Kansas State basketball coach Jerome Tang becomes lead candidate for Arkansas opening

With Ole Miss head coach Chris Beard effectively staying with the Rebels, Jerome Tang is Arkansas's top guy.
Mar 14, 2024; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas State Wildcats head coach Jerome Tang claps during the game.
Mar 14, 2024; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas State Wildcats head coach Jerome Tang claps during the game. / Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

Hang on Wildcat fans, it is going to be a stressful couple of days. Just one day after Eric Musselman announced his departure from Arkansas for USC, the Razorbacks are quickly looking for his replacement, and Kansas State fans are not going to like who their lead candidate is.

The coaching carousel for men's basketball has been turning very fast lately and Kansas State might have to jump on here soon. There were reports that the top two candidates Arkansas has in mind for the open position were Ole Miss's Chris Beard and Kansas State's Jerome Tang. Recently on X (formally known as Twitter) Beard tweeted out his excitement for what is to come at Ole Miss effectively taking himself out of the running.

Nothing has been heard so far about Tang and with Beard out of the running, tang has become the leading candidate for the open position.

After spending years as an assistant coach at Baylor under Scott Drew, Tang was hired back in 2022 to replace Bruce Weber, who chose to step down after his final game with the Wildcats. Tang came in a brought several transfers to the program and did better than anyone expected in his first season.

Tang led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight in his first season with the help of transfer Keyontae Johnson Markquis Nowell. Bringing in a lot fo transfers with only one year of eligibility though came back to bite Tang this past season as he had to start all over with just one starter returning from the year before.

In his second year, Tang definitely took a step back finishing with a 19-15 record going 8-10 in the Big 12. Even with a push in the Big 12 Tournament, the Wildcats were not able to make it to the NCAA Tournament but did accept an invite to the NIT. However, their time in the NIT did not last long as they lost to Iowa in the first round.

Tang has already been out recruiting for the Wildcats and it was made evident when he secured Michigan transfer Dug McDaniel which the University announced on April 3. McDaniel made it evident that it was his relationship with Tang that made him choose Kansas State, so if Tang leaves, who knows what he will do.

All eyes will be on Tang for the next few hours to see whether he chooses to stay with the Wildcats or continue his head coaching career elsewhere.