MANHATTAN, Kan. – Seniors Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell were both selected as Third Team All-Americans by The Associated Press on Tuesday afternoon (March 14), becoming the first duo in school history to earn the honor.
Johnson and Nowell become just the eighth and ninth players in school history to earn recognition to the First, Second or Third All-America teams by the AP and the first since Jacob Pullen was named to the Third Team in 2011. They join a group that includes Bob Boozer (1958, 1959), Dick Knostman (1952, 1953), Mike Evans (1978), Rolando Blackman (1980), Mitch Richmond (1988), Michael Beasley (2008) and Pullen.
Johnson and Nowell were joined on the Third Team by Marquette’s Tyler Kolek, North Carolina’s Armando Bacot and Iowa’s Kris Murray. The First Team included Purdue’s Zach Edey, Kansas’ Jalen Wilson, Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, Houston’s Marcus Sasser and Alabama’s Brandon Miller. The Second Team consisted of UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis, Penn State’s Jalen Pickett and Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe.
The accolade is yet another for the tandem, who rank as one of the top scoring duos in the country at 34.5 points per game. Johnson and Nowell have been named to several Watch Lists for National Players of the Year honors, while each were selected as finalists for their respective position awards in Johnson for the Julius Erving Small Forward Award and Nowell for the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award. Johnson was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, while both were chosen to the All-Big 12 First Team by both the league coaches and AP.
A 6-foot-6, 230-pound forward from Norfolk, Va., Johnson is currently averaging a team-best 17.7 points on 51.9 percent (209-of-403) from the field, including 41.9 percent (44-of-105) from 3-point range, and 72.5 percent (103-of-142) from the free throw line, to go with a team-best 7.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 34.0 minutes per game. He is one of only two players (Kansas’ Jalen Wilson) to rank in the top-5 in the Big 12 in scoring and rebounding both in overall and league-only games.
A 5-foot-7, 160-pound point guard from Harlem, N.Y., Nowell is averaging 16.8 points on 37.7 percent (151-of-401) from the field, including 34.6 percent (75-of-217) from 3-point range, and 88.5 percent (162-of-183) from the free throw line to go along with a Big 12-best 7.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 36.5 minutes per game. He ranks in the Big 12’s top-3 in 13 categories, including tops in assists (243), assists/game, free throws made (162) and attempted (183), free throw percentage, steals (76), steals/game and minutes.
No. 15/13 K-State (23-9, 11-7 Big 12) earned a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night and will travel to Greensboro, N.C., to take on No. 14 seed Montana State (25-9, 15-3 Big Sky) at 8:40 p.m., CT on Friday night in the first round of the East Regional at the Greensboro Coliseum.