Jerome Tang Previews Villanova/LSU Games

Watch Jerome Tang’s Press Conference  |  Watch Player Press Conference (David N’Guessan)  |  Quotes (.pdf)

 – Kansas State head men’s basketball coach Jerome Tang met with the media on Monday morning (Dec. 4) to preview the Wildcats’ home game with Villanova in the fourth annual Big 12/BIG EAST Challenge and the road game at LSU. Links to the audio and a transcript of Tang’s availability are above.

K-State (6-2) concludes its 4-game homestand on Tuesday night, as the Wildcats play host to 3-time NCAA champion Villanova (6-3) in the fourth annual Big 12/BIG EAST Battle at Bramlage Coliseum at 6 p.m., CT. The game is already sold out. The Wildcats will be looking for their first win in the conference series after losing at home to Marquette in 2019 and 2021 and at Butler in 2022.

K-State’s 14-game home non-conference winning streak will be put to the test against Villanova, which recently won the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. The streak dates to the Wildcats’ 64-63 loss to Marquette in the last home Big 12/BIG EAST Battle game on Dec. 8, 2021. K-State is 5-0 at home after Saturday’s 75-74 overtime win over North Alabama and has posted a 124-12 non-conference record at Bramlage Coliseum since 2006-07.

The Wildcats will make their first true road trip this weekend, as the team will make their first-ever visit to Baton Rouge, La., to take on the Tigers on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., CT. The game will air nationally on SEC Network.


On the clutch shooting of Tylor Perry…

“I wish I could like, bottle it, reproduce it and inject it in the first half. I think probably early in the game, there’s this ‘I’m open, I’m supposed to make it’ and maybe a little thought process there thinking or ‘I’m so open I’m gonna make it’ and then late in the game, it’s like he’s not thinking about if I’m gonna make it, not make it as a I’m locked in just hooping like he’s not even thinking, just go get it. That’s the best I could come up with. It’s so funny, a friend text me afterwards ‘man you got to come up with something else because they’re just gonna start running two guys on Tylor at the end of games, he keeps doing that’. That’s the truth.”

On Perry showing more leadership…

“It’s easier to lead when you’re doing everything right. You know, when you’re the hardest worker, when you’re the most focused, when you’re the most competitive, it’s easier. It doesn’t mean you always do it right. But your peers respect it, and they receive.”

On Villanova’s play the last couple games…

“You know, the Big Five is just different, right? I don’t know if y’all watched any of those games, they don’t call any fouls. The referees know that if they make a bad call that people don’t show up at their doorstep or something, but they don’t call anything in those games. So it’s crazy, you know, it’s craziness. And those kids are so, I mean, it is intense, right. And so you really can’t judge them. I’m looking at what they did in Battle for Atlantis and that was a three game run, they were really, really good. So we know, they have tradition, you know, history of success and all that they got really good players. Excited to get a team like that into [Bramlage]. I know our fans are going to respond, right. Like I’ve said all along, I want our fans to respond because Kansas State is playing not because of who we’re playing against but I know that’s human nature, it’s going to happen. So I’m excited to see how you guys respond to this challenge. You know, we didn’t do too well against USC, I didn’t think we faced that too well. And then we got better against Providence, and then Miami came and hit us and I thought we responded better in the second half there. And now let’s see if we can come out the first half against, you know, a really good team and make this thing really, really competitive the whole game.”

On what makes Villanova so good…

“Well, first of all, really good players. They have a culture that was set by Jay Wright. You know, Coach [head coach Kyle Neptune] was a part of that two national championships, he’s doing a heck of a job, it’s hard to follow a legend, right? If he was undefeated the last two years, people would be saying it was Jay Wright’s kids, you know, he loses a game and he’s not Jay Wright. So he’s in a tough situation, but man, the way he gets his guys to play together, that’s a terrific staff. I know, pretty much for all those guys, seeing them on the road and stuff, you know, they’re really high character people, and they care about their players. And they’ve got some core beliefs that they operate in. And when you put five guys out on the floor that can all dribble, pass, and shoot. We played [Eric] Dixon, I think he was a freshman, maybe freshman or sophomore, in the NCAA Tournament, man, you just see how much growth he’s made since that time, he’s a weapon, he’s hard to guard. So it’s gonna be a battle.”

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