Kansas State basketball has a new look, but who will the starting five be?

With so many new faces, Jerome Tang will have his work cut out for him choosing who the starting five will be.
Mar 13, 2024; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas State Wildcats forward David N'Guessan (1) shoots the ball during the first half against the Texas Longhorns at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 13, 2024; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas State Wildcats forward David N'Guessan (1) shoots the ball during the first half against the Texas Longhorns at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports / William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Jerome Tang has done a lot of work this offseason bringing in players from the portal, signing players out of high school, and even bringing players from overseas. After losing two starters to eligibility, one to the NBA, pending, and two to the transfer portal, Tang had to be diligent in filling out his roster again.

So the Wildcat lineup will have a completely different look next season with one, maybe two definite starters returning. David N'Gessan did see time as a starter but rotated with Will NcNair Jr., however, now that he has announced his return, he will most likely take one of those five spots.

The other player who could be a starter if he returns is Arthur Kaluma, pending how the NBA Draft process goes. For the sake of this article, we will pretend as though he is not returning to Kansas State next season.

So that leaves four positions open and lots of players to choose from, so who will be the Wildcats starting five next season? Let's take a look at the choices.

W David N'Guessan

As mentioned earlier, N'Guessan recently announced that he will spend his final year of eligibility with Jerome Tang and the Wildcats. N'Guessan will be the only player returning who played solid minutes for K-State, so while he will have to compete for his spot, he is almost guaranteed a starting role in the Wildcats' rotation in 2024-2025.

N'Guessan took a step forward in the 2023-2024 season and with how much more playing time he is set to possibly get, he could really improve his game this next season. Used mostly as a big man for K-state, N'Guessan averaged 7.8 points per game 6.8 rebounds, and shot 58.4% from the floor last season.

PG Dug McDaniel

Dug McDaniel was the first player Jerome Tang got to commit to Kansas State, and it was a big one. After losing point guard Tylor Perry to eligibility, the Wildcats needed a sure-handed point guard to lead the offense and that is exactly what they got in McDaniel.

Now McDaniel does come with some baggage from Michigan. Last season, McDaniel could not travel to six away games due to academic issues. If he can keep his academics on track at K-State, he could be the boost this offense desperately needed last season. Even with missing time, McDaniel averaged 16.3 points per game, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.7 assists.

SG Brendan Hausen

Brendan Hausen came from a very talented Villanova program and was a huge pickup for Tang in the transfer portal. The great thing about both McDaniel and Hausen is that they come to Kansas State with more than one year of eligibility left, which can't be said for a lot of Tang's past transfers. Having young talent, that Tang can develop over the next two to three seasons, as long as they stick around, could help elevate this program.

Hausen's numbers may not jump off the stats sheet, but this guy can shoot the ball and shoot the ball well. He averaged 6.2 points per game last season, but that was with around 17 minutes in a game. He doesn't turn the ball over a lot, which will be refreshing for a Kansas State team that led the conference in turnovers with 504.

PF Achor Achor

Achor Achor is the latest transfer for Kansas State coming from Samford. The 6-foot-9 power forward out of Melbourne is a big addition to the Wildcats and I mean that literally. K-State will have good size this year with David N'Guessan, Achor Achor, and Arkansas transfer Baye Fall.

Achor will be a great addition for scoring as well as he averages 16.1 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks. He also shoots 58.6% from the floor and can give Tang good minutes on the floor for when he needs it.

SG Max Jones

Max Jones could be the player to round out this starting five. A transfer from Cal State Fullerton, Jones is not a young player like some of the other transfers, but he brings experience and a history of performing.

Jones averaged over 10 points per game in each of the last two seasons, 12.5 in 2022-2023 and 15.3 in 2023-2024. He does need to work on his turnovers as he averaged 2.9 a game in 2023-2024 and K-State can not allow that stat to plague them again next season.