MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State Athletics) – Seniors Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson swept the Big 12 weekly player of the week honors for the second time this season on Monday (February 27) with Nowell earning Player of the Week for the third time and Johnson picking up his fifth Newcomer of the Week honor after helping No. 11/11 Kansas State earn regular-season sweeps of No. 9/10 Baylor and Oklahoma State last week.
It marks just the second time in school history that K-State has swept both Big 12 honors in the same week and the first time since the tandem did it for the first time on January 9.
In the 2-game stretch, Nowell averaged a near double-double with 18.0 points and 9.0 assists to go with 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals in 38.5 minutes per game. He went a near perfect 19-of-20 from the free throw line, including a 10-of-10 performance in the win over No. 9/10 Baylor on Feb. 21. He saw his streak of consecutive free throws made end at 32 straight with his miss in the first half at Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Nowell collected his team-leading sixth double-double (points/assists) with 14 points and 10 assists in the win over the Bears, which included zero turnovers. He became the 12th Division I player since 1996-97 to post at least 10 assists with 0 turnovers vs. an AP Top 10 opponent and the first Wildcat to do it in any game in school history. He posted his team-leading 10th 20-point game of the season, including his ninth in Big 12 play, with a game-high 22 points in the win at Oklahoma State to go along with game-highs in both assists (8) and steals (4) and a team-tying 5 rebounds in 39 minutes.
Johnson averaged 21 points on 60 percent shooting, including 55.6 percent from 3-point range, in the pair of wins to go with 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 38.5 minutes per game. He led all scorers with 25 points in the win over No. 9/10 Baylor, hitting on 11-of-17 field goals, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range, in nearly 39 minutes. It was his eight 20-point game, including his fifth in Big 12 play. He followed with 17 points vs. Oklahoma State, going 7-of-13 from the field, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, to go along with a team-tying 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in nearly 39 minutes. He became the 33rd player in school history to top 500 points with his performance in the win over the Cowboys, while also eclipsing 1,300 career points in his college career.
It is the eighth and ninth weekly awards for the Wildcats this season with Nowell winning Player of the Week on Nov. 28 and Jan. 9, while Johnson captured his fifth Newcomer of the Week after winning it on Nov. 14, Dec. 19, Jan. 9 and Jan. 23. Teammate Nae’Qwan Tomlin won Newcomer honors on Dec. 27.
Overall, it is the seventh career weekly honor for Nowell, who was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week on Nov. 19, 2019, Dec. 3, 2019, and Feb. 3, 2020, while playing at Little Rock. It is the sixth career weekly honor for Johnson, who was named the SEC Player of the Week on Nov. 25, 2019, while playing at Florida.
A 5-foot-8, 160-pound point guard from Harlem, N.Y., Nowell is currently averaging 17 points on 37.9 percent (136-of-359) from the field, including 34 percent (65-of-191) from 3-point range, and 89.1 percent (156-of-175) from the free throw line to go along with a Big 12-best 7.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 36.4 minutes per game. He ranks first or second in 14 total categories in the Big 12, including tops in assists, assists/game, free throws made and attempted, free throw percentage, steals, steals/game and minutes/game.
Nowell leads the Big 12 in scoring (19.8 ppg.), assists (7.0 apg.), 3-point field goals/game (2.63), steals (2.6 apg.), free throw percentage (92.2) and minutes (38.9 mpg.) in league-only games.
A 6-foot-6, 230-pound forward from Norfolk, Va., Johnson is currently averaging a team-best 17.6 points on 52 percent (186-of-358) from the field, including 41.9 percent (36-of-86) from 3-point range, and 72.5 percent (103-of-142) from the free throw line, to go with 7.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 33 minutes per game. He is one of only two players (Kansas’ Jalen Wilson) to rank in the top-5 in the Big 12 in scoring and rebounding both in overall and league-only games.
No. 11/11 K-State (22-7, 10-6 Big 12) completes its home schedule on Wednesday night when the Wildcats host Oklahoma (14-15, 4-12 Big 12) at 7 p.m., CT on Big 12 Now. It will be Senior Night for Johnson and Nowell, along with seven others, going through a pregame ceremony. A limited number of tickets are still available by calling (800) 221.CATS or online at kstatesports.com/tickets.