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K-State Men’s Basketball Inks Two-Game Series With Cal

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Courtesy of K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State has signed a two-game, home-and-home scheduling agreement in men’s basketball with Pac-12 foe California, the two athletics departments announced on Thursday (July 14).

The two schools will open the series in Berkeley at Haas Pavilion on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, before finishing at Bramlage Coliseum at a date to be determined during the 2024-25 season. It marks the second such home-and-home series that the schools have signed following a pair of meetings during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.

The contest at Cal will be the first road game under first-year head coach Jerome Tang.

K-State and Cal have met seven times since their first meeting in 1953 with the Wildcats holding a 6-1 advantage. The two schools will meet for the first time since that aforementioned home-and-home series in 2006 and 2007, as the Bears won 78-48 at home on November 29, 2006, before the Wildcats earned an 82-75 win at home on December 9, 2007. The 2022 matchup will be the fourth such meeting (1953, 1958 and 2006) in Berkeley.

The Bears return several lettermen in 2022-23, including rising junior guard Jalen Celestine (7.5 ppg., 3.1 rpg.), senior guard Joel Brown (4.8 ppg., 3.5 rpg.) and senior forward Kuany Kuany (4.8 ppg., 2.4 rpg.). They will also welcome four newcomers, including a pair of high-level transfers in Devin Askew (Texas) and DeJuan Clayton (Hartford). Cal posted a 12-20 record, including a 5-15 mark in Pac-12 play, in 2021-22.

The Bears are led by a familiar face to Wildcat fans in fourth-year head coach Mark Fox, who is a native of Garden City, Kansas, and a former assistant coach at K-State from 1994-2000. During his six-year stint on the coaching staff of head coach Tom Asbury, Fox helped the Wildcats post 85 wins with three postseason appearances, including a trip to the 1996 NCAA Tournament. Fox’s wife, Cindy, also spent time in the K-State Athletics Department, serving five years as Assistant AD for Marketing and Senior Woman Administrator (SWA).

This is the second home-and-home series Fox has struck with K-State as his Georgia team split a pair of games with the Wildcats in both 2014 and 2015.

The Cal game completes the non-conference schedule for the 2022-23 season, as the athletics department has already announced several aspects, including the bracket for the Cayman Islands Classic, the home games with Wichita State and Florida in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, the return of the Wildcat Classic with Nebraska at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City and a road game at Butler in the Big 12/BIG EAST Battle.

The rest of the 2022-23 non-conference schedule will be released soon.

K-State enters year one under Tang, who was hired by the school on March 21 after a 19-year stint in helping build Baylor into a national powerhouse, in 2022-23. The Wildcats return All-Big 12 honorable mention selection Markquis Nowell (12.4 ppg., 5.0 apg.) and junior forward Ish Massoud (6.8 ppg., 2.8 rpg.).

The Wildcats have signed nine additional players for the upcoming season, including transfers Cam Carter (Mississippi State), Jerrell Colbert (LSU), Tykei Greene (Manhattan/Stony Brook), Abayomi “Baybe” Iyiola (Stetson/Arkansas/Hofstra), David N’Guessan (Virginia Tech), Desi Sills (Arkansas/Arkansas State) and Nae’Qwan Tomlin (Chipola College) as well as a pair of incoming freshmen Dorian Finister and Taj Manning.

Season tickets for the 2022-23 home schedule are currently on sale through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office by calling (800) 221.CATS as well as online at kstatesports.com.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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