KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jerome Tang and his Kansas State Wildcats are now 2-1 after their 23-point win over South Dakota State.
The game was led by veteran guards Tylor Perry and Cam Carter.
Perry put on a masterclass shooting performance draining six of his eight three-point attempts and finishing with 22 points.
The former North Texas star also added five assists and five rebounds.
As for Carter, he put together a career-high 25 points on 50% shooting from both the field and from distance and added six assists.
After the game, Tang said that was great, but he was most impressed with Carter’s defense, particularly on Jack Rabbits guard Zeke Mayo.
“I know Cam had a career-high, but I’m more pleased with what he did on the defensive end because that young fellow Mayo was averaging 28 coming in and he’s a heck of a player,” said Tang.
“Some of it was he missed some shots he normally made, but a lot of it was Cam being really locked in on that end.”
Big man Will McNair also added intensity on both ends of the floor. He and fellow frontcourt mate David N’Guessan accounted for the Wildcats first eight points via layups.
But Tang again focused more on the team’s defensive success.
“The flip side of that is that we kept them (SDSU) out of the paint, and they’re really a paint-dominant team with the two bigs that they play,” Tang said.
“Not too many teams play with two bigs anymore, and they do and do a great job of it, so our ability to keep them out of the paint was also something I was real pleased with.”
McNair scored an efficient 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while N’Guessan led the glass with 11 boards to go with his six points.
Arthur Kaluma’s status
The Wildcats’ starting wing Arthur Kaluma did not suit up on Monday night. That was an interesting development after Tang was asked after the team’s Friday night win over Bellamarine what Kaluma could do to be more efficient.
Tang’s response was “Buy in.”
However, Tang said Kaluma’s “knee was bothering him after that game and we just felt like if you can’t practice you can’t play. He was unable to practice so it was probably wiser to let him rest.”
The third-year forward out of Creighton is shooting just 24% from the field and 10% from three-point range in two games played for K-State. This comes as a surprise as he was very efficient for the Blue Jays as one of their best players in both seasons at the Big East program.
Still plenty of season left for him to turn it around, however.
Freshman RJ Jones shines
Freshman guard Dai Dai Ames got the start after his 12-point and six-assist performance off the bench in the previous outing, but it was the other frosh guard RJ Jones who finished Monday night as the third leading scorer behind Carter and Perry.
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Jones drilled four threes on five attempts and added two free throws for 14 points in 19 minutes off the bench.
And even despite Ames’ low scoring total (2 points) he still found positive impacts as a passer to lead the team with seven assists.
Macaleab (Buddy) Rich also got in the mix with eight points and three rebounds in 15 minutes. He also had a powerful one-hand slam that his teammates said is just scratching the surface for what he can do at the rim.
Kansas State is headed to the Bahamas this weekend to play Providence on Friday at 5 p.m. The other two teams headed down there are Miami and Georgia.
The winner of that game will play the winner of the Wildcats-Friairs at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.