MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP)Keyontae Johnson scored 13 points in his first real action since collapsing during a game nearly two years ago, and Kansas State opened the season under new coach Jerome Tang with a 93-59 romp over UT Rio Grande Valley on Monday night.
Nae’Qwan Tomlin and Markquis Nowell led the Wildcats with 14 points apiece.
Tang took over the Wildcats’ program after serving as an assistant to Scott Drew at Baylor from 2003-22.
Johnson, the Southeastern Conference’s preseason player of the year in 2020, transferred to Kansas State this summer after four years at Florida. He spent the past two recovering from a suspected heart condition that caused him to crash to the floor while coming out of a timeout during a game in December 2020.
Johnson received medical clearance to play at Kansas State, something that wasn’t going to happen at Florida.
Johnson spent most of the past two seasons cheering on teammates from the bench as he remained enrolled in school and on scholarship.
He did take the court for a ceremonial few dribbles and a farewell on senior night against Kentucky in March.
But he was full go Monday night and hit three 3-pointers in the lopsided opener.
Nowell sank all three of his 3s and added seven assists and four steals for the Wildcats, who made 12 of 27 from beyond the arc (44.4%). Tomlin added a team-high eight rebounds.
Abayomi Iyiola finished with 12 points, while fellow reserves Ismael Massoud and Desi Sills scored 10 each.
Justin Johnson totaled 20 points to lead the Vaqueros. Freshman Adante’ Holiman came off the bench to score 13.
The Wildcats scored 31 points off 26 Vaquero turnovers. UTRGV struggled from 3-point range, making 4 of 15.
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