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Game Preview // K-State to Face Nevada in Cayman Classic Semis

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KANSAS STATE (4-0) vs NEVADA (5-0)
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 >> 6:30 p.m. CT >> John Gray Gym (2,000) >> Grand Cayman, C.I.
FloHoops / FloHoops App (link here)

  • Jess Settles (play-by-play)
  • Scott Warmann (analyst)
  • Philip Hopwood (producer)

K-State Sports Network

Flagships: // KMAN 1350 & WIBW 580
Satellite Radio: Sirius XM 381/SXM App 971
Online: Varsity Network [free] / [free]

  • Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play)
  • Stan Weber (analyst)

Tournament Package: $250 (all 12 games)
Booster Package: $125 (just K-State’s 3 games)
K-State: Jerome Tang [Charter Oak State College ’07]
Record at K-State: 4-0/First Year
Career Record: 6-0/First Year
vs. Nevada: 0-0 [0-0 at K-State]
Nevada: Steve Alford [Indiana ’87]
Record at Nevada: 53-40/4th Year
Career Record: 640-338/31st Year
vs. K-State: 1-1 [0-0 at Nevada]
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP (Based off the last game)
Kansas State (4-0)
G: #1 Markquis Nowell
G: #5 Cam Carter
F: #11 Keyontae Johnson
F: #35 Nae’Qwan Tomlin
C: #3 David N’Guessan
Nevada (5-0)
G: #2 Jarod Lucas
G: #13 Kenan Blackshear
F: #5 Darrion Williams
F: #14 Tre Coleman
C: #50 Will Baker

  • Kansas State (4-0) will play Nevada (5-0) in the second semifinal game of the fourth annual Cayman Islands Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m., CT at The John Gray Gymnasium. The winner of Tuesday’s game will play either Akron (3-1) or LSU (4-0) in the championship game on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 6:30 p.m., CT, while the losers will play in the third-place game at 4 p.m. CT. All games will air on FloHoops.
  • K-State used a big first-half performance to coast to a 77-57 win over Rhode Island in the final game of the tournament on Monday night with junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin pacing 3 Wildcats in double figures with 15 points to go with 6 rebounds and 5 blocks, while senior Markquis Nowell dished out 12 assists, the most by a Wildcat since 1989.
  • Nevada rallied from a 3-point first-half deficit with a 46-point second half to knock off Tulane, 75-66 on Monday night. Jarod Lucas led the way for the Wolf Pack with 22 points, including an 11-of-12 effort from the free throw line, while Kenan Blackshear added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
  • LSU (4-0) and Akron (3-1) advanced to the semifinal round on Tuesday after the Tigers defeated Illinois State, 77-61, and the Zips defeated Western Kentucky, 72-53, in the first round.
  • This is K-State’s first appearance in the Cayman Islands Classic, however, the Wildcats did win a championship in their last visit to a tournament in the Caribbean at the 2018 Paradise Jam in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.


  • K-State once again used a huge first-half performance to carry itself to victory, as the Wildcats advanced to the semifinals of the Cayman Islands Classic with a 77-57 win over Rhode Island on Monday night before 1,256 fans at The John Gray Gym.
  • The Wildcats scored 44 points in the first half on a blistering 58.1 percent (18-of-31) shooting to build as much as a 21-point lead. On the defensive end, they held the Rams (1-3) to 31.3 percent (10-of-32) shooting, including 12.5 percent (1-of-8) from 3-point range.
  • Although the second half was plagued by sloppy play with a combined 23 turnovers, including 13 by K-State, the lead never dipped below 15 points, and grew to many as 24 in the waning minutes, as 11 total Wildcats saw action.
  • Junior Nae’Qwan Tomlin led a balanced attack with 15 points, including 13 in the first half, while senior Keyontae Johnson and junior David N’Guessan added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Johnson has now scored in double figures in all 4 games as a Wildcat, while N’Guessan and Tomlin each recorded new season-highs. Tomlin also added 5 blocked shots, which were the most by a Wildcat since Jordan Henriquez-Roberts in 2013.
  • K-State has had at least 3 double-digit scorers in each of the first 4 games.
  • K-State had 20 assists on 28 made field goals, including a sensational performance from senior Markquis Nowell, who was responsible for 12 of those assists to go along with 9 points and 5 rebounds in 27 minutes. The 12 assists tied for the fourth-most in a single game in school history and were the most since Steve Henson collected 12 assists against Oklahoma State on Feb. 25, 1989. The total was one assist shy of Nowell’s career-high of 13 that he accomplished twice while playing at Little Rock.
  • Nowell now has totaled 9 career games of at least 10 assists, including 4 at K-State. The 12 assists gave him 499 in his career, as he closes on the distinction of being one of just two active Division I players (Tennessee State’s Junior Clay) with 1,300 points, 500 assists and 200 steals.
  • For the game, K-State connected on a season-high 52.8 percent (28-of-53), including 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from 3-point range, and hit on 77.8 percent (14-of-18) from the free throw line. More than half (38) of the team’s 77 points came in the paint, while the Wildcats once again took advantage of their opponent’s turnovers, turning 16 Ram miscues into 21 points.
  • The 38 points in the paint and the 22 fast-break points were both season-highs.
  • K-State scored 21 points off 16 turnovers by Rhode Island… The Wildcats have now forced 86 turnovers through its first 4 games, including 20 or more in each game… The team had 31 points off 26 UTRGV turnovers, 19 points off 22 California turnovers and 26 points off 22 Kansas City turnovers.


  • K-State will play in its 87th in-season tournament this week at the Cayman Islands Classic, including its 11th outside the continental United States and the first since going 3-0 and winning the Paradise Jam on Nov. 16-19, 2018, in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. It is the first overall in-season tournament since going 0-2 at the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City on Nov. 22-23, 2021. 
  • K-State has a 178-114 overall record in playing in 87 in-season tournaments with 16 tournament titles to its credit. The team last won a title at the 2018 Paradise Jam, defeating Eastern Kentucky, Penn and Missouri. In fact, the last 2 titles have come at tournaments outside the continental U.S., in 2011 Diamond Head Classic (Hawai’i) and 2018 Paradise Jam (U.S.V.I.).
  •  The Wildcats have played in 10 other tournaments outside the continental U.S., starting with the 1985 Maui Invitational. Others include the 1989 Great Alaska Shootout (runner-up), 1993 Hawai’i Nike Festival (champion), 2011 Diamond Head Classic (champion), Maui Invitational (1998 and 2014), Paradise Jam (2002 and 2018) and Puerto Rico Tip-Off (2009 and 2013).

Overall: 178-114/87th Appearance
In-Season Tournament Titles: 16
Last In-Season Tournament Title: 2018 Paradise Jam (3-0)
At Cayman Islands Classic: 1-0/First Appearance
vs. Nevada: Tied 1-1 (last meeting in 1993)
NEVADA (5-0)

  • Nevada enters Tuesday’s game with a 5-0 record after dispatching Tulane, 75-66, in the first round of the tournament. The Wolf Pack also have home wins over Utah Tech (84-71), Grand Canyon (59-46) and William Jessup (98-54) and a road victory at UT-Arlington (62-43).
  • Senior Jarod Lucas paces three Wolf Pack in double figures at 17 points per game, which includes a team-best 13 3-pointers. Lucas had 22 points in the win over Tulane. Senior Kenan Blackshear averages 11.8 points per game on 47.4 percent shooting with team-highs in both rebounding (7.4 rpg.) and assists (6.2 apg.) as well as 1.3 steals per game.
  • Nevada is led by a fourth-year head coach Steve Alford, who has a 53-40 record in his tenure. He is 640-338 in 31st season as a head coach, which includes Manchester, Missouri State, Iowa, New Mexico, UCLA and now Nevada. He is 1-1 vs. K-State with both matchups coming when he was the head coach at Iowa in 2000 and 2001.


  • K-State and Nevada have met 2 previous times, splitting a home-and-home series in 1992 and 1993. The Wolf Pack won at home, 83-82, on Dec. 28, 1992, before the Wildcats won 78-52 at home on Dec. 11, 1993.

Overall: Tied 1-1
At Neutral Sites: 0-0
Active Streak: K-State, 1
Last Meeting: W, 78-52 (12/11/93)
Tang vs. Nevada: First meeting
K-State vs. Mountain West: 36-19 [6-3 at neutral sites]
Tang vs. Steve Alford: First meeting
UP NEXT: AKRON (3-1) or LSU (4-0)

  • The K-State/Nevada winner will advance to face the winner of the game between Akron (3-1) and LSU (4-0) in the championship game on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m., CT, while the two remaining teams will play at 4 p.m., CT, in the third-place game.

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