Head Coach Jerome Tang Previews Nebraska Game

Watch Jerome Tang’s Press Conference  |  Quotes (.pdf)

 – Kansas State head men’s basketball coach Jerome Tang met with the media on Friday afternoon (Dec. 15) to preview the Wildcats’ home game with Nebraska on Sunday at Bramlage Coliseum. Links to the audio and a transcript of Tang’s availability are above.

K-State (8-2) returns from the semester exam break to play host to former conference rival Nebraska (8-2) on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., CT at Bramlage Coliseum. The contest will conclude a 3-game series between the schools that began in 2021 with K-State winning 67-58 in Lincoln on Dec. 19, 2021, and 71-56 in Kansas City last season on Dec. 17, 2022. Overall, the Wildcats have won 7 straight in the series dating back to 2009.

The Cornhuskers are off to a strong start to the season under fifth-year head coach Fred Hoiberg with 7 straight wins to open the season before snapping a 2-game skid with an impressive 77-70 home win over preseason top-10 Michigan State last Sunday. Four players are averaging in double figures led by junior Juwan Gary (14.7 ppg.), while junior Rienk Mast is averaging a near double-double (12.4 ppg., 9.7 rpg.).

Mast and K-State senior David N’Guessan played together on the Dutch National Team this past summer, as the Orange Lions competed in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Istanbul August 13-16.

A limited of tickets are available for Sunday’s game through the Athletics Ticket Office by calling toll free at (800) 221.CATS (2287), by logging in online at www.kstatesports.com/tickets, and in-person at the main southwest Bramlage Coliseum ticket office.


On Nebraska’s play…

“They can shoot, right, and their offense, their actions are hard to guard. And so, you have to be in a stance, you have to be locked in. We can’t give up elbow touches, when they can play through, and I don’t want anybody to be mad at me if I say the name wrong, number 51 [Rienk Mast], when he catches that ball inside the three point line, he’s like Tom Brady, right? Like, I mean, he’s making all the right reads and the right passes, and he’s got four guys around and cut, move and make shots. And so, it’s going to be a challenge.”

On the team’s adversity the last couple weeks…

“You know,  whenever you lose somebody that you love, that’s hard. It’s hard. Knowing that I’m not gonna be able to pour into ‘Qwan’s [Nae’Qwan Tomlin] life every day, that’s hard. I wish him the very best, want the very best for him. Absolutely love him. Just, you know, I know that we as a staff saw what was some things, we could have done differently in helping him even before, that could have maybe avoided this situation and do our darndest to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

On the improvement of Arthur Kaluma…

“It’s been about Arthur maturing as a person. He’s always been a really good player. He’s always had tremendous talent and ability.  I wanted him, I challenged him, to have his teammates fall in love with him. Be such a good person that your teammates fall in love with you. And I think I see that happening. And because he’s a better teammate and they enjoy playing with him more, it’s made the game easier for him. And so, I mean, he’s always been, like, we thought he was an all-conference guy coming in, and he’s playing like an all-conference guy, but now he’s becoming an all-conference teammate. That’s been the biggest thing.”

On guard Ques Glover’s return…

“Yeah, he’s getting there, he’s getting there, it won’t be till Chicago State that he’ll play. But he did some stuff in practice yesterday, he did some stuff today in practice, we’ll see how the knee responds tomorrow. It looked good. And so, we’ll just continue giving him a little bit more, a little bit more. And then see, when he comes back from Christmas break, I fully expect him to play in the Chicago State game.”

On what he expects from the team in the three games before conference play…

“Consistency, you know, just doing all the little things. As we continue to grow, we have to cut down on our turnovers. If we don’t turn the ball over, I think we’re gonna be really hard to beat and then we have to be better defensively. Guard the three point line. There was a stretch there I think in three games teams made 31 threes against us and so we have to do a better job.”

On the team maturing despite outside noise…

“A ton. Their approach, you know, adversity can sometimes break you but sometimes it can bind you, those guys like it really pulled them together. TP [Tylor Perry] and Will [McNair] and Cam [Carter], those guys have really grown. They care, right, their care factor has grown and, and how they show their care factor and everyday come in and doing all the little things right, which allows them to help hold other people accountable. Before you can hold somebody else accountable you’ve got to hold yourself accountable. And they’ve done that. So now their teammates, they take each other’s coaching better now. You know, I can say it and it’ll carry some weight. The assistants can say it, it carries some weight, but it carries a whole lot more weight when they’re saying it to each other.”

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