Kansas State basketball adds Little Rock transfer point guard Markquis Nowell

Little Rock transfer will have two years of eligibility left

Arne Green
Salina Journal
Former Arkansas-Little Rock guard Markquis Nowell (1) is transferring to Kansas State for the 2021-22 basketball season.

Kansas State is finding that the NCAA transfer portal runs both ways. 

After four of their players departed via the portal shortly after season's end, the Wildcats announced their second transfer pickup in less than 24 hours Thursday afternoon with the addition of former Arkansas-Little Rock point guard Markquis Nowell.

Nowell, a 5-foot-7 junior from Harlem, New York, will have two eligibility left after gaining an extra year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He spent three years at Little Rock, but opted out of the rest of this season in February after averaging 14.3 points, 6.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 15 games.

Nowell

"When we lost Rudi (Williams) to the portal, we knew we needed to add some depth and scoring at the point guard position," K-State coach Bruce Weber said in a statement. "Markquis is a great fit for that need.

"He's a dynamic young man who can make plays and is a strong defender. He brings a whole different dynamic to our team."

On Wednesday, Weber announced the signing of 6-5 shooting guard Mark Smith, a graduate transfer from Missouri. Nowell provides another proven scoring threat.

K-State assistant coach Shane Southwell, a New York native, knew Nowell and his family and took the lead in the recruiting effort.

'He will fit in perfectly with our guys because of his energy and playmaking'

"Markquis is such a dynamic player who can galvanize others around him," Southwell said. "He is such a prolific scorer who has almost 1,000 points in three seasons.

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"He will fit in perfectly with our guys because of his energy and playmaking, his ability to get to the free-throw line and getting his teammates involved."

K-State was led in scoring this season by freshman point guard Nijel Pack, who averaged 12.7 points and a team-best 3.8 assists, but the addition of Nowell could allow one of them to play off the ball as well.

Nowell's best season at Little Rock was 2019-20, when he was an all-Sun Belt pick after leading the Trojans with 17.5 points and 4.8 assists per game while shooting 39.7% from 3-point range. He also is a career 85.7% free-throw shooter.

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In addition to Pack, K-State returns starting guard Mike McGuirl, a senior who chose to take advantage of the extra year granted by the NCAA after averaging 11.8 points and 3.6 assists this season.

Nowell's breakout season in 2019-20 coincided with a big jump for Little Rock, which went from 10 wins the year before to 21 and a Sun Belt regular-season title. He was a three-star recruit out of The Patrick School in Hillside, New Jersey, where he missed a month due to injury but still averaged 10.9 points a game.

Nowell transferred to The Patrick School for his senior year after two successful seasons at Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn.

K-State already signed 6-10 high school center Logan Landers from Cedarburg, Wisconsin, in November and have an oral commitment from Maximus Edwards, a small forward from Stratford, Connecticut.

The Wildcats return three freshman starters from this season in Pack, wing player Selton Miguel and center Davion Bradford.