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GAME PREVIEW // K-State Visits 19/17 Baylor Saturday

K-State Athletics ReleaseJanuary 6, 2023

GAME 15

KANSAS STATE (13-1, 2-0 Big 12) at 19/17 BAYLOR (10-4, 0-2 Big 12)

Saturday, January 7, 2023 >> 5:01 p.m. CT >> Ferrell Center (10,284) >> Waco, Texas

TELEVISION

Big 12 Now on ESPN+ / WatchESPN (link here)

  • Ted Emrich (play-by-play)
  • King McClure (analyst)
  • Kevin Kremer (producer)

RADIO

K-State Sports Network

Flagships: // KMAN 1350 & WIBW 580

Satellite Radio: Sirius XM 388/978

Online: Varsity Network [free] / www.kstatesports.com/watch [free]

  • Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
  • Stan Weber (analyst)

LIVE STATS

www.kstatesports.com

baylor.statbroadcast.com

 

TICKETS

www.baylorbears.com

 

COACHES

K-State: Jerome Tang [Charter Oak State College ‘07]

Record at K-State: 13-1/1st Year

Career Record: 15-1/1st Year+

  1. Baylor: 0-0 [0-0 at K-State]

Baylor: Scott Drew [Butler ‘93]

Record at Baylor: 407-226/20th Year

Career Record: 427-237/21st Year

  1. K-State: 18-16 [18-16 at Baylor]

SERIES HISTORY

Overall: Baylor leads 25-23

Big 12 Era: Baylor leads 24-18

In Waco: Baylor leads 11-8

At Ferrell Center: Baylor leads 11-8

Active Streak: Baylor, 7

Tang vs. Baylor: 0-0 [0-0 at K-State]

Tang vs. Scott Drew: 0-0 [0-0 at home]

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP (Based off the last game)

Kansas State (13-1)

G: #1 Markquis Nowell

G: #5 Cam Carter

F: #11 Keyontae Johnson

F: #35 Nae’Qwan Tomlin

C: #23 Abayomi Iyiola

Baylor (10-4)

G: #1 Keyonte George

G: #4 L.J. Cryer

G: #10 Adam Flagler

F: #0 Flo Thamba

F: #11 Jalen Bridges

 

OPENING TIP

  • Kansas State (13-1, 2-0 Big 12) concludes its swing through the Lone Star State with a visit to the Ferrell Center at 5 p.m., CT on Saturday night to take on defending Big 12 champion and No. 19/16 Baylor (10-3, 0-1 Big 12). It will be a reunion for coach Jerome Tang, who spent 19 seasons as an assistant coach (2003-17) and associate head coach (2017-22) at Baylor, helping them win 397 games, an NCAA title in 2021 and back-to-back Big 12 titles in 2021 and 2022.

KEY STORYLINES

  • K-State is off its best start (13-1) since the 2009-10 season after its record-setting 116-103 win at No. 6/6 Texas on Tuesday at the brand-new Moody Center in Austin. All 5 starters scored in double figures, including a combined 64 points from seniors Markquis Nowell (36) and Keyontae Johnson (28) as the Wildcats broke the school record for points and tied the Big 12 mark, while hitting on 60 percent (36-of-60) from the field, including 54.2 percent (13-of-24) from 3-point range, and a school-record 93.9 percent (31-of-33) from the line. The 116 points are the most by an unranked team in a road win vs. a Top 10 team in the AP poll era (1948-49).
  • K-State’s 13-1 start under head coach Jerome Tang is the best by a first-year coach in school history, surpassing the previous 12-2 starts by Zora G. Clevenger (1916-17) and Bruce Weber (2012-13). Tang’s 12-1 start ranks as the best by all current first-year coaches in Division I, just ahead of the 12-2 starts by Missouri’s Dennis Gates and LSU’s Matt McMahon.
  • K-State has won 7 consecutive games since absorbing its first loss of the Jerome Tang era against Butler on Nov. 30 with victories over Wichita State (55-50), Abilene Christian (81-64), UIW (98-50), Nebraska (71-56), Radford (73-65), No. 24/24 West Virginia (82-76) and No. 6/6 Texas (116-103). The Wildcats have averaged 82.3 points per game during that 7-game winning streak on 49.3 percent (207-of-420) shooting with 4 players averaging in double figures.
  • Nowell continued his impressive start with another tremendous effort in the win over the Longhorns, as he nearly became the first Wildcats with a 30-point, 10-assist game, dishing out a game-high 9 assists to go with his 36 points. His point total was the seventh-most points by a Wildcat in a Big 12 game and the most since Barry Brown, Jr., scored 38 points in 2018.
  • The 64 combined points by Nowell and Johnson tied for the fourth-most by 2 players in school history, while it was just the 14th time (and second time this season) that a duo each had at least 25 points in game. It was the highest combined point total since Michael Beasley (44 points) and Bill Walker (31 points) went for 75 points at Baylor on Feb. 23, 2008.
  • Nowell continues to be one of the leaders nationally in assists. His 8.5 assists per game rank second nationally, while his 119 total assists place third. He is also 11th in assist/turnover ratio (3.31) with 119 assists to 36 turnovers. He is one of 2 active Division I player with at least 1,500 points, 500 assists and 200 steals, while his 226 career steals are first among active players.
  • The Wildcats have quite the dynamic 1-2-3 scoring punch with Johnson (18.4 ppg.) and Nowell (15.9 ppg.) and junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin (11.6 ppg.) combining to average 45.9 points per game on 48.4 percent (216-of-446) shooting. They are the third-best scoring trio in the Big 12 after Baylor’s Adam Flagler, Keyonte George and L.J. Cryer (47.3 ppg.) and Kansas’ Jalen Wilson, Gradey Dick and Kevin McCullar (46.4 ppg.).

NOTES ON 19/17 BAYLOR

  • No. 19/16 Baylor (10-4, 0-2 Big 12) enters Saturday’s game with consecutive losses to open Big 12 play after dropping a 77-62 decision at Iowa State on New Year’s Eve and an 88-87 setback at home to No. 17 TCU on Wednesday. Prior to that skid, the Bears had won 5 in a row, including a 64-63 win over top-5 Gonzaga on Dec. 2.
  • Baylor is averaging 79.9 points on 46.3 percent shooting, including 36.1 percent from 3-point range, with 36.6 rebounds, 16.6 assists, 8.2 steals and 3.4 blocks per game, while allowing 67.9 points on 43.1 percent shooting, including 33.7 percent from 3-point range. The Bears are connecting on a Big 12-best 73.2 percent from the free throw line.
  • Baylor ranks among the top-40 in scoring offense (38th), while the Bears place 21st in 3-pointers/game (9.6), 26th in 3-point attempts (26.7) and 29th in assists/game (16.6). They also take advantage of their opportunities at the free throw line, ranking 25th in free throws made/game (16.2) and 34th in free throws attempted/game (22.1).
  • Three players are averaging in double figures led by freshman phenom Keyonte George (16.4 ppg.) and senior Adam Flager (16.2 ppg.), who are each averaging better than 16 points/game. The tandem has combined for 76 3-point makes. Junior L.J. Cryer also averages double figures at 14.7 points/game on 44.4 percent shooting, including 36 from 3-point range. Graduate Flo Thamba leads the Bears in rebounding at 5.1 per game.
  • Baylor is led by the Big 12’s longest tenured head coach in Scott Drew, who is in his 20th season and his 21st overall. He has a 427-237 overall record, including a 407-226 mark in Waco.

SERIES HISTORY

  • Baylor holds a 25-23 lead in the all-time series which dates to the 1948 Final Four and includes an 11-8 mark at home. The Bears are 24-18 in the Big 12 era, including a 22-15 mark in the regular season.
  •  Baylor’s current 7-game winning streak is the longest winning streak by either school in the series. The last K-State win came on March 2, 2019. Last season, the Bears swept the season series with a 74-49 win at home on Jan. 25 and a 75-60 victory at Bramlage Coliseum on Feb. 9.

LAST 10 MEETINGS [3-7]

Date                    Rank     Result   Score    Location

3/3/2018            —/—     W          77-67    Manhattan

2/9/2019            —/—     W          70-63    Waco

3/2/2019            16/—    W          66-60    Manhattan

2/3/2020            —/1      L             67-73    Manhattan

2/25/2020          —/2      L             66-85    Waco

12/19/2020        —/2      L             69-100  Manhattan

1/27/2021          —/2      L             59-107  Waco

3/11/2021          —/2      L             68-74    Kansas City

1/25/2022          —/4      L             49-74    Waco

2/9/2022            —/10    L             60-75    Manhattan

LAST MEETING: 10/10 BAYLOR 75, K-STATE 60

  • Despite a 31-point effort from sophomore Nijel Pack, a 19-4 run by No. 10/10 Baylor to start the second half proved to be the difference, as the Bears completed the season sweep of K-State with a 75-60 win in the last meeting between the team on Feb. 9 at Bramlage Coliseum.
  • Trailing by as many as 7 points in the first half and knotted at 34-all at the half, Baylor seized control of the momentum and the game with its 19-4 outburst out of halftime, as 6 different Bear players contributed to the run.
  • Pack was joined in double figures by senior Mark Smith, who nearly had a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 8 rebounds.

LAST TIME OUT: K-STATE 116, 6/6 TEXAS 103

  • All 5 starters scored in double figures, including a career-best 36 points from senior Markquis Nowell, as K-State broke the school record for points in a 116-103 victory at No. 6/6 Texas on Tuesday night to hand the Longhorns their first loss in the brand-new Moody Center before a sold-out crowd of 10,763 fans.
  • The point total not only broke the school record, but it also tied the Big 12 record for points scored in a league game, as Baylor scored 116 in a win at Texas A&M on Jan. 23, 2008. It also set the Big 12 record for most combined points.
  • The 116 points eclipsed the previous mark of 115, which first came against 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 against 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 marked the most by an unranked team in a win over a top-10 opponent since Missouri scored 119 against Iowa State in 1988 and most-ever in a road game.
  • Nowell led a tremendous all-around effort by the Wildcats, who 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) of their attempts 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.
  • Nowell nearly became the first player in school history with a 30-point, 10-assist game, as he dished out a game-high 9 assists to go with 3 steals in 38 minutes. His 36 points came on 9-of-14 field goals, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range, and 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 was joined in double figures by senior Keyontae Johnson, who tied his career-high with 28 points to go with a near double-double himself with a game-high 9 rebounds and 5 assists, along with a career-best 17 points from sophomore Cam Carter, as well as 11 and 10 points, respectively from junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin and senior Abayomi Iyiola.
  • Texas became just the 17th team to score 100 points against K-State but the first to do so and lose, totaling 103 on 51.5 percent (35-of-68) shooting. Three Longhorns scored in double figures led by the duo of Marcus Carr (29 points) and Tyrese Hunter (27 points), who combined for 56 points.

POSTGAME NEWS AND NOTES

  • It was the first road win over a top-10 team since beating No. 2 Baylor, 56-54, in Waco on Feb. 4, 2017… K-State now has 31 wins vs. ranked teams in the last 11 seasons, including 11 Top 10 wins.
  • The Wildcats scored 58 points in each half, which tied for the most-ever scored in a half in a Big 12 game and were the most in a league game since scoring 61 vs. Nebraska on Jan. 10, 1987.
  • K-State scored 42 points in the paint… The team has now scored 40 or more points in the paint in 7 games, including 5 of the last 6 contests.
  • K-State had an assist on 23 of its 36 made field goals, including 6 players with 2 or more assists… Nowell now has 8 or more assists in 8 of 14 games.
  • It was the second straight win in Austin, as K-State handed Texas its first loss in the last season of the Erwin Center and now the first loss in the Moody Center.

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 13-1 start under head coach Jerome Tang is the best by a first-year coach in school history with Zora G. Clevenger (1916-17) and Bruce Weber (2012-13) each starting their tenures at 12-2. Tang’s start is among the best by all first-year head coaches in Division I, just ahead of the 12-2 starts by Missouri’s Dennis Gates and LSU’s Matt McMahon.
  • 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 15-1.

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 1,708-1,214 (.586) all-time record as a program, which includes 31 NCAA Tournament appearances and 21 conference championships.

SUCCESS IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY

  • K-State has posted a 170-53 (.762) record in non-conference play since the 2006-07 season. During that span, the Wildcats have a 128-14 (.901) mark at home venues (includes games played at Bramlage Coliseum, INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita and the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City) in non-conference play, including a 118-12 (.908) mark at Bramlage Coliseum.
  • The Nebraska win on Dec. 17 also gave K-State double-digit non-conference victories for the first time since going 10-3 in 2018-19.  The Wildcats collected their 11th non-conference victory vs. Radford on Dec. 21, giving them their most since also winning 11 in 2017-18. The team earned 10 or more non-conference wins in 12 of 13 seasons from 2006-07 to 2018-19, but they had managed just a 19-16 record in non-conference action from 2019-22.
  • K-State’s current 11-1 non-conference mark is the best since opening the 2016-17 season with a similar 11-1 record. The Wildcats won a program-best 13 non-conference games in 2009-10, while they won 12 in 2008-09 and 2010-11.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2023. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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