MANHATTAN, Kan. – Seniors Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson swept the Big 12 weekly player of the week honors on Monday (Jan. 9) with Nowell earning Player of the Week for the second time and Johnson picking up his third Newcomer of the Week honor after helping Kansas State earn consecutive Top 25 road wins at No. 6/6 Texas and No. 19/17 Baylor last week.
It marks the first time in school history that K-State has swept both Big 12 honors in the same week.
Nowell, who became the first Wildcat since Michael Beasley with consecutive 30-point performances, averaged an astounding 34.0 points on 54.8 percent (17-of-31) shooting, including 58.8 percent (10-of-17) from 3-point range, in the 2 wins while dishing out an average of 11.5 assists per game. He also connected on 24-of-25 attempts from the free throw line, seeing his streak of 29 consecutive makes end with his miss in his last attempt in overtime.
Johnson averaged a near 20/10 double-double over the 2-game stretch, scoring 26.0 points per game on 63.6 percent (21-of-33) shooting from the field, including 37.5 percent (3-of-8) from 3-point range, to go along with 9.0 rebounds in 40.1 minutes per game. He has now scored in double figures in all 15 games.
The tandem combined to score 120 points in the 2 wins on a collective 59.4 percent (38-of-64) shooting from the field, including 52 percent (13-of-25) from 3-point range, while hitting on 31 of 32 attempts from the line. It is most combined points by 2 players over a 2-game span in the last 50 seasons, surpassing the 113 scored by Askia Jones and Anthony Beane between March 24-28, 1994.
Nowell opened the week by scoring a career-best 36 points in the school-record 116-103 win over the Longhorns, going 9-of-15 from the field, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range, and a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line. His point total was the seventh-most by a Wildcat in a Big 12 game and the most since Barry Brown, Jr., scored 38 points vs. Oklahoma State in 2018. The 116 points tied for the most scored in a Big 12 Conference game and was the most by an unranked team in a win a Top 10 opponent since 1988.
Nowell followed with the school’s first 30-point/10-assist game in the 97-95 overtime win over the Bears, scoring a game-high 32 points to go with a career-best 14 assists in 43 minutes of play. He became the first Wildcat with consecutive 30-point games since Beasley accomplished it in four straight games from Feb. 23-March 4, 2008. The senior guard’s 14 dimes tied the school record for assists in a conference game as well as tied for the second-most in any game in school history. It was also the most assists by a Wildcat in the last 40 years.
Johnson registered back-to-back 20-point games for the first time this season, tying his career-high for the second time with 28 points in the win over Texas to go with a game-high 9 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal in 38 minutes. He followed with 24 points at Baylor on 11-of-17 shooting to go with a game-high 9 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a steal in a career-best 43 minutes.
It is the fifth and sixth weekly awards for the Wildcats this season with Nowell winning Player of the Week for the second time after winning it on Nov. 28, while Johnson captured his third Newcomer of the Week after winning it on Nov. 14 and Dec. 19. Teammate Nae’Qwan Tomlin won Newcomer honors on Dec. 27.
Overall, it is the sixth career weekly honor for Nowell, who was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week on Nov. 19, 2019, Dec. 3, 2019, and Feb. 3, 2020, while playing at Little Rock. It is the third career weekly honor for Johnson, who was named the SEC Player of the Week on Nov. 25, 2019, while playing at Florida.
A 5-foot-8, 160-pound point guard from Harlem, N.Y., Nowell is currently averaging 17 points on 41 percent (71-of-173) from the field, including 37.6 percent (32-of-85) from 3-point range, and 87.1 percent (81-of-93) from the free throw line to go along with a Big 12-best 8.9 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 34.9 minutes per game. He is one of just two active Division I players to total more than 1,500 points, 500 assists and 200 steals in a career.
A 6-foot-6, 230-pound forward from Norfolk, Va., Johnson is currently averaging a team-best 18.8 points on 58.2 percent (103-of-177) from the field, including 41.7 percent (20-of-48) from 3-point range, and 75.7 percent (56-of-74) from the free throw line, to go with 7.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 33 minutes per game. He leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage, while he is third in scoring and seventh in rebounding.
No. 11/13 K-State (14-1, 3-0 Big 12) returns home to Bramlage Coliseum on Tuesday night when the Wildcats play host to Oklahoma State (9-6, 1-2 Big 12) at 6 p.m., CT on ESPNU. A limited number of tickets are still available by calling (800) 221.CATS or online at kstatesports.com/tickets.