MANHATTAN, Kan. (Kansas State Athletics) – Seniors Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell were among 20 candidates selected to the Late Season Watch List for the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s on Monday night (January 30) as announced by ESPN and the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Johnson and Nowell, along with Penn State’s Jalen Pickett, made their debut on the Wooden Watch List, while the duo is only nominees from the same school. The list also includes North Carolina’s Armando Bacot, Detroit Mercy’s Antoine Davis, Memphis’ Kendric Davis, Purdue’s Zach Edey, Duke’s Kyle Filipowski, Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez, Jr., TCU’s Mike Miles, Jr., Alabama’s Brandon Miller, Iowa’s Kris Murray, Houston’s Marcus Sasser, N.C. State’s Terquavion Smith, Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe, Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis, Kansas’ Jalen Wilson and Miami’s Isaiah Wong.
Both Johnson and Nowell were recently named to Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) on January 19.
Voting for the 2023 John R. Wooden Award and Wooden Award All-American Team will open prior to the NCAA Tournament with the All-American Team being announced during the Elite Eight round and Player of the Year award announced following the NCAA Championship in April.
Johnson and Nowell have been one of the most prolific tandems in the country, as they combine to average 34.9 points per game on 47.1 percent (236-of-501) shooting, including 38.7 percent (72-of-186) from 3-point range, and 80.8 percent (189-of-234) from the free throw line. They have combined for 13 games of 20 or more points, including a collective 120 points in the 2 wins at No. 6/6 Texas and No. 19/16 Baylor during the week of Jan. 3-7. It was the most combined points by 2 players over a 2-game span in the last 50 seasons, surpassing the 113 scored by Askia Jones and Anthony Beane between March 24-28, 1994.
A 5-foot-8, 160-pound point guard from Harlem, N.Y., Nowell is averaging 16.9 points on 40.8 percent (100-of-245) from the field, including 38.9 percent (49-of-126) from 3-point range, and 86.8 percent (105-of-121) from the free throw line to go along with a Big 12-best 8.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 35.7 minutes per game. He is one of just two active Division I players to total more than 1,500 points, 500 assists and 200 steals in a career.
Nowell ranks among top-3 nationally in assists/game (8.2 apg./2nd) and total assists (173/3rd), while he is among the top-35 in 4 other categories, including 14th in steals/game (2.3 spg.), 15th in total steals (49), 18th in free throws made (105) and 32nd in assist/turnover ratio (2.66). He has six games of 10 or more assists this season, while he has five double-doubles (points/assists), including the school’s first 30-10 double-double with 32 points and 14 assists in the win at No. 19/16 Baylor on Jan. 7. He became the first Wildcat to post consecutive 30-point games since Michael Beasley in 2008 with his 36 and 32-point efforts at No. 6/6 Texas and No. 19/16 Baylor.
A 6-foot-6, 230-pound forward from Norfolk, Va., Johnson is averaging a team-best 18 points on 53.1 percent (136-of-256) from the field, including 38.3 percent (23-of-60) from 3-point range, and 74.3 percent (84-of-113) from the free throw line, to go with 7.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.7 minutes per game. He ranks among the top-10 in 6 categories in the Big 12, while he and Kansas’ Jalen Wilson are the only players in the conference to rank in the top-5 in both scoring and rebounding in both overall and Big 12-only games.
No. 7/6 K-State (18-3, 6-2) returns to action on Tuesday night when they travel to Lawrence, Kan., to take on No. 8/8 Kansas (17-4, 5-3 Big 12) in the Dillon Sunflower Showdown at 7 p.m., CT on Big 12 Now.