Tang and players express excitement for new offensive system

(Left to right) Forward Arthur Kaluma, forward David N'Guessan and guard Tylor Perry answer questions at the men's basketball Big 12 Media Day. Perry sported a pair of Blenders sunglasses, a brand Colorado's football head coach Deion Sanders has popularized in recent months. (Avery Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 2022-23 Kansas State offense relied heavily on now-NBA players Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson. Head coach Jerome Tang and his staff have developed some changes to the game plan.

“I want to play with multiple point guards on the floor so nobody can take … another guy away,” Tang said. “I want to lift the big and be able to stretch the floor so that we have nobody at the rim, so those little guards that I like can go finish better at the rim. And if you have a center down there, you have a defender down there and then it makes it a harder finish for the guard.”

The change comes from last year where a big man was usually ready for a Nowell highlight pass. This doesn’t change Tang’s hope to recruit elite big men to come play in his new playstyle.

“I want to be able to recruit an elite big, and so I want to run an offense that I can go into a household and tell mom and a young man and their family that, ‘Look, this is our style of play, and this is how it’s going to help you to translate from being successful in college and then playing in the NBA,’” Tang said.

(Avery Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

The offense not only encourages future recruits to join the roster — it’s also seen as beneficial from current players.

“I like it,” forward David N’Guessan said. “I feel like I’ll be more involved, making plays for my teammates and myself. I feel like it’s going really well so far. Everybody [is] getting used to it, but I think it’s gonna help.”

(Avery Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

N’Guessan will still be playing the four or five spot but will have opportunities to produce on the perimeter. For transfer point guard Tylor Perry, he sees the benefits of the new scheme.

“It’s made my job easier,” Perry said. “When you got so many guys that can handle the ball. We got wings that can run like guards and jump like forwards. You know, it makes the game a whole lot easier for me. The biggest thing is just about giving those guys space. You know, when you got to worry about these two [N’Guessan and Arthur Kaluma] and Nae’Qwan Tomlin, you can’t help off of me and Cam Carter. It’s definitely gonna be tough to guard.”

(Avery Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

Creighton transfer forward Kaluma and forward Tomlin can benefit the most with their size and athleticism. Tang is allowing the two to show off.

“His [Kaluma’s] versatility as a player and like, he really loves the game,” Tang said. “He lives in the gym. He wants to get better. I think him and Nae’Qwan are two of the best in the country. That’s going to be fun to watch.”

Kaluma thinks everyone will benefit from the change.

“I feel like the system that we have set up is going to allow everybody on our team to be themselves and operate in a space where they can be successful,” Kaluma said.

(Avery Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

The change was not made overnight.

“Probably after the season last year,” Tang said about when the decision was made. “But then I wanted to see some things. We didn’t start putting it in until we came back from Israel.”

With the new system, Kaluma, Tomlin, Carter, transfer guard Ques Glover — who was praised by Perry, Kaluma and N’Guessan for his offensive ability — and others will be able to operate with the ball in their hands. Perry will be the main ball handler at point guard but is ready for everybody to go.

“Our new offense it feel like he gave the keys to everybody,” Perry said. “He lets everybody play with a lot of freedom, not just me. He definitely tell you about if you don’t like a shot, but it’s fun, you know, playing in the offense that he brings. I’m definitely enjoying it, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.”

(Avery Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

Editor’s note: The story was fully written by Luke Lazarczyk. Credit is given to Avery Johnson for the multimedia element. Additionally, added dateline to lede as we reported this from Kansas City, Missouri.