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FAST BREAK: K-State proves they are ready for the Big 12 in Austin

By |2023-01-04T08:24:37-06:00January 4th, 2023|Categories: Big 12 Sports, Local News, Sports|Tags: |Comments Off on FAST BREAK: K-State proves they are ready for the Big 12 in Austin

by Mason Voth • EMAWOnline – Managing Editor – @TheRealMasonV


K-State scored 116 points, on the road, against a top-ten team. A program record for points in a single game, the record had stood since 1994 when K-State beat Fresno State in the NIT. Askia Jones scored his program record 62 points.

The final score in Austin was a 116-103 win for the Wildcats, their second straight win in Austin and the 11th all-time. K-State is now 11-11 in games played in Austin against the Longhorns.


Yet again, Markquis Nowell proved just how important he has been to the transition period from Bruce Weber to Jerome Tang. He took over the vocal leader role the second Tang got the job and thanks to his buy-in to Tang, he also took over as a true leader on the floor.

Nowell’s game has taken a drastic improvement from being a strong role player to being a “dude” that can be counted on almost every game. There is no coincidence he is playing smarter and more efficiently since Tang and company arrived in Manhattan. He is going to be an all-Big 12 player this season.

Nowell had a career-high 36 points in the win at Texas.


It needed to be noted after years without seeing it, but the K-State bigs having soft hands that can handle passes on cuts and entries inside is a beautiful thing to see.

The occasional pass will still bounce away, but for the most part the Wildcat bigs are catching the ball and also making sure they finish once they get the ball. Nae’Qwan Tomlin is in a class of his own with his skillset, but a healthy David N’Guessan and Bebe Iyiola have been really nice to see this season. The offense can flow through all five guys on the floor for the first time in a long time at Kansas State.


Early in the season, I was concerned about how often K-State tried to overshare the basketball. The extra pass is great when it makes sense, but the Wildcats tried to be too creative and flashy in getting the ball to their teammates.

On Tuesday night in Austin, they put it together in a perfect blend. Enough flash to sneak a ball past a Texas defender and give energy, but playing within the game enough to avoid too many silly turnovers and momentum-killing plays. This has been building over the last few weeks, but it is great to see that the Wildcats have put it together in conference play now.


Remember the last few “Fast Breaks” when some idiot (Managing Editor – Mason Voth – me) kept complaining about free throw shooting for K-State? Well the Wildcats’ free throw woes were non-existent in the victory at Texas. K-State went 31/33 at the line.

It included a 12/12 night from Nowell and 7/7 from Keyontae Johnson. The two guys that I clamored for better shooting at the line from. A truly positive sign moving forward for the Wildcats, who also shot 13/24 from three in the game.


Forget this team being a bubble team or being fun and ready to compete next year or the year after, Jerome Tang’s squad can win any basketball game this season and are ready to go toe to toe with any conference opponent over the next two months.

The Wildcats grinded out a slow start against West Virginia to start Big 12 play and then found a way to outgun Texas and all of their talent. Winning in totally different ways in the first two games of league play sets them up well for what might be coming the rest of the way.

One thing that I always say though, the game that is more important than the statement game is how you follow it up. The Baylor game on Saturday is a massive statement game again for the Wildcats, against a gettable Baylor squad. It will also be Jerome Tang’s triumphant return to Waco and the Ferrell Center.



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