Jerome Tang credits Nae’Qwan Tomlin for helping K-State basketball land key transfer

In the world of college basketball recruiting, there is no such thing as an assist when a team lands a coveted prospect.

Credit usually goes to the head coach or one of his assistants. Few others get any flowers.

But Kansas State basketball coach Jerome Tang would like to change that now that the Wildcats have signed transfer forward Achor Achor from Samford. In this instance, he thinks someone else deserves all the kudos.

Who? Former K-State basketball player Nae’Qwan Tomlin.

Why? Because Tomlin and Achor used to play together for the same junior college in Florida. When K-State began recruiting Achor, he reached out to Tomlin with questions. Tomlin, in turn, said enough good things about the Wildcats to help them seal the deal.

“Nae’Qwan Tomlin, he should get credit for that recruitment,” Tang said during a Catbacker Event this week in Manhattan. “He did a great job. I’m so thankful for Nae’Qwan and what (our fans) have meant to him and our staff. He sold the program.”

K-State assistant Jareem Dowling previously also gave a shout out to Tomlin for his recruiting assist on social media.

That may come as a surprise to some after the way Tomlin abruptly left K-State midway through his senior season in Manhattan.

After a stellar junior year in which he averaged 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds while starting for a K-State team that won 26 games and reached the Elite Eight, Tomlin didn’t play a single minute for the Wildcats last season.

K-State indefinitely suspended Tomlin after he was arrested for disorderly conduct in Aggieville before the beginning of the season. A few weeks later he was granted diversion in the case but he was still dismissed from the team in a highly publicized decision that led to student protests and left frustrated fans blaming university president Richard Linton for the entire ordeal.

There were clearly hard feelings on both sides.

Still, Tomlin transferred to Memphis and his former K-State coaches and teammates continued to support him from afar while he averaged 14 points and 6 rebounds for the Tigers.

After the 2023-24 season came to end, Tomlin was invited to compete in the NBA G League Elite Camp ahead of the NBA Draft. He performed so well there that he was then called up to the NBA Draft Combine. A professional basketball career is in his future, but he hasn’t forgotten about his time at K-State. And he seems to remember his days in purple fondly.

Tang thinks K-State fans may also remember Tomlin when they watch Achor play in Bramlage Coliseum.

Achor is a 6-foot-9 big man who averaged 16.1 points and 6.1 rebounds for an NCAA Tournament team last season. Not surprisingly, Tang compares his playing style to Tomlin.

“He can play any position,” Tang said. “He can definitely guard any position on the floor. He can dribble, he can pass, he can shoot. He has got size and athleticism. He is just very much like (Tomlin). Maybe not as good of a ball-handler, but very much like that. He can really shoot.”