Home Dice Kansas State Basketball: A Bold Roll of the Dice

Kansas State Basketball: A Bold Roll of the Dice

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I’ve been waiting to write this article for a while. You’re still in Coach Tang’s honeymoon period, and after what Kansas State basketball fans have endured for the past three seasons, I felt no reason to scramble slightly parade. Our esteemed leader touched on this topic in the Slate today, so I thought this might be a good time to write about it.

Emptying the roster might increase Kansas State’s cap in future seasons, but it also lowers the floor significantly. It’s a gamble, and Coach Tang will have to hit just about all of his talent ratings and production projections for it to work. It’s certainly a bold way to do business, but there’s a reason the vast majority of coaching changes don’t involve emptying a roster to this point, regardless of the (real or perceived) lack of talent on the list. Then again, it’s a brave new world for college athletics, and if Coach Tang is successful, the payoff could be immediate and immense.

If Coach Tang is telling the truth (according to an interview with the Eagle’s Kellis Robinett) and there were only three guys from last year’s roster he wanted to keep, he certainly isn’t missing out. of confidence. First, let’s analyze this statement a little further. Basically, there were two guys he had to keep because they had already transferred to Kansas State. Sending off Nowell or Massoud, who have both used their free transfers before, would have been terrible in PR terms. If you’re going to rely heavily on the transfer market, forcing two recent transfers to find a new school and then spend a year probably isn’t in your best interest, at least in terms of bringing in new transfers. It’s also a shitty thing to do to a middle schooler, and Coach Tang seems like a stand-up guy. As a bonus, I think Nowell and Ish are good basketball players. Nijel Pack is obviously the 3rd guy he wanted, but it’s hard to compete with the billionaire who funds Miami’s basketball team. I certainly don’t blame Nijel for leaving or Coach Tang for not convincing him to stay.

The bet is basically to cut the rest of the roster, or at least encourage them to find a better fit. I (and the scouting ranking agrees with me) felt like there were other talented players on the roster who could help ease K-State’s transition into the Tang era. I’m going to say something controversial, so if you’re having a drink, please swallow it before reading the next line. For all of Bruce Weber’s recruiting issues, when everyone was healthy, he was able to field a talented 5 starter last season. Bruce’s problem wasn’t finding starters, he was developing enough guys to complement the starters and grow with the program at the bottom of the roster. That’s why you ended up with all the ups and downs during his tenure.

Last season, while healthy, K-State was able to field the following starters:

To note: I use Rivals

  • PG: Markquis Nowell (High 3* who proved it at the G5 school)
  • SG: Nijel Pack (4*, top 150)
  • DF: Selton Miguel (4*, top 100)
  • PF: Ish Massoud (4*, top 150)
  • M: Davion Bradford (4*, top 150)

It’s not a starting 5 that lacks talent. The problem, as we all witnessed, was that there wasn’t much that went with it. Add to that Bradford’s terrible luck with a series of illnesses, Miguel’s injury and Mike McGuirl’s inexplicably poor play for most of the year, and things fell apart over time. It was time to leave Coach Weber, but I’m not sure it was time to leave the whole roster.

At the moment, I don’t see a huge improvement, at least on paper, in terms of talent. If the season started tomorrow (and thank your god of choice, it doesn’t), the Wildcats would send out a starting 5 that looked like this;

  • PG: Markquis Nowell (High 3* who proved it at the G5 school)
  • SG: Camryn Carter (High 3*, top 150)
  • SF: Nae’Quan Tomlin (unranked out of high school, #7 overall JuCo outlook)
  • PF: Ish Massoud (4*, top 150)
  • M: Jerrell Colbert (4*, top 150)

It’s pretty close to a 1-for-1 talent swap, except for the fact that Miguel is ranked significantly higher than any player Tang has brought so far. In terms of production, however, Team 2021, as crazy as it sounds, is the far superior team ON PAPER.

If you swap them, it looks like this:

PG/SG: Nijel Pack – 52 games played

MP – 33.1
PTS – 17.4
AST-2.2
REC – 3.8
3P% – 44

FOR

PG/SG: Cam Carter – 27 games played

PM – 8.5
PTS-2.2
AST-.9
REC-.8
3P% – 30

Obviously, it was not a choice. Carter is a young player who hasn’t played any regular minutes yet and he’s replacing an All-Big 12 guard. I like that he ran last season as an SEC rookie. He had a decisive game against Alabama where he recorded 15 losses, but that’s about all he did in the SEC regular season. He’s played double-digit minutes in five of Mississippi State’s 14 SEC games, and outside of his 28 minutes and 15 points against Bama, he’s averaging one point per game in SEC play for a team that went 8-10 and finished 10th in the SEC.

As things stand, Coach Tang is going to need Carter to register big minutes. The Wildcats tried to land a scorer at 2, which would allow Carter to play a key role off the bench, supporting 1 and 2 before taking over on point as a junior. These attempts have not yet succeeded.

SG/SF: Selton Miguel – 55 games played

PM – 27.5
STP-7.2
AST-1.5
REC – 3.1
3P% – 20

FOR

SF: Nae’Quan Tomlin – JuCo Transfer – JuCo Stats

MP – 23.6
PTS – 13.8
AST-1.4
REC – 5.9
3P% – 25.8

I know Miguel didn’t make the leap many were hoping for in the 2021 season, but he’s one of the guys I was surprised Coach Tang wasn’t interested in keeping. To me, he looked like a guy who was still working on unleashing his vast potential (which is why he was a top 100 player out of high school). The last two seasons haven’t been the best for developing raw talent like Miguel. At the same time, he was not the “bust”. On the contrary, he was asked to do too much for K-State, but what he did, in a vacuum and outside of what K-State needed him to do, was not bad for a real second year student.

For comparison, Ethan Morton for Purdue was also a 4*, top 100. Last season, he averaged 2.4 points per game in 15 minutes of action. He was able to play a limited role as an all-around defender while working on his attacking game in training. Purdue doesn’t view him as a disappointment, and everyone is excited to see what he will do in an expanded role in 2023. At the same time, had he been asked to play starting minutes last season, that would not have gone so well, because he was not ready to start. This is how I see Miguel. He was forced into a role he wasn’t ready to play, and all of his flaws were magnified.

I like the addition of Tomlin. He brings plenty of JuCo experience and played for former (some might say disgraced) Tennessee coach Donny Tyndall in Chipola, Florida. He played for a few good teams and scored just over 1,000 points in his three-year JuCo career. I’m interested to see how his game translates at the P5 level, as he’s done most of his work from inside the paint. He’s a solid athlete, with a lean frame of 6’8” and 200 pounds, but he hasn’t had a good shooting season. He’s clearly a D1 athlete, and on many of the highlights I watched he was just taller, longer and more athletic than the guys he was competing against. In a way, he’s the opposite of Ish Massoud, who does most of his damage from behind the arc.

Tomlin could be key to the 2023 season for the Wildcats if they don’t land another veteran wing. I could see him playing either 3 or 4 but either way he will have to score. I like the idea of ​​him as a finisher bouncing off the rim for Nowell to feed off the pick and roll, but it’s hard to predict how JuCo players handle the jump in D1. Often it takes them a year to figure it out. It doesn’t look like Tomlin will have that luxury. Coach Tang will need him to start.