Head coach Jerome Tang Previews Road Trip to 21/19 BYU

Watch Jerome Tang’s Press Conference

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head men’s basketball coach Jerome Tang met with the media on Thursday afternoon (Feb. 8) to preview the Wildcats’ upcoming road game at No. 21/19 BYU on Saturday night. Links to the audio and a transcript of Tang’s availability are above.

K-State (15-8, 5-5 Big 12) will be making its first trip to Provo, Utah, and Big 12 newcomer BYU (16-6, 4-5 Big 12) in more than 50 years on Saturday night at 9 p.m., CT, as the Wildcats take on their eighth Top 25 opponent of the season and fifth in the last 6 games on ESPN2. The meeting will be the first of 2 in the regular season with the Cougars, which will visit Manhattan on Feb. 24.

BYU saw its 2-game winning streak end on Tuesday in an 82-66 loss at Oklahoma. The Cougars boast one of the top offenses in all of college basketball, ranking in top 20 in an astounding 10 categories, including second in 3-pointers/game (12.0) and assists (19.8 apg.) and 19th in scoring offense (83.6 ppg.). They are a balanced scoring team with 6 players averaging between 13.5 and 10.1 points per game. They are led by senior Jaxson Robinson, who is averaging a team-best 13.5 points per game with a team-best 52 made 3-pointers.

K-State owns a slight 4-3 edge in the all-time series with BYU in the first meeting between the schools since an 84-72 win by the Wildcats in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City. It will be just the fourth meeting on either teams’ home court and the first in Provo, Utah since a 95-85 win on Dec. 15, 1973.

K-State is coming off a 75-70 overtime win over No. 4/4 Kansas on Monday, extending their winning streak in overtime games to 11 straight under Tang, including an NCAA-record tying 6 this season. The victory was the 27th over a Top 5 team in school history, including the 12th at Bramlage Coliseum. It was the first Top 5 win since knocking off No. 2 Kansas in overtime at home last season, giving the Wildcats back-to-back home wins over the Jayhawks for the first time since 2014 and 2015.

K-State looking to get better away from home, where the Wildcats are a combined 3-6, including 2-4 in true road games. The team has lost 4 straight on the road since a win at West Virginia on Jan. 9.

The Wildcats will have a midweek bye before returning home to host TCU (16-6, 5-4 Big 12) on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 11 a.m., CT. The game is sold out, but fans can purchase tickets on the secondary market via SeatGeek.


On the process of putting Taymont Lindsey on scholarship…

“I told you guys I was gonna flip over every rock to see if we could find someone to come in and add value to the program either immediately or in the future and nobody popped up. Actually, some of the players said something to somebody, one of the assistants, about ‘hey, having ‘Qwan’s [Nae’Qwan Tomlin] scholarship would we consider doing that?’ and that’s something I would normally do anyhow, it was just really cool that some of the guys brought it up.”

On the emotions on granting a walk on a scholarship…

“It’s always very cool, I’ve been a part of several of them, where we put a walk-on on scholarship, and it’s always very cool. I really like how unique [assistant coaches] Marco [Borne] and Reem [Jareem Dowling] and those guys came up with a different way to surprise him. We thought about doing it on the trip to Houston, but he got sick and couldn’t travel. Cause his family was going to be there and stuff and so since he got sick and couldn’t travel, we had to wait on that.”

On Taymont Lindsey as a person and player… 

“He’s a very mature person. He sees the big picture, he really embraces his role as a walk on, understands that he’s here to bring it every day in practice but really be another voice, another coaches’ voice in the locker room, very much like Nate [Awbrey] was last year. Just blessed to have someone, and he can hoop, right, so the players respect him, like they did Nate last year. Just a blessing to have somebody that mature who understand their role and can speak very positive things to the team when we’re not around.”

On how Taymont came about being on the K-State team… 

“I picked the walk-ons last year and so this year I decided to delegate the walk ons to A-Dub [Anthony Winchester] and coach Marco. So, they’re really the ones, I think Nate may have brought him up to A-Dub and Marco and they kind of went through the interview process, all that stuff, see if he’d fit what we’re about. And [MCC head coach] coach Jordan [Strom] has been unbelievable over there. But I didn’t have anything to do with that.”

On keeping the same starting lineup against Oklahoma State and Kansas going forward… 

“Yeah, unless there’s some reason to change. We’ve gotten off to good starts, both of them, I think both Will [McNair] and David [N’Guessan] have both embraced, they’re very mature about understand they’re gonna play a lot of minutes. We’ll roll with it unless something else pops up we’re gonna need to change.”

On what Jerrell Colbert could change about his playing time… 

“Endurance is going to be one. Focus, the ability to focus. Fatigue, I think it’s Vince Lombardi that said, ‘fatigue will make cowards of us all,’ so fatigue affects different guys different ways and so there’s that. I think just playing, the more he plays the more comfortable he’s gonna be, but you can tell when he gets tired, he makes mistakes that he doesn’t make when he isn’t tired. Cause he hasn’t learned how to compete while he’s tired, but he’s doing a great job. His ability to catch a ball and roll and then find the next person, I think he was 3-0 assistant-turnover last game and that went a long way because he does have vision and he’s got skill. Conditioning and time are gonna allow that.”

On Dai Dai Ames’ key to improving… 

“I think when he was sick and had to miss some games and miss some practice time, it kind of set him back. And he probably just got caught up in thinking too much about making shots rather than just playing. It’s just one of those things’ freshmen go through, and so the team have done a really good job of encouraging him and letting him know ‘just be yourself and play and play with confidence,’ they believe in him. So, everybody is kind of figuring out our roles a little bit better.”

On his job sometimes having to be a mental health coach… 

“(ESPN announcer) Fran Fraschilla says that we’re really crisis management managers and it happens with events that take place off the court, it happens with events that take place on the court, it happens with things that take place between their ears. So yeah, we’re constantly just trying, as adults we understand there’s gonna be ups and downs, we can’t be up and down, we stay steady and to teach them how to remain steady throughout.”

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