KANSAS STATE (10-1) vs RADFORD (6-6)
Wednesday, December 21, 2022 >> 1:31 p.m. CT >> Bramlage Coliseum (11,000) >> Manhattan, Kan.
Big 12 Now on ESPN+ / WatchESPN (link here)
- Ben Boyle (play-by-play)
- Stan Weber (analyst)
- Lina Sattarin (sideline reporter)
K-State Sports Network
Flagships: // KMAN 1350 & WIBW 580
Satellite Radio: Sirius XM 381/971
Online: Varsity Network [free] / www.kstatesports.com/watch [free]
- Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
- Matt Walters (analyst)
(800) 221.CATS 
Single Game: $10, $15, $25
K-State: Jerome Tang [Charter Oak State College ‘07]
Record at K-State: 10-1/1st Year
Career Record: 12-1/1st Year+
- Radford: 0-0 [0-0 at K-State]
Radford: Head Coach: Darris Nichols [West Virginia ‘08]
Record at Radford: 17-24/2nd Year
Career Record: 17-24/2nd Year
- K-State: 0-0 [0-0 at Radford]
Overall: First meeting
Current Streak: n/a
In Manhattan: First meeting
At Bramlage Coliseum: First meeting
Last Meeting: n/a
Tang vs. Nichols: 0-0 [0-0 at home]
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP (Based off the last game)
Kansas State (10-1)
G: #1 Markquis Nowell
G: #5 Cam Carter
F: #11 Keyontae Johnson
F: #35 Nae’Qwan Tomlin
C: #3 David N’Guessan
G: #2 Josiah Jeffers
G: #1 DaQuan Smith
G: #14 Bryan Antoine
F: #0 Justin Archer
F: #15 Madiaw Niang
K-STATE TO HOST RADFORD IN FINAL GAME BEFORE HOLIDAY BREAK
- Kansas State (10-1) will conclude its December non-conference schedule by hosting Big South foe and first-time opponent Radford (6-6) in the second game of a men’s and women’s doubleheader at Bramlage Coliseum beginning at 1:30 p.m., CT. The Wildcats, who are on a 4-game winning streak, will host the Highlanders in the second-to-last non-conference game of the season before welcoming West Virginia (9-2) in the Big 12 opener on New Year’s Eve.
- K-State is off its best start since opening the 2016-17 season with a similar 10-1 record. The Wildcats have already surpassed their non-conference win total from each of the last 3 seasons, while the win over Nebraska on Saturday gave them 10 victories in non-conference play for the first time since 2018-19. The team has not won 11 non-conference games since 2017-18.
- K-State’s 10-1 start under head coach Jerome Tang is the best by a first-year coach in school history, surpassing the previous starts of 9-2 by College Football Hall of Famer Zora G. Clevenger (1916-17), Tom Asbury (1994-95) and Bruce Weber (2012-13). Tang’s 10-1 start ranks among the very best by all first-year head coaches in Division I, as it is only surpassed by the 11-0 start by Mississippi State’s Chris Jans.
- K-State has won 4 consecutive games since absorbing its first loss of the Jerome Tang era against Butler on Nov. 30 with victories over Wichita State (55-50), Abilene Christian (81-64), UIW (98-50) and Nebraska (71-56). The Wildcats have been impressive on the defensive end in that 4-game winning streak, allowing just 55 points on 38.6 percent (81-of-210) shooting.
- Senior Keyontae Johnson earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors for the second time this season after his impressive effort in the win over Nebraska. He posted game-highs for both points (23) and rebounds (11), along with a career-tying 4 steals. It was his seventh career double-double with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, including his second as a Wildcat.
- The Wildcats have a dynamic scoring duo in Johnson and fellow senior Markquis Nowell, as they are averaging 31.8 points per game on 48.3 percent (115-of-238) shooting. They are the second-best scoring duo in the Big 12 after the tandem of Kansas’ Jalen Wilson and Gradey Dick (36.9 ppg.) and just ahead of the duo of Baylor’s Adam Flagler and L.J. Cryer (31 ppg.).
- Johnson, who ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring at 17.8 points per game, is one of just 22 Division I players shooting 50 percent or better from the field (60.3), 50 percent or better from
3-point range (51.5) and 75 percent or better from the free throw line (76.5).
- Nowell continues to be one of the nation’s leaders in assists. His 8.1 assists per game rank second nationally, while his 89 total assists place fourth. He is also 11th in assist/turnover ratio (3.42) with 89 assists to 26 turnovers. He is one of 2 active Division I player with at least 1,000 points, 500 assists and 200 steals, while his 214 career steals are second among active players.
NOTES ON RADFORD (6-6)
- Radford (6-6) enters Wednesday’s game on a 3-game losing streak with all 3 losses coming by a total of 13 points, including a 67-65 setback at Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. Prior to that loss, the team lost at VMI, 77-74, on Dec. 10 and at VCU, 70-62, on Dec. 14. Five of the 6 losses have come by 10 points or less, including 79-69 at Marquette on Nov. 7 and 79-76 at Notre Dame on Nov. 10.
- Among Radford’s 6 wins are Army West Point on a neutral court, on the road at Elon and against N.C. Central and George Washington at home.
- Radford is averaging 74.8 points on 47.5 percent shooting, including 36.3 percent from 3-point range, with 34.1 rebounds, 13.3 assists, 7.8 steals and 3.8 blocks per game, while allowing 66.3 points on 43.2 percent shooting, including 33.9 percent from 3-point range. The Highlanders are connecting on 68.2 percent from the free throw line.
- Six players averaging better than 7 points per game led by a trio of double-digit scorers in freshman Kenyon Giles (12.2 ppg.) and junior DaQuan Smith (11.2 ppg.) and Bryan Antoine (10.0 ppg.). The 3 players have combined for 64 of the team’s 86 3-point field goal makes this season on 36.8 percent shooting. Senior Shaquan Jules is averaging a team-best 6.8 rebounds while averaging 8.4 points on 64.8 percent shooting. Senior Josiah Jeffers is team’s assist leader at nearly 5 assists per game (4.7 apg.).
- Head coach Darris Nichols is in his second season at Radford with a 17-24 record. Prior to landing his first head coaching gig, he was a longtime assistant at Northern Kentucky, Wofford, Louisiana Tech and Florida.
- This will be the first-ever meeting between K-State and Radford.
- K-State is 10-1 all-time against current members of the Big South, all of which came in games played at home.
- Radford head coach Darris Nichols was an assistant coach at Florida from 2015-21, where he served as the primary recruiter in helping land current Wildcat Keyontae Johnson to be a Gator.
- Nichols played at West Virginia from 2004-08, including one season with current head coach Bob Huggins in 2007-08. He was a graduate assistant for Huggins from 2010-11.
LAST TIME OUT: K-STATE 71, NEBRASKA 58
- Senior Keyontae Johnson collected his second double-double of the season to pace four Wildcats in double figures, as K-State led from nearly start to finish in earning a 71-56 win over former conference foe Nebraska in the 11th Wildcat Classic on Saturday night before 13,184 fans at the T-Mobile Center.
- The win helped K-State (10-1) continue its best start to a season since 2016-17, as the Wildcats snapped a 4-game skid in the T-Mobile Center while handing Nebraska (6-6) its seventh straight defeat in the series.
- Johnson led all scorers with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-13 field goals, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, to go with a game-best 11 rebounds, 2 assists and a career-tying 4 steals in 34 minutes. It was his 15th career double-double, including his seventh with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, while it was his 11th career 20-point contest.
- Johnson was joined in double figures by junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin, who scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 2-of-5 from long range, along with senior Markquis Nowell and sophomore Cam Carter, who finished with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Nowell added a game-high 7 assists.
- K-State playing in its first Wildcat Classic since a 66-63 loss to Saint Louis in 2019, used a strong finish to the first half to build a double-digit lead at the break. The Wildcats continued to extend that lead in the first 11 minutes of the second half, building as much as a 19-point lead at 59-40 before Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg called a timeout with just over 9 minutes to play.
- The timeout seemed to ignite the Cornhuskers, as they rattled off 10 straight points to cut the deficit to 59-50 with under 4 minutes to play before a corner 3-pointer by freshman Jamarques Lawrence got them to within 62-55 with 1:19 remaining. However, they could get no closer as the Wildcats scored 7 straight points and 9 of the last 10 points – all from the free throw line – to close it out.
- After connecting on 48.4 percent (15-of-31), including 40 percent (6-of-15) from 3-point range, in the first half, K-State had to survive a poor second-half shooting performance, where he hit on just 31 percent (9-of-29) from the field, including 30.8 percent (4-of-13) from beyond the arc. For game, the Wildcats connected on 40 percent (24-of-60) from the field, including 35.7 percent (10-of-28) from 3-point range, while making 13 of 19 free throws.
- Nebraska hit on just 32.1 percent (18-of-56) from the field, including just 19 percent (4-of-21) from 3-point range, while making 72.7 percent (16-of-22) from the free throw line. Only one Husker scored in double figures, as sophomore Wilhelm Breidenbach had 13 points off the bench on 5-of-9 shooting.
- The game was the second in a 3-game series with Nebraska visiting Bramlage Coliseum for the third installment during the 2023-24 season.
POSTGAME NEWS & NOTES
- K-State is now 9-2 in the Wildcat Classic in the first such game since 2019, snapping a 1-game losing streak… The Wildcats have won 6 of the 7 Classics.
- K-State is now 21-20 all-time in the T-Mobile Center… The Wildcats snapped a 4-game losing streak in the arena dating to the 2021 Big 12 Championship.
- K-State had double-digit 3-pointers (10) for the third time this season, including the second straight game.
- K-State had an assist on 20 of its 24 made field goals, including 6 players with 2 or more assists… The team has 201 assists on 298 made field goals.
- K-State moved to 7-0 this season when leading at the half.
K-STATE WINS CAYMAN ISLANDS CLASSIC
- K-State captured its 17th in-season tournament title, as the Wildcats knocked off Rhode Island (77-57), Nevada (96-87 in overtime) and LSU (61-59) to win the 2022 Cayman Islands Classic on Nov. 21-23. It was the team’s first tournament title since winning the 2018 Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The 3 wins gave K-State its first 6-0 start since the 2018-19 season.
- Senior Markquis Nowell was selected the Cayman Islands Classic MVP and to the all-tournament team, while fellow senior Keyontae Johnson was named to the all-tournament team. Nowell averaged 18.7 points and 9.0 assists in the 3-game tournament, while Johnson averaged a team-best 19.3 points on 53.6 percent shooting with 6.0 rebounds per game. For his effort, he was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week on Monday.
- After breezing past Rhode Island, 77-57, in the first round, K-State had to fight through tight contests with Nevada in the semifinals and LSU in the finals to earn the title. After surrendering a 9-point lead to the Wolf Pack with 4:08 to play to trail 80-78 with 14 seconds left in regulation, Nowell drove the lane and was able to convert on a layup in traffic to force overtime with 3.5 seconds. The Wildcats were able to carry the momentum in the extra period, as they hit on 5 of 6 from the field and 6 of 10 free throw line to win 96-87.
- The Wildcats then overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to the Tigers in the title game, using their defense to allow 18 points after halftime on 36.8 percent shooting while forcing 14 turnovers en route to a 61-59 victory.
TANG DEBUTS AS HEAD COACH
- First-year coach Jerome Tang enjoyed a successful debut, as the Wildcats earned a 93-59 win against UTRGV on Nov. 7 to help Tang earn his first victory as the 24th head coach and the first full-time black head coach in school history. He is the sixth minority men’s head coach in K-State Athletics history, including the third in men’s basketball following interim head coach Darryl Winston (1984-85) and former full-time head coach Frank Martin (2007-12).
- K-State’s 10-1 start under head coach Jerome Tang is the best by a first-year coach in school history with Zora G. Clevenger (1916-17), Tom Asbury (1994-95) and Bruce Weber (2012-13) all starting their tenures at 9-2. Tang’s start is among the best by all first-year head coaches in Division I with only Mississippi State’s Chris Jans posting a better mark at 11-0.
- This is not Tang’s first time being a head coach, as he served as athletics director and head coach at Heritage Christian Academy in Cleveland, Texas from 1993-2003, leading the school to 5 TAPPS Division A State Championships.
- In addition, Tang twice served as interim head coach in his 19 seasons as an assistant and associate head coach at Baylor, leading the Bears to 4-0 record. He helped Baylor to wins over Texas (86-79 in OT) and at Texas Tech (82-48) during the 2012-13 season, while he guided the squad to wins over Louisiana (112-82) and Washington (86-52) to open the 2020-21 season. Tang is only credited with the wins in 2012, moving his college head coaching record to 12-1.
SUCCESS IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
- K-State has posted a 169-53 (.759) record in non-conference play since the 2006-07 season. During that span, the Wildcats have a 127-14 (.899) mark at home venues (includes games played at Bramlage Coliseum, INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita and the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City) in non-conference play, including a 117-12 (.905) mark at Bramlage Coliseum.
- After Saturday’s 71-56 win over Nebraska in the Wildcat Classic, K-State now has a 21-20 all-time record in the T-Mobile Center, including a 9-2 mark in the Wildcat Classic. The Wildcats had lost their last 4 games in the arena (counting the last 2 Big 12 Championships and the 2021 Hall of Fame Classic).
- The Nebraska win also gave K-State double-digit non-conference victories for the first time since going 10-3 in 2018-19. The team collected 10 or more non-conference wins in 12 of 13 seasons from 2006-07 to 2018-19, but they had managed just a 19-16 record in non-conference action from 2019-22.
- K-State’s current 10-1 non-conference mark is the best since opening the 2016-17 season with a similar 9-1 record. The Wildcats won a program-best 13 non-conference games in 2009-10, while they won 12 in 2008-09 and 2010-11.
IN NEED OF A STRONGER START
- One of the keys to K-State’s 6-0 start to the season had been its strong starts, as the Wildcats averaged 40.3 points on 50 percent (84-of-168) shooting from the field, including 42.5 percent (31-of-73) from 3-point range, while hitting on 82.7 percent (43-of-52) from the free throw line.
- Although K-State scored 45 points on 50 percent shooting in the first half of the UIW win, the team had gotten off to less than desirable starts in the 3 games prior. They scored just 25 points in the first half of the Butler loss before posting 29 against Wichita State and 35 against Abilene Christian. In those 3 games, the Wildcats averaged just 29.7 points on 42.4 percent shooting.
- K-State had out-scored its opponents, 242-178, in the first half in the first 6 games, as its defense had allowed 29.7 points on 39.6 percent (63-of-159) shooting, including 31.4 percent (16-of-51) from beyond the arc. However, in that 3-game span, opponents averaged 34.3 points on 50 percent shooting.
- The Wildcats have forced 88 combined turnovers in the first half so far with nearly a third of the total points (114 of 415) coming from offense generated by these turnovers. The team scored 18 first-half points off 12 UTRGV turnovers, had 15 such points off 15 Cal miscues and 17 points off 11 Kansas City turnovers.
DISHING THE ROCK
- K-State ranks among the best in the country in sharing the basketball, as the Wildcats rank 12th nationally and second in the Big 12 with 18.3 assists per game. Among the 201 assists are five players with double-digit totals, including senior Markquis Nowell, who ranks fourth nationally with 89 total assists. He is second nationally in assists/game at 8.1 per game.
- The Wildcats also rank in the top-5 nationally with a 67.4 assist percentage according to KenPom, which calculates the number of assists (201) to made field goals (298). Only Tennessee (68.9), Xavier (68.0), Lafayette (68.0) and Air Force (67.8) have a better average nationally.
- Although Nowell gets all the attention for his playmaking ability, the rest of the team has shown the ability to share the ball, as the Wildcats have had 3 or more players dish out at least 2 assists in 8 of 11 games this season. The team had 7 players with 2 or more assists in the opener vs. UTRGV (11/7/22), while 6 did it against Nebraska (12/17/22) and 5 vs. UIW (12/11/22).