Jerome Tang Previews Road Swing to Iowa State and Houston

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

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head men’s basketball coach Jerome Tang met with the media on Monday afternoon (Jan. 22) to preview the Wildcats’ upcoming road trip to No. 23/18 Iowa State and No. 4/4 Houston.

Links to the audio and a transcript of Tang’s availability are above.

K-State (14-4, 4-1 Big 12) begins this daunting stretch on Wednesday night with a trip to Ames, Iowa to take No. 23/18 Iowa State (14-4, 3-2 Big 12) at 8 p.m., CT on ESPN2. The Cyclones are a perfect 11-0 this season, including a 57-53 win over unbeaten and No. 3/3 Houston on Jan. 9. K-State will follow with a road trip to No. 4/4 Houston (16-2, 3-2 Big 12) before an ESPN audience at 11 a.m., CT on Saturday morning. The Cougars are also perfect at home this season, winning all 11 games by an average margin of 33.8 points.

K-State has had success against Iowa State, leading the series, 145-92, including a 54-52 mark in games played in Ames. However, the Cyclones hold a slight 29-28 edge in the Big 12 era, including a 17-10 mark at Hilton Coliseum in that span. The last Wildcat win in Ames came in overtime in 2022. The matchup will be the first of 2 regular-season meetings, as the schools have met home-and-home every year since the 1913-14 season.

Under third-year head coach T.J. Otzelberger, No. 23/18 Iowa State is off to 14-4 start, including a 3-2 mark in Big 12 play. The Cyclones have won 3 of their last 4 Big 12 contests, including home wins over No. 3/3 Houston (57-53) and Oklahoma State (66-42) and a road win over No. 19/22 TCU (73-72) on Saturday.

ISU is among the top defensive teams in the country, ranking first in turnover margin (+7.7), second in turnovers forced (18.61), fourth in steals/game (11.4) and fifth in scoring defense (60.7 ppg.). The Cyclones have three players averaging in double figures led by sophomore Tamin Lipsey, who leads the team in both scoring (14.5 ppg.), rebounding (5.5 rpg.), assists (5.6 apg.) and steals (3.4 spg.).

The Wildcats will wrap up the month of January with a home game with No. 11/13 Oklahoma (15-3, 3-2 Big 12) on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m., CT. Tickets are available at


On the difficulties of playing back-to-back road games at Iowa State and Houston…

“I just look at it as one game, that’s it. They’ve [Iowa State] got a great crowd. Really good team, just unbelievable environment, probably as hard as it gets in our league. So, we will focus on that one. And then when that’s done, then we’ll think about the next one [Houston]. But right now, that’s just what we’re focused on.”

On combating turnovers…

“Shoot quick, just like get up the shot as soon as it’s open. Because the deeper you get in the shot clock with those guys, like the vise grip just tightens and tightens and tightens. And in fact, the coaches are just running through some numbers on their ability to turn teams over. And T.J. [Otzelberger] has those dudes, they’re not fun to play against.”

On Arthur Kaluma’s game against Oklahoma State…

“Yeah, I felt like the team did a really good job of getting him the ball, you know, he was going, and they got him the ball. And then you know, at some point in time, it’s incumbent on a player to just say ‘man I’m gonna make a play,’ and he did that, right, and the aggressiveness and confidence to do it, and assert himself because the team needed him, that was big for us.”

On Arthur Kaluma improving the rest of the season…

“I guess, you know, being able to consistently impact the game on both ends of the floor. I think that he can be an All-Big 12 defensive player also, because of his length, his athleticism. And I don’t know that he uses his instincts on defense yet the way he’s capable of and therefore create easier buckets for not just for himself, but for the team. And then I just I want him to think more shot first, you know, on the catch and I think by doing that it’s going to make defenses react to him even more. And then it’ll create things for other people. I said a while ago, I thought he could have a triple double and I still think he can because of the skill set that he has, excited to see that happen.”

On Will McNair being more productive after playing less minutes in consecutive games…

“I do, I do. And I think you know, Jerrell [Colbert] has done a really good job of helping with those minutes there. And so, I still believe there’s a lot in Will that we haven’t gotten yet. And we’d like to see consistency through those 25 to 28 minutes, and I think we’re gonna get there, because we’re going to keep pushing.”

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