Tang Recaps 2022-23 Season, Looks Ahead at Media Availability

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Head coach Jerome Tang addressed the area media on Tuesday afternoon (April 4) to review the 2022-23 season, while looking ahead to the 2023-24 campaign.

K-State finished its first season under Tang with a 26-10 overall record, including a tie for third place in the Big 12 with an 11-7 mark, and the school’s 32nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 18th time after wins over Montana State and Kentucky in the first two rounds then made it to the Elite Eight for the 13th time after their victory over Michigan State on March 23. The 26 wins are the third-most in school history, trailing the school-record 29 in 2009-10 and the 27 in 2012-13, and just the eighth 25-win season and the first since 2018-19.

Tang was named Big 12 Coach of the Year by the league coaches and The Associated Press, while he was selected as the Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year on April 2. Senior Markquis Nowell capped his K-State career by becoming the first Wildcat to ever win the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard, while he was named the NCAA East Regional’s Most Outstanding Player after his memorable performance in the NCAA Tournament. Nowell was joined on several All-America teams by teammate Keyontae Johnson. The duo, who finished fourth among power conference players at 35 points per game, became the first Wildcat tandem to each earn All-America honors from the AP in the same season when they were selected to organization’s Third Team. Johnson was the unanimous Big 12’s Newcomer of the Year, while both were named to the All-Big 12 First Team by the league coaches and the AP.


On the momentum of the program after the Elite Eight run… 

“There’s a lot of really good momentum right now. People are excited. You can get involved with pretty much anybody you want to get involved with. But, with that you have to make sure that you pay attention to what’s important to make it continue to go in the right direction. Hopefully, we will be able to recruit and have the same type of kids, just with a little more talent.”

On a timetable of putting the next team together… 

“I’m not sure. I’m not in a hurry. Getting it done fast might not be the best way to get it done or allow you to get the best because I believe that there’s a group of guys right now in the portal, that some of them are pretty good players, but also believe there’s gonna be a second run of guys in the portal. And, you know, some of them might be better. They might be a better fit for us, so you don’t want to rush into it and get it done.”


On staying patient in this era of the transfer portal… 

“I felt that way before I got here. I’m sure you all remember last year, you’d ask, ‘Are you worried?’ And I’d say ‘No, I’m not worried.’ Because you kind of saw it over the last few years the trend of when guys go into (transfer) portal. Some people go in early because their coaches want them gone. And then some guys go in a little bit later because they’re strategic in how they do it. And then you’ve got the guys who declare for the draft, and they’re gonna pull the name out and go back to school. And so you have to just weigh on that.”


On winning the Naismith Coach of the Year honor… 

“I found out about it a week before. And so, it was really cool, because I got to celebrate with our staff, like we all got together. And, it was just a neat moment because it’s a staff award. It’s a team award because of Markquis (Nowell) and Keyontae (Johnson). And if those guys don’t play as well as they played, and we don’t have the kind of performance that we have, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change who I am as a coach and what we did. It’s just those guys performed at a really high level and our staff did a great job of putting it together. It was really cool to celebrate with them. At the banquet, when they made the award public, it was a little surreal to see coaching legends like Bob Cremins, Roy Williams and Tubby Smith on the stage and shake their hands. I have such cool stories that I’ve experienced with those guys. In fact, one of the first coaching clinics I ever went to Tubby Smith spoke at, and I was on crutches because I fell off of a horse I was hunting, and I fell off and nearly got trampled. I have a hilarious story. I was a high school coach in Cleveland, Texas. I was trying to connect with the guys that I was coaching and the kids in the school they invited me to go hog hunting. So I go and we’re riding horses and the dogs start barking and they take off running well then the horses take off running too and and I’m like holding on for dear life and you know it’s just like the cartoon the saddle turned sideways and I fall off and get trampled. And the doctor said they missed the bone in my leg by a couple inches. I’m at a coaches clinic on crutches and (Tubby Smith) saw me and asked me what happened then he spent another 30 minutes just talking basketball with me. He didn’t have to do this. He was just kind. When we would stop by North Carolina and Georgia Tech when we drove kids to the 5-star camps and if Coach Williams or Coach Cremins were there they would come out to meet the guys and shake their hands and spend time with them. They’re just really cool people, really good people but incredible coaches and I’m on the stage with them so that was a little surreal (for me).”

To read a full transcript of Tang’s comments, please click here.


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