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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Portal Watch: A look into potential transfers and roster changes for K-State basketball

See what names are on the radar for Jerome Tang and his staff
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Michigan+transfer+forward+Tarris+Reed+Jr.+faces+up+during+the+73-63+loss+to+Michigan+State.+Reed+averaged+8.9+points+and+7.2+rebounds+on+the+season+and+has+entered+the+transfer+portal.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Grace+Lahti+and+The+Michigan+Daily%29
Michigan transfer forward Tarris Reed Jr. faces up during the 73-63 loss to Michigan State. Reed averaged 8.9 points and 7.2 rebounds on the season and has entered the transfer portal. (Photo courtesy of Grace Lahti and The Michigan Daily)

With over a thousand athletes in the transfer portal, men’s basketball head coach Jerome Tang and his staff have numerous options at their disposal. However, Kansas State shows reciprocated interest in only a handful.

Who’s on the current roster?

Since the conclusion of the 2023-24 season, the Wildcats have lost a total of six scholarship players.

Guard Tylor Perry, center Will McNair and guard Taymont Lindsey exercised their last years of eligibility. Center Jerrell Colbert, guard Cam Carter and guard Dorian Finister all entered the transfer portal. 

While the Wildcats lost four guards, that is not necessarily a position of need for the upcoming season based on the returning depth and newcomers. Freshmen Dai Dai Ames and R.J. Jones are expected to stay with the program, in addition to senior Ques Glover who missed last season with an injury. 

New faces to Manhattan include four-star recruit David Castillo and Michigan transfer Dug McDaniel. 

Forwards redshirt freshman Taj Manning and sophomore Macaleab “Buddy” Rich are expected to return to Manhattan as well.

Question marks

Two players who haven’t announced their plans for the upcoming season are forwards Arthur Kaluma and David N’Guessan. Both are high-impact players with the option to go pro.

For N’Guessan, he likely has the option to play professionally back in his home country, the Netherlands. Kaluma, similar to last year’s experience with former Wildcat Nae’Qwan Tomlin, has the option to test the NBA waters but return to Manhattan.

While neither have publicly announced their decision, N’Guessan’s return is plausible while Kaluma’s will be a longer process before a consensus can be made. 

Regardless of their decisions, K-State’s biggest positional need lies with more big men. While more names will appear during the offseason, here is a look at players to keep an eye on. 

Tarris Reed Jr., Center, Michigan

Following the transfer of Dug McDaniel, a high-profile point guard from Michigan, all eyes are on Reed’s option to follow his teammate to Manhattan. 

Reed completed a visit with the program before McDaniel’s commitment and owns a 100% prediction from On3 to join the Wildcats. 

At 6-foot-10 and 265 pounds, Reed would immediately become the Wildcats’ biggest presence in the paint. He averaged nine points per game alongside 7.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in his sophomore campaign last year. 

Both Reed and McDaniel have two more years of eligibility left and have immense experience with playing time and starting, despite being underclassmen. 

Clifford Omoruyi, Center, Rutgers

Omoruyi is another physical presence down low at 6-foot-11 and 240 pounds, making him one of the hottest commodities on the transfer portal. 

A graduate transfer, he averaged 10.4 points and 8.3 rebounds last year in addition to 2.9 blocks per game. He was named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team. 

K-State was one of the first teams to reach out to Omoruyi after he entered the portal, per Joe Tipton. He is the No. 2 ranked available player in the portal according to On3. 

While Omoruyi has numerous schools aiming for his talents, there should be no counting out Tang and his staff as McDaniel was the No. 2 ranked player at his position. 

Mikeal Brown-Jones, Forward, UNC Greensboro

Brown-Jones, a top-20 available portal player and No. 3 power forward, had K-State as one of the first teams to reach out to him as well, according to Tipton.

At 6-foot-8, Brown-Jones would be a graduate transfer with one year of eligibility left. He averaged 18.9 ppg and 7.5 rebounds last year, earning All-SoCon First Team honors. 

Brown-Jones attended IMG Academy for high school. While their time did not overlap, K-State has a connection with IMG, as Tang’s former staff member Kevin Sutton is now their technical director of basketball.

CJ Jones, Guard, Illinois Chicago 

Like Reed, another player who could join a familiar face in Manhattan is CJ Jones, a transfer from UIC. Jones, another sophomore, played high school basketball with K-State’s Rich. 

As a sophomore at UIC, he averaged 11.4 ppg, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds. 

While Jones would compete for minutes with the abundance of guards, he still could fill a valuable role for the Wildcats. 

In the two years of the Tang era, guards were at the forefront of offensive success. Former guards Tykei Greene and Dorian Finister have played important roles as spark plugs off the bench — a role Jones is more than qualified to handle.

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