MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber announced the signing of transfer Markquis Nowell (Harlem, N.Y./St. Patrick/Little Rock) to a Financial Aid Agreement on Thursday (April 1).
A 5-foot-7, 155-pound point guard, Nowell arrives at K-State from (the University of Arkansas at) Little Rock, where he was a Lou Henson All-American and First Team All-Sun Belt selection in 2019-20. He will have two years of eligibility remaining after the NCAA granted fall and winter sport student-athletes an additional year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Markquis is another outstanding addition to our team, and we welcome him to K-State,” said Weber. “(Assistant coach) Shane (Southwell) has known him and his family, growing up in New York City, for quite a while. And so, we already had a relationship with him. When we lost Rudi (Williams) to the (transfer) portal, we knew we needed to add some depth and scoring at the point guard position. Markquis is a great fit for that need. He’s a dynamic young man who can make plays and is a strong defender. He brings a whole different dynamic to our program.”
A Harlem, New York native, Nowell saw action in 68 games, including 51 starts, in three seasons (2018-21) at Little Rock. He has scored nearly 1,000 points for the Trojans, totaling 965 (14.4 ppg.) on 39.5 percent (306-of-775) shooting, including 36.9 percent (156-of-423) from 3-point range, while connecting on 85.7 percent (197-of-230) from the free throw line. He is Little Rock’s all-time leader in career free throw percentage (85.7), while he is eighth in career 3-point field goals made (156).
Known as a prolific scorer and terrific passer, Nowell has 48 career double-digit scoring games, including 17 games of 20 or more points and three 30-point games. In addition, he has collected 215 rebounds (3.2 rpg.), 325 assists (4.9 apg.) and 131 steals (2.0 spg.) in 2,117 minutes (31.6 mpg.) in his career. In addition to ranking eighth in career 3-pointers, he is tied for the seventh in single-season 3-pointers (77) and has four of the Top 14 single-game marks, including a career-best 8 triples against ULM on December 19, 2019. Overall, he collected 17 games of 4 or more 3-point field goals made while at Little Rock.
Nowell’s best season at Little Rock came as a sophomore in 2019-20, in which, he helped the Trojans post one of best turnarounds in the nation, going from 10 to 21 wins and winning the Sun Belt title by a full two games. The 11-win improvement was tied for the second-most in the country in 2019-20. The conference tournament was canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic, thwarting a possible NCAA Tournament appearance.
“Markquis is also a winner,” said Weber. “His team at Little Rock in 2019-20 had one of best turnarounds in the country before the pandemic hit, going from 10 (in 2018-19) to 21 wins and winning the Sun Belt regular-season title by two games. They were going to be in the NCAA Tournament.”
Nowell led the Trojans across the board during their breakout 2019-20 campaign, averaging a team-best 17.5 points on 43.1 percent (148-of-343) shooting, including 39.7 percent (77-of-194) from 3-point range, with a team-high 4.8 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals in 33.3 minutes per game. He also knocked down 87.7 percent (100-of-114) from the free throw line, including a stretch of 27 in a row from January 6 to February 13. He scored in double figures in 21 of 27 games played with 12 20-point games and two 30-point contests. For his efforts, he was named a Lou Henson All-American, a First Team All-Sun Belt selection and was a First Team All-District (NABC) and All-Region (USBWA) pick. Three times he was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week.
Nowell made national headlines in a win over ULM on December 19, 2019, as he scored a season-high 33 points, including making three 3-pointers in the final 35 seconds and the game-winner from near mid-court with three seconds to play. He finished the game with eight treys, which ranks third all-time at Little Rock.
Nowell played in just 15 games with eight starts in 2020-21 before opting out for the rest of the season on February 6. He averaged a team-best 14.3 points on 34.4 percent (63-of-183) from the field, including 33.3 percent (33-of-99) with 6.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 30.5 minutes per game. In addition to scoring, he also led the team in free throw percentage (87.3), assists (90) and steals (35).
Nowell made an immediate impact for the Trojans as a true freshman in 2018-19, scoring a career-best 34 points in a win over Southeastern Oklahoma on November 8, 2018. He knocked down 12-of-24 field goals, including 6-of-13 from 3-point range, to go with 8 assists and 4 steals in 39 minutes. He played in 25 games with 18 starts and averaged 11.1 points on 38.2 percent (95-of-249) shooting, including 35.4 percent (46-of-130) from 3-point range, to go with 4.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 30.4 minutes per game.
Nowell came to Little Rock from The Patrick School in Hillside, New Jersey, where he averaged 10.9 points during an injury-plagued senior season playing for head coach Chris Chavannes. After missing the entire month of January due to injury, he returned to play eight of the team’s last nine games, averaging 12.6 points, including a season-high 22 points in a win over Camden on February 11, 2018. The Patrick School is the alma mater of several current and former NBA players, including Derrick Gordon, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kyrie Irving.
Nowell transferred to The Patrick School after playing two seasons at Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn, where he averaged 19.9 points and 8.1 assists as a junior in 2016-17. Playing alongside brothers Julian (St. John’s) and Justin (Pittsburgh) Champagnie, he helped the Lions to a 20-7 record and No. 8 final rankings in Class AA.
A consensus three-star recruit, Nowell was rated as the No. 9 prospect in New Jersey by 247Sports. He held offers out of high school from Minnesota, Georgetown, Rutgers, Seton Hall, VCU and Western Kentucky.
Nowell is the 30th Division I player to transfer to K-State, joining current sophomore Kaosi Ezeagu (UTEP) and graduate transfer Mark Smith (Missouri).
K-State’s 2021-22 roster is currently taking shape, as Nowell joins graduate transfer Mark Smith (Edwardsville, Ill./Edwardsville/Missouri), who joined the team on Wednesday (March 31), and Wisconsin prep standout Logan Landers (Cedarburg, Wis./Cedarburg), who signed with the Wildcats during the Fall Signing Period in November, in the incoming recruiting class.
Senior Mike McGuirl, who was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection in 2020-21, announced on March 22 that he was utilizing his extra season of eligibility and returning to the Wildcats.
The team also returns their freshmen core of Nijel Pack, Selton Miguel and Davion Bradford, who combined to start 71 games in 2020-21. The 71 combined starts were the second-most by any team in Division I this past season. The trio combined to average 25.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.0 steals this season.
Head Coach Bruce Weber:
On the signing of Markquis Nowell…
“Markquis is another outstanding addition to our team, and we welcome him to K-State,” said Weber. “(Assistant coach) Shane (Southwell) has known him and his family, growing up in New York City, for quite a while. And so, we already had a relationship with him. When we lost Rudi (Williams) to the (transfer) portal, we knew we needed to add some depth and scoring at the point guard position. Markquis is a great fit for that need. He’s a dynamic young man who can make plays and is a strong defender. He brings a whole different dynamic to our program.
“Markquis is also a winner. His team at Little Rock in 2019-20 had one of best turnarounds in the country before the pandemic hit, going from 10 (in 2018-19) to 21 wins and winning the Sun Belt regular-season title by two games. They were going to be in the NCAA Tournament.”
Assistant coach Shane Southwell (primary recruiter)
On the signing of Markquis Nowell…
“Markquis is such a dynamic player who can galvanize others around him. He has been a part of successful teams dating back to high school days, playing with the Champagnie brothers at Bishop Loughlin (High School) then at The Patrick School and continued that last season at Little Rock. He is such a prolific scorer who has almost 1,000 points in three seasons. He will fit in perfectly with our guys because of his energy and playmaking, his ability to get to the free throw line and getting his teammates involved.”