January 31, 2023

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Males’s Basketball embarks on underdog season with Tang main the cost

Okay-State guard Markquis Nowell dribbles through the second half of the sport towards Kansas on Feb. 22, 2022. (Archive photograph by Marshall Sunner | Collegian Media Group)

Editor’s notice: Added the hyperlink for Jerome Tang’s quote concerning him being “married” to a beginning lineup.

The Kansas State males’s basketball group enters the Jerome Tang period with new faces and the chance to show themselves. 

Shut video games — typically ending in heartbreak — outlined the Wildcats final season, however this yr’s group doesn’t should comply with the identical sample. A brand new chapter is starting in Manhattan, led by first-year head coach Jerome Tang.

Tang, employed in March after the resignation of former head coach Bruce Weber, solely retained two gamers from the 2021-22 squad: senior guard Markquis Nowell and junior ahead Ismael Massoud. Nowell began 21 video games for the Wildcats, averaging 12.4 factors, whereas Massoud tallied 18 begins with 6.8 factors per sport. 

A participant that won’t be returning to Manhattan this yr is former guard Nijel Pack. Pack, 2022 All-Huge 12 First Staff and the group’s main scorer, transferred to the College of Miami in April. 

Thankfully for the Wildcats, Tang and his workers had already been pursuing transfers that may be key to discovering success in 2022-23. The primary addition was heart Jerrell Colbert, sophomore switch from LSU and former Rivals 4-star. He was quickly adopted by sophomore guard Cam Carter from Mississippi State.

Maybe probably the most noteworthy addition is senior ahead Keyontae Johnson. Johnson transferred from Florida the place he earned First Staff All-SEC honors as a sophomore and was the Preseason SEC Participant of the 12 months in 2020-21. Nevertheless, he was later sidelined with medical points.

It’s unknown who will make the biggest affect on the court docket this yr, as Tang has acknowledged he isn’t “married” to a specific lineup. Within the exhibition sport towards Washburn on Nov. 1, the beginning 5 consisted of Nowell, Carter, Johnson, Massoud and senior heart Abayomi Iyiola.

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The remaining new additions to search for are junior forwards Nae’Qwan Tomlin and David N’Guessan together with senior guards Tykei Greene and Desi Sills. 

The scholarship gamers are then rounded out by sophomore guard Anthony Thomas and freshman guards Taj Manning and Dorian Finister. 

Stroll-ons embody freshman Peyton Ackerman and Manhattan’s personal senior Nate Awbrey. 

Tang additionally hasn’t acknowledged which gamers, if any, plan on redshirting this season. Given the exhibition minutes performed by Manning, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him redshirt. However, Finister might make an instantaneous affect after seeing notable taking part in time towards Washburn. 

Regardless of the additions, the ideas among the many fellow Huge 12 coaches appear to be that Tang’s skill to create rapid success in Manhattan will probably be powerful. The Wildcats have been picked to complete final within the preseason Huge 12 coaches ballot. Tang and his squad will look to shock their convention opponents this season, starting Nov. 7 towards the College of Texas Rio Grande Valley at Bramlage Coliseum.