MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Markquis Nowell was selected as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week on Monday afternoon (November 28) after his MVP performance in helping Kansas State claim the 2022 Cayman Islands Classic last week.
Nowell earned MVP honors after helping K-State (6-0) win its first in-season tournament since the 2018 Paradise Jam, as the Wildcats defeated Rhode Island (77-57), Nevada (96-87 OT) and LSU (61-59) in the 3-game tournament. He averaged 18.7 points on 45.2 percent (19-of-42) from the field, including 31.3 percent (5-of-16) from 3-point range, with 9.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 33.6 minutes per game.
In the wins against Rhode Island and Nevada, Nowell became the first Wildcat to record double-digit assists in consecutive games, while he became just the second player in school history and the first since 1989 to post a 25-point/10-assist game with his 29-point, 11-assist performance in the 96-87 overtime win over the Wolf Pack. His 12 assists vs. the Rams tied for the fourth-most in single game in school history and the most since Steve Henson collected 12 assists against Oklahoma State on Feb. 25, 1989.
Nowell was part of the first Wildcat duo since 2010 to each collect at least 25 points in a game, as he and fellow senior Keyontae Johnson combined for 57 points in the win over Nevada. It marked just the 15th time in school history that two players scored 25 or more points in the same game and the first time since Jacob Pullen (28) and Denis Clemente (25) did it against Xavier on March 25, 2010.
Nowell finished with 29 points on 10-of-20 field goals, including 2-of-7 from 3-point range, and 7-of-9 free throws and 11 assists in 41 minutes to become just the fifth Wildcat with a 20-point/10-assist game in school history and the first since Angel Rodriguez had 21 points and 10 assists vs. TCU on March 5, 2013.
Nowell capped the tournament with a game-high 18 points in the championship game win over LSU, as he helped the Wildcats rally from an 11-point second-half deficit. He finished 6-of-14 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, and 4-of-4 free throws, to go with 4 assists and 4 rebounds in 33 minutes.
Nowell is the second Wildcat to earn a weekly honor after Johnson was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Nov. 14. He is the first Wildcat to be selected as the Big 12 Player of the Week since Nijel Pack won the accolade for the second time in 2021-22 on Feb. 7, 2022. Overall, it marks the school’s 32nd Player of the Week honor since the inception of the Big 12 in 1997, including the first under head coach Jerome Tang. It is the fourth 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.
A 5-foot-8, 160-pound point guard from Harlem, N.Y., Nowell is currently averaging 15.3 points on 42.2 percent (27-of-64) from the field, including 37 percent (10-of-27) from 3-point range, and 84.8 percent (28-of-33) from the free throw line to go along with a Big 12-best 7.8 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 32.0 minutes per game. He recently became just the second active Division I player to total more than 1,000 points, 500 assists and 200 steals.
K-State (6-0) returns to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Indianapolis to take on Butler (4-3) in the BIG EAST/Big 12 Challenge at 5:30 p.m., CT on FS1. The Wildcats begin a 3-game homestand on Saturday night when they host in-state rival Wichita State at 8 p.m., CT on ESPNU. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at k-statesports.com, calling (800) 221.CATS, or by visiting the Bramlage Coliseum ticket office in person from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., CT, Monday through Friday.