 points per game on 46 percent (337-of-733) shooting. They are the third-best scoring trio in the Big 12 after Baylor’s Adam Flagler, Keyonte George and L.J. Cryer (47.2 ppg.) and Kansas’ Jalen Wilson, Gradey Dick and K.J. Adams, Jr. (46.3 ppg.).
NOTES ON 10/9 TEXAS
- No. 10/9 Texas (12-1, 1-0 Big 12) enters Saturday’s game with wins in 3 of its last 4 outings, including a 76-71 win over No. 11/11 Baylor at home on Monday. The Longhorns have lost just twice since its setback to K-State on Jan. 3, falling 78-67 at Iowa State on Jan. 17 and at No. 4/4 Tennessee, 82-71, on Jan. 28.
- Texas is averaging a Big 12-best 79.9 points on 48.1 percent shooting, including 33.3 percent from 3-point range, with 35.3 rebounds, 16.6 assists, 8.0 steals and 4.0 blocks per game, while allowing 67.7 points on 42.1 percent shooting, including 32.8 percent from 3-point range. The Longhorns are connecting on 74.6 percent from the free throw line.
- Texas ranks among the top-30 nationally in 8 categories, including 16th in turnover margin (+4.1), 17th in scoring margin (+12.2), assists/game (16.6), bench points (28.8) and 25th in scoring offense. The Longhorns led the Big 12 in scoring offense, scoring margin and assist/turnover ratio.
- Four players are averaging in double figures led by senior Marcus Carr, who is averaging 16.7 points on 45.3 percent shooting. Sixth Man of the Year candidate Sir’Jabari Rice is second in scoring at 11 points per game on 46.3 percent shooting, while graduate Timmy Allen (10.8 ppg.) and transfer Tyrese Hunter (10.3 ppg.) also average double figures. Allen leads the way in rebounding (5.2 rpg.), while Carr is tops in assists (89) and steals (38).
- Texas is led by interim head coach Rodney Terry, who has guided the Longhorns to an 11-3 mark since taking over for head coach Chris Beard, who was fired on Jan. 4. Terry, who has had coaching stints at Fresno State and UTEP, has a 174-159 mark in his 11th season as head coach.
- K-State holds a 24-21 lead in the all-time series which dates to 1971, while Texas has a 21-19 advantage in the Big 12 era, including 20-18 in the regular season. The Wildcats own an 11-9 edge in games played at home, while the Longhorns have won each of the last 4 at Bramlage Coliseum.
- K-State’s last win at home in the series came on Feb. 21, 2018 (58-48).
LAST 10 MEETINGS [4-6]
Date Rank Result Score Location
2/21/2018 —/— W 58-48 Manhattan
1/2/2019 —/— L 47-67 Manhattan
2/12/2019 18/— W 71-64 Austin
1/11/2020 —/— L 50-64 Austin
2/22/2020 —/— L 59-70 Manhattan
1/16/2021 —/4 L 67-82 Austin
2/9/2021 —/13 L 77-80 Manhattan
1/4/2022 —/14 L 57-70 Manhattan
1/18/2022 —/23 W 66-65 Austin
1/3/2023 —/6 W 116-103 Austin
LAST MEETING: K-STATE 116, 6/6 TEXAS 103
LAST MEETING IN MANHATTAN: 14/14 TEXAS 70, K-STATE 57
- A short-handed K-State fought off one of the nation’s top-ranked teams down to the end, but No. 14/15 Texas exerted its control with an 18-2 run to start the second half en route to a 70-57 win in the last meeting between the schools at Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 4, 2022.
- K-State, which was down 7 players due to COVID-19 protocols, scored the game’s first 7 points and led 35-29 at the half before the decisive run.
- Nijel Pack led 2 Wildcats in double figures with 21 points.
LAST TIME OUT: 8/8 KANSAS 90, 7/6 K-STATE 78
- No. 7/6 K-State could not overcome a poor shooting night, as the Wildcats shot a season-low 33.9 percent from the field in falling 90-78 to No. 8/8 Kansas in the 299th edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown on Tuesday night before a sold-out crowd of 16,300 at Allen Fieldhouse.
- In just the 10th meeting as Top 10 opponents, including the first time since 2010, the Jayhawks took control of the game with a 13-3 run over a pivotal stretch late in the first half to take a 49-37 lead into the half. The Wildcats got to within striking distance at 54-48 with just under 16 to play and within single digits at 83-74 with 2:28 left but could get no closer in falling for the 17th consecutive time at Allen Fieldhouse.
- The tandem of seniors Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell were impressive despite the loss, combining for 45 points, while Johnson collected his team-leading sixth double-double, including his fourth in a row, with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Nowell earned his team-best eighth 20-point game of the season with a team-best 23 points. It marked the fourth game that Johnson and Nowell have registered 20 or more points, including the third Big 12 game.
- Juniors Nae’Qwan Tomlin and David N’Guessan also registered double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Tomlin had a near double-double for the second consecutive game against the Jayhawks, grabbing 8 rebounds. N’Guessan performed well in his first Big 12 start, scoring his 10 points to go with 6 rebounds in more than 30 minutes. He missed the first 6 Big 12 game with an injury before playing 4 minutes vs. Texas Tech. It was his second straight start after scoring 9 points in 19 minutes in the win over Florida on Saturday.
- Kansas (18-4, 6-3 Big 12) got a stellar effort from All-American candidate Jalen Wilson, who had a near double-double with 20 points and 8 rebounds. However, it was two players – junior Dejuan Harris, Jr., and senior Kevin McCullar, Jr. – who had poor games in the previous loss to K-State on Jan. 17 who helped the Jayhawks even the season series. The duo combined for 34 points, including a career-tying 18 from Harris on 7-of-12 shooting while McCullar added a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
- Neither team shot the ball well, as Kansas hit on 40.3 percent (27-of-67) from the field, including 40.7 percent (11-of-27) from 3-point range, compared to the 33.9 percent (20-of-59) from K-State, including 33.3 percent (7-of-21) from long range. However, each team took advantage of the 47 personal fouls in the game, combining 56 points, as the Wildcats shot 86.1 percent (31-of-36) from the free throw line, while the Jayhawks made 71.4 percent (25-of-35) from the stripe.
- Kansas now leads the all-time series, 204-95, including 94-35 in Lawrence. The series, which is the sixth-most played rivalry (299) in Division I men’s basketball history, has been played every year since 1907.
POSTGAME NEWS & NOTES
- K-State falls to 18-4, which still equals the best start since 1972-73.
- K-State shot a season-low 33.9 percent (20-of-59) from the field, including 33.3 percent (7-of-21) from 3-point range… The previous low of 35.6 percent came vs. Oklahoma State (1/10/23).
- The 20 made field goals were one shy of the season-low of 19 vs. Wichita State (12/3/22), while the 20 points in the paint tied for the season-low with 20 vs. Texas Tech (1/21/23).
- The 31 free throws tied the season-high of 31 vs. Texas (1/3/23), while the 36 attempts were a season-high, eclipsing the 34 vs. West Virginia (12/31/22).
- Kansas had 21 points off 13 turnovers compared to 12 by K-State off 9 miscues.
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 18-4 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 best by any current first-year Division I coach, just ahead of Xavier’s Sean Miller (18-5) and Missouri’s Dennis Gates (17-5).
- 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 20-4.
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 1,713-1,217 (.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 77.2 points this season on 45.7 percent (588-of-1288) shooting, including 35.4 percent (158-of-446) from 3-point range, while hitting on 74.6 percent (364-of-488) from the free throw line. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in assists (17.4 apg.), while they are third in free throw percentage and fourth in scoring offense, 3-point field goal percentage and 3-pointers/game (7.2).
- The current scoring average (77.2 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 45.7 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).
- A key to the K-State offense this season has been its ability to score in paint, as the Wildcats are averaging 36.2 points in the paint. The team has scored 30 or more points in the paint 14 times in 19 games, including 7 games of 40 or more points and one game of 50 points (a season-high 52 vs. ACU (12/6/22).
DISHING THE ROCK
- K-State ranks among the best in the country in sharing the basketball, as the Wildcats rank eighth nationally and first in the Big 12 with 17.4 assists per game. Among the 382 assists are 7 players with double-digit totals, including senior Markquis Nowell, who ranks second nationally in assists/game (8.0) and total assists (177). He has dished out double-digit assists in 6 games, including a career-high 14 at No. 19/17 Baylor.
- The Wildcats also rank in the top-10 with a 65 assist percentage according to KenPom, which calculates assists (382) to made field goals (588). Only Lafayette (69.3), Virginia (68.1), Xavier (67.0), Arizona (66.3), Tennessee (66.0) and Colorado State (65.1) 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 17 of 22 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 (1,190 points), Markquis Nowell (1,685 points) and Desi Sills (1,290 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 22 games, as the Wildcats are averaging 17.4 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 8 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 7.4 points on 44.7 percent shooting in Big 12 play with 3 double figure games.
- K-State’s defense has forced 333 turnovers through the first 22 games, which includes 170 steals, while averaging 16.8 points per game off those miscues. The team ranks 74th in non-steal turnover percentage (10.3) by KenPom.
- The 15.1 turnovers forced per game ranks 49th nationally, while it places fifth in the Big 12 behind Iowa State, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech . K-State ranks sixth in steals (7.73) and seventh in turnover margin (+1.41), while senior Markquis Nowell places 12th nationally and second in the Big 12 in steals (2.32 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 22 games, leading the Wildcats and ranking second in the Big 12 in scoring (18.2 ppg.). He is third in the league in field goal percentage (52.0), while he is in the top-15 in 6 other categories, including the top 10 in 3, including third in rebounding (7.9 rpg.) and minutes (33.8 mpg.) and fourth in defensive rebounds (6.00).
NOWELL STILL RUNNING THE SHOW
- On a team with 13 new players and a new coaching staff, fifth-year senior Markquis Nowell once again has demonstrated he is still the guy running the show for the Wildcats, as he leads the team in both assists (8.0 apg.) and steals (2.3 spg.) while averaging the second-most points (17.1 ppg.). He recently was named to the Sporting News’ Midseason All-America Second Team as well as to the Oscar Robertson Trophy and Wooden Award Midseason Watch Lists.
- Nowell ranks second nationally in both total assists (177) and assists/game (8.0 apg.), while he is in the top-35 in four other categories, including 11th in total steals (51) and free throws made (115), 12th in steals/game (2.36) and 39th in assists/turnover ratio (2.53). He is one of 2 Division I players (Tennessee State’s Junior Clay) with at least 1,500 points, 500 assists and 200 steals. He also ranks first among all active Division I players with 243 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 (10.5 ppg.) while connecting 45.6 percent (89-of-195) from the field to go with 5.9 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks in 28.7 minutes per game. He ranks in the Big 12’s top-15 in rebounding (12th) 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 6 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 8.2 points on 43.8 percent (63-of-144) shooting with 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures 8 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 7 of the last 14, including 14 vs. UIW and 11 vs. Oklahoma State.
- 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: 15/16 TCU (17-5, 6-3 Big 12)
- K-State concludes its brief 2-game homestand on Tuesday night with a visit from No. 15/16 TCU (17-5, 6-3 Big 12) at Bramlage Coliseum.