Courtesy of K-State Athletics
ABU DHABI, U.A.E. — Kansas State connected on better than 53 percent from the field, including nearly 50 percent from 3-point range, as the Wildcats earned a 112-72 exhibition win over Al-Sharjah Club on Friday afternoon (August 18) at the Al Jazira Club Gym. The Wildcats finished their historic 10-day trip to Israel and Abu Dhabi with a 2-1 record with wins over the Israeli Select Team (94-87) and Al-Sharjah in between a last-second loss to Mexico (83-81).
Led by graduate transfer Tylor Perry’s game-tying 33 points, the Wildcats exploded for 35 points in the second quarter and 39 points in the third quarter to build as much as a 51-point lead. Perry went 12-of-15 from the field, including 9-of-11 from 3-point range, in just 18 minutes of action, as head coach Jerome Tang freely rotated players. Perry was joined in double figures by 4 other Wildcats, including junior Cam Carter (20 points), senior Nae’Qwan Tomlin (15), redshirt sophomore Jerrell Colbert (12) and freshman Dai Dai Ames (11). Colbert grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to complete the double-double.
K-State’s 112 points were the second-most scored in an exhibition (since they began in 1964) and the most since the Wildcats tallied a school-record 122 vs. the University of Windsor (Canada) on Nov. 29, 1979. It was the first 100-point exhibition since the Wildcats dropped 101 vs. Fort Hood on Nov. 22, 1993. Perry’s 33 points were two shy of the individual exhibition record of 35 scored by Michael Beasley against Fort Hays State in 2007. His 9 3-point field goals were easily the most-ever by a Wildcat in an exhibition, surpassing the 5 done 3 other times.
Al Sharjah is an Emirati professional basketball team based in Sharjah in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and plays in the U.A.E. National Basketball League. Former NBA player and longtime pro Dequan Jones matched Perry’s 33 points, hitting on 11-of-18 field goals and 5-of-8 from 3-point range, while fellow American – Devon Scott – added 13 points and 6 assists.
K-State is now 73-21 all-time in exhibition play dating back to the first such competitions in 1964, including 29-14 against international competition. This was the first meeting with a team from the U.A.E. The current international tour is the program’s first since 2016 when the Wildcats played 5 exhibition games in Italy and Switzerland.
K-State will conclude its 10-day trip on Saturday (August 19) with some sightseeing and shopping in Abu Dhabi before starting the journey back to the U.S., later in the day. The team is expected to return to Manhattan on Sunday afternoon (August 20).
HEAD COACH JEROME TANG
On the game…
“I thought the first couple of games the guys looked like they thought they were competing for minutes. And we just talked about that and said let’s just come out here today and have fun. That’s what it’s about, having fun and getting up and down and having great energy. Obviously, the team wasn’t the level of the other two teams we played. But I thought our guys locked in and I mean, they scored 90 points against Arizona. And our goal was to hold them to 70 and I think we were right around there (72). I was very pleased with the energy plus no one got seriously injured and that was the goal. It’s been a great three games.”
On Tylor Perry’s confidence spreading to the rest of the team…
“Tylor (Perry) is the best shooter in America. He’s gonna shoot at a high clip all season long. He makes big shots. And you know, the great thing for us is that he’s very efficient, so I’m excited about what he did. I loved the way Quan (Tomlin) played. He had a great game. I thought Arthur’s (Kaluma) defense was really good and he made some clutch shots. Cam (Carter) got going as well. It was just a really great team effort. We’re excited to get back to Manhattan and add David (N’Guessan) and Ques (Glover) to this team. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can become over these next few months.”
Fast Start and Never Looked Back: K-State scored the first 10 points of the game to prompt a timeout by Al-Sharjah. It was 14-2 before the home team connected on its first field goal with just under 5 minutes left in the first quarter. The Wildcats rattled off the first 11 points en route to a 35-point second quarter to lead by 26 (61-35) at the break. The onslaught continued in the third quarter, as the visitors scored 11 of the first 14 points en route to a 39-point quarter. A Perry bucket right before the end of the quarter gave the Wildcats a 100-56 lead. Seven straight points to open the fourth quarter gave the team their largest lead at 107-56.
Noteworthy Numbers: K-State connected on 53.7 percent (44-of-82) from the field, 48.4 percent (15-of-31) from 3-point range and made 60 percent (9-of-15) from the free throw line. Al-Sharjah shot 40.4 percent (23-of-57), including 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from long range, and 77.3 percent (17-of-22) from the line.
The Wildcats held decisive advantages in points in the paint (46-22), second-chance points (29-4), bench points (52-17) and points off turnovers (18-8).
Mixing and Matching: Head coach Jerome Tang used a different starting lineup, opening the game with freshman Dai Dai Ames, sophomore Dorian Finister, junior Cam Carter, senior Nae’Qwan Tomlin and redshirt sophomore Jerrell Colbert before opting for graduate transfer Tylor Perry, freshmen R.J. Jones and Macaleab Rich, junior Arthur Kaluma and redshirt sophomore Jerrell Colbert to start the third quarter. Every player saw at least 12 minutes of action, while Ames played the most minutes at just under 27.
Playing with 10: The K-State team consisted of 10 players, as rising senior David N’Guessan finished playing for The Netherlands at the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Istanbul, Turkiye on August 16. The Wildcats also added a 12th player on Friday afternoon (August 18) with the addition of graduate transfer Ques Glover.
Perry Stars Yet Again: Graduate transfer Tylor Perry poured in 33 points in just 18 minutes of action, knocking down 12-of-15 field goals, including 9-of-11 from 3-point range. He also added 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals and finished with a +14 +/- efficiency. He averaged 22.7 points in the 3-game tour, connecting on 56.8 percent (21-of-37) shooting, including 54.5 percent (18-of-33) from beyond the arc.
Carter Also Impressive: Junior Cam Carter finished with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-8 from beyond the arc, to go along with 5 rebounds, a team-high 4 assists and 2 steals in 24 minutes. He had an all-around impressive 3-game tour, averaging 16 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals in 27.3 minutes per game.
Tomlin Adds a Little Bit of Everything: Senior Nae’Qwan Tomlin affected the game across the board, totaling 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in 17 minutes. For the 3-game tour, he averaged 13.3 points on 48.6 percent (17-of-35) shooting with 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.7 steals and 1.0 blocks in 26 minutes per game.
Colbert Grabs a Double-Double: Redshirt sophomore Jerrell Colbert notched a double-double with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting with a game-high 11 rebounds in 24 minutes.
The 2023-24 non-conference schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks.