Kansas State basketball takes another portal hit with guard Dai Dai Ames' departure

For Kansas State basketball, the transfer portal is turning into a merry-go-round.

After adding two players — former Villanova guard Brendan Hausen and Arkansas big man Baye Fall — over the weekend, the Wildcats lost another one Sunday when point guard Dai Dai Amens tossed his name in the portal.

Ames, a 6-foot-1 freshman from Chicago, started 16 games, including the last 13 of the 2023-24 season. He averaged 5.2 points, 2.0 assists and 1.1 rebounds while shooting 35.3%, including 32.9% from 3-point range.

Related: Kansas State basketball adds sharpshooting Villanova guard from transfer portal

Ames becomes the sixth Wildcat player to enter the portal. He joins starting guard Cam Carter, who has since signed with LSU, and starting center Jerrell Colbert, along with super-senior guard Ques Glover, sophomore guard Dorian Finister and freshman guard R.J. Jones.

Ames was expected to be a key player for the Wildcats next year after a strong finish to his freshman season. He scored in double figures two of the last three games, including a career-high 16 points with five assists in a season-ending National Invitation Tournament loss to Iowa.

Kansas State guard Dai Dai Ames (4) drives for a layup against Iowa State in their Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo.
Kansas State guard Dai Dai Ames (4) drives for a layup against Iowa State in their Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo.

K-State finished with a 19-15 record and a first-round NIT loss in Jerome Tang's second season as head coach after he led them to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight the year before. He already has signed four players from the portal, plus a four-star high school recruit, but has at least four scholarships left to give.

K-State's top portal addition so far is former Michigan point guard Dug McDaniel. Tang also has signed shooting guard CJ Jones from Illinois-Chicago along with 3-point specialist Hausen and the 6-foot-11 Fall, a former McDonald's All American.

Only four players remain from the 2022-23 Wildcats. Senior forward Arthur Kaluma, the third-leading scorer at 14.4 points and top rebounder at 7.0 per game, has declared for the NBA draft but remains eligible to return, while forward David N'Guessan (7.8 points, 6.8 rebounds) has yet to officially announce whether he will be back for a final super-senior season.

Related: Kansas State basketball is headed to the Big Apple in December for Big 12/Big East battle

The other two still on the team are freshmen reserve forwards Taj Manning and Macaleab Rich.

K-State remains in the hunt for Rutgers center Clifford Omoruyi and Arkansas shooting guard Khalif Battle, both of whom visited Manhattan last week.

Arne Green is based in Salina and covers Kansas State University sports for the Gannett network. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @arnegreen.

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Kansas State basketball guard Dai Dai Ames enters transfer portal