With a completely new roster and head coach, the Kansas State Wildcats are hoping to make a run in an extremely challenging Big 12.
The countdown is officially on. For the second straight year, CBB Review has ranked the top 100 teams in college basketball heading into next season. Each day, we will reveal the next team, until we get to number one. Our number 98 ranked team is the Kansas State Wildcats.
If there is a team that showed the presence of the transfer portal’s emergence in the last few years, it’s the Kansas State Wildcats. would be one of the poster children. They had 11 (!) players enter the portal along with a few graduates, leaving just two players from last year’s roster on the team and 72% of their scoring gone. With that being said, they did bring in some solid transfers themselves, and now enter the season in a situation where they can attempt to compete in the Big 12.
Bruce Weber finally called it quits at 65 years old, leaving the door open to Jerome Tang, former Big 12 rival Baylor assistant and national champion in 2021. Weber didn’t leave much for Tang to work with in his first season, but great coaches find ways to win, so this will be a good opening test for Tang.
To those who have not, click here to learn more about our preseason top 100 teams in the 2022-2023 college basketball season.
Head Coach: Jermone Tang (1st year)
2021-2022 Record: 14-17 (6-12)
2022 Postseason Finish: Missed NCAA Tournament
Notable Departures: Nijel Pack (Transfer), Mark Smith (Graduated), Mike McGuirl (Graduated), Selton Miguel (Transfer)
PG: Markquis Nowell (5-7, 155, Sr.)
2021-2022 stats: 12.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.2 steals, 38.6 FG%
SG: Desi Sills (6-1, 202, Gr.-Sr.)
2021-2022 stats: 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 44.6 FG% (Arkansas State)
SF: Nae’Qwan Tomlin (6-8, 195, Jr.)
2021-2022 stats: 11 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 54.1 FG%, 37.5 3P% (Chipola College-JUCO)
PF: Ismael Massoud (6-9, 210, Jr.)
2021-2022 stats: 6.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks, 36.3 FG%, 33.3 3P%
C: Jerrell Colbert (6-10, 216, So.)
2021-2022 stats: 0.5 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.8 blocks (LSU)
6: Cam Carter (6-3, 185, So.)
2021-2022 stats: 2.2 points, 0.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 39.6 FG%, 30 3P% (Misssippi State)
7: Taj Manning (6-8, 215, Fr.)
247Sports #189 Ranked Recruit
8: David N’Guessan (6-9, 202, Jr.)
2021-2022 stats: 3.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.6 blocks, 48.6 FG% (Virginia Tech)
9: Abayomi Iyiola (6-10, 215, Gr.Sr)
2021-2022 stats: 7.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, 63.2 FG% (Hofstra)
10: Dorian Finister (6-5, 180, Fr.)
247Sports ##226 Ranked Recruit
Team MVP: Markquis Nowell
Nowell is coming off a really strong year for K State, and despite being just 5’7 can score well and showed last year he can be a true point, averaging 5 assists a game. He has quick hands, stealing over 2 times a game, and in a conference with some solid guards, having a guy like Nowell who can tame them can deem to be important. At Arkansas Little Rock in 2019-2020, he averaged 17 points per game, and now with the same level of impact on his team, it would be no surprise if he was able to do so again and sneak onto one of the All-Big 12 teams.
Make-or-Break-Player: Jerrell Colbert
#EMAW 💜🤍 @KStateMBB pic.twitter.com/kPX6CzHqSh
— Jerrell Colbert (@jrealthegoat) April 18, 2022
We really don’t know what to expect from Colbert. At 6’10, he posts great size to be a force in the paint and blocking shots, we just don’t know because of his extremely limited minutes last year at LSU. Now, with either a starting spot or immediately off the bench role, we’ll get the chance to see if he can be a breakout player and really positively impact player, or if he’ll be like Davion Bradford, who didn’t live up to the expectations many Kansas State fans thought he could accomplish.
Analytic to Know: 269th in Shooting Percentage
It’s never a good thing when you are in the bottom 100 in shooting percentage, and with two of their better shooters, Nijel Pack and Mark Smith both gone, it could go down even more. Nowell only shot 38.6% last year, and no one besides Tomlin, who did so at a junior college level, shot over 50% from the field. This is a big concern, and they will have to hope that guys like Nowell and Sills can bump that number up and keep the Kansas State Wildcats from falling into scoring droughts throughout the season.
Let's play some ball #KStateMBB x EMAW pic.twitter.com/QnA33yxXj1
— K-State Men's Basketball (@KStateMBB) July 18, 2022
If we’re being honest, it’ll be difficult to see this Kansas State Wildcats team win more than 4 games in the Big 12 this season. The Big 12 is just so good, and it just doesn’t seem like they have enough talent to play catch up. With that being said, this is still a Top 100 roster in college basketball, and the nonconference could be a good way to demonstrate this.
The non-conference isn’t too difficult, with Kansas State only facing three CBB Review Top 100 teams in Florida, and potentially LSU and Tulane. If they can enter conference play with a winning record, that could be enough of a morale boost to sneak a few wins and boost their confidence heading into next season.
Besides Nowell and maybe Sills, no spots on the Kansas State Wildcats roster are locked, so don’t be surprised if we see guys like Taj Manning, Cam Carter, and Iyiola in and out of the starting lineup before conference play begins as tests. Kansas State fans have a lot of faith in new coach Jerome Tang, and rightfully so, but don’t overreact if the Kansas State Wildcats can’t field a tournament team this season, it’s just one small piece in the puzzle.
Projected Conference Finish: 10th in the Big 12
Projected Postseason Finish: NIT/CBI Appearance
Ceiling: NCAA Tournament Appearance