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K-State Opens Cayman Island Classic with Rhode Island

K-State Athletics ReleaseNovember 20, 2022

GAME 4

KANSAS STATE (3-0) vs RHODE ISLAND (1-2)

FOURTH ANNUAL CAYMAN ISLANDS CLASSIC

Monday, November 21, 2022 >> 6:30 p.m. CT >> John Gray Gym (2,000) >> Grand Cayman, C.I.

TELEVISION

FloHoops / FloHoops App (link here)

  • Jess Settles (play-by-play)
  • Scott Warmann (analyst)
  • Philip Hopwood (producer)

RADIO

K-State Sports Network

Flagships: // KMAN 1350 & WIBW 580

Satellite Radio: Sirius XM 381/SXM App 971

Online: Varsity Network [free] / www.kstatesports.com/watch [free]

  • Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
  • Stan Weber (analyst)

LIVE STATS

kstatesports.com

caymanislandsclassic.com

 

TICKETS

caymanislandsclassic/tickets

Tournament Package: $250 (all 12 games)

Booster Package: $125 (just K-State’s 3 games)

 

COACHES

K-State: Jerome Tang [Charter Oak State College ‘07]

Record at K-State: 3-0/First Year

Career Record: 3-0/First Year

  1. Rhode Island: 0-0 [0-0 at K-State]

Rhode Island: Archie Miller [N.C. State ‘02]

Record at Rhode Island: 1-2/1st Year

Career Record: 207-123/11th Year

  1. K-State: 0-0 [0-0 at Rhode Island]

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP (Based off the last game)

Kansas State (3-0)

G: #1 Markquis Nowell

G: #5 Cam Carter

F: #11 Keyontae Johnson

F: #35 Nae’Qwan Tomlin

C: #23 Abayomi Iyiola

Rhode Island (1-2)

G: #4 Sebastian Thomas

G: #10 Ishmael Leggett

G: #12 Malik Martin

F: #1 Abdou Samb

F: #22 Alex Tchikou

 

K-STATE OPENS CAYMAN ISLANDS CLASSIC WITH RHODE ISLAND

  • Kansas State (3-0) will make its first trip out of the continental U.S. since 2018, as the Wildcats travel to George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands to compete in the fourth annual Cayman Islands Classic at The John Gray Gymnasium from Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 21-23. The Islands are in the western Caribbean about an hour away from Miami.
  • K-State will take on Atlantic 10 foe Rhode Island (1-2) in the final game of the first day on Monday, Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m., CT. The K-State/URI winner will advance to face the winner of the contest between the Mountain West’s Nevada (4-0) and the AAC’s Tulane (3-0) on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m., CT, while the two remaining teams will play at 4 p.m., CT.
  • This will mark K-State’s first appearance in the Cayman Islands Classic, however, the Wildcats did win a championship in their last visit to a tournament in the Caribbean at the 2018 Paradise Jam in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

OPENING TIP

  • The other side of Cayman Islands Classic bracket includes Akron (2-1), Illinois State (2-2), LSU (3-0) and Western Kentucky (3-0). LSU and Illinois State will open the tournament on Nov. 21 and will be followed by the matchup between Akron and WKU. The winners of those opening games will play on Nov. 22 at 1:30 p.m., CT, while the other teams will play at 11 a.m., CT.
  • The winner of each side of the bracket will face off in the championship game on Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m., CT. There will be three consolation games before the title contest at 11 a.m., CT (seventh-place game), 1:30 p.m., CT (fifth-place game) and 5 p.m., CT (third-place game), respectively.
  • K-State was originally scheduled to play in the Cayman Islands Classic during the 2020-21 season, but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be the first tournament since George Mason won the title in 2019. Overall, this will be the Wildcats’ fifth tournament in the Caribbean, following the Paradise Jam in 2002 and 2018 and the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in 2009 and 2013.
  • Previous winners of the Cayman Islands Classic include Cincinnati (2017), Creighton (2018) and George Mason (2019). GMU knocked off New Mexico State, 68-64, for the 2019 title after defeating Old Dominion (60-53) and Nebraska (85-66) in the first two rounds. Other 2019 participants included Colorado State, Loyola Chicago, South Florida and Washington State.
  • K-State moved to 3-0 under first-year head coach Jerome Tang after a 69-53 home win over Kansas City on Nov. 17. The Wildcats took control of the game 5 minutes into the first half behind the play of senior Keyontae Johnson, who continued his strong start to the season with a season-high 19 points, a team-tying 7 rebounds, a career-tying 6 assists and 2 steals in 35 minutes. Johnson scored the Wildcats’ first 8 points before getting help from sophomore Cam Carter, who scored 14 of his career-tying 16 points in the opening half on 4-of-8 field goals, including a career-best 4 treys. The duo was responsible for 25 of the team’s 41 first-half points. Kansas City was able to close to 57-47 with 6:43 to play, but reserve Desi Sills flipped the momentum by scoring 10 of the team’s last 12 points to push the lead back out.
  • The Wildcats once again used their defense to generate offense, forcing the Roos into 22 turnovers and converting those into 26 points. The team has forced 20 or more turnovers in each of their first 3 games, totaling 76 points off those miscues, an average of 25.3 points per game.
  • A strong start has been important so far in K-State’s success, as the Wildcats are averaging 43 points in the first half on 46.7 percent (42-of-90) shooting, including 46.5 percent (20-of-43) from 3-point range, and 89.3 percent (25-of-28) from the free throw line. The 52 first-half points vs. UTRGV (11/7/22) were the most in an opener since 1986. In contrast, the team is averaging just 32 points in the second half on 36.2 percent (33-of-91) shooting, including 17.4

percent (4-of-23) from long range, and 72.2 percent (26-of-26) from the line.

  • The bench has also proven valuable, as the Wildcats are averaging 24.7 points from its reserves with 3 different players (Abayomi Iyiola [12], Tykei Greene [8] and Desi Sills [11]) leading the bench in scoring.

IN-SEASON TOURNAMENT HISTORY

  • K-State will play in its 87th in-season tournament this week at the Cayman Islands Classic, including its 11th outside the continental United States and the first since going 3-0 and winning the Paradise Jam on Nov.16-19, 2018 in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. It is the first overall in-season tournament since going 0-2 at the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City on Nov. 22-23, 2021.
  • K-State has a 177-114 overall record in playing in its 86 previous in-season tournaments with 16 tournament titles to its credit. The team won its last such title at the 2018 Paradise Jam, defeating Eastern Kentucky, Penn and Missouri. In fact, the last 2 titles have come at tournaments outside the continental U.S., in 2011 Diamond Head Classic (Hawai’i) and 2018 Paradise Jam (U.S.V.I.).
  •  The Wildcats have played in 10 other tournaments outside the continental U.S., starting with the 1985 Maui Invitational. Others include the 1989 Great Alaska Shootout (runner-up), 1993 Hawai’i Nike Festival (champion), 2011 Diamond Head Classic (champion), Maui Invitational (1998 and 2014), Paradise Jam (2002 and 2018) and Puerto Rico Tip-Off (2009 and 2013).

IN-SEASON TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Overall: 177-114/87th Appearance

In-Season Tournament Titles: 16

Last In-Season Tournament Title: 2018 Paradise Jam (3-0)

At Cayman Islands Classic: First Appearance

  1. Rhode Island: First meeting
  2. Nevada/Tulane: Tied 1-1/Tied 2-2

TOURNAMENT OPPONENT PROFILES

RHODE ISLAND (1-2)

  • Rhode Island enters Monday’s game with a 1-2 record after picking up its first win vs. Stony Brook, 74-64, at home on Nov. 15. The Rams opened the year with close home losses to Quinnipiac (62-67) and Texas State (66-70).
  • Sophomore Ishmael Leggett leads 3 Rams in double figures at 17.7 points with a team-best 6.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. Abdou Samb (10.0 ppg.) and Malik Martin (10.0 ppg.) also average double figures.
  • Rhode Island is led by a first-year head coach in Archie Miller who won nearly 63 percent of his games at Dayton (2011-17) and Indiana (2017-21).

SERIES HISTORY

  • This will be the first meeting with Rhode Island.

SERIES HISTORY WITH RHODE ISLAND

Overall: First meeting

At Neutral Sites: First meeting

Active Streak: n/a

Last Meeting: n/a

Tang vs. URI: First meeting

K-State vs. Atlantic 10: 28-19 [4-4 at neutral sites]

Tang vs. Archie Miller: First meeting

NEVADA (4-0)

  • Nevada enters Monday’s game with Tulane with a 4-0 record after earning a 62-43 road win at UT-Arlington on Nov. 18. The Wolf Pack also have home wins over Utah Tech (84-71), Grand Canyon (59-46) and William Jessup (98-54).
  • Senior Jarod Lucas paces three Wolf Pack in double figures at 15.8 points per game, which includes a team-best 10 3-pointers. Senior Kenan Blackshear averages 12 points per game on 51.6 percent shooting with team-highs in both rebounding (6.8 rpg.) and assists (6.5 apg.) as well as 2.0 steals per game.
  • Nevada is led by a fourth-year head coach Steve Alford, who has a 52-40 record in his tenure. He is 639-338 in 31st season as a head coach, which includes Manchester, Missouri State, Iowa, New Mexico, UCLA and now Nevada.

SERIES HISTORY

  • K-State and Nevada have met 2 previous times, splitting a home-and-home series in 1992 and 1993. The Wolf Pack won at home, 83-82, on Dec. 28, 1992, before the Wildcats won 78-52 at home on Dec. 11, 1993.

SERIES HISTORY WITH NEVADA

Overall: Tied 1-1

At Neutral Sites: 0-0

Active Streak: K-State, 1

Last Meeting: W, 78-52 (12/11/93)

Tang vs. Nevada: First meeting

K-State vs. Mountain West: 36-19 [6-3 at neutral sites]

Tang vs. Steve Alford: First meeting

TULANE (3-0)

  • Tulane enters Monday’s game with Nevada with a 3-0 record after a 99-79 win over Charleston Southern on Nov. 16. The Green Wave also have home wins over UMBC (89-67) and McNeese (75-58).
  • Five players are averaging in double figures for Tulane, including a pair of 20-point scorers in sophomore Jalen Cook (23.0 ppg.) and junior Collin Holloway (21.5 ppg.) who are both shooting better than 70 percent from the field.
  • Tulane is led by a fourth-year head coach Ron Hunter, who has a 39-46 record in his tenure. He is 484-360 in 28th season as a head coach, which includes stints at IUPUI, Georgia State and now Tulane.

SERIES HISTORY

  • K-State and Tulane have met 4 previous times, splitting those meeting to stand at 2-2. The last meeting came in 2013, a 72-41 win by the Wildcats.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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