MANHATTAN, Kan. – Rising senior Nae’Qwan Tomlin officially withdrew from the 2023 NBA Draft late Tuesday night (May 31), opting to return for his senior season at Kansas State in 2023-24.
The 6-foot-8, 195-pound forward from Harlem, N.Y., was a major component for a Wildcat team that won 26 games and advanced to the Elite Eight for the 13th time in school history in 2022-23. He was third in scoring (10.4 ppg.) and double-digit scoring games (21) behind All-Americans Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson and second in rebounding (5.9 rpg.) to Johnson, while he led the way in blocks (1.0 bpg.) and dunks (43).
One of four players to start all 36 games a year ago, Tomlin averaged 10.4 points on 50 percent (147-of-294) shooting from the field, including 27.5 percent (19-of-69) from 3-point range, to go with 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks in 27.3 minutes per game. He also connected on 73.8 percent (62-of-84) from the free throw line. He ranked among the Big 12’s top-15 in 4 categories, including fourth in offensive rebounds (2.22 orpg.), seventh in blocked shots, ninth in rebounding and 14th in defensive rebounds (3.64 drpg.).
Among Tomlin’s 21 double-digit scoring games were 7 in Big 12 play, including 17 and 19 points in 2 meetings against Oklahoma. He also collected 2 double-doubles on the season, including a 15-point, 10-rebound performance in the win over No. 2 Kansas at Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 7. He was selected as the Big 12 co-Newcomer of the Week on Dec. 26 after posting his first career 20-point game in the win over Radford on Dec. 21, as he scored a game-high 26 points to go with 9 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Tomlin was playing his best basketball at the end of the season, scoring in double figures in the last 5 games, including all 4 NCAA Tournament games. He averaged 12.5 points on 59.5 percent (22-of-37) shooting in the NCAA Tournament with 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 29.8 minutes per game. His best all-around game came in the win over Kentucky in the second round with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 steals in 30 minutes.
Tomlin came to K-State after earning NJCAA All-American honors at Chipola College in 2021-22, averaging a team-leading 13.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
Tomlin is among six returners, including three starters, who are expected to return to K-State for the 2023-24 season. He will be joined by fellow regular starters – senior David N’Guessan and junior Cam Carter – along with sophomores Jerrell Colbert and Dorian Finister and redshirt freshman Taj Manning.
Graduate transfer Tylor Perry (North Texas) as well as freshmen Dai Dai Ames, R.J. Jones and Macaleab Rich will arrive this weekend with the Wildcats convening for the start of summer workouts on Monday (June 5).